Photo: c/o Georgia Louise
Say what? Let me explain… It sounds like something straight out of an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy, sure, but galvanic current technology is a mainstay in the skin care world, used for its ability to help topical ingredients quickly and painlessly penetrate the skin. (Think microneedling, without the needle part.) And while galvanic devices are common in many aesthetician’s offices, they've always been something reserved for the pros — until now.
Celeb facialist Georgia Louise, the woman responsible for the glowing skin of stars like Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock, NBD, recently launched the first at-home version, the GloPulse ($165; georgialouisebrands.com). So, let’s go back to the science for a minute: A galvanic current is an electric current that uses positively and negatively charged particles to push topical ingredients deeper into the skin. Louise has been using this technology in her facials — including her highly-buzzed-about penis facial — for over two decades and wanted to give women an easy way to reap the benefits at home.
The GloPulse itself is super sleek, looking more like a pair of Apple headphones than a high-tech skincare device. It’s essentially a skinny white headband with a round electrode on either side. In order to use it, however, you have to pair it with one of Louise’s sheet masks. The specially-formulated masks are ionized, meaning they work with the electrodes to create a complete electric circuit and conduct the galvanic current (in other words, any old sheet mask won’t cut it.) There are three types of masks: hydrating Aqua, mattifying Green, and soothing Honey ($75 for a set of 10; georgialouisebrands.com). Pop on the mask of your choosing, then slip on the GloPulse for 20 minutes and let the galvanic current do its thing.
Photo: c/o Georgia Louise
I was pleasantly surprised at how ridiculously easy it was to use the GloPulse. The hardest part by far was inserting the small battery into the electrode — I chipped a nail in the process, which was unfortunate. It’s comfortable, too, though I did find that the electrodes tended to slip and move around a bit when pressed against the wet mask (I went with the hydrating mask, ICYW). They’re supposed to sit on your cheeks, in between your cheekbone and jawbone, but I had to keep repositioning them.
You turn on the device, then select one of three different frequencies based on your complexion concern: sensitive, which I picked, acne-prone, or mature. And that’s it, the device shuts off automatically after 20 minutes. Despite the fact that I had to reposition the electrodes a few times, I loved that the treatment was entirely hands-free. I snapped a whole bunch of selfies (duh), folded some laundry, and cleared out my inbox while using the device, a major pro for anyone who loves to multi-task. And while the directions say that you may feel some tingling, I felt absolutely nothing.
Because I didn’t feel anything different while wearing it, I was a little skeptical that the device was working, but my skin looked pretty damn good afterwards. Not only does galvanic current improve ingredient penetration, it also boosts blood flow and circulation, which is probably why the biggest thing I noticed was how glowy and plump my skin looked. While a sheet mask alone can also deliver benefits like this, in my experience, the results with the GloPulse were noticeably better. And at a price point that’s more affordable than many other (much more difficult to use) at-home skincare devices, I think this is most definitely worth working into a weekly masking routine.