The HydraFacial – Is it all its hyped up to be? By: Olivia Gudaniec
Model: Olivia Gudaniec
Makeup: Tazeen Khan
Photographer: Ken Schultz
The HydraFacial MD is one of the most sought-after beauty treatments. After all, who doesn’t want glowing, flawless skin that is so clearly promised? This particular procedure has been endorsed by numerous talk shows and is constantly being evaluated by fashion magazines, all of which are giving their praising reviews. Even reality television programs have been referencing this unique facial. Kate Winslet, Brittany Snow, Paris Hilton and Amy Poehler are just a few celebrities that are vouching for this therapeutic, non-abrasive treatment. Out of curiosity, I had to find out what all the hype was about. Consequently, I set up two sessions, both a month apart so I could discover what is making waves in the beauty world all around North America.
The condition of my skin, prior to my arrival at the spa, consisted of a handful of whiteheads and a few breakouts. Plus, I have observed an oilier complexion as of late. The big selling point with the HydraFacial MD is that it is designed for all skin types, is non-invasive and will hydrate and replenish one’s skin. In essence, there is a machine with a long tube-like piece attached to it that resembles a pen. This pen has various replaceable tips that are guided by your esthetician while working endlessly on your face. For those curious, the equipment is referred to as vortex technology. All in all, after the countless critiques and feedback I received, and although I know better, I was expecting to come out with that wow factor.
As I settled in on the massage table, my skin was examined and washed. I asked to have each step explained to me as it was happening and my esthetician was more than happy to comply. This particular HydraFacial lasted an hour and had four steps.
Step one was the exfoliation and the removal of all the dead skin. This cleansing felt a bit like mild sandpaper or a toothbrush rubbing up against your skin. It was the most uncomfortable part of the procedure, yet it was over within a minute. Do not get me wrong it was definitely tolerable, my skin is just sensitive.
Step two was the acid peel, which loosens dirt and grease from pores. Some reviews that I read prior to my first session mentioned to expect a tingling sensation. I, however, only sensed moisture coming out of the vortex-fusion tool.
Step three consisted of extractions. This felt like a vacuum tugging lightly on my face. Compared to the manual extractions from other facials, I felt that this was effective and painless. At this point, you can request to see exactly what has been sucked into the tube. The extraction process typically lasts around the five-minute mark. I found that to be similar with this facial as any longer and it becomes uncomfortable. Lastly is Step four, in which the HydraFacial MD uses hydration to nourish and shield your skin with antioxidants. A collagen-rich serum shoots in hyaluronic acid that your face absorbs quickly.
Post the HydraFacial MD treatment, one has the option to add LED lights. There is a red light and a blue light that hovers a few inches away from your face. It did not take much to convince me to try the blue LED light as I was told it is beneficial for those individuals suffering from breakouts and oily skin. Killing bacteria? Sign me up! The red light, on the other hand, is said to diminish signs of aging, speed up healing, all the while increasing firmness and elasticity. Being only twenty-seven I did not feel I needed the red light as much as the blue one but decided to go for the full experience with both lights, each on for ten minutes. I must also mention that I was given eye protectors as it can get quite bright. Furthermore, I was anticipating a warmth underneath the lights, however, I did not sense any spike to the room temperature. On the whole, not only was my skin cleaned and thoroughly exfoliated, I was pleased to know that the light therapy was able to target the deeper layers. So hopefully my future holds clear and vibrant skin for longer periods of time.
After the one hour treatment was over, I was a bit hesitant to look into a mirror. I figured my skin must be red. To my surprise it was just extremely shiny. Nevertheless, I was told to expect that and to not wash my face for a couple of hours. As I examined myself in the mirror, I noticed that my pores did clear up significantly but there were still some deeper, stubborn whiteheads that did not disappear. Doesn’t $150 per session mean that the facial is a lot more thorough? Were my expectations too high? As a wave of disenchantment came over me, I began to touch my face. My skin definitely felt softer and smoother. So I decided to focus on the positive effects. Although I do agree that the HydraFacial MD does, in fact, provide results with no downtime, I was anticipating more from the rave reviews and the number of individuals preaching about this service. It has now been two months since my last treatment and I have not noticed any significant improvements in my skin. In fact, I believe it has remained the same. Many people, including my esthetician, have said it takes at least four treatments to notice lasting results. Of course, it does! Unfortunately, that will also cost between 600 to 700 dollars. After weighing the pros and cons I find that I am still actively searching for a good cleansing routine. If a healthy looking skin is something you thrive for, your time (and money) is better spent on improving your daily workout routine, sleep pattern and eating regimen.
© 2015 Olivia Gudaniec