• Penn Smith

PICO Toner: Microcurrent for face AND body

Updated: Apr 26

My thoughts...



I've been using Pico Toner Microcurrent for about six months. This is a really exciting device for me to review because I think it fills a gap in the market. There are sooo many microcurrent devices out there from NuFace to Clareblend, Myolift, and the recently released Foreo Bear. And I'll tell you, the reason we see such a variety of companies launching microcurrent devices in the market is that, well, microcurrent works!!


I'm working on a blog dedicated to microcurrent - if you want to learn more about the different types of microcurrent and general things to consider before investing in a new or upgraded device, stay tuned!!


OVERVIEW OF THE PICO TONER


If you've read my microcurrent blog, you know about the advantages of this modality. In a nutshell, you can think of microcurrent in skincare as having two primary benefits:

  1. Working on the muscles to add tone and definition. This effect can be both immediate long-lasting, with consistent use of the device.

  2. Supporting the cells of the skin and underlying tissue (muscles, fat) to increase health and vibrancy at a cellular level.

The Pico Toner is made by a company, NeurotriS, which has been making microcurrent devices for clinical settings for nearly 20 years. Essentially the Pico Toner is a home-based microcurrent device that has 'borrowed' some features from NeurotriS' exposure in selling equipment to dermatologists and estheticians.


ADDRESSING 'IMPEDANCE'

Impedance, as it relates to microcurrent, is a measurement of the degree of 'kick-back' from the body to the energy being sent via the device.


There are countless frequencies that can be used in microcurrent devices (Sine, Square, Biphasic, Monophasic, Pulsed, Galvanic, to name but a few). When these frequencies are combined into a preset program, it is called a “signal”. Most microcurrent devices combine a number of these, although some use only one (e.g. galvanic).


Pico Toner uses a feedback loop that dynamically optimizes the signal based on an individual's skin at the time of treatment. So, for example, the Pico might sense that you're far more dehydrated today than you were before you turned on the central heating at the beginning of winter. It'll also sense that, for example, the skin on the front of your thighs has a different 'resistance' than the skin on your forehead. The Pico will adapt to these 'impedance-causing' variations and send a different set/strenth of signal, as needed. This is why, rather than controlling the microamps, the Pico has a 0-100 control. You chose the setting of the treatment and the device calculates the frequencies and voltage of current needed to achieve that setting.


Impedance analogy

You've just returned home from a busy day and have a lot on your mind. Your spouse has just opened the mail and launches into a discussion about your soon-to-be-due shared tax return. If you have a lot on your mind, you'll likely have high 'impedance' or 'opposition' to this conversation. You may seemingly be paying attention, but in reality, only absorbing 60% of what's being said (even if your spouse thinks you're fully tuned in). The result, an inefficient conversation that may require you have the same talk again in a few days to clarify and agree on details.


Let's say, on the other hand, your spouse, realizing that you may have a lot on your mind, uses a number of tools to get his/her message through. Maybe s/he leaves the tax reminder on the table for you to glance at while you grab a drink. Perhaps s/he leaves the conversation until after dinner and then broaches the topic within a chat about saving money for your trip to Hawaii next summer. We've all been in a similar situation. When we're 'receptive' to a 'message', the message gets through easier and more reliably - and normally with superior results. And when the 'messenger' is 'sensitive' to the 'recipient' it is better for everybody involved 🙂.


FLEXIBILITY/CONVENIENCE

I remember once asking a dentist which toothbrush was the best on the market. His response to me was 'The best tool is the one you'll use regularly.' And so it is with microcurrent! We're all different and have different habits and preferences, but for me, the Pico really works from a convenience perspective. This is why:

  • It's battery charged, tiny, and easily attached to the arm with accompanying velcro. Once it's there, it stays. There's nothing to keep plugged in or carry around as I move about the house.

  • As mentioned above, I can use it on my face and my body. So, I can do a treatment on my face and subsequently do a treatment on, say, my legs, without having to change device/gel/gloves, etc. LOVE that.

  • It comes with gloves but also has probes AND gel pads for both the face and neck that can be purchased separately. So, depending on the area I'm treating I can opt for different accessories. I haven't tried the gel pads yet but I adore the probes (they're similar to those I use in the treatment room.)

  • At the intersection of power and flexibility, Pico lets you do something you can't do on any other home device: Leave off the plastic liner gloves and use the conductive gloves directly on your hands as you perform a treatment on your face (I'd dial the power up to 70%.)


POWER

The Pico Toner has the potential to reach upwards of 1000 microamps, Remember, this is ADAPTIVE Microcurrent - the device will sense the condition of the skin and tissue and deliver the right ‘dose’ of current to overcome the body’s impedance. Also, as I've mentioned before, strength doesn't necessarily equate to better results in the realm of microcurrent. In fact, too strong a current for the area treated can be counter-productive. So think of power not just as sheer force, but as the ability to use the right level of energy to stimulate without overtaxing.


Remember, with the PICO we’re not ‘dialing up’ the device to 1000 microamps. We have amplitude control buttons to adjust the intensity - the device will sense the impedance in the body and send the appropriate level of power.


I really like the PICO toner and I think it's a very interesting option for estheticians, those wanting a strong/flexible device, and even those ready to 'upgrade' their systems to the next level (budget willing!)




FAQ



Functionality/usage

Q1: What is impedance and why does it matter?

A1: Think of impedance as the natural resistance that's present due to skin thickness and (de)hydration levels.

Q2: How often should I use the PICO toner?

A2: Like with all microcurrent, little and often is best at the beginning. I recommend 4-5 days a week for 20 minutes.

Q3: Does the PICO Toner help with lymphatic drainage?

A3: Yes

Q4: Does the Pico toner have a 'product penetration' setting?

A4: Yes


Q5: What's the difference between P1 and P2 settings on the Pico Toner?

A9: P1 targets muscles whereas P2 targets collagen/elastin and ATP (not as strong)


Q6: Can men use the Pico toner?

A6: Of course, but do bear in mind that facial hair can interfere with conductivity.


Q7: Is it important that I invest in the probes right away or can I get quite a bit done with the gloves?

A7: You can start with the gloves and invest in the probes later - I love the gloves!


Q8: What are the ingredients in Ionic Conduction Spray that comes with the Pico unit?

A8: Water, Himalayan sea salt, glycerin, caprylic acid, lauric acid 1, propanediol, potassium sorbate.


General

Q9: What is the company's returns policy?

A9: Returns will be accepted if the product is faulty for warranty repair (returns are not otherwise accepted.)


Q10: Can Pico Toner be shipped outside the US (Canada, Europe/UK, Australia)?

A10: Yes, NeurotriS ships worldwide


Disclaimer: Please be sure to verify ALL details with the company before you buy. I try to be as accurate as possible but do your due diligence as well. This post is not intended to provide diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Content provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Please consult with a physician or other healthcare professional regarding any medical or skin-related diagnosis or treatment options. Information on this website should not be considered as a substitute for advice from a healthcare/skin professional. The statements made about specific products throughout this website are not to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It is important that you check labels to determine if a product is right for you. Before starting any treatment at home consult a health care or skincare professional to determine if it’s right for you.



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