This video is sponsored by Panasonic.
I’ve been really curious about all the microcurrent devices for skincare that have been popping up on the market recently. So when Panasonic approached me to try theirs out and make a video on the science behind it, of course I jumped at the opportunity (those devices aren’t cheap!).
I talk about two different Panasonic devices in this video, and show you how I incorporate them into my existing routine. There’s some more info on the tools from Panasonic here.
Micro-Foam Facial Cleanser
The Micro-Foam Facial Cleanser (Model EH-SC65) is a 4-in-1 cleansing device. There are quite a lot on the market and I’ve reviewed them in the past, but this one gets around some of the issues I had with those (mostly the fact they usually encourage overexfoliation which is not good – check out my Exfoliation Guide for how to exfoliate without wrecking your skin). It also includes a warm make-up removing plate.
Ionic Facial Cleanser & Toner
The Ionic Facial Cleanser & Toner (Model EH-ST63) is Panasonic’s microcurrent device. There are a few different types of microcurrent devices that work in different ways. This one is designed to deep clean your face, hydrate your skin and increase penetration of specific skincare ingredients (particularly vitamin C).
In the video, I talk about how the two directions of current flow work: electrorepulsion (electrophoresis) to increase penetration of vitamin C (ascorbate ions), and electroosmosis to increase skin hydration.
There are quite a few reviews on how iontophoresis works – here’s an open access one.
Studies on iontophoresis:
- 50-fold increase in ascorbic acid absorption in rats in vivo
- In vitro iontophoresis studies on skin models
Clinical studies: unfortunately no one seems to have done a clinical study directly comparing a treatment with and without iontophoresis. They all just compare a treatment with iontophoresis against some other treatment, and seem to take it for granted that iontophoresis works better.
- Vitamin C and iontophoresis: study 1, study 2, study 3
- Tretinoin and estrogen for acne scars
- Chemical peeling with glycolic acid vs iontophoresis with ascorbyl 2-phosphate 6-palmitate for treatment of acne scars
Of course, these studies don’t use this specific device (which is lower powered than what was used in the studies). Manufacturer studies claim 40% greater active ingredient delivery and 60% better cleansing.
Iontophoresis doesn’t seem to decrease transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is usually increased if the skin barrier is disturbed.
Products I used in this routine
Note: some are PR samples.
The Body Shop Kris the Koala Headband ($5 from every headband donated to rebuilding koala habitats)
Kalia YN et al., Iontophoretic drug delivery, Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2004, 56, 619-58. DOI: 10.1016/j.addr.2003.10.026
Dhote V et al., Iontophoresis: a potential emergence of a transdermal drug delivery system, Sci Pharm. 2012, 80, 1–28. DOI: 10.3797/scipharm.1108-20
Kalia YN et al., The effect of iontophoresis on skin barrier integrity: non-invasive evaluation by impedance spectroscopy and transepidermal water loss, Pharm Res. 1996, 13, 957-60. DOI: 10.1023/A:1016081902162
Toth AA et al., The penetration of vitamin C with iontophoresis, Physiotherapy 2016, 102, e196. DOI: 10.1016/j.physio.2016.10.238
Ebihara M et al., Iontophoresis promotes percutaneous absorption of L-ascorbic acid in rat skin, J Dermatol Sci. 2003, 33, 217-22. DOI: 10.1016/S0923-1811(03)00105-1
Schmidt JB et al., Tretinoin-iontophoresis in atrophic acne scars, Int J Dermatol. 1999, 38, 149-53. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-4362.1999.00586.x
Kurokawa I et al., Adjuvant alternative treatment with chemical peeling and subsequent iontophoresis for postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, erosion with inflamed red papules and non-inflamed atrophic scars in acne vulgaris, J Dermatol. 2017, 44, 401-405. DOI: 10.1111/1346-8138.13634
Xu TH et al., Split-face study of topical 23.8% L-ascorbic acid serum in treating photo-aged skin, J Drugs Dermatol. 2012, 11, 51-6.
Sobhi RM & Sobhi AM, A single-blinded comparative study between the use of glycolic acid 70% peel and the use of topical nanosome vitamin C iontophoresis in the treatment of melasma, J Cosmet Dermatol. 2012, 11, 65-71. DOI: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2011.00599.x
Huh CH et al., A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin C iontophoresis in melasma, Dermatology. 2003, 206, 316-20. DOI: 10.1159/000069943
This video was sponsored; however, the content is all based on my independent research and my honest experience. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.