- HydraFacial treatments involve using gentle hydro microdermabrasion to offer numerous benefits.
- The benefits of HydraFacial treatments include improved complexion, clearing clogged pores, reducing the appearance of large pores, treating some acne, and reducing fine lines.
- HydraFacials may cost more than some alternative treatments, but have little to no side effects and are safe for sensitive skin.
HydraFacial appointments can be used to treat a number of different cosmetic concerns, like acne, clogged pores, scarring, and fine lines, with most successful results happening with regular appointments once or twice per month.
What Is the HydraFacial?
The HydraFacial is a relatively new and exceedingly gentle treatment that uses hydro microdermabrasion to cleanse, exfoliate and hydrate skin. It’s an in-office procedure that uses jets of water to cleanse and exfoliate, as opposed to abrasive materials like crystals. The treatment removes dead skin cells, revealing new, younger skin underneath.
Can it be used on all body areas?
HydraFacials are most frequently used on the face, but they’re so gentle that they can be used to treat other areas of the body, too. They may be used to treat acne or scarring all over the body, which is most commonly used on the back. They’re also commonly used for anti-aging treatments on the hands and arms.
HydraFacials for more extensive areas do cost more than traditional facial procedures, with a full back costing around $650.
Reduces Scarring, Discoloration, and Uneven Skin Tone
One of the most common HydraFacial benefits is its ability to reduce scarring, skin discoloration, and uneven skin tone. Since this treatment is exfoliating, it’s removing the top layer of dead skin cells, revealing younger skin underneath and encouraging faster cell turnover. This can reduce the appearance of scarring, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and other causes of uneven skin tone.
To reduce skin discoloration or scarring, multiple HydraFacial appointments would be most beneficial. Some recommend up to six months of treatment for best results, with at least one appointment per month, though it’s not uncommon for patients to see some results as soon as the first or second appointment.
The potential for success will depend heavily on the extent of scarring or skin discoloration. Minor surface-level scars, for example, are easier to treat than deep scarring that have been healed for years.
Clears Clogged Pores
During the exfoliation process, the jets of water will remove dead skin cells and debris from the skin, unclogging pores. This can result in beautiful, smooth skin, unclogging pores and eliminating blackheads.
The HydraFacial is extremely effective at removing clogged pores, though changes in your regular skin care regimen will be needed if you want to keep pores clear between your facial appointments. It only takes a single appointment to unclog your pores, giving you a fresh, clean face.
Reduces the Appearance of Large Pores
Though it isn’t possible to shrink pores, you can reduce their appearance. Clean, unclogged pores look smaller, and the plumping results from the hydration of the HydraFacial can help the skin look healthier in general.
The HydraFacial is incredibly effective for this purpose, and can reduce the appearance of large pores after a single appointment, though best results will happen with regular appointments scheduled at least once per month. Keeping your pores clean will prevent them from enlarging, too.
Treats Some Types of Acne
HydraFacials can help treat certain kinds of acne, especially those that are fueled by caused by clogged pores. By exfoliating the skin, the facial removes dead skin cells, debris and toxins from the skin that may have mixed with sebum to cause breakouts. Unfortunately, while it may not be quite as helpful for hormonal acne, the HydraFacial may help treat post-breakout inflammation and reduce scarring.
To treat mild to moderate acne, best results will be seen with regular ongoing appointments. Though you can see results after a single appointment, maintaining clear-skin may require at least one treatment per month on a continual basis.
Other issues may be contributing to breakouts that need to be addressed, too, for acne to be fully treated. In some cases, prescription medication or a change in the skin care regimen may be needed, and without those changes the HydraFacial’s benefits may be limited.
Can it treat acne scars, too?
Even if the HydraFacial has a hard time treating some forms of acne, the good news is that this procedure can help reduce the scars acne can leave behind. At least one appointment per month for a four-to-six month period can help reduce mild to moderate acne scars and discoloration. Severe scarring, however, will likely require other treatments.
Reduces Fine Lines
Fine lines and wrinkles can be treated and possibly even prevented with ongoing HydraFacial treatments. During the exfoliation process, the layer of dead skin cells that are removed will leave more youthful skin behind while the hydrating serum will result in plumper skin. This treatment may also stimulate collagen production, reducing the appearance of wrinkles or fine lines further.
It’s possible to see immediate or next-day results when using HydraFacials for antiaging purposes. That being said, ongoing appointments will prove most beneficial to maintain these results and reduce the development of further fine lines and wrinkles. For the first six months, schedule at least one appointment, and after that you can move to one appointment every other month depending on the advice of your esthetician.
How Long Do the Effects of Hydrafacials Last?
Different benefits will last for unique periods of time.
With ongoing treatments scheduled a month apart, many patients will see a continued decrease in clogged pores and pore appearance, for example, but some may see results only last a week. It depends on each patient’s individual skin and how well their skin care regimen works for them.
The reduction of fine lines and wrinkles is often temporary and won’t last for more than several weeks to a month. Continued exfoliation and hydration from HydraFacials will likely be needed to maintain the results you’ll see following the procedure.
The treatment of acne may last two to four weeks for the average patient, keeping the skin clear for up to a month. Again, this will depend heavily on each patient and the severity and cause of acne.
The reduction of scarring, pigmentation, and dark spots, however, are more likely to be permanent. Once a scar or hyperpigmentation fades, it won’t darken again unless something triggers it to. Note that in some cases too much sun exposure can result in hyperpigmentation or darkening of scars, so use sunblock daily to maintain your results.
Potential Side Effects & Contradictions
There are virtually no side effects to HydraFacial treatments. A small number of patients may experience slight redness immediately following the procedure, but this will subside within a few hours.
There are only a few individuals who shouldn’t receive a HydraFacial treatment:
- Those with shellfish allergies, as an ingredient used in the procedure is made from shellfish.
- Those with chronic rosacea
- Those currently experiencing open wounds on the treatment area
- Those with severe acne that’s currently inflamed and may cause open wounds
There are multiple alternative resurfacing treatments available if the HydraFacial isn’t quite right for you. Some of the best alternatives include:
- Traditional microdermabrasion, which uses a crystal or diamond-tip device to exfoliate as opposed to water jets. While this treatment is most cost-effective at around $75-200, it is more abrasive and may lead to more irritation. It’s less likely to be suited to those with sensitive skin types.
- Microneedling, which uses a small needles on a dermaroller to make small punctures in the skin. This can generate new collagen production, making it a good option for treating signs of aging and scarring. The treatment is more expensive, ranging from $100-700 per session, it may be uncomfortable, and it may not treat acne as effectively.
- Chemical peels, which vary significantly in strength. They offer many of the same benefits as the HydraFacial, including the potential to reduce scarring, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and treat acne. Peels are often much more abrasive than HydraFacial treatments, however, and can be irritating. Some may require downtime, depending on the strength of the peel.
In terms of price, there’s a wide spectrum when it comes to peels, ranging between $100-600 on average, though deep chemical peels can cost anywhere from $3,000-6,000.
The HydraFacial is a nonabrasive resurfacing procedure that’s suitable to most skin types, including sensitive skin.
In addition to being safe for most patients, this treatment offers a number of strong potential benefits with virtually no side effects aside from a bit of redness shortly after treatment. Benefits include unclogging pores, reducing the appearance of large pores, treating acne, reducing hyperpigmentation, scarring and other discoloration, and offering antiaging benefits.
The treatment does cost more than traditional microdermabrasion, but isn’t abrasive and is more suitable to more skin types as a result.