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I Got A Hydrafacial For the First Time. Here’s What It’s Like.

It really can give you instant glow.

March 18, 2024

I had one of those mornings. 

I woke up and looked in the mirror to find an exhausted, slightly gray, parched version of me staring back. With the stress of the holiday season and two mysterious colds back-to-back, my skin was dull, patchy, and tired. Breakouts were popping up around my chin and cheeks. My first line of defense–a glycolic acid serum and heavy duty moisturizer–wasn’t cutting it. It was time to call in the big guns. 

It was time to try a Hydrafacial. 

I’ve heard about this treatment many times, renowned for creating glowing skin even after the worst hangovers or most diabolical breakouts. So I took the plunge, and this is what I learned.

What is a Hydrafacial? How does it work?

The Hydrafacial is a proprietary technology that uses patented vortex fusion to extract pollution and dirt from your pores. (Think of an extremely tiny vacuum just for skin). It starts off with cleansing and exfoliation just like most other facials. After extraction, the skin is lovingly drenched with hydrating serums. Your provider will consult with you before the treatment to assess if any adaptations are necessary for your skin. But for the rest of the treatment (which is available in 30 minute or 60 minute versions) you just get to lie back and bliss out.

Does a Hydrafacial hurt?

No, it doesn’t hurt–but it does feel a little weird. The extractions don’t hurt anywhere near as much as traditional manual extractions do. (Those used to make me cry!) I felt a little tingling in sensitive areas, like around my nostrils and my mouth. Cold water is applied to minimize discomfort. But the treatment experience is mostly soothing, with a little facial massage and super-nourishing hydrating serums. By the end of my Hydrafacial, I was so relaxed that I almost fell asleep. I had to go down the street to get a coffee before I could drive home. 

Who can get a Hydrafacial? Is it good for sensitive skin? 

Practically anyone can get a Hydrafacial, since it is so gentle. It’s suitable for all skin types and skin tones. Your aesthetician can also adapt it to your needs. Tell them if you have an inflammatory condition like eczema or rosacea. My skin is super-sensitive and I am prone to getting contact dermatitis from products. (Once I find a product that doesn’t give me a rash, I tend to use it forever, out of fear that something new will give me a reaction.) But every step of the Hydrafacial–cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, and hydration–was gentle and mild enough for my hyper-reactive, delicate skin. 

What are the results of a Hydrafacial?

The Hydrafacial offers both immediate results and long-term results if you do it over time. In the immediate term, you get glowing, megawatt skin–brighter, smoother, and more even in tone. Over time, it strengthens all those benefits. It’s a great treatment for managing and preventing breakouts, and it’s also ideal if you’re subject to irritants or pollutants in daily life (LA girls, take note: the smog is bad for your skin). If you suffer from chronically dry skin, the Hydrafacial is an excellent maintenance option to improve your skin condition over time. 

What are the side effects of a Hydrafacial? 

For almost everyone, the only side effects you can expect are temporary redness. This usually subsides within hours–it did for me. While I looked very pink as soon as I left the MedSpa, by the time I drove home, my skin was back to normal. What I didn’t expect was a little flaky patch on my chin the next day. Since the treatment features some mild exfoliation, you might experience this if your skin was extremely dry, stressed, and (let’s be honest) a little neglected  like mine was. (A dab of lactic acid toner fixed the dry patch.) Overall, I couldn’t believe how glowing, smooth, and soft my skin was. I didn’t even want to wear makeup. I looked like the ultimate Clean Girl, and it didn’t take a 12 step skincare routine, just half an hour with an aesthetician. It’s been two weeks and my friends and co-workers are still commenting on how healthy I look. 

Where to get a Hydrafacial near me?

I used the Upkeep app to find a Hydrafacial because of their premiere provider network. Because they partner with only the best MedSpas, I could book my Hydrafacial with confidence, knowing I would get great results wherever I went. And I was able to compare available appointment times and find one that worked for my schedule–even on Saturday afternoon! If you’re ready to experience the softest, glowiest skin of your life, download Upkeep on the App Store or Google Play today!

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