All You Need To Know about HydraFacials

image of hydrafacial steps

Every 20 seconds a HydraFacial is performed somewhere in the world. Last year alone a total of 2 million treatments were performed in the world. HydraFacial is performed by a “hydra-dermabrasion-medical-grade” device. The device carries out a patented three-part regimen which includes cleansing, exfoliating, and then infusing skin with intensive serums all at the same time. A HydraFacial which lasts 30- to 60-minute tackles everything from dehydration to discoloration, aging to acne, and uneven skin texture. Spas have to be registered and licensed to market themselves as offering HydraFacials.

Rather than blasting the skin with painful grit, HydraFacial gently vacuums out pores while simultaneously pushing in potent actives, which moisturize, brighten, plump, and protect.

A HydraFacial has four main steps

1) Cleansing

HydraFacials start with a manual cleanse by your esthetician, followed by the VortexFusion treatment. This combines exfoliating lactic acid and glucosamine HCI with anti-oxidant-rich algae which softens and conditions skin.

2) Deeper Exfoliation

To give the skin a deeper exfoliation, two different tips are available — one more aggressive than the other — delivering one of three different levels of glycolic acid (7.5%, 15% or 30%) combined with 1.5% – 2% salicylic acid. The combination of physical exfoliation from the tip and chemical exfoliation from the peels gives a good result quickly, without the wait and tingling that you might experience with a traditional peel.

3) Extractions

This step utilizes a different tip and Beta-HD to soften sebum with salicylic acid and suck away blackheads and sebum in open pores. At the same time, honey extract hydrates and spiraea ulmaria flower extract calms and soothes. If you have a milia, which is an overgrown whitehead, HydraFacial can’t get that out.

4) Serums

Your cleansed, extracted, exfoliated skin is now ready for an infusion of antioxidants (horse chestnut seed and green tea extracts), peptides (copper, magnesium, and zinc) and hyaluronic acid, which actually attracts water to the skin and helps keep it hydrated and plump. The proprietary blend called Antiox also has arnica flower extract to calm and soothe the skin, and red algae extract to brighten the skin.

The after results of HydraFacial show everything from spikes in hydration and radiance, to improved firmness and texture, and reductions in oil and pore size.

HydraFacial is nice for teenagers with acne; adults with pimples, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation; and for older patients with sun damage and even flaky pre-cancerous spots says Ellen Marmur, an associate clinical professor in both the department of dermatology and the department of genetics and genomic research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

While it wins definite points for inclusivity, there are some who should abstain — namely those with active rashes, sunburns, or rosacea, along with pregnant patients, as “some of the ingredients used during the HydraFacial, such as salicylic acid, haven’t been tested and proven safe during pregnancy,” explains Arash Akhavan, an assistant clinical professor in dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

HydraFacial has a strict no-pain policy. It’s one of the most popular procedures. Not only because it combines elements of workhorse treatments, like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, but also because it is truly a relaxing and feel-good experience. Patients compare the sensation to a light massage. The device suctions gunk from pores — no squeezing or pressing required — and, at the end, you can actually see all that was removed.

HydraFacial can quickly improve texture and tone, and even help conditions like acne, without any residual irritation or peeling. The HydraFacial removes debris from pores with painless suction and nourishes with intense moisturizers that quench skin. “The patented, automated vortex suction painlessly cleans out pores with the exclusive Beta-HD™ serum and Antiox+™ serum nourishes and protects with antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid.

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HydraFacial Add-Ons

At the beginning of the facial, you can get mechanical lymphatic drainage that moves lymph fluid out of your facial, reducing puffiness and helping to speed toxins out of your system. During the treatment you can add an even more powerful anti-aging peptide complex serum to help smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and enhance skin elasticity. And at the end of the treatment you can opt for an LED treatment — red to soothe the skin and stimulate cell turnover, or blue to kill bacteria if your problem is acne-related.

The Bottom Line

This is a great treatment for brides or anyone who wants to look refreshed and hydrated for a night out. Estheticians tell me it is fantastic for people with acne, in part because the extractions don’t use pressure that disturbs the skin. It’s a good anti-aging treatment because of the peels and antioxidants, but because it involves an expensive piece of equipment, it’s going to be more expensive.

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