The Bio-Ultimate Platinum™ features the latest in microcurrent technology development, including the patented technological breakthrough Suzuki Sequencing™. This revolutionary system delivers unsurpassed results and performance in less time. The Bio-Ultimate Platinum™ is touted as the single most powerful tool available to the skin therapist today, allowing a diverse array of results ranging from facial sculpting to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The Bio-Ultimate Platinum™ is comopletely pre-programmed and easy to use, with over fifteen different facial services available to choose from, allowing the skin therapist the possibility to add microcurrent to every facial.
- Hands Free technology
- Visibly firms and contours
- Complete product penetration
- Hydrates and revitalizes skin
- Improves circulation
- Encourages smoother, softer skin
- Diminishes the appreance of fine lines and wrinkles
The Bio-Ultimate Platinum™ features Suzuki Sequencing Technology™ which pinpoints the optimum electrical combination output(s) that are statistically most effective for age defying results including increased circulatory benefits, increased natural production of collagen and elastin, and increased penetration and effectiveness of scientifically proven products. Suzuki Sequencing is a completely automated technology that requires no additional effort from the skin therapist, yet sequences through every possible mathematical equation on each side of the target aream canvassing every output combination to achieve maximum results.
The Platinum Nano™ can be easily held in one hand, and economically placed in multiple treatment rooms. It positions perfectly in any salon or spa as an effective, portable, and convenient add-on application in all settings due to its size, advanced microcurrent technology and synergistic relationship to other anti-aging technologies. For avid microcurrent users wanting to multi task, the Nano allows for multiple microcurrent services to be performed at one time. Perform the Platinum Touch Hand Renewal™ service with the Nano, and another microcurrent service to the face with the Bio-Ultimate Platinum™. For skin therapists wanting to introduce microcurrent into their menu, the Nano serves as a perfect introductory device that allows for add-on services to any traditional facial.
- Hands Free technology
- Visibly firms and contours
- Complete product penetration
- Hydrates and revitalizes skin
- Improves circulation
- Encourages smoother, softer skin
- Diminishes the appreance of fine lines and wrinkles
Microcurrent by David Suzuki
Throughout the ages, people have experimented with treatments intended to enhance their appearance and slow the aging process. From the early Egyptian’s use of kohl and mineral pigments to tightly drawn corsets of the Victorian era, women have endured much in the name of youth and beauty. In our modern world, we are fortunate to be able to turn to technology for our fountain of youth, and one of the most important innovations to have sprung from this well of technological advances is the use of microcurrent.
Microcurrent is truly the “diamond in the rough” when it comes to wellness and anti-aging. Its use in esthetics has existed since the late 70’s, and like many good things, has come full circle and is now in full bloom in the eyes of today’s estheticians.
Microcurrent is a low level of electrical current that mirrors the body’s own natural current, subsensory in most cases. It’s proven and accepted properties, and potential range of applications from wound healing, muscle re-habilitation, macular degeneration, to lymphodema continue to assist medical practitioners with amazing results. Although microcurrent is credited by hundreds of medical studies, we must stay focused on how these studies and this technology can benefit and support us as estheticians in pursuit of our mission of beautifying the skin.
The intended use for microcurrent in esthetics is to allow the esthetician a powerful and effective tool to aid in the battle of anti-aging by diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve the texture and appearance of the skin, and reducing the overall visual appearance of aging.
Most microcurrent applications and results, whether they are medical or esthetic, rely on the same mechanisms of action. Even without defining each in detail, the list is very impressive, and the underlying principles logical.
Increased circulatory benefits: blood and lymph (1)
Muscle re-education (2)
Iontophoresis: product penetration (3)
Increased natural production of collagen and elastin (4)
Increase in protein synthesis, gluco neo-genesis and membranes transport (5)
Increase in mitochondria activity, ATP (adenosine tri phosphate) (6)
Dispersion of hardened collagen (7)
How does microcurrent in esthetics work?
The noted principal microcurrent mechanisms of action occur simultaneously and harmoniously during a typical 45-minute microcurrent facial treatment. One attribute is not more important than another, as they work as a team with the common purpose of creating a healthier more youthful appearance.
Muscle re-education is most related to the term “facial toning”. There are 32 different muscles of the face that are manipulated during the average microcurrent facial treatment. True microcurrent uses less than 500 microamperes and because of its low intensity, is typically subsensory, and cannot cause a physical or visual manipulation of the muscle via the electrical current. Bearing this in mind, an accessory such as probes or electric gloves are used to physically move the muscle into the desired position to perform what is known as muscle re-education; the process of lengthening or shortening muscles. Muscle re-education conceptually can be done without electrical current, much like a massage therapist does. Working a muscle from the belly outward will have a lengthening effect that is necessary on muscles that have become increasingly contracted over years of facial expressions. Working a muscle from the origin and insertion point inward will have a shortening effect that is necessary for the majority of the muscles which have become elongated over many years of age and gravity. This concept was coined as GTO (golgi tendon origin) by Dr. Goodhart in the late 60’s and is widely accepted and used today. (8)
ATP (adenosine triphosphate) molecules are the storage and distribution vehicles for energy in the body. Energy is made through an electrochemical process within the mitochondria when the nucleotide adenosine diphosphate (ADP) passes a strong phosphate high-energy bond to another nucleotide adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This energy conversion (electron transport) is made within the mitochondria. The mitochondria then send this energy electron to where ever it is needed within the cell. ATP is known as the “energy of life” and drives a number of biological processes such as photosynthesis, muscle contractions/re-education, protein synthesis, and membrane transport. (9)
The 1982 Cheng study proves that ATP (adenosine tri phosphate) levels were increased by 500% on tissue that was treated utilizing less than 500 Ua (microamperes). The study also indicated that ATP levels plummeted and depleted when treated with over 500 Ua. The idea that ATP can be stock piled or stored is the reason why microcurrent treatment results are cumulative and results become better as a series of treatments progresses. The dramatic increase of ATP levels allows the muscles to stay in the new re-educated position for longer periods of time. In the same study Cheng also observed that aminoisobutyric acid uptake increased dramatically which led to 30%-40% increase in protein synthesis and membrane transport.
Bearing the Cheng study in mind, it is understandable why individuals who use EMS type devices, like some hand held devices seen on TV infomercials that use as much as 5,000 Ua, do receive some instant tonification, however, when used cumulatively create flaccid and lifeless muscles that are completely void of ATP.
Aside from muscle re-education and massive increases in ATP levels, microcurrent has other proven benefits for esthetic applications. Dr. Chi, Director of the University of Washington Department of Pathology, performed clinical studies using the Bio-Ultimate Gold manufactured by Bio-Therapeutic. He notes, “The fact that this technology works in harmony with the body is evident. Examination of skin tissue treated with microcurrent showed a 45% increase in the number of elastin fibers in the dermis, and the length of the fibers on average doubled. The collagen thickness in the connective tissue increased 10%, and the number of blood vessels increased by 35%. The application of microcurrent to skin and tissue produced a firmer and tighter feeling on the skin surface.”
Many of the studies detailing the massive increase in speed regarding wound healing refer to ATP as one of the attributing factors. The other attributing factor is an increase in blood circulation. Blood circulation has everything to do with the function, condition, color and over all health of our skin, as well as underlying tissue. Dr. Chi’s 2003 study performed at the University of Washington further notes a 35% increases in blood circulation in tissue treated with microcurrent.
In terms of product penetration, microcurrent offers specific iontophoresis which allows superior penetration of water base products into the skin. The idea that the electrical current emits from one probe and returns to the other allows specific focus of product penetration, verses traditional methods that send incredibly high electrical currents unnecessarily throughout the body to achieve a simple task. Profound results can be achieved by products through inotophoreses.
Lymphatic drainage is a very overlooked treatment in esthetics, although gaining momentum in recent years. Clinical studies performed using microcurrent at the Tuen Muen Hospital in 1988 indicated that lymphatic drainage was increased by 28% on post cancer patients suffering from lymphodema.
Dr. Chi’s 1999 study also proved that redness, irritation, and inflammation of surgically traumatized tissue could be significantly decreased when treated with microcurrent. Related to this, the build up of hardened collagen that makes up scar tissue was noted to be 3 to 5 times less in tissue treated with microcurrent. Further studies also indicated an amazing dispersion of existing scar tissue when treated with microcurrent. Saying that, in the realm of plastic surgery we can see the obvious place for microcurrent technology. By administering a series of treatments prior to surgery, muscle and tissue condition is maximized, inclusive of an excessive storage of ATP. Microcurrent treatment of sutures and trauma post op decreases the down time by reducing inflammation, redness and irritation, while enhancing the healing ability and minimizing scar tissue. Post surgery treatments are also vital to maintain the results of the surgical work.
Although the level of current used in microcurrent devices is very minute, there are some contra-indications to consider. This includes pace makers, epilepsy, pregnancy, phlebitis, thrombosis, and of course any client who is currently “under the care of a physician”.
Although a remarkable difference is seen after the first treatment, the benefits of microcurrent are cumulative, and as such, microcurrent treatments are typically performed in a series to gain maximum anti-aging results. The average treatment series consists of twelve to fifteen treatments, generally administered two times per week. The average treatment can be performed in 45 minutes. It is important that preparation for a microcurrent treatment consists of cleansing and exfoliating using only water-based products, as oil will inhibit current.
The financial rewards of microcurrent treatments meet the criterion of today’s business savvy esthetician. Microcurrent treatments nationally average nearly $100 per treatment. It typically requires in the range of only five customers for an esthetician to recover the initial investment. Furthermore, estheticians who realize this profit potential succeed in evolving into specialized anti-aging clinics truly focusing and attracting the “baby boomer” clientele who now represent the single largest, and single wealthiest, segment of the population. (10)
Not all equipment is created the same
I am often asked the difference between a modality that can be purchased on television for $99 and a $5000 device that is sold exclusively to the professional. The old adage “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here. The way that electrical current affects the tissue, and the results that are achieved are completely dependent on the sophistication of the engineering that takes place between the power source and the output accessory. Progressive manufactures of microcurrent devices offer completely computerized, automated devices. Most systems virtually walk the operator through each phase of the treatment step by step, and even visually indicate on the lcd screen what accessory and product to use during each phase of the treatment.
During the average five step 45 minute facial, a pre-programmed device may automatically change its power output combination (output combination = microamperage+hertz+waveshape) over 500 times. This patented technology is called microcurrent sequencing. The output combination controls the depth, purpose, and effect that the electrical current will have on the tissue being treated. Low levels of output combinations are usually associated with deep tissue muscle re-education work, whereas high levels of output combinations are usually associated with circulatory benefits and iontophoresis.
Leading microcurrent manufacturers equip their devices with diagnostic monitoring and metering systems that confirm via LCD screen the exact percentage of conductivity that is flowing from probe to probe through the tissue, as well as the level of resistance that may be present (rather than simple bleeping lights). This information is processed through an internal computer and the output combination has the potential to adjust itself 1024 times per second if necessary to accommodate the lack of conductivity or over abundance of resistance. This information also allows the esthetician to make appropriate adjustments to the treatment protocol.
Responsible manufacturers require every device purchaser to attend an education and certification class where the esthetician learns, in depth, the operation and theory of the equipment as well as appropriate esthetic applications.
Synergetic Cross Marketing
Microcdermabrasion may be performed as an outstanding exfoliation service prior to a microcurrent treatment, and serves as the most synergetic ally to microcurrent in its battle against aging skin. Many spas and salons who have been successful with microdermabrasion are turning to microcurrent to extend yet another non-invasive anti-aging treatment to their established customer base. Larisa Miron of Spa 5 in Fort Lee, New Jersey notes “90% of my clientele who try microdermabrasion opt to try microcurrent, and visa versa. The treatments are natural partners for each other as microdermabrasion works from the outside in, and microcurrent from the inside out, both working to achieve the same anti-aging goal!”
Shopping for the right technology
The success of any device must contain the following attributes:
• It must be marketable
• It must be proven
• It must be psychologically satisfying
• It must show quick results and at the same time lasting, cumulative results
• It must be attainable and make financial sense when considering the cost of the investment in contrast with the cost that can be charged per treatment
David Gerard of Born of Earth Day Spa in Westport, CT notes, “Gaining clientele for anti-aging is never a problem, repeat return business is. If a customer does not see and feel results, they never achieve the psychological satisfaction necessary for repeat business. Bottom line, no results, no return. Microcurrent results are noticeable after the first treatment; once they see the potential they can never seem to get enough!”
Marketing a service because you found a “good deal” or because a sales rep left equipment free of charge with the agreement that you would split the profits, is a formula for disaster. “As estheticians we have worked hard to establish a well-respected, educated, professional image. This perception should never be jeopardized by introducing devices that do not meet all of the appropriate criteria for success,” states Lori Nestore of Eva’s Esthetics, San Jose, CA.
Qualifying the manufacturer
Aside from the marketability of a device you must also consider the safety and liability of a device. Bio-Therapeutic, a leading microcurrent manufacturer located in Seattle, Washington, recently proposed to the Washington State Board of Cosmetology to require every manufacture to supply the following information to estheticians and business owners that are purchasing their equipment.
• FDA Medical Device Manufacturer Registry number: Every manufacture of any device used in esthetics or medicine is required to be registered with the FDA and follow the good manufacturing practices of the FDA.
• FDA 510K# if applicable: Most devices in esthetics will be classified as Class 1 and therefore exempt from 510K submission. Class 2 and 3 devices in almost all cases are required to submit for 510K. You should obtain their 510K summary that confirms their clearance as well as the “intended use”. You should insure that the intended use coincides with the states definition of esthetics.
• IEC 60:601 Safety Certification: A minimum safety standard that all medical devices (regardless of classification) are required to be tested to.
• ISO 9000:2000 Certification: Certifies that a business and manufacturing is operating in a safe and effective manner, as set forth by ISO.
• Certificate of product liability insurance: Insures that the manufacturer is properly insured for the product or device they are selling. This insurance is completely different than business liability or property liability insurance.
If your equipment provider can not supply you with the requested documentation, I would look for another supplier. It is estimated that less than 15% of manufacturers that supply equipment to the esthetic market can meet the criterion listed above.
History has shown that beauty and anti-aging techniques fade with the changing times, however, technologies such as micro-current evolve with these changes. This constant evolution and efficacy of treatments is what will maintain micro current’s status at the forefront of anti-aging skincare, never to become considered a trend. This efficacious technology has only revealed the tip of its iceberg, and promises longevity beyond our expectations.
The Bio-Synthesis™ light activated rejuvenation system utilizes high intensity LED lights ranging from red, yellow, green and blue (470nm to 640nm), and includes a user friendly touch screen control panel with seven preset functions that allow the skin therapist to easily address specific client concerns. An agile manual mode also exists that allows the skin therapist to quickly create unique services by adjusting the nanometer, hertz, light intensity, and service of time. Applications are convenient and hands free with an intelligently designed 6 way adjustable Synthesis panel, and nearly 3000 individual lights for maximum and consistent coverage of the face, neck and décolleté. The Bio-Synthesis also comes complete with a light activated Chromatic product system that expediates age defying results, as well maintains firmer younger looking skin when used daily.
The Bio-Oxygen™ revitalizes the skin by encouraging the infusion of age defying products containing the latest, most powerful, and proven ingredients to address expression aging as well as fine lines and wrinkles. The Bio-Oxygen™ arrives complete with three different accessories, that when used together allow for a powerful, stand alone age defying service. Each accessory can also be used as an accent or add on service during any facial, allowing the skin therapist the ability to create individualized signature services that will truly wow clients with an amazing experience and satisfying results.
Microcurrent has long been known in esthetics as the “non-surgical face lift”. An esthetician can make a remarkable improvement in the tone and contour of the face in just one forty five minute treatment. According to recent studies performed by Dr. Chi at the University of Washington, “Our findings indicate that the immediate results received from microcurrent are that of muscle re-education (the process of lengthening and shortening the muscles of the face) and the process of iontophoresis (product penetration). The cumulative results over a series of treatments include as much as a 10% increase in natural collagen production, 48% increase in natural elastin production, and a 35% increase in blood circulation. These studies were performed using less than 300Ua, with an alternating current.”
The power of Iontophoresis
As electrical current inherently takes the “least path of resistance”, traditional methods of iontophoresis realized via galvanic devices lack control and consistency. As a client reluctantly holds one pole in her hand, the esthetician then applies the opposite pole to the area of the face where the penetration of product is desired. However, a heavy layer of product, high surface tension, or a resistant or thicker patch of skin in the application area can easily persuade the electrical current and product to enter into a weaker area of the face or body.
Well engineered microcurrent devices with their alternating characteristics allow specific iontophoresis as the electrical current travels from one probe or accessory, into the skin, and then returns to the other probe or accessory eliminating the need to send incredibly high levels of galvanic current aimlessly through the body. Additionally, advanced manufacturers can specifically control the depth that the current travels, and therefore, the depth that the product penetrates targeting specific areas of concern. This specific penetration control is realized by the combination output settings: the wave shape, Hz (frequency), and Ua (micro amperage). For example a very high frequency and Ua such as 1000Hz, 400 Ua, and a very small wave shape such as Pulse, would result in a very topical stimulation and very topical penetration of product. Conversely, 300 Hz, 100 Ua, and a sharp wave shape would have a significantly deeper penetration capability.
This kind of engineering sophistication is extremely important as many products only perform with certain electrical output combinations, while other products are much more beneficial at deeper layers requiring the appropriate electrical output combination to realize this penetration level. Because of the engineering complexities, working with a manufacture that maintains a patent on their technology is essential. You also should look for a manufacture and device that specializes in microcurrent rather than a 10- in-1 unit that does everything from electrolysis to shine your shoes. Better yet, ask for evidence that there device is legally manufactured, safety tested and clinically proven. General clinical evidence is okay, however, make sure that you ask for specific studies that have been performed specifically with the device you are considering purchasing.
The Electric Mask
Through the history of electricity in esthetics, there has been a myriad of different variations of accessories available ranging from the traditional probes, to the innovative black conductive electric gloves. The most recent development and rage in the industry is known as the electric mask. Well designed electric masks are permanently lined with two separate conductive interior pads that follow the pattern of the face and have strategic raised points to help focus treatment on the typical areas of concern. The conductive material is built into the mask such that they do not touch one another during application as the electrical current must leave one pad, enter the skin, and then return to the other side to adequately and evenly penetrate the vital products and maintain the fantastic benefits of micro current. This style of microcurrent electric mask uses the same ideology of specific iontophoresis, verses some of the older style galvanic masks.
There two primary ways to apply product prior to moving forward with your electric mask treatment; layering or infusion. Layering is the process of applying one or more products to the skin, always beginning with the thinnest viscosity product and finishing with the thickest. Infusion is the process of applying pre-saturated impregnated mask(s) to the skin. Both methods are effective, however, infusion style masks seem to be superior as they maintain the ability to hold more product in a controlled manner allowing continuous penetration for a full 20 minute treatment. Regardless of what method you use, insure that you keep a “break” or separation between the two sides of the face to insure that you maintain the motivation for the electrical current to penetrate the product into the skin rather than cut across the surface of the skin. With infusion style masks, a break would require you to cut the mask vertically in half.
Remember, all products must be primarily water based for adequate ionization. Furthermore, you should ALWAYS use manufactured recommended products to insure results and minimize liability and possible adverse reactions.
This “hands free” time is precious for estheticians as it allows time to tidy the room, complete the client record sheet, complete the “take home product prescription”, perform an add on or additional service such as a manicure or pedicure, check in the next customer, or even find a minute to take a bite to eat or relax and regroup!
The electric mask is not only fantastic as the second half of a microcurrent face lift, it is the ultimate diversifier for any spa menu and is a definite “stand alone” treatment all by itself. Depending on the product layering or the infusion mask that you select, you will be able to personalize and integrate the electric mask treatment to most aspects of your business whether it be at the end of an anti-aging facial or the end of an acne facial.
The turbo lift or mini lift, is a modified “turbo” version of the non-surgical lift that is quickly taking root in our country. This new wave of treatments can partially be attributed to the inherit American demand for “instant results”, as well as the enormously growing trend of minimally invasive injectibles.
The protocol first surfaced specifically to address the massive influx of Botox customers who had already addressed expression aging, and were only in need of lifting the atrophied muscles. This new age of microcurrent lifting specifically focuses on the key muscle re-education shortening movements, reducing the “hands on” muscle work to no more than 10 minutes. The second part of the turbo lift consists of fifteen minutes of non attended treatment with the electric mask, allowing the esthetician the opportunity to perform an add-on service, check in her next client, or simply take a well needed break. Because of the expediency and time savings of the turbo lift, it is also become a very popular treatment for newly aging clients, special occasions, add-on services, and of course those clients who consistently arrive 15 minutes late!
Dr. Robert Loss, M.D. Owner of Dermaspa Cosmetic Enhancement Center located in Rochester, NY, notes “We definitely maximize the non-invasive potential for every anti aging Botox patient by coupling the treatment with microcurrent turbo lifting. Once we administer the Botox and address expression aging, turbo lifting allows us to gain nearly instant firming and contouring results in the other areas of concerns including the eyebrows, upper cheek, and jaw line. Combining the two treatments is the ultimate ‘immediate’ satisfaction for today’s aging American, it just makes sense!”
Microcurrent and injectibles
There are no known contraindications of utilizing microcurrent in conjunction with any of the commonly used injectibles such as Botox, Rystylane, or Collagen. As a matter of fact, individuals who choose this route of treatment generally are perfectly pre-qualified candidates for microcurrent. The combined effects are so synergetic, one would think that they were developed with the other in mind. Both Collagen and Restylane give a quick and effective “filling” effect, diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However both products do nothing for muscle contour, natural collagen production or natural elastin production, all of which are addressed with microcurrent.
Layering and combining different types of treatments and modalities is becoming increasingly popular and profitable. Layering is not only a fantastic way to diversify your menu, it is a great way to create customer loyalty and create unique signature specialty treatments. Eliza Gooler, owner of European Skin Care in Gig Harbor, Washington notes that she combines her microcurrent treatment with LED Light Therapy. “I know that microcurrent is responsible for the bulk of the results that I gain, however, the light therapy adds an interesting twist to the end of my Ultimate Anti-Aging Facial. My price on this combination treatment is $175, booking for 1.25 hours.”
Microdermabrasion and microcurrent have long been dynamic non-invasive partners in the crusade in fighting the aging process. Microcurrent working from the inside out, and microdermabrasion from the outside in. Both treatments can typically be administered during one appointment.
Oxygen injection treatments mixed with microcurrent have been an extremely popular trend in Europe over the last 8 months, and is expected to peak interest in America this year. Oxygen injection is the process of administering pure pressurized oxygen in to the skin via a small hand piece. The pressurized oxygen is capable of penetrating product in to the deeper layers of the skin, similar to medical applications that utilize pressurized oxygen to inject medications. As with microdermabrasion, microcurrent is commonly prescribed in conjunction with oxygen injection treatments to maximize the anti-aging possibilities.
The electric masque can be found in the electrotherapy chapter of some of the oldest esthetic text books. However, modern modifications coupled with modern microcurrent devices, products, and protocols, has really evolved the electric mask into a treatment all of its own. The conductive portion of the electric masque is divided into two halves, separated in the middle. Normally a layering of water based products heavy in collagen and elastin are applied to the skin prior to the mask application. The masque is then placed over the top of the products and lead wires connect the masque to the microcurrent device. As the device is turned on, the electrical current travels from one side of the mask to the other, via the deep layers of the skin tissue. Intense product penetration is achieved during this treatment, also known as iontophoresis.
Medically, microcurrent is best known for its enormous ability to increase the healing potential of damaged and traumatized tissue. Adult acne fits this bill, and as such microcurrent can be implemented in to any acne treatment. Most microcurrent devices have the potential to become polarity specific on demand, superseding the need for other modalities. The normal protocol would consist of negative ionization to decongest the area, extractions, and then working around the acne with alternating microcurrent instigating a faster recovery. Positive ionization can be used to finish the treatment, assisting in closing the pores.
Because of the healing properties that microcurrent possesses, it also is becoming quickly recognized as the tool of choice by surgeons for pre and post-op applications. Dr. Craig Dufresne MD, notes “By using microcurrent both before and after surgery, we have been able to reduce post operative swelling, bruising and discomfort by 50%, and the healing properties have been increased dramatically. We are currently implementing pre and post-op microcurrent treatments on all surgical procedures”.