If you’re familiar with microcurrent technology, you’ve likely got Tera Peterson, founder of the NuFace, to thank for that. Twenty years before NuFace launched in 2005, Peterson’s mother was an esthetician at the famed Golden Door Spa in San Diego, constantly getting asked to hike up to Los Angeles to work her magic on celebrities’ faces. In 2000 the idea of NuFace—a handheld microcurrent device that could be used daily between professional treatments—was born, and five years later, it launched. In 2007 it became the first and only handheld device cleared by the FDA, and 16 years after launching, NuFace now has four tools for the face and the body.
Microcurrent technology, if you’re not well-versed, uses low-level currents to stimulate facial muscles to lift, tone, and contour—basically, Peterson says, it’s a noninvasive face-lift. Microcurrent is most effective when used regularly, so it’s no surprise that a fixed routine is the cornerstone of Peterson’s personal approach to skin care. “Consistency is key, and the younger you start thinking about a routine, the better,” she tells Glamour. “It’s so much easier to prevent than to reverse. Sunscreen and hydration—both from the outside in and the inside out—matter too, and, of course, microcurrent technology is my go-to.”
“I always recommend microcurrent to clients, even in their early to mid-20s,” she says. “It increases circulation and tightness to the skin, and it contours. And stay consistent, even if you’re getting into skin care later in life. Keep on at it—it takes time to reverse all of the years of aging. Consistency can be really critical.”
Clearly, Peterson has her routine on lock. Read on for the serum she calls “the best-kept secret,” her must-have exfoliant, and the four devices she swears by for glowing skin.
I start my day by cleansing my face—I’m a big fan of Shani Darden’s Cleansing Serum for how light it feels on the skin.
My night routine is a little bit more intense. The more hydration I can get into my skin, the better. I typically do my nighttime routine in a bath with aromatherapy bath oils, starting with another round of cleansing with Shani Darden’s Cleansing Serum. She really takes her time when she’s developing products—the texture is very light and there is no fragrance. It gives a nice foam, but not too much, and it hydrates the skin.
Next up is exfoliation with NuFace’s Prep-N-Glow cloths, which is a $350 facial in a wipe. I go up from my décolleté to my neck, cheeks, lips, and all the way up the face so I have a clean palette to work off of.
At night I’ll exfoliate with Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate—always a go-to. It’s tried-and-true, and no one has been able to get anything close.
One of my favorite lines is Tammy Fender—her skin care is the best skin care I’ve ever used. I absolutely love it; it feels like I’m walking into a spa. In the morning I use Fender’s Plant Milk, a milky antiaging serum; I then put Fender’s balm over it.
My last step in my nighttime routine is another round of Tammy Fender’s Plant Milk and balm, finishing with her oil on top to seal it all in. The Quintessential Serum locks everything in. It’s the best-kept secret that shouldn’t be a secret.
Sunscreen is a must, and I like Supergoop Glowscreen. Even if I’m not wearing makeup, it makes it look like you have a beautiful glow. I’m all about the glow.
My Night Mask
Before my nighttime serums, I use Dr. Barbara Sturm’s hydrating face mask.
I use microcurrent at least three times a day. In the morning I apply the NuFace primer—a necessary conductor for the device—followed by NuFace’s Trinity device to lift, tone, and contour my neck, cheeks, and forehead. I finish up with the NuFace Fix, which is exactly what is used in the treatment room to blur away fine lines and wrinkles.
Throughout my millions of Zoom calls, I squint, so I love to use the NuFace Fix on my 11 lines. I’ll also use the Fix on my lips to plump them up; it’s a quick pick-me-up.
At night, after my mask, I head to bed, where I turn on the television and use NuFace’s red light wrinkle reducer for 20 minutes. It literally transforms the skin, plumping up lines and wrinkles, helping with my pore size and the glow and suppleness of my skin. At 42, you really start to see the elasticity of your skin change. Red light absolutely thickens up the skin, which we want.
I know that the best skin comes from the inside out, so I try to eat healthy and take supplements to nourish my body. I’ve seen the effects firsthand with my clients and with myself. I try to avoid a bunch of coffee because it takes a toll on my skin, and sugar, which is my biggest weakness.
Rachel Burchfield is a freelance writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British royal family.