High frequency skin treatments are one of the more potent weapons in the esthetician’s arsenal. High frequency allows an esthetician to stimulate circulation and cell metabolism for younger-looking skin. Estheticians also use it to treat and prevent acne by oxygenating the skin and producing an antiseptic effect. An oscillating circuit creates an alternating current that activates glass tubes (electrodes) filled with argon or neon gas. This current vibrates the water molecules in the skin and produces a heat effect, along with ozone. Unlike other electrical skin treatments, high frequency can be used on bare skin, but sometimes an esthetician uses it over gauze or a cream to assist in glide. Done properly, high frequency treatments are not painful.

Things You'll Need

Place the desired electrode into the handheld wand. Use pink/orange light for sensitive skin and blue/violet light for normal to oily skin.

Turn on the machine and adjust the power setting to the proper position based on manufacturer’s instructions and the client’s comfort level.

Place your index finger onto the glass electrode. Do not remove your finger until the electrode is in contact with the client’s skin. Removing the finger too early creates an uncomfortable spark effect on the client’s skin.

Glide the electrode over the face in a circular motion. Maintain continual contact, not pulling away more than ¼ inch. Start with the forehead, then move to the nose, cheeks and chin.

Place a finger on the electrode when finished before pulling the electrode off the face.

Treat problem areas such as individual blemishes by “sparking” the spot with the edge of the electrode. Place your finger on the electrode, touch the electrode to the spot and remove your finger. Quickly replace your finger on the electrode, remove the electrode from the face and repeat in another area.

Turn the power switch off. Clean the electrode with a solution of soap and water — do not immerse the electrode in water or get the metal end wet. Dry the electrode with a clean towel and put away.


  • Explain what will be happening to the client to relieve nervousness. There will be a sharp smell created by ozone that is normal and is not a sign of a problem.

  • You can use gauze over the face if it is clean and the electrode is dragging.