What Is the HydraFacial Treatment: Benefits & More

All of us want smooth and clean facial skin. And yes, men want it too. They are just more worried about receding hairlines and facial hairs not on top of their heads. But for us, it’s up high on the priority list. So how do we get that young-looking skin?

There’s a ton of products to exfoliate, cleanse, tone, and peel at home. Countless more to address sagging skin, wrinkles, and acne.

Then, there are the skin treatments we can get from medical spas and dermatology clinics. Just thinking of cosmetic treatments rings all the bells of pain and downtime. We hear words like “minimal recovery” which really means 24 – 72 hours.

Fortunately, many of these spas and clinics are now offering Hydrafacial. We can get the benefits in less than an hour minus the discomfort and downtime. Without sounding like an infomercial, let’s see how it works.

What is Hydrafacial?

Hydrafacial is a skin rejuvenation treatment that:

  • cleanses
  • extracts
  • peels
  • hydrates
  • and delivers serum to the skin using a machine known as Hydrafacial MD.

The combination of all these actions is like the sum of microdermabrasion, chemical peel, and a hydrating mask in a single convenient session.

To put it in simpler terms that even men will understand — it makes the face look younger in one treatment.

Hydrafacials are gentle enough to be done monthly on all skin types and colors. Anyone can use it, no discrimination. The results are seen right after the treatment and without any noticeable signs of irritation.

The key to Hydrafacial’s treatment is the patented vortex technology. The extraction of dirt is done while liquid serums are deposited. We will not feel any scraping, pinching, or pulling. We’ll get a similar quality of treatment wherever we go. All clinics and medical spas use similar machine. The treatment can only be done using equipment developed by Edge Systems.

Hydrafacial’s popularity knows no age group and location. Millions of Hydrafacial treatments each year are conducted in 87 countries. Women (and men) in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and beyond can have this as part of their skin routine. Teens thinking of their prom night may use this to prepare for the event.

The name Hydrafacial implies that it is for the face. But it doesn’t mean we can’t use it on other skin areas. The neck, décolletage, and hands share some of the skin problems our faces have.

What are the benefits of Hydrafacial?

Hydrafacials can address a wide variety of skin concerns.

  1. Reduce the signs of aging
    Hydrafacial helps reduce the signs of aging with the help of peptides and protein. Study shows it works better against fine lines and wrinkles compared to serums alone. Sagging skin is less noticeable with improved firmness and elasticity.

Hydrafacial treatments offer better results than the average over-the-counter retinol.

  1. Skin renewal
    Regular exfoliation with Hydrafacial promotes healthy skin cell turnover.
  2. Fights acne

While there’s no formal study yet linking Hydrafacial’s effect on acne, regulars and occasional patients attest that the treatment results in fewer breakouts. It works on excess sebum, excess skin cells, and bacteria which are blamed for comedones and pimples. It also improves skin areas damaged by acne.

  1. Smoother skin

Hydrating effects of Hydrafacial works on rough, dry, and dull skin. The moisturizer prevents moisture loss by drawing water into the skin. The treatment promotes smaller, less noticeable pores.

  1. Improve skin tone

Hydrafacial provides a clearer complexion by working against discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and brown spots. The antioxidant serums transform spotty red complexions into more even tones.

  1. Boost confidence

Signs of aging affects overall confidence. Making new friends and meeting clients are harder if we have insecurities about how we look, especially on our faces. The elevated confidence brought about by younger facial skin helps provide a better mood, career, and lifestyle.

What are the advantages of Hydrafacial?

Beyond the healthy skin benefits, Hydrafacial provides minimum disruption to our daily lives.

  1. There’s no downtime

There’s no redness or swelling expected. We can easily squeeze the activity before meetings or during lunch breaks. Makeup is a no for the rest of the day. The restriction is to let the skin rest and soak up on the benefits of the procedure.

Some friendly reminders. There should be no exercise, pool, sauna, or hot tub for the rest of the day. No exfoliation treatments within the next three days too.

  1. Pain-free procedure

The entire process is very relaxing. It is a relaxing procedure that feels more like a massage. We might even nod off as some patients did. Some compared it to a “cat licking my face”.  Now, can there be anything more fun as a lunch break activity?

  1. Suited for sensitive skin
    Before we start any treatment, we are generally asked for any allergies. It can be a pretty scary situation if it’s our first time to take the procedure. We don’t know how our skin will react. Allergic reactions lead to longer downtimes that we are not ready for.

Hydrafacial works on all types of skin. It is gentle enough even for very sensitive skins. Without the strong chemicals, there are little to no worries of long recoveries. Inflammation is avoided without the hot steam, scraping, and squeezing associated with manual extraction. There might be mild redness but it will be gone in minutes.

Do note that custom serums may incur reaction to some skins.

How is it done?

Here are four main steps in Hydrafacial:

Step 1: Vortex cleansing and HydroPeel exfoliation

The first step is gentle cleansing of the skin. It removes makeup and other surface impurities such as dirt and grime. Part of this is the exfoliation of the stratum corneum layer. Dead skin cells and excess sebum are removed. This enables the skin to reflect more light. The result is brighter and healthier-looking skin. HydroPeel cleanses, exfoliates, and extracts impurities evenly without damaging the skin while delivering serum to the skin. It helps inflamed pimples and pustules go away faster

Step 2: Mix of Salicylic acid and Glycolic Acid

The second step is the application of non-irritating Salicylic acid and Glycolic Acid.

Salicylic acid loosens deep dirt and dissolves skin debris that clogs pores. The process helps treat breakouts and reduce inflammation.  This also prevents the formation of pustules involved in acne. Glycolic Acid removes the outermost layer of the dead cell revealing brighter younger skin.

Step 3: Vortex Extraction

The third step is harmless suction to automatically remove blackheads and other impurities. The skin pores are temporarily enlarged to extract embedded debris without damaging the skin membranes. This frees up the pores and space will be filled up by moisturizers. Cleared pores can properly release oil that nourishes and hydrates the skin.

Step4: Vortex-Fusion

The last step is to deliver a protective antioxidant formula with potent peptides and hyaluronic acid into the skin. Vortex-Fusion detoxifies, rejuvenates, and restores healthy skin structure and function.

Our skin problems vary depending on age, activities, and environment. “Boosters” for the serum can be infused to better address specific concerns:

  • Aging – Dermabuilder
  • Brightening – Brightalive
  • Sunspots – Britenol
  • Wrinkles – Growth factor

Add ons:

Dermatology offices and medical spas may offer different add-ons to complement the procedure.

  1. LED Light Therapy offers multiple benefits that enhance Hydrafacial treatment.
  • Enhance the treatment by fighting bacterias that cause acne.
  • Stimulates collagen production.
  • Helps with skin resurfacing to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, and dark spots, but without using a harsh laser
  1. Dermaplaning
  • Hydrafacial treatments are more effective if Dermaplaning is done before it.

How much does it cost to get a Hydrafacial?

Hydrafacials cost anywhere between $150 to $300. Costs will vary depending on the needs of individual patients. After skin evaluation, a treatment plan may include “boosters” in the serum which are on top of the regular price.

Like any other service, location affects the total cost of getting a Hydrafacial. Skill levels of aestheticians can influence the price too.

How often should we get a Hydrafacial?

The dermatologist or aesthetician can make recommendations on frequency based on our skin type and condition. It may also depend on our goals which could be getting rid of hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, or scarring.

To those who have it as part of their routine, the general practice is to have a Hydrafacial every 4 to 6 weeks. For those who want to be aggressive in fighting acne, the procedure can be done every two weeks.

Our body constantly sheds dead skin cells. The cells of the basal layer, the deepest part of the epidermis, continuously divide. Half of them stay within the layer while the other half migrate towards the outermost layer of the skin. The newer cells push up the older ones as they move upwards.

Starting as fat and square, they band together and get tougher in the process. As skin cells age, they dehydrate and die. They are eventually sloughed off the body as thin flakes. The entire process takes about 28 days for young adults and 45 to 50 days for older ones. This may take as little as two weeks with kids, reason why they always have young skins on the surface

The general belief is that people who are prone to acne have their dead skin cells stay longer than they should. This results in clogged pores and breakouts. Hydrafacial targets these dead skin cells and clears them up.

We can have Hydrafacial treatments to indulge ourselves or as preparation for special occasions. Right after the procedure, we can immediately see the natural “wow” effect which can last up to three days. . The youthful skin, pain-free process, and essentially no downtime make it a preferred procedure before big events.

When is it not recommended?

We should not be getting Hydrafacials when we have active skin illnesses. Rash, rosacea, and sunburn are some conditions that merit canceling the appointment.

Many facial treatments can safely be applied to pregnant women. In theory, Hydrafacial is one of those.  Salicylic acid in limited amounts is safe for expecting moms. The bad news, there are not enough studies to back the claim. Stay safe and skip Hydrafacial if you’re pregnant. But if you must, consult your dermatologist about it.

How does Hydrafacial compare with other treatments?

Hydrafacials may be able to take the place of some procedures in mild skin problems.

Hydrafacial vs Microdermabrasion

Hydrafacial is described as Microdermabrasion on steroids. Cleansing and hydrating ingredients are applied at the same time extraction of dirt and dead skin cells in the former.

Microdermabrasion is limited to exfoliation and cleaning. It may also leave lighter or darker spots. One advantage it has over Hydrafacial is the management of stretch marks. The former performs better in reducing its appearance.

Hydrafacial vs Chemical Peel

Chemicals peels are very effective in peeling and exfoliation. The acids are unfortunately not for everyone.  The acids used work better on skins with lighter skin tones. They are not advisable for certain skin disorders. Hydrafacial works well on most if not all skin types and conditions.

Hydrafacial vs Microneedling

Microneedling rejuvenates the skin by using a small needle to pierce the outermost layer of the skin.  This induces collagen production. The end result is plumper and smoother skin. The procedure risks scarring and infection.

Microneedling is best done in skin areas with existing scars caused by acne. Mild pains are involved but just enough to cause discomfort.

Hydrafacial does not involve any piercing pain. Some may feel discomfort on sandpapery feelings of exfoliation and cleansing. It provides improvements on minor scars but after regular treatments.

Beyond the hype. What’s the downside?

While some believe in the value of Hydrafacial, there’s the other side that questions its worth. The price tag of a few hundred dollars seems to be too much for what it does for the skin. The treatment is basically an exfoliation with the option of adding a very light peel.

Microdermabrasion uses tiny crystals on a rotating tip and suction to remove dead skin cells. Hydrafacial shoots jets of water and vacuum to do the same job. Can water do a better job than microcrystals? The answer is no but the process is a lot more expensive.

The patients have the option to include a light peel and booster serums. The peel is so gentle anyone can hardly notice any change, needing regular treatments to see visible improvements. The peel and serums are not expensive but cost more when done through Hydrafacial treatment.

The radiant look right after Hydrafacial treatment is because of increased blood as an effect of the suction. It will go away after a few hours. The same result can be achieved through exercise. With an add-on light peel of Hydrafacial, the glow will remain for up to 36 hours.

To sum up the argument, there are treatments with better lasting results which can be had at a cheaper price.

Is Hydrafacial the best treatment?

I understand the concern that there are cheaper and more effective solutions. It’s a very valid point. Microdermabrasions and regular facials are cheaper and have no downtime too. Dermabrasion is still the better solution for nasty acne scars. Hydrafacial cannot re-surface as effectively as other procedures.

Hydrafacial offers one very important benefit that no other related solution can match — convenience.

Let me break this down further.

Trust. Wherever the clinic is located, the level of service among them won’t be far off. That is assuming they all follow the basic procedures correctly. The treatment relies more on the machine rather than the skill of the aesthetician. Before or after work, during lunch breaks or weekends, I can walk into an available clinic at my chosen time and place and still have my routine Hydrafacial Treatment.

Compare this to Dermaplaning where I will only go to the therapist that I trust. I will have to adjust my schedule so I can match hers.

Simplicity. Less treatments to think of, less confusion on the calendar, and less stress.

Fewer worries. Hydrafacial is the gentler approach to skin problems. It may mean it’s less effective, but it also means fewer chances of side effects. I won’t be worried that I’ll miss out on an occasion because my face is swollen red. This is not the case with chemical peels. I will be concerned about the possibility of an adverse reaction.

Every woman should at least try Hydrafacial and see how it works for them. I am not sure if it is the best facial treatment out there but to me, it is high up on the list for:

  • regular beauty regimen
  • one-off personal treat or me day moments
  • preparation for special events.

If the price is prohibitive, I still think you should consider it as a personal treat. The pampering, relaxation together with youthful skin is an excellent birthday gift to yourself.

For more severe concerns that you want to address first, go for specialized treatments. When those are fixed, time to simplify the routine and opt for Hydrafacial.

Brian Lee
Founder of Darbaroud.com: I like to write about self-improvement and achieving excellence, and believe that it is these qualities that ultimately make people successful in life.

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