When it comes to skincare, I’m a big believer in prevention: monthly facials for anti-aging, SPF to avoid sun damage, and lots of water to stay hydrated (and to possibly stave off wrinkles).
But, every now and again, I live my life a little too Patsy Stone. Speaking of, is anyone else as excited for the AbFab movie as I am? Anyways, because I graduated college in the last decade, as in before Britney Spears’ infamous 2007 breakdown, I just don’t have the kind of time that I once did to make such debaucherous rookie mistakes without taking action.
After one insane week in particular, I took a long, hard, squinty look at myself in the mirror, and I had to admit, I looked kind of like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Quelle horreur! And! To top it off, my skin was freaking out because I went off birth control. Mind you, I never really broke out, even as a teenager. Yet, here I was looking like a disaster. And I, being fairly vain (not conceited or narcissistic, just vain), had to do something. IMMEDIATELY!
After much frantic Googling, I stumbled upon the HydraFacial MD. According to the website, the HydraFacial is a multi-step treatment that “cleanses, evenly exfoliates and extracts to remove impurities and dead skin cells while at the same time replenishing vital nutrients including Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid.” Super! It works through some futuristic-y sounding process called the “Vortex technology system,” and involves a machine that looks just as futuristic.
Upon further research, it seemed the HydraFacial addressed all my skincare issues: fine lines, skin tone, and congested skin. Brilliant. I consulted the handy HydraFacial MD locator and I was in with a same-day appointment. Once I arrived, I had a brief consultation, where I moaned about my skincare woes to a very no-nonsense aesthetician. Who incidentally, and completely irrelevantly, looked very much like Red from Orange is the New Black. She agreed that the HydraFacial was a good choice for me and gave me a few facts as she ushered me into the treatment room.
First, a HydraFacial isn’t like a traditional facial. Meaning, there are no masks (boo!), but my face would not be poked and prodded by those painful extraction tools (yay!). Instead, the machine would do everything, from deep cleaning to diffusing serums into my skin. Also, HydraFacials aren’t meant to take the place of conventional facials, but rather they serve as a sort of supplement to them.
The procedure takes about a half-hour, so it can definitely be a lunchtime treatment. However, some clients may experience redness, so for your first treatment it’s better to come when you don’t have any post-facial obligations. Some people may also notice that their skin will be sensitive to the sun after the HydraFacial, so be sure to apply a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, which we should all really be doing anyway. Lastly, for some clients to see full results, a series of three weekly HydraFacials is recommended, with monthly appointments thereafter. But many people look glowy and have clearer skin after the first treatment, so they just opt for monthly appointments for maintenance. The smoother, plumped-up effects can last up to a week.
Then we got down to business. I braced myself and asked whether the treatment would be painful. I was assured that no, I may only feel a little suction on my face or a sensation comparable to microdermabrasion, which I’ve also had. And that was exactly right. I felt virtually nothing, except the coolness of the tool, which looks like this, gently brushing across my face.
The treatment consists of four steps, and an optional Vortex-Boost serum:
Step 1: Exfoliation
The Activ-4 serum sweeps away dead skin cells and makeup debris, revealing healthy skin.
Step 2: Acid Peel
I was slightly intimidated, as I’ve had fairly strong peels and I know they can burn. But I was pleasantly surprised that this glycolic/salicylic acid peel barely even tingled. And I had no redness, peeling, or flakiness post-facial.
Step 3: Extraction
This was a welcome, pain free-change. Standard facial extractions leave me awkwardly mouth-breathing and teary-eyed as an aesthetician seems to endlessly stab at my nose. However, here, all I felt was a slight sucking sensation while my pores were de-clogged.
Optional Step: Vortex-Boost Serum
After the extraction you can add a Vortex-Boost serum, which includes “DermaBuilder” (for fine lines, skin tone evenness and texture), “CTGF/Connective Tissue Growth Factor” (for fine lines and wrinkles), or “Britenol” (for brightness and to diminish the appearance of dark spots and discoloration). I did the DermaBuilder because it sounded like the most inclusive option.
Step 4: Serum
The vortex-fusion tool infuses an “Antiox+ serum” into the skin. Rich with antioxidants, peptides, and hyaluronic acid, Antiox+ reduces the production of melanin, which prevents the appearance of brown spots and discoloration, instantly firms and tightens, deeply hydrates, and promotes collagen and elastin production.
And that’s it!
So how did I look afterward? Well, I wasn’t red at all, which was obviously good. And while my skin was definitely more hydrated, it didn’t look vastly different than it normally does after a traditional facial… Until the next day. I don’t know what happened, but when I woke up the next morning, my face looked incredible. As in, my skin was brighter and glowing, and my breakouts were gone, and those spots of discoloration that I always get after breakouts go away had greatly faded. Honestly, I didn’t need to wear any makeup at all, and I almost always like to wear a little bit. Bottom line: I’m a convert! Because anything that makes me feel beautiful when I’m completely natural is a must-do in my book.