Weird confession: For someone who writes about beauty not infrequently, I don’t love facials. I know, I know, but you guys, I finally found the one for me: a microcurrent facial, which I had for the first time a few months ago at Loma de Vida at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, Texas. As I got ready for my treatment, I was a little…hesitant. After all, it uses a mild electrical current (!) to stimulate facial skin and muscles. Isn’t that, you know, dangerous? Spoiler alert: It’s not, and in fact, I loved it. Here’s what you need to know.

First, the technology. Microcurrent technology was discovered way (way) back in the 1830s. It was initially used only to treat facial paralysis until someone uncovered its powerful anti-aging effects. Basically, it’s a low-level electrical current that — via two round-tipped wands — stimulates the tissue beneath the skin. Maggy Dunphy, director of spa and wellness at Loma de Vida, says, “A microcurrent facial differs from a regular facial because it uses an electrical tool to actually tighten the muscle.” She adds, “A regular facial doesn’t do that. It also helps promote collagen and elasticity.”

Sounds great, right? It’s also a non-needle-y alternative to other anti-aging treatments. According to Cecilia Wong, celebrity facialist and founder of Cecilia Wong Skincare, “Typically, I recommend this treatment to anyone 25 and older, or those looking for an alternative to Botox. Think of it as a workout for your face: The earlier you start, the more preventative it is.”

As for the results, immediately afterward, I had none of the redness that sometimes comes with facials, but my skin looked remarkably glowy, smooth and sculpted. (Based on how defined my bone structure was, you would think I’d never downed a single sushi platter in my life. Wrong.) And my pain worries? Unfounded. The treatment was actually super soothing and felt almost like two rollerballs were skating over my face for an hour and 15 minutes.
Honestly, the only downside is the cost. Depending on where you go, a single treatment will set you back anywhere from $200 to upwards of $400. And, according to Wong, if you really want to reap the maximum benefits, it shouldn’t be a onetime thing. She recommends six treatments every two weeks in the beginning, and then once a month to maintain. Though she does say she has some clients that are in her office once or twice a week, those lucky ducks.

But still, even as a one-off, a microcurrent facial will give you pretty immediate results that will let you skip the foundation step of your makeup routine for at least a few days. And that’s good enough for me.