How HydraFacials Compare to Traditional Facials

July 31, 2018

No matter how old (or young) you are, or how well you take care of your skin, chances are that you can benefit from a facial.

“Facials are a great way to stay on top of skin issues and keep your skin looking fresh and glowing,” says Dr. Jennifer Holman, a board-certified dermatologist at Center for Aesthetic and Laser Medicine (CALM) in Tyler, Texas. “They can give you a more youthful, hydrated complexion and also help your skin handle the changes in weather throughout the year, which can otherwise make your skin oilier or drier.”

Many people who are fans of facials will have the procedure done every month, and now a newcomer to the facial family is giving the traditional facial a lot of competition.

HydraFacials have become very popular, very fast,” Dr. Holman says. “People love the gentler approach of a HydraFacial and are also really happy with the results.”

In fact, it’s estimated that around the globe, a HydraFacial is being performed every 15 seconds, adding up to some 2 million treatments administered in 2017 alone.

Comparing HydraFacials to Traditional Facials

Although these two procedures have a lot in common, they’re not exactly two peas in a pod. While both of them will be tailored to your particular skin type and needs, the way they approach the process is different.

For starters, traditional facials can have a few uncomfortable moments during the process. Extractions, in which the person administering the facial goes deeper to clean your pores, are usually the least enjoyable part of the process. While helpful for long-term skin treatment, they can lead to redness or skin eruptions the next day.

HydraFacials, by comparison, feel more like a light massage to the face. Even without the extractions, however, it can help conditions like acne and improve the overall tone of your skin. Because it doesn’t cause redness and irritation, there’s little to no downtime after a HydraFacial procedure.

You will pay a little bit more for a HydraFacial; while a typical facial generally costs between $75 and $200 per session, HydraFacials average around $150 to $300 per treatment.

What Happens During a HydraFacial?

A HydraFacial uses a different approach to get the same benefits you’d get from a traditional facial. It is a hydradermabrasion treatment that follows a three-step process — cleansing, exfoliating and then infusing the skin with serums selected specifically for your skin type — to address any skin conditions or concerns you have.

Just as with traditional facials, your treatment will be selected based on your skin, so it’s going to be different for a teenager with acne than for an older client with sun damage and wrinkles. Your dermatologist will administer a skin test to evaluate the overall condition of your skin, determine your skin’s sensitivity and choose the serum that’s right for you.

You’ll notice certain similarities between a HydraFacial and previous facials you’ve had, such as the fact the procedure begins with having your skin cleansed and exfoliated to open up your pores. After receiving a light acid peel to dissolve any damaged and dead skin cells, your practitioner will use an extraction nozzle to vacuum away the dirt, oil, and debris that’s clogging your pores.

The final part of the treatment is the infusion of serum. Using a “vortex-infusion tool,” which isn’t nearly as frightening as it sounds, your doctor will apply the serum he or she chose based on your skin type. Rich with both collagen and antioxidants, the serum will not only help resolve any specific skin issues you’re having but will also boost the elasticity and hydration of your skin overall.

Another big selling point for many clients is that the HydraFacial takes just 30 to 45 minutes, depending on what you’re having done, so it won’t take up too much of your day.

What Happens After a HydraFacial

People who are prone to redness and swelling after a facial might be skeptical, but one of the great advantages of a HydraFacial is that it’s non-invasive and, as a result, most people will be able to reapply their makeup and return to their normal activities immediately after a treatment.

For some people, there might be a feeling of tightness or look of redness on the skin, but that will go away within an hour or two. If you have extremely sensitive skin, you might have some swelling around your eyes, or your redness might last for more than a day. So, if you are prone to redness and swelling after a traditional facial, you might want to schedule your first HydraFacial at a time when you don’t have anything planned the next day. This gives you the chance to see how your skin responds to the treatment and lets you know when it’s best for you to schedule future appointments.

One reason the HydraFacial has become popular so quickly is that the results are often immediate. Your skin will feel smoother and will reveal a healthy glow in the days after you receive your treatment. Just as with a traditional facial, over the next few days following treatment, your skin will look fresher and healthier.

Like traditional facials, HydraFacials work best when you continue to get them regularly. In both cases, treatments can be done about once a month to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy. The more consistently you have a facial or HydraFacial, the more effective it will be in helping your skin stay rejuvenated.

Whether you prefer to stick with a traditional facial or want to enjoy the benefits of a HydraFacial, Dr. Holman says you’ll get some of the same benefits — you just might see more benefits from a HydraFacial.

“Both of them are relaxing and very good for you,” she says. “If you do either of them regularly, your skin will thank you and you’ll notice a big difference in your overall appearance.”

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