Aging is something that we all want to delay. Yet, no matter whether we are in our twenties or forties, we cannot stop thinking about the appearance of our skin and the signs of aging. While lots of age-defending products and DIY remedies are there to our rescue, our pursuit of the latest surefire anti-aging treatment is never-ending. Galvanic skin treatment is one of the latest innovations that have taken the beauty world by storm. If you still have not heard about it, this article is just for you. Let us guide you through the process and tell you how it can quickly improve your skin condition.
What is Galvanic Skin Treatment?
Galvanic skin treatment, also known as galvanic therapy or galvanic facial or galvanic iontophoresis, is an exclusive cosmetic electrotherapy treatment for the skin. In their 40s or above, women may undergo this treatment to get smooth and youthful skin. In typical cosmetic electrotherapies, low electric currents pass through the skin to deliver therapeutic effects like body muscle toning (1) and facial micro-lifting (2). Similarly, in galvanic skin treatment, a direct galvanic electrical current is used for infusing water-soluble substances or medication into the skin. Then, the soft or low-intensity electric current (charged particles) is applied to the inner layers of the aged skin electrically by using a charged gel and a uniquely devised machine. The treatment helps in nourishing the skin and boosting the supply of oxygen throughout it, which revives the skin, enhances moisture retention, and improves its ingredient absorption capacity. As a result, the wrinkles and fine lines crisscrossing your face start fading away while your sagging skin gets a significant lift.
The galvanic facial is often called a ‘non-surgical facelift‘ by skin therapists as there is no need to go under the knife for this and it is quite a painless procedure. It is used both on the face (for aging) and on the body (for cellulite) (3).
How Does Galvanic Skin Treatment Work?
Galvanic skin treatment is rooted in ‘galvanism’ discovered by Luigi Galvani, which shows the effects of electricity on muscle tissue. The principle of galvanism indicates that ‘charged ions in the skin are either attracted or repelled from the electrodes, resulting in certain chemical effects’ (4). The treatment works by penetrating active ingredients into the skin’s subcutaneous tissues with the help of the direct galvanic current. As the ingredients act on the ineffective circulation in that area of the skin, the vascular and lymphatic interchange gets enhanced naturally and harmlessly. This aids the dispersion and elimination of the trapped fluid and fat by improving the cellular membrane function (5).
The concept of using galvanism in the cosmetic and beauty industry is not a new one. It started long back in the 1970s or even earlier (6). However, it regained its popularity with further studies and the latest innovations in electrophysiology.
Benefits of Galvanic Skin Treatment
Being a specialized treatment, galvanic facial has numerous benefits for our skin. Let us take a look at them:
1. Suitable for All Skin Types
No matter what your skin type is, galvanic treatment is a good choice for you. Though it suits dry and dehydrated skin the most, you can also bring life back to your oily, normal, combination, and even sensitive skin by undergoing it.
2. Cleanses and Detoxifies the Skin
Galvanic skin treatment exfoliates and detoxifies the skin so that it feels healthy, bright, and relaxed. The electric current used in it stimulates the skin beautifully by enabling lymph drainage, which allows the skin to cleanse itself and draws out harmful toxins from deep within it.
3. Promotes Blood and Oxygen Flow
When you opt for a galvanic facial, blood circulation to the surface of the skin gets boosted. This increases the supply of oxygen to the skin cells and encourages new cells to replace the older ones fast. Consequently, you get a revived and rejuvenated look.
4. Provides Moisture and Nourishment
While boosting blood circulation in the skin, galvanic facial delivers more and more nutrients to the cells to make them well-nourished. Moreover, it increases the skin’s moisture retention capacity, thereby keeping it thoroughly hydrated and moisturized.
5. Improves Skin’s Elasticity
As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and starts sagging. It becomes even more prominent with environmental pollution, poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, and too much stress. The galvanic current used in this treatment helps tighten the skin by sloughing off dead cells and promoting cell regeneration. As a result, you get more elastic and revitalized skin.
6. Wards Off Signs of Aging
Galvanic skin treatment keeps premature aging at bay by boosting hydration in the skin and minimizing wrinkles and fine lines. In addition, it increases cell regeneration as well as collagen production in the skin, thus restoring its balance and making it smoother. In other words, it works as a highly effective, non-invasive, anti-aging treatment for the skin.
7. Increases Product Penetration
The treatment method of galvanic facial ensures that all products applied directly to the skin work perfectly. It lets them penetrate deep into the layers of the skin so that they can get absorbed immediately by the tissues and cells there. This eventually stimulates the skin and softens it beautifully.
8. Gives Smooth and Radiant Skin
Galvanic facial turns a rough and dull skin into a smooth and glowing one through deep cleansing, gentle exfoliation, and complete detoxification. It also makes the complexion significantly clearer and brighter.
9. Keeps Acne at Bay
As the negative ions in the Galvanic current draw all dirt, grime, and impurities out of the skin pores, they get unclogged and clear. This not only helps in reducing the appearance of acne but also prevents its further occurrences.
Who are the Best Candidates?
Not everyone is suitable for galvanic skin treatment. Therefore, you should not consider yourself as a good candidate if any of the following are true for you:
- You are pregnant
- Have diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, epilepsy, or spider veins
- Have a pacemaker or metal implants or metallic dental fixtures inside the body
- Have undergone dental surgery or chemical peeling recently
- Taking skin thinning medication(s)
- Have open wounds or abrasions on your skin
The Procedure of Galvanic Skin Treatment
The whole procedure of the galvanic skin treatment carried out by professionals is divided into the following two phases:
This first phase aims to clean the skin deeply by emulsifying the sebum trapped in the pores around the hair follicles. It is the ‘negative charge cycle’ in which a negatively charged pre-treatment gel (a sodium chloride solution) is used to cover the skin to be treated. Next, the negatively charged galvanic facial machine is moved over the skin smoothly to apply the galvanic current to it. This combination of the alkaline solution and electricity repels the negative charges present in the gel and pushes it into the deepest layer of the skin. Desincrustation softens the skin and prepares it for the safe and painless removal of comedones. It may again be followed by manual extraction.
This second phase involves an electrochemical process (electro-osmosis) for nourishing the skin intensely. It is the ‘positive charge cycle’ in which a negative electrode is placed near the shoulder to push the positively charged water-soluble gel (with anti-aging components) deep into the epidermal layers of the skin. This increases the efficacy of all skincare products used afterward by neutralizing the toxins and harmful free radicals in the skin. Iontophoresis not only makes the skin firm and flawless with its unique tightening effect but also soothes the endings of the nerves.
Time Required for the Treatment
Each session of the Galvanic facial takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour. Therefore, you may need to try it twice or thrice a week.
How to Practice Galvanic Facial at Home?
You should seek the help of a pro for galvanic skin treatment. But if you want to give it a shot at home, you have that option too. All you need is a robust galvanic facial machine, a galvanic gel (targeting your unique skin problems), an effective facial cleanser, a suitable moisturizer, and a soft wet towel. The steps are given below:
- Do a thorough clean-up with the facial cleanser and pat the skin dry.
- Squeeze out the galvanic gel generously and apply a thick layer of it to the skin.
- Place the galvanic facial machine on your forehead, switch it on, and start moving it around smoothly in a small circular motion. Continue for the time mentioned on the machine packaging.
- Do the same for your cheeks, nose, and chin, maintaining the sequence.
- Wipe out the excess galvanic gel by using a soft wet towel.
- Finally, apply the moisturizer thoroughly.
Preventive Measures to Follow
Make sure that you keep the following things in mind while doing a galvanic facial at home:
- Move the machine as per the normal alignment of your bones.
- Avoid using the machine around your eyes.
- Never pull your skin while using the machine.
- Maintain a consistent flow of current throughout the procedure.
Side Effects Of Galvanic Skin Treatment
Galvanic skin treatment is a non-invasive procedure with zero pain involved. It has also been reported to be a safe treatment for our skin. However, you may feel discomfort, a slight tingling sensation, and mild pain based on your level of sensitivity (7).
Cost of Galvanic Skin Treatment
If you undergo the galvanic skin treatment in a renowned beauty salon or spa, you may have to shed anywhere between $150 and $220 for each session. Moreover, as it needs to be carried out at least twice every month and continued after that to maintain the results, the entire procedure becomes expensive. However, an at-home galvanic facial would be much lighter on your wallet, and you do not need to compromise with the results too.
Galvanic skin treatment or galvanic facial is an exclusive cosmetic electrotherapy treatment that makes mature skin smooth and youthful. In this treatment, a direct galvanic (soft or low-intensity) electrical current is used for infusing water-soluble substances or medication into the inner layers of the aged skin by using a charged gel and a uniquely devised machine. It nourishes the skin and boosts the supply of oxygen throughout it, which revives the skin, enhances moisture retention, and improves its ingredient absorption capacity. The treatment also erases wrinkles and fine lines while giving the sagging skin a significant lift. Galvanic facial suits all types of skin. Some of its amazing benefits include deep cleansing, detoxification, improved blood circulation, increased oxygen supply, better hydration and nourishment, greater product penetration, enhanced elasticity, less acne, smooth and bright skin, etc. The procedure can be practiced at home by using the readily available galvanic facial kit and following a few preventive measures. It is an expensive procedure with zero to minimal side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I Do Galvanic Facial Every Day at Home?
No, both professional and at-home Galvanic facial can be done twice or thrice a week only.
Can I Use Galvanic Skin Treatment for the Body?
Galvanic skin treatment for the body and Galvanic skin treatment for the face are different from each other. Hence, you cannot replace one with another.
What is the difference between galvanic and microcurrent?
Both of these deploy different currents, although both procedures aim to boost the collagen and elastin layer of the skin. Microcurrent uses alternating current, and Galvanic works with the chemical reaction of the solutions and current.
Does galvanic current work?
Galvanic facial treatment is a non-invasive treatment, and it is very effective in combating fines lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
What naturally tightens skin?
You can try some DIY home remedies to tighten saggy skin. These include aloe vera gel, egg-white honey mask, Coconut oil, olive oil, papaya, and banana mask.
- “Beauty Therapy, Level 3“, books.google.co.in
- “Health and Beauty Therapy: A Practical Approach for NVQ,” books.google.co.in
- “Galvanic Cellulite Treatments,” BABTAC.com
- “Professional Beauty Therapy: The Official Guide to Level 3“, books.google.co.in
- “Body Treatments and Dietetics for the Beauty Therapist,” books.google.co.in
- “Popular Mechanics“, books.google.co.in
- “Electrical Stimulation of Facial Muscles: User Experience of Two Facial Muscle Stimulation Devices,” trepo.tuni.fi