November 14, 2019

After a weekend of caked-up party makeup, very little sleep, and cranking the heat on the moisture-sucking radiator in my apartment, my skin was in SOS mode. That's why I walked into Shafer Plastic Surgery and Laser Center for the equivalent of an espresso shot for my face: a Hydrafacial. The goal? Glowy, brighter, eight-hours-of-sleep, eight-cups-of-water skin—quick!

Turns out, I came to the right place. "It provides hydration, dryness, dullness, breakout-prone skin, redness, and any type of anti-aging concern," Graceann Svendsen, the senior esthetician, said. The whole service lasted 45 minutes (it ranges from that to 60 minutes), and I left looking instantly refreshed and plump. Keep reading for exactly why the Hydrafacial works, and what to expect when you come in for an appointment.

Hydrafacial is ideal for exfoliation and hydration.

The basic steps in a HydraFacial are to cleanse, peel, extract, and moisturize. While most facials use a steamer to open up the pores and cleanse, the Hydrafacial uses no heat (great news for my lash extensions). Instead, it uses a device that performs hydradermabrasion. Unlike microdermabrasion, hydradermabrasion does not using tiny crystals to physically exfoliate the skin.

"The wand is using a patented 'Vortex-Fusion' technology to speed and spin the suction, and while it's doing that, it's infusing the skin with serums," Svendsen said. The spinning mechanism vacuums away dead skin so you'll feel a gentle sucking on the surface throughout. It's extremely gentle and oh, so satisfying.

Hydrafacials are highly customizable.

The process varies from office to office (or spa to spa), and there is no one-size-fits all approach to doing a Hydrafacial. For example, Svendsen prefers to start out with facial cupping for lymphatic drainage, then does a double cleanse before going into the first step of the Hydrafacial.

The handpiece has different tips that can be swapped out depending on your skin type and condition. "It's a very versatile piece of equipment and offers the patient a lot of options during the treatment. There are LED lights, chemical peels, and boosters that give me the ability to give more corrective results," Svendsen explained, adding, "It's the most popular modality I've ever worked with for weddings and brides." At one point during the facial, the tip of the wand went on top of my lips, which got rid of any chapping and instantly juiced them up.

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