Everyone wants smooth, bright, and youthful-looking skin. Instead of spending a fortune on oils, creams, essences, and serums in a multistep skin-care routine, you may be able to achieve a natural glow with a facial that some say is rising in popularity.
Proponents of the trendy treatment, called the HydraFacial, bill it as a way to pursue and maintain long-term skin health, which makes it more than your typical spa treatment. According to the HydraFacial website, a HydraFacial is performed every 15 seconds, and it is currently available in more than 80 countries, including the United States.
The HydraFacial is a multistep facial treatment typically performed with a proprietary machine (HydraFacial MD). In one session, aestheticians can use the HydraFacial [device] to cleanse, exfoliate, extract, and deliver a variety of rejuvenating serums.
It’s become an in-demand service because it creates an instant “wow factor” in terms of brightening and firming skin, people can get the treatment before a big event or regularly to maintain skin health.
Here, leading dermatologists weigh in on precisely what makes this facial such a phenomenon.
It appeals to nearly all ages, complexions, and concerns
"This 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 (as part of more serious treatments)," 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.
The experience and results are super-consistent
Whether you get Hydra-ed at a swanky Park Avenue plastic surgeon's office or a suburban strip-mall medspa, you're guaranteed "a high-tech facial that delivers consistent results, because it's not as technician-dependent [as other kinds of facials,] so you can count on it time and time again," says Shereene Idriss, a clinical instructor in dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Equally predictable: the safety factor. "Many dermatologists are wary of offering traditional facials in the office, as outcomes can vary, with some patients getting quite inflamed, or even scarring from overly aggressive techniques, but the HydraFacial is consistently safe and effective," says Akhavan.
Extractions without side effects
How many times have you told a facialist to skip the extractions for fear of redness or next-day eruptions (or simply because, duh, they hurt like hell, and...isn't this supposed to be relaxing?)? HydraFacial has a strict no-torture policy: "It's one of the most popular procedures in our office, not only because it combines elements of workhorse treatments, like microdermabrasion and chemical peels, but also because it truly is a relaxing, feel-good experience," says Akhavan. "It's never painful — in fact, patients compare the sensation to a light massage." By combining vortex pressure with a clog-purging solution of salicylic acid, willow bark extract, and anti-inflammatory Tasmanian pepper, "the device suctions gunk from pores — no squeezing or pressing required — and, at the end, you can actually see all that was removed, which people seem to like," says Tresa Acosta, an aesthetician at Marmur Medical in New York City.
Instant gratification in 30 minutes with zero downtime
"HydraFacial hits the sweet spot — it's more than a basic spa facial, but less than a laser treatment," says Marmur. Making it a rare unicorn among no-downtime offerings, its payoff is immediately apparent: "We can quickly improve texture and tone, and even help conditions like acne, without any residual irritation or peeling," Akhavan adds. Even better, everyone we interviewed gushed about the tool’s unparalleled radiance-imparting properties, which is what make it "so highly requested before red-carpet events and weddings — it really delivers that extra glow," says Idriss.
It plays nicely with other procedures
This, to me, is pretty critical, because if I've managed to hit pause on life long enough to get myself to a derm's office for a fancy facial, there's no way I'm leaving without topping off my Botox and fillers. I mean, that would just be silly. Happily, notes Idriss, the HydraFacial can be done the very same day as injectables and non-ablative light and laser treatments, like the V-Beam, which knocks out redness, and intense pulsed light, which some use to treat sun damage. It's also a godsend, like, one week post-Fraxel when your face is literally falling off, as "it speeds up the shedding process that resurfacing devices inevitably induce while also deeply hydrating the skin," says Akhavan.
It's infinitely customizable
The aforementioned boosters, which come at an extra cost, are just one way technicians can tailor this treatment "to really focus on the person's priorities," says Marmur: Do you need vitamin C-caliber brightening, or an infusion of growth factors for fine lines? During step one of the HydraFacial ("cleanse + peel"), your doctor or aesthetician can also choose from three different strength glycolic-salicylic acid peels "based on your previous experience with peels, your skin type, and your desired outcome," says Bashey, noting that the strongest 30-percent acid option is available only to physicians. Some derms will tack on a short round of LED light therapy following the facial, again personalizing it to the individual, shining blue light on acne, or red light to build collagen and calm the skin.
"We can even customize the tool's suction power, toning it down to tackle more delicate areas, like under the eyes, if we need to carefully loosen millia or boost circulation to clear dark circles," says Acosta, who — insider secret! — always recommends a light vacuuming of the lips to plump them up, sans syringe, and cast off flakes.
Our Diamond HydraFacial & Ultrasonic Wave Treatment at Shining Massage Clinic utilizes a unique diamond-tipped exfoliation wand to gently resurface the skin and reveal a glowing complexion. Call 941-877-6688 or visit shiningmassage.com to schedule your appointment today!