Truth In Aging's talented photographer, the lovely Amy E Fletcher, happens to know some of the folks at Nu Skin and as a result I found myself having a Galvanic Spa treatment in the comfort of my own home. For the uninitiated, the Galvanic Spa is a handheld device that emits a direct electronic current and, like other electrical current treatments (LED or microcurrent), it is supposed to encourage firmer skin, clear up breakouts and fade wrinkles.

One of the big differences of the Galvanic Spa is that it is meant to be used in conjunction with potions and lotions. Based on the theory that light charges repel, the galvanic negative currents encourages the absorption of charged ingredients. The treatment starts with a cleanser and then gels are smeared over the area to be treated (in my case, it was the right side of my face) before the device is pushed firmly over the skin and then a serum and day cream are applied. And five minutes later...

Five minutes later, I was pretty impressed. The right half of my face definitely looked a little lifted, my forehead was smoother and the labial nasal line softened. Five minutes is a big plus, when you consider that the Baby Quasar, whilst also delivering results, requires about 15-20 minutes. On the other hand, the Baby Q is used on unadulterated skin and doesn't require all those potions and lotions.

So what's in Nu Skin's gels and creams? Nu Skin recently reformulated the gel used with Galvanic Spa and has introduced a cleanser/toner, serum and day and night creams based a “proprietary new ingredient blend” that is called ageLOC that is promised to “slow down the signs of aging at their source”. Nu Skin worked with scientists at Purdue University to discover an internal source for aging skin – that is to say, something within us, rather than environmental factors such as sun damage. The culprit is an enzyme that the research team decided to call ArNOX. The enzyme lives on the surface of our cells and works tirelessly to generate skin damaging free radicals. Once ArNOX had been discovered, the next step was to find out how to stop it.

ageLoc is a bundle of antioxidant botanicals such as schizandra chinensis, a fruit native to China and Japan that has long been used as a tonic for skin disorders. Recent studies have shown it to have antioxidant properties. It has also been found to have phytoestrogens and there are conflicting studies as to whether these cause or prevent cancer. There is also narcissus tazetta, which is basically daffodil bulb extract. The last time, I looked at Nu Skin and narcissus, I failed to find much research to back it up as an antiager.

The Nu Skin product that most impresses is called Tru face Essence Ultra ($171. Apart from silicone it is mercifully free of fillers, giving you plenty of antiagers for your money.  As well as the more familiar ubiquinone (coQ10), it has ethoxyheptyl bicyclooactanone, also called ethocyn, a molecule that blocks certain hormone receptors and allows elastin fibers to be produced. I also like the night cream, which has the botanical formula of pea extract, narcissus tazetta extract, bambusa vulgaris stem extract and schizandra chinensis. The ageLoc Future Serum is marred by an awful lot of fillers and the usual suspects in the preservative department (although no parabens).

I am tempted to buy the Galvanic Spa device; it works, it is fast and it multitasks (as well the face, it can be used on the body to tackle cellulite and sagging arms, and on the hair). It comes with a month's supply of ageLoc products (although I'll probably skip the serum) for $350.

Ingredients in Tru Face Essence Ultra

Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, squalane, ethoxyheptyl bicyclooactanone, ubiquinone, dunaliella salina extract, tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, camellia sinsensis extract, carrot seed oil, evening primrose, retinyl palmitate, tocopheryl acetate, tocopheryl linoleate, safflower seed oil, dimethicone, polydecene, zea mays.

Ingredients in ageLoc Future Serum

Water, butylene glycol, cetyl dimethicone, cyclopentasiloxane, pentylene glycol, polymethylsilesquinone, glycerin, HDI/Trimethylol hexylactone crosspolymer, isoceteth-20, 1-methylhydantoin-2-imide dimethicone, ethylhelxylglycerin polysilicone-11, glucosamine HCL, polysorbate 80, lemon peel extract, sclerotum gum, cetyl alcohol, ammonium acryloyldmethyltaurate/beheneth-25 methacrylate crosspolymer, ammonium acryloyldmethyltaurate/VP copolymer, gyceryl stearate, pea extract, narcissus tazetta extract, bambusa vulgaris stem extract, sodium hyaluronate, hexapeptide-2, schizandra chinensis, PEG-75 stearate, isohesadecane, steareth-20, ammonium polyacryloyldimethicone, citric acid, disodium EDTA, fragrance, chlorphenesin, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in ageLoc night cream

Water, pentylene glycol, caprylyl methicone, cyclopentasisloxane, shea butter, caprylic/capric tryglyceride, hydrogenated lecithin, ammonium acryloyldmethyltaurate/VP copolymer, hydroxyethylcellulose, glucosamine HCI, salycin, pea extract, narcissus tazetta extract, bambusa vulgaris stem extract, ceramide-3, schizandra chinensis, sodium hyaluronate,, xanthan gum, tetrasodium EDTA, fragrance, chlorphenesin, phenoxyethanol.