1. The HydraFacial is certainly trending right now. What exactly does this machine do when it’s run over skin?
A HydraFacial is a multi-step facial treatment typically performed with a proprietary machine (HydraFacial MD) manufactured by Edge Systems. In one session, estheticians can use the HydraFacial platform to cleanse, exfoliate, extract, and deliver a variety of rejuvenating serums. Additionally, many estheticians will also incorporate blue light, red light, and/or lymphatic drainage as part of a HydraFacial treatment session.
Exfoliation (the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin) has long been known to have beneficial skin effects, including leaving the skin looking brighter, unclogging pores (resulting in fewer breakouts), and – after long-term use – increasing collagen production. Additionally, exfoliation can improve the effectiveness of topical skin care products by enhancing absorption.
Traditionally, exfoliation has been performed chemically (such as with alpha and beta hydroxy acids) or mechanically (such as with midrodermabrasion or exfoliating brushes). Both are acceptable mechanisms to exfoliate the skin; however, both often result in unacceptable skin irritation, especially in patients with sensitive skin.
The HydraFacial tip (HydroPeel© tip) generates a fluid vortex over the skin that gently dislodges impurities and dead skin cells. At the same time, serums and hydrating skin solutions are delivered to the skin. The simultaneous fluid vortex and serum delivery tend to be much less irritating than other forms of exfoliation and serum delivery.
2. What types of serums can be used? Is this dependent on someone’s exact goal?
Various serums are available for use with HydraFacial treatments including antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and pigmented lightening chemicals. Selection of serums for treatment is customized to the patient and their desired goals.
3. How does the machine/treatment enhance the effects of the topical serums?
Our skin’s primary function is to provide a barrier to the outside world. However, this property also makes it very difficult for beneficial topical treatments to penetrate and perform their desired function. Exfoliation has long been used to enhance the penetration of topical products; however, HydraFacial provides an ingenious way to gently and safely prepare the skin for the improved delivery of topical rejuvenating serums.
4. What outcomes can a patient expect after a HydraFacial in the short and long term?
Short term, the patient will see a glowing, clear and hydrated skin. Long-term, the patient will see improvement to skin texture and tone.
5. Who is a good candidate for a HydraFacial? (Does it serve a certain skin type or problem best?)
Given the gentle nature of the HydraFacial treatment and the customizability of serum selection, almost everyone is a candidate for a HydraFacial treatment. Younger patients that are prone to occasional breakouts may benefit from gentle extractions and a combination Glycolic and salicylic peel. More mature and sun -damaged patients may benefit more from treatments targeting pigmentation and skin texture.
6. Who is not a good candidate?
Individuals with active infections are not candidates for HydraFacial treatments. Additionally, patients with inflammatory skin conditions affecting potential treatment areas should first be seen by a dermatologist.
7. Lastly, are there any precautions someone should take after the treatment? (Like wear sunscreen?)
Just like after any form of exfoliation or chemical peel, the skin will be somewhat more sensitive to the sun and to skin irritants in the days following a treatment. We recommend high SPF sunscreen, avoidance of irritants (e.g. toners, astringents, harsh detergents, topical retinoids), and use of gentle emollients in the days following a treatment