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I’m no stranger to spa treatments. In fact, for the past several years, regular appointments at various salons and spas have been part of my self-care routine. But one service I had yet to try was the Hydrafacial—so when I got the opportunity to experience one at my go-to salon and spa, I was all over it.
So...what’s a Hydrafacial, anyway? In the simplest terms, it’s a multistep facial treatment performed with the HydraFacial MD machine. The dermatologist-recommended procedure helps address specific skin concerns like fine lines, dryness, dullness, and more.
Here’s how it works: HydraFacial uses its Vortex-Fusion delivery system to create a holistic facial that cleanses, extracts, and hydrates—all in about 30 minutes. This system includes Hydrafacial’s proprietary HydroPeel® Tips, used in conjunction with the HydraFacial vacuum technology and serums, to create a vortex effect that dislodges and removes impurities while delivering hydrating skin solutions at the same time.
At $175 per session, HydraFacials do cost more than the average facial. There are also add-ons or booster treatments that can increase the total cost. Keep in mind, however, that this is significantly lower than what you’d pay for a more invasive and clinical facial service at a medspa.
Hydrafacial With Me
When I showed up for my appointment and was taken back to my room, I first put on the typical wrap garment used during facial treatments so that my shoulders, neck, and face were exposed. I then settled in and my esthetician got to work, talking me through the process as we went.
Step one: The facial starts with a cleanse and peel where the skin is resurfaced with gentle exfoliation. This removes dead skin cells and sebum while gently opening pores.
With traditional facials, this is typically done through a gritty cream or a resurfacing chemical. For folks like me with sensitive skin, this can produce a lot of redness, so I was excited that this experience completely avoids any sort of skin abrasion.
Step two: Next came the extraction via suction. The esthetician changed the wand tip to deliver a gentle chemical peel with a non-irritating mix of salicylic and glycolic acids that helped loosen deep pore debris.
From there, a strong (but painless!) vortex vacuum suctioned out blackheads and impurities from my pores. It sort of feels like a carpet steam cleaner, but for your face. Dirty water and waste flow out of the pores and are deposited into what they call the “gunkie jar.” (Mine was particularly gross.)
From there, a strong (but painless!) vortex vacuum suctioned out blackheads and impurities from my pores. It sort of feels like a carpet steam cleaner, but for your face.
To help reduce any lingering redness from this step, my aesthetician then placed my face under a blue light for about seven minutes.
Step three: The last step is to saturate the skin with antioxidants and peptides through serums that create a near-instant glow.
The Verdict: Loved It
This was the BEST facial experience I’ve ever had, hands down. Not only did I walk away with hydrated, super-soft skin with zero redness, but three days out, I’m still seeing the glowy effect it produced.
As a result, I’ve only been wearing tinted sunscreen as a foundation (and my skin still looks great -- no heavy foundation needed!). I highly recommend trying one out if you’re on the fence about it.
5 More Reasons To Love the Hydrafacial:
So what are the perks of the Hydrafacial experience? These were the key benefits that stood out to me.
- Refined pores: One of the biggest after-effects I noticed right after the facial wrapped was smaller pores (especially around my nose and on my chin). My skin was glowy, and it looked amazing without a drop of makeup on. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was able to say that.
- Noninvasive with clinical results: My esthetician informed me that the Hydrafacial is about as close as you get to a clinical procedure without introducing any needles or invasive procedures you’d see at a med spa, but the approach and system still deliver clinical-level results.
It’s also worth noting that because of this approach, this particular kind of facial isn’t very massage/relaxation-focused as you might expect with a more traditional facial experience. This is very right-down-to-business for a quick but effective treatment. As someone who gets fidgety around the 30-minute mark, I appreciate the efficiency!
- A customizable experience: Personalization comes into play during the experience in that you can upgrade with add-ons that address your specific skin concerns. There are currently four options to choose from:
- Brightalive Boost: Brightens skin by reducing discoloration.
- Growthfactor Boost: Increases cellular growth to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Dermabuilder Boost: Addresses fine lines by creating skin firmness while correcting skin tone and texture.
- Britenol Boost: Reduces the appearance of dark spots and sun damage for a more even complexion.
- No embarrassing redness: Every time I’ve ever had a facial, I go in prepared to walk out of the spa with a bright red face. This time, though, there was zero redness. *Throws confetti*
The reason: Hydrafacials don’t use any grit to exfoliate dead skin. Instead, controlled pulses with serum gently remove dead skin cells while simultaneously hydrating, making it ideal for folks like me with sensitive skin!
- A quick treatment. If you want a facial treatment but are crunched for time, you can be in and out of a Hydrafacial session in about 30 minutes, meaning it’ll fit into a lunch break window or a quick pop-in before or after work.