What Is a HydraFacial? Benefits, Side Effects, Procedure, and Cost

A HydraFacial is a patented skin treatment available in medical spas and dermatology offices. It’s also sometimes called “hydradermabrasion” because it involves microdermabrasion-like exfoliation paired with hydrating serums.

Known for its three-step process, the HydraFacial works to deep-clean, exfoliate, and hydrate your skin. This professional procedure may help treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne, dryness, and wrinkles.

The noninvasive procedure is similar in principle to a regular facial you might get from a spa but is said to provide more dramatic results. This is achieved by a mechanized wand used on your skin to deeply clean and exfoliate while delivering serums customized to your skin type.

If you’re curious about whether a HydraFacial is worth the hype, read on to learn more about the potential benefits, the possible side effects, and how it compares to similar treatments.

The HydraFacial is said to help improve overall skin texture, tone, and appearance. This is due to the deep exfoliation that cleans your pores, removing debris and allowing for better penetration of face serums tailored to your skin type.

HydraFacial for acne

Currently, there are no clinical studies highlighting the benefits of the HydraFacial for acne.

However, microdermabrasion techniques have long been considered effective for treating both acne and acne scars. This is likely due to the deep exfoliation that helps remove pore-clogging skin cells.

HydraFacial for blackheads

Dead skin cells also contribute to blackheads. This noninflammatory type of acne may benefit from the same exfoliating and extracting methods used in the HydraFacial, but more clinical studies need to be done to confirm these benefits directly.

HydraFacial for rosacea

It can be difficult to find cosmetic treatments safe enough for this sensitive skin condition. While more research is needed to prove the safety and effectiveness of the HydraFacial for rosacea, a 2006 study revealed that similar techniques may benefit papulopustular rosacea.

HydraFacial for anti-aging concerns

A small 2008 study of 20 women found that those who received HydraFacial treatments had greater decreases in signs of skin aging compared with those who used serums alone. The effects included decreased pore size, less hyperpigmentation, and decreased fine lines.

While the HydraFacial is said to be free of complications, you may feel light pressure from the wand during the procedure. Unlike other cosmetic treatments, the HydraFacial isn’t supposed to cause pain or redness.

However, you should avoid this procedure if you have an active rash, such as one related to a rosacea flare.

Is HydraFacial safe during pregnancy?

It’s best to ask a doctor before undergoing any aesthetic procedures while pregnant, including the HydraFacial. A 2017 review found that while many cosmetic treatments may be safe, there have not been enough clinical studies to confirm this.

Can a HydraFacial cause a breakout?

In theory, a HydraFacial is designed to help address the excess sebum (oil) and dead skin cells that can lead to breakouts. The treatment may also help clear impurities during skin purging that may happen after deep exfoliation.

Before your treatment, let your provider know if you have extremely sensitive skin or are allergic to any ingredients that might cause your skin to break out after the treatment. And follow up with them if you experience breakouts after a HydraFacial.

A HydraFacial is performed by either a licensed aesthetician or a dermatologist. The procedure is completed in three parts:

  1. Your provider uses a vortex-like wand against your skin to help clear away dirt and oil from deep in your pores. They also use a peel to help exfoliate and resurface your skin.
  2. Your provider uses a vacuum-like attachment on the wand to help extract debris from your pores.
  3. Your provider uses a pen-like attachment to apply a moisturizing serum with antioxidants.

A HydraFacial is sometimes followed by other skin care treatments, such as dermal fillers or light therapy. These are considered add-ons and are not included as part of the HydraFacial.

After a HydraFacial, you may notice smoother, more radiant skin, possibly with a more even skin tone. The results are said to be noticeable immediately, without any visible signs of irritation.

Each HydraFacial session takes less than an hour, and no downtime is required. Unlike with harsher procedures like chemical peels, you can resume your normal activities right away.

While you shouldn’t experience any redness or peeling after your session, it’s still best to avoid exfoliating treatments for the first couple of days after a HydraFacial.

The frequency of HydraFacial sessions depends on your skin type and your provider’s recommendations. Some websites recommend repeating the treatment every 4 weeks, while others encourage repeat sessions every 2 weeks.

An aesthetician or dermatologist can help you determine the right number of sessions based on your skin condition and goals.

HydraFacials cost more than typical facials, with the average office charging $175 per session. Any add-ons or booster treatments will increase your cost. Your exact price may vary depending on your location.

If you’re used to getting monthly facials in addition to exfoliation via microdermabrasion or chemical peels, you may find that a 3-in-1 HydraFacial slightly is less expensive overall.

Like a regular spa facial, the HydraFacial is considered a cosmetic procedure that’s not covered by insurance. You may ask your provider for cost-saving solutions such as monthly discounts via membership packages.

Like a HydraFacial, microdermabrasion exfoliates your skin. The key difference is that this type of exfoliation using small crystals is best suited for fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, and acne scars. Microdermabrasion also doesn’t use serums.

Dermalinfusion has similar technology and benefits to a HydraFacial. Both are 3-in-1 procedures that cleanse, exfoliate, and deliver serums tailored to your skin concerns. Unlike a HydraFacial, Dermalinfusion may cause some redness and irritation afterward.

Radiofrequency (RF) therapy works by using heat energy in deep skin tissues to help increase cellular turnover and collagen production. This may promote tighter, smoother skin overall. RF may also help treat acne scars.

While both HydraFacial and RF therapy address signs of skin aging, RF doesn’t involve exfoliation or serums. RF may cause redness after each session.

The HydraFacial may help treat a variety of skin concerns in one session through its 3-in-1 cleansing, exfoliating, and hydrating process. Talk with a dermatologist about which cosmetic treatments are best suited to your specific concerns.

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