Everything You Want to Know About the HydraFacial

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The HydraFacial has become a household name since its inception in 2005, but despite its massive success, the celebrity-favorite treatment is just getting started: 5 million HydraFacial treatments have been performed in the last two years, and according to Lisa Fawcett, chief marketing officer at HydraFacial, the company, both in revenue and employees, has more than doubled in size over the past two years.

But patients aren't the only ones clamoring over the treatment—doctors and estheticians everywhere can't sing its praises enough. Chicago dermatologist Gabriel J Martinez-Diaz, MD tells us the HydraFacial is the most popular treatment in his practice, and it gets his stamp of approval: "For patients looking for bright skin and anyone who’s struggling with acne, it exceeds my expectations for its deliverable results."

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So what's so special about this pore-purging treatment? We tapped the experts for the 4-1-1 on what all the HydraFacial hype is about.

What is a HydraFacial?
Think of a it as an all-in-one in-office treatment that delivers a three-part regimen in one relaxing step. New York dermatologist Cameron Rokhsar, MD describes it as a combination of a peel, facial and microdermabrasion—and thanks to its customizable nature, the facial works for all skin types and age groups. "We have teenagers with acne to women in their 70s that see a great benefit," adds Dr. Rokhsar.

The first step is cleansing the skin, then (painlessly) extracting before infusing the skin with a hydrating serum. All three steps are done via the same handpiece, featuring what the brand calls a HydroPeel tip. According to Fawcett, the tip is available in a range of exfoliation levels "to provide users with exactly what their skin needs." There's even a body tip now to allow for treatments below the face.


What are the benefits of a HydraFacial?
Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew J. Elias says the HydraFacial is beloved for its ability to deliver "dewy, amazing-looking, glowing skin" in minutes; Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Igor Chaplik says the facial is an excellent way to provide that "red carpet" glow. "We very commonly see patients return for repeat or maintenance treatments because they see such great results," adds Dr. Elias.

Another great benefit of the HydraFacial is its wide range of customization options—the main one being their Boosters, which are added to the treatment beforehand and infused into the skin via the handpiece. "We offer specialty Boosters to target specific skin concerns and have partnered with many top brands including ZO Skin Health, Senté, Alastin, Circadia and Colorescience to deliver their potent formulas right through the device," says Fawcett. Perhaps the most satisfying part of the HydraFacial—aside from the immediate plump and glow—is being able to see all of the gunk and debris that were vacuumed out of your pores minutes before. (This step has become so popular, there's even a #gunkie hashtag community on Instagram of patients and providers sharing the #oddlysatisfying results.)

Your provider also has the option to offer additional add-ons such as lymphatic drainage, LED light therapy—Fawcett says both blue (for acne) and red (for lines and wrinkles) are available—for your skin's specific needs, so no one treatment is the same. 


Can other in-office treatments be done in tandem with a HydraFacial?
When visiting a board certified dermatologist for your treatment, your doctor can turn your treatment up a few notches by expertly pairing them with high-performing in-office treatments for boosted results. "The synergy of the HydraFacial with lasers is remarkable," says Dr. Elias, adding that the HydraFacial is administered before the laser. His add-on of choice: the facial with a Clear + Brilliant treatment to  reduce fine lines and improve skin tone and texture. For extra help with pore size and skin-clarifying power, Dr. Diaz pairs the facial with resurfacing Laser Genesis.

What is a HydraFacial PERK?
Different from the traditional HydraFacial, a Perk treatment focuses on the most delicate areas of the face: eyes and lips. Fawcett describes these add-ons as "refreshing treatments that gently cleanse and hydrate" the areas by gently removing dead skin cells on the surface, along with impurities while infusing the skin with vital antioxidants. However, instead of the usual tip used in traditional HydraFacial treatment, there's a gentle roller ball instead. "Plus, clients receive the same vial used in the treatment, so you take the refreshing serum home," says Fawcett.

Is there any downtime for a HydraFacial?
No. Appleton, WI dermatologist Victoria Negrete, MD says, "the biggest difference patients notice is the no downtime glow immediately after treatment." Fawcett adds: "While you won't want to cover up your glowing skin, you may apply makeup immediately and return to your normal activities right after."


How long is a HydraFacial treatment?
Depending on the add-on options you or your provider decides to add, a HydraFacial can take anywhere from 30 minutes up to 90 minutes.

How much does a HydraFacial treatment cost?
Because the treatment is so customizable, both the length and cost vary. For a 30-minute session, Fawcett says to expect to pay around $150 and up. "For more elevated versions that add in LED light therapy, lymphatic drainage therapy and boosters, for example, it'll be approximately $200 and up."

How long to the results of a HydraFacial last?
According to Fawcett, many clients report seeing visible skin refinement and an even, radiant skin tone after one treatment. "The smooth results and hydration may last five to seven days or even longer," she says. "We don’t believe in quick fixes, so one treatment per month is recommended for improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, brown spots, oily and congested skin. Continued HydraFacial treatments are highly recommended to maintain the best skin health results."