ZiiP microcurrent - this one's different!
Updated: Jul 31
I’ve been getting questions lately about the ZiiP. People want to know what makes it different from the other handheld microcurrent devices out there. I thought I’d put down my thoughts and also answer some of the more specific questions I’ve recently received in my Facebook community and in comments beneath my YouTube videos. Here goes...
If you’ve consumed my content for any length of time, you know how much I love microcurrent. Microcurrent uses a very low-intensity current, which is modified to produce low-frequency pulses. Normally at-home devices use a single wave-form whereas more sophisticated devices found in the treatment room offer differing wave-forms combined into a sequence by the equipment or controlled manually by an esthetician.
Microcurrent has been used in the medical field for years to promote tissue healing, as very low-intensity currents stimulate our cells' metabolic processes. In fact, low-level microcurrent is closely related to the body's own bio-electrical activity and thus supports cellular healing and rejuvenation. Nano current is actually a smaller unit of current and is amazing when used in conjunction with microcurrent. Interestingly, weak stimuli are shown to increase physiological activity whereas strong stimuli actually inhibit them - so microcurrent is absolutely a case of 'less is more!!
Less is more yes, but little (as little as ten mins) AND often (two to three times per week, more if you have time) is essential with nano and microcurrent! Research has shown that the results of microcurrent are not only significant but long-lasting. Regular use of nano and microcurrent increases collagen and muscle tone by speeding up the rate at which the body produces its own muscle proteins and fibroblasts. What's not to love!?!?
Why do I love my ZiiP?
REASON 1. It’s small and elegant in form and function.
Typically when I fall in love with skincare or a device the reasons are, in this order:
1. Performance 2. Performance and 3. Performance. Really!!
The ‘does it work?’ component of evaluating skincare and devices is THAT important to me. Packaging, how something feels in the hand, and how easy it is to acquire… those come further down my list of priorities. But ZiiP has changed my view on this. Does it work? Absolutely (my noticeably less swollen face after my morning lymphatic drainage sessions serve as a daily reminder!) But what’s interesting about the ZiiP is that one of the reasons that I’m seeing such good results is that it is so amazingly nice to use.
First of all the size and streamlined design of the ZiiP mean that it is effortless to slip into my purse, pop into a pocket, or even put into the remote control caddy in front of the television. In the past month, in addition to my morning de-puffing ritual, I’ve used my ZiiP while on a long phone call (with earbuds) and regularly while watching TV or YouTube.
Note: I’ve decanted the ZiiP conductive gel into an old dropper bottle (an empty The Ordinary Buffet to be exact lol) so I can have it available just as conveniently (and it travels well).
We know that being consistent with skincare is key. Microcurrent is no exception. In fact, with microcurrent, compliance is everything because those teeny tiny teeny tiny doses of electrical energy need to be given regularly in order to make a difference.
REASON 2: It’s versatile
When we think about home microcurrent devices, most of us think about the benefits of lifting and toning. It makes sense, as the popular home-based microcurrent devices out there are focused on these benefits - toning the facial muscles and providing a lifted appearance to the face. And who doesn’t want a bit of lift and tone!! But interestingly, the lift/tone benefit is just the beginning of what microcurrent can offer.
When I would give a microcurrent facial in the treatment room (with my very spendy professional equipment), I didn’t just jump in and start lifting. I eased in by prepping the skin, enhancing circulation, and helping infuse hydrating ingredients. If there’s built-up lymph, I spend some time creating flow and moving the lymph off the face toward the lymphatic ducts where it moves onward into the circulatory system. I might then look to toning, and focus on firming the muscles. And then I'd finish off with a setting that’s focused on soothing and calming. The client leaves looking healthy and glowing, every. single. time. I did this with my professional machine by manipulating settings and following protocols for the order and pacing of a treatment.
When I worked with microcurrent on a client, each of the different ‘treatment' types/stages required different movements, cadences, and, importantly, different electrical outputs. And let me assure you, it is not a simple task to bring this level of sophistication to a home-based microcurrent device. But that's exactly what Melanie Simon, the electrical aesthetician and the creator of the ZiiP has at the heart of her invention - and a key thing that sets ZiiP apart from other home-based microcurrent tools on the market.
I can remember my impression when I first started using the ZiiP. I had gone from a home hand-held microcurrent device experience that was great on the ‘lift’, but a bit one dimensional, to one where I could tap into a really powerful yet achingly simple tool that could very credibly emulate a proper microcurrent facial performed by an aesthetician.
The new ZIIP App was developed by the ZiiP team using data from over 10 million (!!) ZIIP treatment downloads done since the product was launched more than five years ago. The team also collected direct feedback from the ZIIP community and, of course, input from founder Melanie Simon who has spent the last 20 years tending to some of the world’s most recognizable faces. The result is an all-encompassing menu of professional-grade, at-home treatments that are truly a pleasure to use.
In all, there are over 24 different waveforms used in different combinations in the ZiiP programs. The 14 ZiiP programs pull on these 24 waveforms to create individual treatments, each different from the last - and each created to address a specific set of needs.
EXAMPLES: ZiiP's 'Filtered Finish' treatment program uses a shallow waveform that's treating the skin above the muscle. The waveform hits frequently to increase circulation which in turn smooths out the appearance of wrinkles. On the other hand, ZiiP's 'Instant Gratification' treatment is a deeper waveform that hits the muscle slowly to optimally sculpt the facial muscles, resulting in the lifting of the neck and face area. ZiiP's 'Founder's Favorite' is all about nano current - that slow drip-feed to recharge cellular ATP.
I've had several chances to meet with Melanie and let me tell you, she knows her stuff! She's spent her entire career perfecting her craft with some of the best equipment and brands in the business (Biologique Recherche, to name one!) Melanie still works with clients in the treatment room, always observing and honing her understanding of the field of microcurrent. What's impressed me the most about the ZiiP story (and the device itself) is that it really does represent an entrepreneur taking a service that's both nuanced and complex and radically simplifying that power to put it in the hands of consumers.
The ZiiP App syncs your chosen treatment to the device and then the accompanying video literally walks you through the session... for each of the 14 facials and 'Targetted Treatments', such as the Brow Lift.
REASON 3: It gives feedback
Beyond the 14 programs designed by Melanie, the ZiiP has a few intuitive ways it helps you make sure you’re using it properly. The first way is via softly glowing lights that illuminate when you have conductivity and go dark when you’ve lost it (the most common reason is that you don't have enough conductive gel and/or have hit a bony area, say close to your hairline.)
The other way it keeps you on track is by emitting a subtle vibration each time you’re meant to change direction or move onto a new area. For me, this feedback is so important!! Not only to I have Melanie to guide me, but the ZiiP device itself keeps me motivated by giving me signals that I'm 'on track'.
REASON 4: It's thoughtfully designed
Other little things I love about the ZiiP: The battery seems to last forever. Really. Forever. No more charging every few uses. And this makes sense! Microcurrent is teeny tiny (and nanocurrent even teeny-tinier!!) .., one charge should last a very long time. I also like that It’s charged with a plain old USB charger - so no worries about losing the charger, or mixing up your ZiiP charger with another device (I can't tell you how many orphan device cords I have tangling up in my closet!). It's also super easy to travel with. Another benefit of the small size of the ZiiP is that it lets me get in close to those smaller areas such as around the mouth and eyes. Ah, another win... the App gets updated in a very modern way!! I've had my ZiiP for over a year now but the new App with updated videos of Melanie and new treatments got updated last month - and for free!! I love it when I know a device won't become obsolete quickly!
REASON 5: The ZiiP conductive gels - skincare in their own right
One of the many things that's interesting about microcurrent is that it has the ability to help skincare get just that little bit further into the stratum corneum. Most microcurrent devices come with conductive gels that are either 'uninteresting' (meaning they have no material benefit) or actually have negative effects, such as the case with gels that contain alcohol (as many less expensive gels do).
No worry here with the ZiiP gels. Each of the three gels in the ZiiP family is absolutely packed with ingredients that will nourish, plump, and calm the skin. From peptides to niacinamide to glutathione and green tea. Your choice will depend on your goals (and budget). While the ZiiP gels are some of the most expensive on the market, I do think they're worth trying, at least once. Not only do they double as skincare (helping to justify the cost) but, compared with 'traditional' microcurrent gels, a little goes a LONG way. I typically use 4-5 pumps for each treatment and, thanks to the high glycerin content, I really don't need to reapply. The single (recyclable) glass bottle of ZiiP gel normally lasts me two to three times longer than the same size bottle of a standard conductive gel.
I've tried all of the gels. They're all equally nice to use, but I've thrown together the below table to help you decide if you're a 'Gold' kind of person, whether you'd get the most from Crystal or perhaps Silver is your thing (it's the best value!!)
I think you can tell how much I love this little device. It is so clear that it has been designed (and updated via the recent App upgrade) by someone who knows skin and knows how electricity, in microdoses, can make our skin look lifted, more glowing, and frankly, younger and healthier. And the conductive gels are a pleasure rather than a penance. So do I buy the whole 'expert facials on demand' slogan? Yes, I actually do. How cool is that?
USE CODE: ziipwithpenn for 20% off the ZiiP.
Q1. I already have a NuFace/Foreo Bear/other handheld microcurrent. Do I need a ZiiP?
A1. If you already have a handheld microcurrent device that you’re using consistently, I would say no. This is especially true if you’re watching your budget. Yes, the ZiiP does offer a more versatile set of programs but the most important thing about Microcurrent is that you use it consistently!!
Q2. Are there times you don’t choose ZiiP for Microcurrent?
A2. I love my PICO toner for use on the body and also with the Jane Mann Anma Lift (I do feel there’s an instant gratification with the Anna Lift)…and sometimes I get a craving to use microcurrent with gloves on my face, and turn to my PICO or Myolift.
Q3. The ZiiP conductive gels are expensive. Can I use another conductive gel with my ZiiP
A3. Technically I supposed you could. My advice, however, would be to try one of the ZiiP gels at least once. They are gorgeous. I like to economize by pumping only 3-4 small pumps and spreading all over face and neck. Then I have a spray bottle of water nearby to keep my face hydrated. The high glycerin content of the ZiiP gels means they don't evaporate easily like most microcurrent conductive gels.
Q4.I love the idea of the ‘trickle feed’ of nano current in the 12-minute ZiiP nano program. Is there any reason I can’t use this to slowly give a boost to the skin on my arms or chest during an hour-long Netflix session?
A4. The ZIIP isn’t indicated for the body but I do not see harm in working on the arms. That said, reasonable expectations should be kept :)
Q5. Some of the treatments are only a few minutes. I know I can ‘stack’ the treatments, but how do I know which ones stack best together?
A5. This is where you get to customize! There is no wrong answer-so do the treatments you feel you need, as you like.
Disclaimer: 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 skin care professional to determine if it’s right for you.