The HydraFacial is a medical-grade resurfacing treatment that clears your pores out, hydrates your skin.

By Erin Lukas
February 25, 2019

The is one of the most popular in-office facial treatments right now. One is performed every 15 seconds around the world. That alone is impressive, but the treatment's become the go-to facial for , your , and Facebook friend from high school because it targets many of the most common skincare concerns like dryness and signs of aging with little to no side effects.

For those unfamiliar, the HydraFacial is a medical-grade resurfacing treatment that clears your pores out, hydrates your skin. It's offered across the country at licensed medical professional facilities, or where a certified HydraFacial esthetician is present. The four-step treatment includes cleansing, exfoliating, extracting, and hydrating the skin with serums that are infused into pores with the HydraPeel Tip, pen-like device.

"It [the HydraFacial] removes dead skin cells via suction, and at the same time, infuses the skin with hydrating and moisturizing serums," says Dr. Dr. Anna Guanche, a board-certified dermatologist based in Los Angeles. "The serums have anti-aging and antioxidant properties and are tailored to address the specific needs of the patients."

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No wonder the Internet, along with everyone you know, seems to be so obsessed with it. Here, we had two experts break down everything you need to know about getting a HydraFacial, from what the treatment does to your skin to how much it will cost you.

What happens during the treatment?

The HydraFacial treatment starts with cleansing by removing the dead skin cells and excess sebum from the skin. Next, a mix of salicylic and glycolic acids are applied to the skin to break up any dirt and oil that's clogging pores. Then, the HydraPeel Tip is used to essentially vacuum out blackheads, dirt, oil, and impurities, while hydrating, plumping, and nourishing serums are simultaneously applied to the skin.

What does the treatment do for your skin?

A HyraFacial treatment can improve your skin in a ton of ways. Its many benefits include a more hydrated, bright, plump, and clear complexion. It can also improve signs of aging. "The treatment reduces fine lines and wrinkles, increases firmness, evens tone, texture, and brown spots, reduces enlarged pores," says Dr. Guanche.

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What are the side effects?

One of the many reasons that the HydraFacial is so popular is that there's minimal side effects, and essentially no downtime post-treatment. Dr. Ellen Marmur, a dermatologist based in New York City and founder of , says to expect a little redness immediately following the treatment, but that it will quickly subside.

"Following the treatment, you’ll want to let your skin rest and soak up all of the benefits of the facial for the rest of the day," Dr. Marmur says. "You can wear makeup the next morning and resume your normal routine."

Dr. Guanche agrees that the risks are low, but warns that it's possible to experience irritation from the customized serums if you have reactive skin.

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Who should get the HydraFacial?

Everyone! One of the HydraFacial's biggest draws is that the treatment is suitable for virtually any age and skin type — save for a few exceptions.

"This treatment is nice for teenagers with acne, adults with pimples, wrinkles, and hyper-pigmentation, and for older patients with sun damage and even flaky pre-cancerous spots (as part of more serious treatments)," explains Dr. Marmur. "Although beneficial to many skin types, those with active rashes, sunburns, or rosacea, along with pregnant patients, should abstain from this treatment."

How often do you need to get a HydraFacial?

Although your skin looks dewy and glowy following a HydraFacial, the treatment isn't a quick fix. It's intended to improve skin's appearance over time. That being said, its effects do last longer than other facials. Dr. Marmur suggests getting a HydraFacial treatment every four to six weeks.

While you get a HydraFacial in conjunction with other non-invasive procedures like Botox or microblading, it's important to consider the side effects and downtime of these treatments before getting the facial.

"You can absolutely also get the HydraFacial while getting Botox, microblading, fillers," says Dr. Guanche. "However, this is not a replacement for these other procedures because they address different skincare needs. The HydraFacial should be performed BEFORE Botox since patients should not lay down after Botox treatments."

Is the HydraFacial customizable?

You can switch up the serums used during the treatment to specifically target your personal skincare concerns such as aging or dullness. Even better, the dermatologist and esthetician may offer additional treatment add-ons like LED light masks.

"At Marmur Medical, we incorporate the Marmur Metamorphasis masks along with LED lights to fit the needs of our patients skin type," explains Dr. Marmur. "For example, blue LED destroys acne bacteria and works to heal and reduces breakouts. Red (& Green) LEDs assists in wrinkle reduction and rejuvenation of the skin."

How much does the HydraFacial cost?

The cost of the treatment will vary depending on where you live and the medical spa or dermatologist that performs it, but both dermatologists say that $150-$300 per session is the general price range.

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