Artist Profile: Melanie Simon

The electrical esthetician to the stars explains how her at-home nanotech skin care device offers instant rejuvenating results without a trek to the spa.
Written By JAYME CYK

Melanie Simon is the kind of specialist who believes that good skin is the fruit of diligent maintenance—without requisite visits to her skin sanctuaries in Montecito, Jackson Hole, or New York City. Known as the “electrical esthetician” and rumored to be favored by the Timberlakes, the perpetually radiant Simon (her face is her CV) employs nano-current technology (teeny, tiny, barely noticeable jolts of electricity that kick-start cell growth) to deliver visibly luminous, lifted, and more taut-looking skin after just one treatment. And now she’s making her appointment-only magic available for at-home use with her palm-size ZIIP Nano Current Skincare Device.

Said magic is rooted in amperes (amps), a unit of energy (it takes 0.5 amp to light a 60-watt bulb) that is behind Simon’s firm philosophy for maintaining a healthy complexion. While she’s willing to work on your skin for as long as you allow (the minimum is one hour), ZIIP releases one-billionth of an ampere with each zap, spurring elastin and collagen production, and offering similar effects at home in twelve-minute sessions, two to three times a week (ideal for those whose dance cards are persistently filled). The machine’s ingenious technology will also detect and react to various skin textures (dry, aging, extra oily) and self-adjust to best treat problem spots, mimicking Simon’s custom in-office treatments.

Paramount to the lightweight white- and gold-plated device’s efficacy are ZIIP’s Golden Conductive Gel Treatment vials, which are loaded with anti-aging peptides, skin-tightening snail venom, and anti-inflammatory gold mineral. Users layer on this ultra-hydrating serum before treatment to disperse the current evenly. “Nano current is not something that just sort of tops the skin and then goes away in five hours,” says Simon, who insists that the best results are cumulative. “It’s something you commit to, and then you see this instant change you can build upon.” Simon also places a premium on follow-through and education. “I wanted to create this because people buy devices and then they’re just stranded. There’s no support whatsoever,” she says. To ensure that even the most technologically un-savvy could reap good skin care benefits, she teamed up with co-creator David Mason, a trusted engineer and tech advisor. In addition to designing ZIIP, they launched an app that complements the device. Users can download the app onto an iPhone, and its easy-to-navigate design features everything from how-to videos to new treatment routines (current options include ones that target dry skin, signs of age, and acne). “Think of it like your own skin,” Simon explains. “With time, it will always get better.” Here, she unveils her tips for maintaining a consistent—and consistently radiant—skin texture with (or even without) the ZIIP.

Melanie Simon ZIIP Device
Doses of vitamin A and vitamin B complex taken in the morning is Simon’s recipe for battling unwanted blemishes. She recommends 25,000 IU of Thorne Research’s vitamin A formula with a separate B complex for twelve to fifteen consecutive days.

SIMON ADVISES: “You have to drink a lot of water with it and remember that vitamin A can be taxing on your liver, so use it only when you are breaking out at your heaviest and take no more than fifteen days.”


For Simon, the antiseptic Betadine is the go-to heavy hitter for banishing infection-inducing bacteria. “For hard and painful blemishes, use Betadine, which actually kills acne,” she notes. “Just get a little Q-tip and spot treat. It’s best for the ones that come to a head. I also really like Fulvic acid from Phylia de M. You can use it topically.”

SIMON ADVISES: “Fulvic acid will make your hair grow—everywhere. And it needs to be refrigerated.”

Melanie Simon
Simon is a proponent of microneedling, which involves a device that resembles a tiny lawn aerator. It uses tiny surgical needle points to puncture the skin and prompt it to produce collagen and elastin. “The only [needling device] I would actually use is the Dermaroller, from Germany,” she says. “I tell people to shoot for three times a month. After about six weeks of doing it you’ll start to see the tissue soften, and it will reduce the appearance of lines.”
SIMON ADVISES: “Use CIT Hyaluronic Acid Gel before rolling. And don’t follow your everyday skin care routine the night of your treatment. Typically you’re absorbing 4 to 10 percent of what you put on your skin. After Dermarolling you’re absorbing 40 to 60 percent.”