Radio Frequency vs Microcurrent vs Galvanic Facials

Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Radio frequency vs microcurrent vs galvanic facials: which skin treatment is best?

For women who want to look younger, a good facial is often the perfect solution. There are dozens of types of facials, and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. Three of the most recent types to gain in popularity are radio frequency (RF) facials, microcurrent facials, and galvanic facials.

Looking to learn about these treatments? You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to tell you what’s good and what’s not so good about all three of these facials, and when we’re done, you should have a better idea about which one of them might work best for you.

Radio Frequency - Radio Frequency vs Microcurrent vs Galvanic Facials

What Is Radio Frequency and How Does it Work?

The main advantage of RF facials is that they stimulate the production of collagen, which we start to lose in our late twenties. If your skin is dull and losing firmness, you are a great candidate for RF facials, and they work because heat is applied to your skin and contracts the collagen fibers, which results in an immediate tightness of the skin.

The heat is roughly equivalent to that of hot stones when you get a hot stone massage, so they are not uncomfortable at all. In fact, many women find the sessions very relaxing, and the only side effect might be slight redness, which usually goes away shortly after the treatment.

What Are the Benefits of Radio Frequency?

There are numerous benefits of radiofrequency facials, and they include the following:

  • Softens fine lines and wrinkles (nasolabial folds, forehead wrinkles, marionette lines, etc).
  • Improves sagging skin, and helps lift and tighten facial contours.
  • Has the ability to fight sun damage.
  • The results are both instant and cumulative.
  • No downtime.
  • Great for all skin types.
  • Few potential side effects.
  • Can be done on other parts of the body (abdominal area, thighs).

While women do see results after the first treatment, most experts recommend scheduling a series of treatments – four to six sessions that take place 7 to 10 days apart – to get the best effect.

What Are the Side Effects of Radio Frequency?

There are only a few potential side effects with RF facials, and they are minor. They include swelling, tingling, and redness. These side effects do not affect everyone, and for the women who do suffer with them, they only last a short time.

In fact, most women find that any discomfort in the facial area after an RF facial usually disappears within an hour or two. In addition, there are no serious side effects associated with a radio frequency facial.

It should be noted that RF treatment should not be carried out in patients with pacemakers or other implanted electronic devices, people with autoimmune diseases, patients who are under radioactive treatment, people who have broken capillaries or rosacea, and pregnant women.

At-Home vs. Professional Radio Frequency

The devices used for RF facials are uncomplicated and actually comfortable on the skin. If you’re wondering about at-home radio-frequency devices, there are indeed some RF facial devices on the market today, and most of them are under $400.

In past studies of women who used these at-home devices, nearly all of them saw an improvement in their skin and saw little to no side effects afterward.

Does this mean that at-home RF facials are as good as professional ones? The answer depends on the results you’re expecting. To be sure, both at-home and professional RF treatments work extremely well on most women, especially when the treatments are continued for three to six months or longer.

Microcurrent

Microcurrent - Radio Frequency vs Microcurrent vs Galvanic Facials

What Is Microcurrent and How Does it Work?

Originally approved by the FDA for conditions such as Bell’s palsy and muscle paralysis, microcurrent facials use low-grade electrical currents that essentially train your skin to look tighter and more lifted. And no, it does not hurt. In fact, many women actually look forward to getting the treatment done.

When you get a microcurrent facial treatment, the device will glide across your skin in a smooth motion, and gel is put on the skin right before the treatment starts. Best of all, you get instant results with this type of facial, so as soon as the treatment is complete, you’ll notice firmer skin, fewer lines and wrinkles, and less puffiness.

What Are the Benefits of Microcurrent?

Microcurrent facials offer many advantages and are good for all skin types. The benefits include:

  • It improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • It helps lift the skin around the jowls and eyebrows.
  • It increases blood circulation.
  • It boosts natural collagen and elastin production.
  • The results are instant.
  • It is painless and actually comfortable for the skin.
  • You get smooth and brighter skin.
  • It helps deliver the active ingredients of skin care products deep into the skin.

Remember, your muscles are getting re-educated, so consistency is the key to having the treatment do what you’re expecting it to do. It even increases the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, and all of this takes time. That being said, the treatment does in fact work.

What Are the Side Effects of Microcurrent?

The good thing about microcurrent facials is that the treatments are known to be very safe. Side effects are rare and usually include:

  • Redness in the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

The thing is, there are no serious microcurrent facial side effects. Any redness usually goes away shortly after the treatment is complete, as do the drowsiness and fatigue. No long-lasting side effects have ever been noted, so this is one of the safest facial treatments you’ll ever get.

Note, however, that microcurrent should not be given to people with pacemakers or implanted electronic devices, epilepsy, heart conditions, cancer, metal plates or pins, and pregnant women.

At-Home vs. Professional Microcurrent

Women also wonder if they can give themselves these treatments at home, and according to most experts, the answer is a resounding “yes.” In fact, since one professional treatment can cost $200 to $600, and because you’ll need numerous treatments at least for the first few months, these at-home machines can save you both time and money.

These at-home microcurrent devices aren’t inexpensive, usually costing a little more than $300, but they are certainly less expensive than professional treatments.

Whether you choose a professional treatment or do it yourself, keep in mind that you’ll need to continue the treatments to get the effects you want, which is yet another incentive for purchasing one of these at-home microcurrent facial devices.

Galvanic Facial

Galvanic Facial - Radio Frequency vs Microcurrent vs Galvanic Facials

What Is a Galvanic Facial and How Does it Work?

Galvanic facials use direct galvanic electrical current that improves absorption of your skin products and helps the skin retain moisture. In fact, anything you put on your skin will benefit the skin much more if you’re regularly getting galvanic facials. While it is good for all skin types, galvanic facials are especially good for those with dry, dehydrated skin because it allows the skin to retain moisture a lot better.

Galvanic facials are often used as an anti-aging treatment because they soften lines and wrinkles, plump up the skin, and tighten and firm the skin. It is completely painless, non-invasive, and requires no downtime afterward, which is one of its biggest advantages.

What Are the Benefits of a Galvanic Facial?

There are numerous benefits of a galvanic facial, including:

  • Improves the look of lines and wrinkles.
  • Can be used on all parts of the body.
  • Increases blood circulation.
  • Provides hydration and plumping for dull-looking skin.
  • Deeply moisturizes the skin.
  • Helps with better product penetration.
  • Improves skin’s elasticity.
  • Detoxifies the skin.

What Are the Side Effects of a Galvanic Facial?

Although there are no serious side effects associated with galvanic facials, there are a few minor ones experienced by some people. This mostly includes a slight tingling sensation, which usually goes away shortly after the treatment is complete.

Even though this isn’t considered a side effect, it should be noted that galvanic facials should not be given to people with pacemakers, heart conditions, braces, and those who have recently had major dental work that involves metal.

At-Home vs. Professional Galvanic Facial

There are numerous at-home devices for galvanic facials, and by most accounts, they are just as good or nearly as good as the ones provided by professionals in a spa. When deciding between professional and at-home treatments, you should consider time, cost, and what you expect these treatments to accomplish. At-home treatments save a lot of money, but you also have to execute the treatments properly. With both options, you’ll have to keep up with the treatments if you want to continue enjoying their many benefits.

Overall Comparison – Radio Frequency vs Microcurrent vs Galvanic Facials

Which Treatment is Best?

While all three of these treatments are proven to work and are noninvasive and relatively painless, the galvanic facial is likely better for people with dry skin because it helps the skin keep all of its moisture. If you’re wondering which treatment will work for you, keep in mind that:

  • RF facials use heat and work by increasing the production of collagen. They are also good for all skin types. They are ideal for people looking to reverse signs of aging, such as loss of firmness, fine lines, and wrinkles. And also for sagging skin around the jowls and for tightening facial contours.
  • Microcurrent facials use light electrical currents to retrain the muscles to look firmer, and they are good for all skin types. Microcurrent is ideal for people who are looking for an alternative to injections and fillers, it helps soften fine lines and wrinkles, while firming and toning the skin by re-educating muscles.
  • Galvanic facials use electrical currents to firm up the skin so it is tighter and smoother. While they are also good for all skin types, they are especially helpful for people who have dry skin. The galvanic facial is recommended for people with dry, dehydrated skin, clogged pores, dull skin, blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles, and signs of aging.
Self Care Checklist

Bottom Line: Radio Frequency vs Microcurrent vs Galvanic Facials

Deciding which treatment is right for you is a matter of preference because trying to decide which one of these works “best” is subjective. The three treatments are not appropriate for people with heart problems, pregnant women, or people who have metal in their mouths or in the application area, but otherwise, they are completely safe for most people.

If you’re interested in the at-home treatments, keep in mind that the RF and microcurrent devices are the most expensive, even though all three seem to provide almost the same effects as the professional treatments do. You may have to try all three of these facials to see which one works for you, but any of them will produce results that are worth it.

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.