Galvanic vs Microcurrent Facial: Differences & Similarities

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on July 3, 2023

The galvanic vs microcurrent facial debate has caused enough confusion in the beauty world – it’s time to break down their differences and similarities!

galvanic vs microcurrent

Image source: Freepik

If you’ve been reading up on galvanic or microcurrent facials, you’ve surely noticed that they’re very similar – both use electrical current. In most cases, a salon that offers one will also offer the other, and they’re usually similarly priced.

But, are they really all that similar?

At first glance, it may seem so. However, there are some very significant differences between them that you need to know if you’re getting ready to book an appointment for either treatment.

Stick around as we tell you all about the similarities and differences, plus compare at-home galvanic vs microcurrent facials!

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What Are Galvanic Facials?

A galvanic facial is a facial treatment that uses low-current electrical energy to help you achieve your skin goals. There are 2 ways in which you can use the galvanic device, depending on the results you want to see.

Desincrustation is the first type of treatment, and it is done by pairing up the low current with alkaline and negative-pH products.

This is a kind of cleanse that goes deeper than regular ones, so it is mainly used to treat oily skin, blackheads, breakouts, and acne. It softens oil plugs, keratin, and sebum build-up to make extraction easier.

The second treatment is called iontophoresis, and it includes using positively charged ions and water-based products.

The ions help the product reach deeper into the skin, which promotes repair, lymphatic activity, moisture retention, and absorption. For that reason, iontophoresis is mainly used to help dry, dehydrated, and depleted skin.

It can also be beneficial to those who want to fight signs of aging, skin laxity, and hyperpigmentation.

Click here to learn more about galvanic facials!


GALVANIC FACIALWhat 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. Women, who are in their 40s or above, may undergo this treatment to get smooth and youthful skin. In typical cosmetic electrotherapies, low electric currents are passed through the skin for delivering therapeutic effects like body muscle toning and facial micro-lifting

♬ La La La - Phương Nhi

What Is a Microcurrent Facial?

The microcurrent wand also uses electrical energy as a weak current is used to shock your facial muscles.

Thanks to this tiny shock, the target muscles will twitch (it doesn’t hurt, don’t worry), boosting the production of Adenosine triphosphate. Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP for short, helps your body build muscle by stimulating structural proteins such as elastin and collagen.

This process is what earned microcurrent facials the title of face gym.

On top of helping sculpt your facial muscles and giving you a more toned and contoured look, the low current also triggers the skin’s tissue repair process. That process triggers your cells to produce natural chemicals that enhance its appearance.

So, collagen becomes even more present in the skin, giving it a firmer and more rejuvenated look.

The results are a younger, firmer, and glowier face!

Check out the full guide to read all about microcurrent facials!

What is the microcurrent facial treatment?
Image source: Instagram @glow_by_karina

Galvanic Current vs Microcurrent – Similarities

By now, you’ve seen that the main similarity between the galvanic and the microcurrent facial is that they both use electrical energy to enhance the appearance of the face.

They’re both also linked to increased collagen production, which gives the skin a younger look – if we’re talking about the iontophoresis kind of galvanic facials.

Apart from that, there’s not much overlap between the galvanic and microcurrent. The confusion in mistaking one for the other usually stems from the similar nature of the procedure, but, as you’ve seen, the goals they help you achieve are completely different.

Galvanic Current vs Microcurrent – Differences

For starters, it’s important to note that galvanic facials are used strictly for enhancing the skin’s appearance, whereas microcurrent aims to tone the muscles beneath the skin.

Although microcurrent also has some properties that rejuvenate the skin, that part of the process isn’t the main focus, but more of a very fortunate side effect.

The devices also have some significant differences. For microcurrent, you or a professional therapist will use a handheld wand that you use to massage the face. On the other hand, for a galvanic facial, you’ll need 2 polar electrodes.

The very nature of the current used for these facials is also different. Microcurrent facials require an alternating current, with a pulse frequency in the range of 0.1-680Hz, while galvanic facials are done with a constant current (no pulsing).

What this means for you is that microcurrent facials feel more like massages. Either way, you shouldn’t feel any pain whatsoever during the treatments, and there’s no reason to feel anxious about treating your face with electricity.

Both these devices use currents that are so low, that nothing more than a minor twitch can happen.

Galvanic vs Microcurrent – Which is Better for At-Home Treatments?

Both galvanic and microcurrent facial devices are available on the market for at-home use.

What’s true for both treatments is that you’ll always get better results at a salon. This is because the machines differ – professional-grade ones will always have more power since it’s assumed that they’ll be handled by professionals who have undergone special training.

Microcurrent devices can be used at home every day without much risk.

It’s still going to take some time before you start seeing the results, but these devices cost much less than professional treatments, so it’s up to you to decide whether you’d rather spend less time or less money.

Galvanic at-home devices will also take more time to yield a visible difference, but they can’t be used more than every 2 weeks. The price difference is pretty much the same as with the microcurrent, so you’ll still be left weighing out the pros and cons of each option yourself.


Both these treatments have their own specific contraindications, so before DIY-ing either of them, do your research or consult a professional to avoid accidentally causing damage to your skin.

Best At-Home Devices for Microcurrent & Galvanic Facials

When it comes to the devices available on the market, you can easily find them on websites like Amazon, or directly from skintech brands. Rest assured that they’re all safe to use – microcurrent wands even require FDA approval to be put into circulation.

Here are our recommendations for top at-home devices:

At-Home Microcurrent Devices

• Most users claim it works
• The kit is very practical
• Users say that the app is useful

• It’s an investment

• FDA-cleared
• Relatively affordable
• 5 intensity levels
• Anti-shock system

• Some reviews say that the app isn’t that great

At-Home Galvanic Facial Devices

• 4-in-1 device
• Proven to be effective
• Discount code available

• Pricier
• The warmth setting isn’t as great as users expected

• Affordable
• 7-in-1 features

• Reviews not as good
• Some issues with the battery life have been reported

Galvanic vs Microcurrent – Which Is Better?

There’s no way to answer this question since they’re used for completely different purposes. If you’re looking to rejuvenate your skin and battle either oiliness or dryness – go for the galvanic. If you want a more toned & contoured look, opt for the microcurrent ‘facial gym.’

To sum up, both devices rely on low-current electrical energy to enhance your appearance in some way. Both are safe, non-invasive, and overall very effective methods of skincare.

Galvanic facials have 2 treatments in one – desincrustation, used for oily skin, and iontophoresis, used for dry skin and signs of aging. Microcurrent facials cause reactions in your facial muscles, helping to build and tone them.

Both options are great for at-home use as well but don’t expect to see results very quickly or to be as drastic as those you’d see after a few visits to a professional.

All in all, both facials will give you great results, but in different areas.

Galvanic vs Microcurrent – Main Takeaways

Galvanic current facial and microcurrent facial are sometimes confused, mostly because they sound like they do the same thing – both are skin perfecting treatments that use electricity to bring about an improvement in skin appearance.

However, they are quite different. The galvanic facial targets the skin itself, improving its state and structure. Microcurrent primarily targets the muscles underneath the skin for a toning and sculpting effect.

Both can be done as a professional treatment or at home with the help of a DIY gadget, but which one suits you best depends on what you want to achieve. If you’re not sure which to go for, consult a professional.



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