Your Complete Guide to HydraFacials: Steps, Costs and Benefits

Nothing compares to the pure joy you feel when it’s time to lie down under steam for a facial. Of course, that relaxation only happens after many hours of research and scrolling through the facial service menu to decide which treatment is worth the money and the hour-long block in your day. Allow me to help make your search easier: Get a HydraFacial.

Apparently, this magical 30- to 60-minute treatment tackles everything from dehydration to discoloration, aging to acne and uneven skin texture. Ready to book? Honestly the same. But here is a brief explanation of everything you need to know before your first HydraFacial.

What is a HydraFacial?

According to board certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Ariel Östad, “HydraFacial is the only hydra-dermabrasion procedure that uses patented technology to cleanse, extract and hydrate.” And yes, the HydraFacial is a branded experience. Spas must be registered and licensed to market themselves as offering HydraFacials.

The 60-minute treatment is divided into three key sections, the first of which is the Cleanse + Peel. “HydraFacial uncovers a new layer of skin with gentle exfoliation and relaxing refreshment. The Activ-4™ serum removes dead skin cells to reveal healthy skin, and GlySal™, a blend of glycolic and salicylic acids, delivers the benefits of a peel without peeling after peeling ,” he explains.

The second step is to extract + hydrate. HydraFacial removes dirt from the pores with painless suction and nourishes with intense moisturizers that quench the skin. “The patented, automated vortex suction cleans the pores painlessly with the exclusive Beta-HD™ serum and the Antiox+™ serum nourishes and protects with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid,” continues Ostad.

And finally, the third step is to Fuse + Protect. “A HydraFacial saturates the skin’s surface with antioxidants and peptides to maximize your glow. Targeted, proprietary skin solutions are delivered to address specific skin concerns. Patients maintain results at home with Daily Essentials™ using the same ingredients used in the treatments,” he adds.

What do HydraFacials do for your face?

For those who use makeup a lot or simply want a deeper clean than usual, HydraFacials are a great way to cleanse the skin. According to a board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anthony Rossi Jr.“facial treatments such as HydraFacials are a way to remove the accumulation of sebum and dirt that covers the top of our skin. It helps to unclog and clean the pores and combines an exfoliation process with removing the top layer of dead skin cells, the stratum corneum, with hydration and purification of water.”

HydraFacials help brighten the skin. “After treatments like [HydraFacial] or something that helps exfoliate the top layer, skincare will penetrate better and makeup will apply more easily. The stratum corneum is the protective layer of the epidermis and one of the most important barriers to the penetration of topicals,” he adds.

How does a HydraFacial differ from microdermabrasion or a traditional chemical facial peel?

There are a few important differences. For example, microdermabrasion treatments use manual extractions, while a HydraFacial uses a vacuum-like tip to cleanse deeper than traditional extraction. other than that chemical peeling use acids and is the bridge effective on lighter skin tones, whereas HydraFacials can be used on all shades.

Lent by Dr. Ariel Östad

“[The treatment] takes its name from the root word hydrate – this ability to hydrate the skin sets HydraFacial™ apart from all other skin resurfacing procedures,” explains Boston-based, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Gretchen Frieling. “The treatment is soothing, refreshing, non-irritating and immediately effective.”

Do HydraFacials hurt?

HydraFacials should not be painful. Essentially, the machine’s handpiece holds spiral-shaped treatment tips with vortex technology that act like a mini-vacuum cleaner on your skin. The most uncomfortable part of the treatment is definitely the exfoliation in section one. Camkiran compared the feeling to a “cat licking my face.” That’s a cute way of saying it was sandpaper, but not excruciating.

Despite the official website’s claim that “patients compare the sensation to a light massage”, I’d say it’s a bit more like a dental cleaning for your skin (and ps. I love the dentist). Somewhere between not painful and not pleasant lies the HydraFacial. However, this is an active facial, which means in the words of another prominent beauty editor, Deanna Pai: “The HydraFacial unit is a huge machine with various attachments that swirl and suck and spin.” In summary, it is noisy – and if you fall asleep during this treatment, you are in a different way level of zen that I certainly envy.

Is it safe for all skin types?

HydraFacials can be performed on most skin types, including very sensitive complexions. However, those with active rashes, sunburns or rosacea should refrain from HydraFacials, which can cause further damage or flare-ups. “You should also not do this if you have open wounds or excoriated areas. These areas are already prone to inflammation,” Dr. adds Rossi. Also, pregnant women should always consult their doctor first. “Some of the ingredients used during the HydraFacial, such as salicylic acid, have not been tested or proven safe during pregnancy,” adds Frieling.

Can you customize your treatment?

“The treatment is very adaptable,” explains Ostad. “Your skin care professional will work with you to understand your unique skin concerns and recommend a personalized treatment for you.” An esthetician can use the exfoliator in different intensities and leave acids on the face for different durations.

How many treatments do I need to see results?

“Many patients report seeing visible skin refinement and an even, radiant skin tone after just one treatment,” explains Frieling. And yes, I co-sign this. My skin has receipts. 60 minutes and change later, I emerged a brighter, dewier version of myself that lasted the last half of the week.

Before and after HydraFacial chin area

Lent by Dr. Ariel Östad

The good news? The smooth results and hydration can last five to seven days or even longer. The bad news? One treatment per month is recommended to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots, oily and congested skin…which ain’t cheap people!

Are HydraFacials worth the money?

With a price tag ranging from $199-$300, it’s definitely an investment. It’s wise to book a treatment before a big event or quarterly to reset your skin after a seasonal change. But if you have the bread, look good because your skin will look lovely. Interested in ordering one? Find a certified HydraFacial practitioner on the official website.

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HydraFacial | Plus, lymphatic drainage, dermabuilder and LED light therapy

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