Galvanic iontophoresis – a way of infusing vitamins into the skin
Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More
Topical skin care products often contain active ingredients, such as particular vitamins, that are helpful in maintaining the natural processes that occur within the skin. Topical vitamins such as vitamin A (retinoids), and vitamin C are examples of such vitamins.
One of the hurdles in the use of these skin care ingredients is to get them to penetrate through the top layers of skin to the deeper layers, where they can make the greatest effect on the skin. By using a small electric current, it is possible to ‘push’ these ingredients into the skin much more effectively. In fact, penetration can be up to 400 times more normal application.
Galvanic iontophoresis is the technical name for this process. It involves placing the skin care product to be infused in a wet surface on the skin, and then applying a metal electrode to the skin. There is another electrode placed on another part of the body, so that a current can run. The sensation is not painful, and feels a little ‘tingly’ , but most patients report it as being quite relaxing and comfortable. The direction of the electrical current chosen depends on the charge of the particular skin care product to be infused (positive or negative). The movement of the charged particles move towards their opposite charge and away from their like charge, similar to a magnet.
The benefits of this process for the skin are that it gives it a ‘surge’ (no pun intended) of skin care products that have a rejuvenating effect on the skin, leaving it glowing and bright.