Starting as a beauty enthusiast some years back, one question I was asked often: “Is galvanic the same as microcurrent?”
Looking at it from the outside, you’ll find that galvanic and microcurrent are somewhat similar.
But mixing them up could lead to a thoroughly unpleasant beauty experience, especially after spending all that money.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into it – galvanic v microcurrent: what’s the difference?
Table of Contents
What is Galvanic Current & How Does it Work?
Galvanic current, also known as direct current, is a form of treatment that uses safe, low-voltage electrical currents to administer skin beauty therapy (1).
The regulated electrical stimulation is applied to the body via two electrodes making direct contact with the skin.
The process is a therapeutic passage of soluble salt ions into the skin tissues using electric currents. This is so that the ions can help drive drugs and skin care products into deeper layers of the skin where they can be effective.
Galvanic current is a professional treatment that involves the use of a facial device with two poles having anodal polarity and cathodal polarity for conducting electrical current. It has to be performed by qualified personnel in their clinic.
The procedure can be broken down into two steps:
#1 Exfoliation Segment
The first step is the exfoliation segment of the facial treatment in which the rod with the negative polarity is placed on the face while the rod with positive polarity is placed on another part of the body.
The negative pole is used to force a de-incrustation solution into the facial skin to liquefy sebum, debris, and congestion.
#2 Hydration and Nourishment Segment
The pole with the positive polarity/cathodal polarity is now placed on the face in this step and is used to drive acidic solution and serum ingredients into the skin for hydration and nourishment, respectively.
This process is followed by the application of a moisturizer and sunblock. You can watch this video for a breakdown of the entire process:
According to an experimental study, electrical stimulation via galvanic current is also effective for skin wound healing (2).
It helps to stimulate the chemical reactions that will increase skin cell proliferation, reorganize inflammatory cells, endothelial cells, connective tissues (e.g., bundles of collagen fibers) and fast-track the healing process.
What is Microcurrent and How Does it Work?
Microcurrent is non-invasive electrotherapy specifically for lifting the facial muscles. You should check out our article, nanocurrent vs microcurrent where we already covered the definition of microcurrent.
What are the Key Differences Between Galvanic & Microcurrent?
Galvanic current is not the same as microcurrent and some of the key differences between them are based on current type, frequency, and current range.
I love making things simple, so let’s start with a table that highlights the key differences to help answer the question ‘is galvanic the same as microcurrent?’
|Uses two polar electrodes||Uses a handheld wand|
|Uses direct and constant current with no pulse frequency||Uses alternating current with pulse frequency in the range of 0.1-680Hz|
|Current is measured in milli amps||Current is measured in microamps|
|Helps to plump up dull-looking skin, reduce fine lines and wrinkles||Helps to lift facial muscles and tone the skin|
|Moisturizes and nourishes the skin||Boosts adenosine triphosphate, elastin, and collagen production. Also enhances connective tissues regeneration e.g., blood vessel cells (endothelial cells)|
Let’s take a recap of the differences below.
Galvanic current is performed using a facial device that combines the use of two polar electrodes. It uses direct current, which is also constant.
The current range is measured in milli amps, and it has no pulse frequency since it is a constant current.
The microcurrent device, on the other hand, is a facial toning device that uses a wand. It uses alternating current in the range of 175-1000uA, which makes the electrical current much lower than that of galvanic current.
The pulse frequency ranges between 0.1 and 680Hz.
Galvanic electrical treatments involve the use of ions to drive essential drugs, nutrients, and products into the deeper skin layers.
It provides benefits such as skin tightening, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, acne scar elimination, and plumping of dull-looking skin, giving you brighter skin.
Microcurrent facials are a beauty therapy that helps to lift the facial muscles, soften fine lines, and tone the skin.
Microcurrent facials help to boost the production of collagen and elastin. It also helps to enhance the production of adenosine triphosphate.
Galvanic facials, on the other hand, help to moisturize and nourish the skin.
Galvanic current is suitable for all skin types but is especially effective in people with dry skin or dehydrated skin.
Microcurrent is particularly suitable for those who want to tone their skin and retrain their facial muscles to appear firmer.
CHECK: How Long Does Microcurrent Last?
Galvanic Vs Microcurrent: Which Should I Choose?
Your choice of galvanic or microcurrent should be one that best solves your current skin needs.
If you have acne, you should go for a galvanic facial treatment (4). Galvanic facials will help remove the pore congestion and sebaceous glands blockages.
If your facial muscles are beginning to lose their firmness and you are also considering toning your skin, your best bet is microcurrent!
I always recommend microcurrent facials for those trying to avoid injections and fillers. Microcurrent therapy is a non-invasive and painless facial treatment.
For those who are dealing with dry skin or any form of skin condition that makes it difficult for drugs and other skin care products to permeate the skin, galvanic facials are a good option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is NuFACE Galvanic or Microcurrent?
NuFACE Trinity is based on microcurrent technology. The NuFACE Trinity device functions by passing a small current in microamps into the facial skin and muscles.
Is high frequency/radio frequency the same as microcurrent?
High frequency/Radio frequency is not the same as microcurrent. High frequency/radio frequency treatment applies heat to deeper skin layers to induce the production of collagen and elastin.
Microcurrent therapy, on the other hand, uses low electric current to achieve this.
Check out this article to learn more about high frequency vs microcurrent.
Can I Use the ageLOC Galvanic Spa Everyday?
You should not use the ageLOC Galvanic Spa every day. For the ageLOC galvanic Spa, the recommended usage is two to three times per week.
You’ll enjoy this video on ageLOC galvanic spa and pre-treatment gel:
Galvanic current and microcurrent are effective electro-therapies that improve the health and appearance of your facial skin.
However, to answer the question ‘is galvanic the same as microcurrent?’, no, there are differences that I highlighted here.
Their growing popularity, even though they have been around a long time, means that more people are discovering their super effective benefits.
There’s no real “galvanic v microcurrent” debate, none is particularly better than the other. Knowing which one works for you will help you maximize their potential and have your skin plump and popping!
- 1. Galvanic Current – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. www.sciencedirect.com. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/galvanic-current
- 2. Ud-Din S, Bayat A. Electrical Stimulation and Cutaneous Wound Healing: A Review of Clinical Evidence. Healthcare. 2014;2:445–67.
- 3. Acne Vulgaris – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. www.sciencedirect.com. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/acne-vulgaris