The One Facial Treatment I *Swear* By for an Instant Glow

·4 min read

There's one skin treatment I always try to book myself before an event, whether it's a friend's wedding or weekend vacay, and that's a HydraFacial. Truly, I freakin' love them. You've probably heard a ton about them lately, and it's no surprise why: HydraFacials are painless, require zero downtime, and leave your skin looking ridiculously glowy. And because they're super customizable (they can help with everything from acne to dark spots to dryness), almost everyone's skin can benefit from it.

Curious to try one for yourself? I gotchu. Ahead, everything you need to know about a HydraFacial treatment, including what exactly a HydraFacial is, how it works, the benefits, and how it compares to a regular facial.

What is a HydraFacial treatment?

The HydraFacial is a facial that uses something called hydradermabrasion technology to treat skin. It's similar to microdermabrasion, but instead of just exfoliating, hydradermabrasion also infuses your skin with serums, and is waaaay gentler than classic microdermabrasion treatments (though, FYI, it still might be too aggressive for anyone with super-sensitive and reactive skin, like those with rosacea).

What are the benefits of a HydraFacial?

Immediately after receiving a HydraFacial, most people notice that their skin feels refreshed and looks smoother and more even, says Lucia Miranda, a medical aesthetician at Shafer Plastic Surgery in NYC. "The treatment can also temporarily soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles, help decongest skin and prevent breakouts, minimize the appearance of large pores, and help fade hyperpigmentation and brown spots."

Obviously, your results will vary depending on the state of your skin before your facial, so don't expect Photoshop-level results the first time, but I personally always see a big difference afterwards. Another plus? HydraFacials can be done at a dermatologist's office, plastic surgeons's office, a spa, or your local facial spot, and they require zero downtime post-treatment. Once you leave your appointment, you can put on makeup (although, TBH, you'll prob look so freaking glowing you won't even want to) and go live your life.

How does a HydraFacial work?

HydraFacial treatments take 30 minutes and involve three key steps: cleansing, extracting, and hydrating, says Miranda. In the first step, a cleansing serum and a mixture of glycolic acid and salicylic acid is used to gently break down dead skin cells and prep your skin. In step two, a vacuum-like tool sucks surface-level gunk and build-up from your pores (it's basically painless extractions), while simultaneously infusing your skin with a hydrating serum. And in the last and final step, a serum with antioxidants and peptides is pushed into your skin to amp up your glow. "Any targeted boosters, like brightening and clarifying serums, are also applied during the last step," she says.

How long do HydraFacial results last?

One of the great things about a HydraFacial is that the results are instant—and can last for up to seven days, depending on how well you take care of your skin after your appointment. And even though you'll notice a difference in your skin after just one treatment, "for optimal results, you should aim to get a HydraFacial every four weeks or so," says Miranda.

My best advice? Be diligent about cleansing, treating your skin with serums, moisturizing, and using sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every single day, and you'll be able to prolong the results for even longer.

What does a HydraFacial cost?

The price of a HydraFacial treatment really depends on where you live (the cost in major cities like NYC and LA tends to be higher) and where you get your treatment done (the price in a derm's office may cost more than at a day spa), but on average, a single HydraFacial treatment can cost anywhere from $150 to $300. Since the benefits of a HydraFacial are cumulative, ask your provider if there's a discount for buying a package or series with multiple treatments. You'll save some $$ and your skin will look extra radiant too.

Is a HydraFacial better than a regular facial?

It totally depends on your idea of "better." For me, I prefer treatments that are both quick and effective, so yes, I think HydraFacials are better. HydraFacials do lack the relaxing, spa-vibe of traditional European facial though, so if you're looking to be massaged and swaddled in moisturizing creams and fancy face oils, a HydraFacial probably isn't for you.

Is a HydraFacial worth it?

There's no denying that a HydraFacial is expensive, but in my opinion, I absolutely think it's worth trying at least once, if you can afford it. Not only is it gentle enough for most skin types (unless you're dealing with ultra-sensitive skin, like rosacea), but it's also a quick way to refresh your skin and help treat a variety of concerns, from clogged pores to sun spots. Plus, there's no downtime, so you'll walk out of your appointment looking significantly more glowy. A total win-win.

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