Hydrafacial review: w&h Beauty Ed reveals all after trying the cult treatment (2023)

The Hydrafacial has been called an MOT for your skin, the ultimate glow-giving facial, and like a deep peel and microdermabrasion in oneminus the downtime. Confirmed celebrity fans include supermodels, business moguls, and Spice Girls (Suki Waterhouse, Karren Brady, and Emma Bunton, no less).

It's also known in the industry as something of an intermediary treatment. One to try when even the best eye creams, skincare acids et al aren't doing what they used to but you either aren't ready to get into the world of needles and knives or are sure you'll never go down an invasive facial tweakment route. But what exactly is this non-invasive, no-downtime treatment, and what happens during a Hydrafacial appointment?

Everything you need to know about Hydrafacials

What is a hydrafacial?

The Hydrafacial is a branded facial you will spot in aesthetic clinics across the world. It can be customised to suit almost any skin type, but the main schtick, according to the official literature, is using a "patented handheld Hydrafacial Vortex-Fusion serum delivery system and Hydropeel to cleanse, exfoliate and extract impurities and dead skin cells, while at the same time replenishing vital nutrients."

In layman's terms, your therapist uses a little handheld device to deeply clarify the skin, flush a lot of bad stuff out and push highly active ingredients into it again. The treatment also includes plenty of other steps you would expect from a results-driven facial, including peels, hydrating masks, massage and LED light.

How much do hydrafacials cost?

The Hydrafacial is an action packed treatment, so of course all this action comes at a price. The staring price is £120, you can expect to pay up to £200 depending on where you visit and how many additional boosters you have. It's not a cheap treatment but considering how many distinctly average facials ring in at around £100, and Botox three times that, this does represent good value if you’re looking to invest in serious skin improvements.

What are the benefits of hydrafacials?

The Hydrafacial can be done in as little as 30 minutes, although most treatments take about an hour, and it can be tailored to address any specific concerns with extra boosters (more on those later). There's no downtime or side effects other than a nice glow, and you can expect impressive, lasting radiance and smooth texture within a few days.

It's this combination of high-impact results and non-invasive protocol that makes the Hydrafacial so appealing. "It’s a great starter treatment,” agrees Rowena Jackson, Nurse Aesthetic Practitioner at Mallucci London. “The Hydrafacial removes the build-up of pollution and dead skin cells across the face but also nourishes the skin with hyaluronic acid, peptides, and antioxidants. Everyone seems to want the Hydrafacial right now.”

Another benefit of the Hydrafacial is how widely available it is. There's a strong likelihood a licensed practitioner will be within easy reach of wherever you live. That said, I am also a big believer that a treatment is only ever as good as the person who administers it, so I booked in at Skin & Sanctuary, where the hydrafacial costs £160. This discreet, boutique aesthetic and wellbeing clinic is where you'll find expert Senior Therapist Fatma Gunduz, who has over 20 years of experience in aesthetics and is known in the industry as something of a Hydrafacial guru.

w&h’s hydrafacial review

To begin by stating the obvious, Beauty Eds are completely spoilt when it comes to treatments–trying out facials is legitimately in the job description. A side effect of this abundance of aesthetic options is that it's easy to get carried away. When you receive a daily barrage of emails offering everything from lip filler to eye lift surgery and body sculpting via EMSculpt Neo, the mind does tend to start meandering down the "could I, would I, should I?" road of cosmetic tinkering.

Let's add to that the fact I now tick the aged 35-40 box when filling in forms, so things are a little more lined and a little less radiant. I’m not ready to submit to the siren song of Baby Botox just yet, but I definitely need something more than your average pampering facial can offer. I want a treatment with muscle, one that gives my skin a kick up the proverbial but without needles, downtime, or the risk of taking on that unmistakable 'worked on' veneer. Enter Hydrafacial.

"This is like an MOT for your face," Skin & Sanctuary's Fatma begins by telling me. And after running through my detailed consultation form and a visual skin assessment, she decides to give me the Super Hydrafacial, which is the classic treatment boosted with extra serums and masks customized to my skin. Yes, please.

We began with a lovely oil cleanser to rid my skin of makeup and pollution particles–a must when you've travelled to your treatment on the 277 bus. Thanks to Fatma's expert hands, the tastefully decorated, blissfully quiet room, and comfier-than-usual treatment bed, the vibe was so far, so spa-like.

Vortex exfoliation

As you know, the reason the Hydrafacial is known as a serious glow giver is because the process is just that, serious. So out came the machines. First up was lymphatic drainage, which, you guessed it, helps your lymph nodes drain excess fluid and is administered via a device that I can only describe as a tiny hoover nozzle. Not that there’s anything unpleasant about having said nozzle gently tug your face like an oddly satisfying reverse massage. We moved on to exfoliation using the Vortex. This little pen-like gadget sounds very 'villain in Avengers 12' (or whatever number they’re on now) and feels mildly abrasive and cooling at once, physically nudging away dead skin, flushing debris out, and pushing gentle chemical exfoliant, lactic acid in.

Facial peel and extraction

Some peeling acids followed, which can be customised to your skin type. Fatma chose a mixture of glycolic and salicylic for me, warning that it could tingle and asking me to rate my discomfort out of ten. My honest answer was a two. I've had far more prickly experiences using home acid products, which probably indicates they were too punchy for my reactive skin and proves the importance of putting your face in expert hands.

A cooling, minty gel cleanse came next, then we moved on to extraction. The Vortex was once again employed, this time in extract mode around my nose and chin which was the only but of the treatment, I found in the slightest uncomfortable. Not painful, I would add, just an irritating scratchy feeling for a few minutes. Fatma added some manual extraction into the bargain to get every last scrap of congestion out in satisfying style.

Masks and LED

Next came masks, again tailored to your skin, which meant ZO Skin Health Complexion Clearing Masque on my oily chin and nose, plus a hydrating sheet mask over my cheeks and forehead. I was also treated to a bonus arm, neck, and shoulder massage while they worked–ultra-firm on the knots, expert flowing movements everywhere else, just how I like it. Finally, my skin was bathed in soothing and anti-inflammatory red LED light and liberally slathered in hydrating skincare and SPF to see me on my way.

Hydrafacial results

Results that day
A look in the mirror confirmed what I already knew–a pink ever-so-slightly blotchy face. As a pale Scot with reactive skin, this is standard stuff, but by the time I emerged on the other side of my tube journey, any flushing had completely disappeared, leaving only smooth skin in its wake. Skin so ridiculously smooth I had stuffed my hands in my pockets to stop myself stroking it. Paws that have been in contact with London public transport should be kept well away from baby-fresh skin cells.

Two days later
I avoided my usual retinols and acids for a couple of days, simply hydrating my peachy new complexion, and noticed that my makeup wasn't settling into little dry patches and pores anymore. A week later, I experienced the famed 'Hydrafacial glow'–so much so that I went out to lunch to meet an old friend's new baby entirely foundation-free. This is very unlike me.

Two weeks later
As my skin cells begin to turn over, that indefinable freshness remained, and the little under-the-skin breakouts I was experiencing pre-Hydra hadn’t returned. The results get cumulatively better, so a course would be a brilliant idea in the run-up to a big event. I'm already thinking about when I can book my next appointment (and if you're wondering how often should you get a facial such as the Hydrafacial, every six weeks or so is grand) And, on the basis of my glowing reports, a couple of girlfriends are too.

Hydrafacials near me

For more information visit SkinandSanctuary.com

To find your nearest Hydrafacial practitioner, visit Hydrafacial.co.uk and click Find A Provider.


Why does my face look bad after HydraFacial? ›

It's completely normal to experience breakouts after your hydra facial treatment. The reason simply is that hydra facial uses salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is a decongestant which draws bacteria, build up and blockages to the surface of your skin.

Do HydraFacials actually work? ›

HydraFacial before and after

After a HydraFacial, you may notice smoother, more radiant skin, possibly with a more even skin tone. The results are said to be noticeable immediately, without any visible signs of irritation.

How long do you see results after HydraFacial? ›

HydraFacial takes less than one hour to complete and the effects are visible for about one week. You will immediately see results after your first session, but more than one session can be beneficial. For long term skin health, we recommend including treatment as part of your monthly skincare routine.

What results do you see after one HydraFacial? ›

After receiving a single treatment, you will notice visible skin refinement and a radiant and even skin tone. Your skin will be very smooth, and you'll notice how hydrated your skin feels. You can expect to enjoy your noticeably smooth skin for about five to seven days, or even longer.

Is there a downside to HydraFacial? ›

Furthermore, potential long-term effects of HydraFacials include skin thinning, uneven skin pigmentation and age spots. Sensitive skin types, as well as those who have acne-prone skin should certainly avoid the treatment due to its potentially irritating nature.

What is the disadvantage of Hydra facial? ›

After a HydraFacial, which typically takes just 30 minutes or less, some redness may occur. This is often the only side effect of a HydraFacial and is typically mild and resolves quickly on its own. If desired, patients can apply makeup after HydraFacial treatment to conceal any redness.

Is HydraFacial good for wrinkles? ›

A HydraFacial can address the earliest signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead and other areas. After the skin is exfoliated, we offer nourishing serums that help promote skin laxity, restoring the skin's ultimate health and vitality.

Does HydraFacial tighten skin? ›

The final stage in a HydraFacial is the use of LED light. This has been proven to boost collagen and elastin production. These two proteins work to boost skin health so that your skin achieves a more youthful appearance. That means texture, volume, and skin tightness should be improved.

What are 3 benefits of HydraFacial? ›

Its many benefits include a more hydrated, bright, plump, and clear complexion. Plus, it can also improve signs of aging. "The treatment reduces fine lines and wrinkles, increases firmness, evens tone, texture, and brown spots, as well as reducing enlarged pores," says Dr.

How long does the glow from HydraFacial last? ›

While every person is different, results usually last anywhere from four to six weeks. It's recommended that you schedule a HydraFacial monthly to maintain your beautiful new complexion. I had a hydrafacial and my skin was GLOWING their consultation also was incredibly helpful.

What not to do after a HydraFacial? ›

You should not wash your face for about six hours after your treatment. You should also avoid taking a shower or engaging in intense exercise that will cause you to sweat. Keeping your face dry during this time will protect your skin and allow you to receive optimal results.

Which is better HydraFacial or chemical peel? ›

A course of HydraFacial treatments is an excellent way to resurface the skin, tackle mild skin conditions, or refresh the skin and enhance radiance before a big event. However, if you wish to tackle a more severe skin complaint such as acne scarring or sun damage, a medium to deep peel may be the better choice.

What makes a HydraFacial better? ›

What makes a HydraFacial better than a regular facial? A lack of manual extraction makes this process gentler on the skin than most regular facials, with instant and long-lasting results that you can see and feel. You'll notice improved hydration, minimized dark spots, and even a decrease in fine lines.

How long does it take for skin to heal after HydraFacial? ›

The rest of the day after the HydraFacial is not recommended to swim (no exercise, sauna, pool or hot tub). Three days after a HydraFacial, no skin or exfoliation. And that it's good to make your skin right afterwards but it's great to break your skin if possible for the rest of the day.

How often should you get a HydraFacial? ›

The easy answer is that you can have HydraFacial CT treatments about once a month, or once every 4 weeks. This is the general frequency that is most compatible for most people and that can generate the best skin-boosting benefits.

What are the pros and cons of Hydrafacial? ›

But what are the true pros and cons of hydrafacial therapy? This treatment will give you temporarily smoother, plumper, and pinker skin! One of the cons of microneedling however, is that on its own, the results will not last. This treatment also has a larger risk of scarring and infection occurring.

Does Hydrafacial remove blackheads? ›

Yes! The good news is that hydrafacials do remove dirt and bacteria trapped in the pores. It is very effective at removing grim and deep cleaning the skin's pores. You might say that hydrafacial and blackheads removal is the best skin therapy out there to treat acne.

Do Hydrafacials remove facial hair? ›

However, have you ever pondered about a one-stop solution to get rid of facial hair as well as get glowing skin? Our hydrafacial treatment is the right answer for your problem. It gives you the benefit of a relaxing facial and removes hair. Read to know some benefits of this chemical-free laser hair removal treatment.

Is Hydra facial better than skin needling? ›

HydraFacials and microneedling are both recommended for all skin tones and textures. However, if you need treatment for acne scars, microneedling is a better option than a HydraFacial. Microneedling is the minimally invasive gold standard for replacing elasticity and firming up your skin.

Which is better Hydra facial or photo facial? ›

Our patients say they find HydraFacial to be deeper and more intense than a spa facial, but gentler than laser or light procedures. HydraFacial typically leaves skin glowing and soft, making it especially useful before a special event. The results of HydraFacial can last for several weeks.

Do HydraFacials slow aging? ›

According to studies, women receiving hydra-facial experienced a greater decrease in signs of skin aging. The treatment reduces hyperpigmentation, eliminates fine lines, and decreases pore lines. It has proven to be more effective than using facial serums alone.

Why is a HydraFacial so expensive? ›

This kind of marketing is expensive, so the machine is very expensive to purchase and that cost is passed on to the consumer. In addition, to work with the machine, the optional peels and serums (added on for an upcharge) that can be administered during a treatment must be purchased through the Hydrafacial company.

Who is the best candidate for HydraFacial? ›

Who is a good candidate? Anyone who wants to deep cleanse their skin or those who want to get rid of their wrinkles, brown spots, acne, oily skin, or enlarged pores is a good candidate for HydraFacial.

Is HydraFacial good for mature skin? ›

The HydraFacial is a great treatment for patients of all ages because it can be customized to each person's individual cosmetic concern. It is minimally invasive, so it doesn't involve cutting the skin or using harsh chemicals.

Why do my pores look bigger after HydraFacial? ›

Overstimulating the sebaceous gland by using physical or manual exfoliants (like harsh scrubs) can actually increase the production of oil, which as previously mentioned can lead to enlarged pores.

What really tightens facial skin? ›

Bottom line: Laser resurfacing can tighten skin, usually better than any other skin-tightening procedure. It can also diminish fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots on the skin, such as age spots. The tradeoff is that it requires downtime and has a greater risk of possible side effects, such as scarring.

What is the lasting of HydraFacial? ›

How Long Does a HydraFacial Last? While this may vary from person to person, you can expect the results of your HydraFacial to last for at least 7 days.

Does HydraFacial remove dark circles? ›

HydraFacial Perk Total Eye reduces puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles while hydrating your skin and brightening the appearance of your eyes.

What time of year is best for HydraFacial? ›

Our recommendation: As the weather starts to cool, don't wait for seasonal problems to occur. October or early November is a great time to book your HydraFacial so you can prep your skin for harsher weather and dry air.

How do I maintain my face after HydraFacial? ›

How do I maintain my HydraFacial results?
  1. Avoid excessive sun exposure, especially 48 – 72 hours after treatment.
  2. Wear daily sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater.
  3. Refrain from waxing, exfoliating treatments, or using acne medication for at least 48 hours.
  4. No chemical peels or laser skin treatments for two weeks.
Oct 27, 2020

Should you wash your face the night after a HydraFacial? ›

Washing your face after a HydraFacial

We recommend waiting at least six hours after HydraFacial treatment before washing or cleansing your face. This gives our specialized products time to work and sink into your skin. Washing your face too soon may prevent the full benefits from taking effect.

Is Hydrafacial worth the investment? ›

Overall, Hydrafacial is a highly effective way to improve the health and appearance of your skin, even if it isn't the most aggressive skincare treatment out there. Those who want a milder, non-invasive treatment frequently prefer it.

Does your skin peel after a Hydrafacial? ›

After 3-5 days there may be some mild skin shedding and peeling. Due to the mild AHA/BHA peels within the Hydrafacial treatment, it may produce a microscopic shedding of the outer dead skin layer which is not visible to the naked eye. The presence or absence of visible peeling does not impact the final results.

What is the strongest facial peel? ›

Because a phenol peel is the most aggressive and effective type of skin peel, it can deliver impressive results. It is a very effective remedy for sun damage, coarse wrinkles, scars, and dangerous pre-cancerous growths.

Does Hydrafacial improve collagen? ›

HydraFacials include a deep exfoliation, which helps eliminate dead cells on the surface of your skin, improving your skin texture immediately. This exfoliation will also stimulate collagen production, which will continue to deliver these benefits over time.

What do you look like after a Hydrafacial? ›

You should be able to see visible skin refinement and a radiant tone after just one treatment. You can expect these glowing results and amazing hydration to last anywhere from 5 to 7 days, or even longer.

How long after Hydrafacial can I wear makeup? ›

Avoid intense heat for at least 24 hours after treatment. Wait until the day after your treatment to apply makeup.

Why does my skin look bad after a facial? ›

It's also normal to have a breakout in the form of pimples or rashes after a facial treatment. It's the skin's external way to detoxify, ridding itself of toxins and impurities to reveal a more luminous skin.

Does Hydrafacial damage skin barrier? ›

HydraFacials use a technique called hydradermabrasion. There is some evidence that this results in increased skin rejuvenation, as well as that it's milder than traditional microdermabrasion. However, hydradermabrasion is still an abrasive method that will compromise the skin barrier.

Does Hydrafacial cause hyperpigmentation? ›

Yes, HydraFacials are safe for dark spots and hyperpigmentation. In fact, they are often recommended because they are more gentle than other methods. For example, laser peels can be harsh and cause skin irritation.

Why does your skin purge after a facial? ›

“While nobody wants to have any form of pimples, a purge can indicate that the treatment is working as it's supposed to by speeding up cell turnover and allowing those new, fresh skin cells to come to the surface.

Why does my face look worse after skincare? ›

This phenomenon is known as "skin purging," and it's actually a sign that your new skincare routine is working properly. It happens when skincare ingredients begin working more intensely after initial use, and everything hiding beneath the surface is revealed.

Why does my skin look worse after skincare? ›

Skin purging occurs because newly introduced skincare ingredients increase the rate at which your skin cells turnover, causing you to shed more dead skin cells than usual. This, in turn, pushes layers of dead skin off and also brings clogged pores to the surface, Chang says, resulting in more breakouts.

How do you know if you got a bad facial? ›

Extreme post-facial redness, stinging, burning and soreness are all signs that you are reacting negatively to something that was used on your skin. It could be a reaction to an ingredient, to your skin being overexfoliated, or to a chemical peel that was not properly neutralized.

What not to use after a HydraFacial? ›

In the first 48 hours after treatment, you should avoid any topical medications like Retin-A or tretinoin that can inflame new skin cells. Over-the-counter acne medications should likewise be avoided.

Do Hydrafacials unclog pores? ›

Yes! The good news is that hydrafacials do remove dirt and bacteria trapped in the pores. It is very effective at removing grim and deep cleaning the skin's pores. You might say that hydrafacial and blackheads removal is the best skin therapy out there to treat acne.

Does Hydrafacial increase collagen? ›

HydraFacials include a deep exfoliation, which helps eliminate dead cells on the surface of your skin, improving your skin texture immediately. This exfoliation will also stimulate collagen production, which will continue to deliver these benefits over time.

What are the pros and cons of Hydrafacial treatment? ›

But what are the true pros and cons of hydrafacial therapy? This treatment will give you temporarily smoother, plumper, and pinker skin! One of the cons of microneedling however, is that on its own, the results will not last. This treatment also has a larger risk of scarring and infection occurring.

How long does your skin purge before it clears up? ›

How long does purging last? The duration of skin purging will vary from person to person. Generally, however, it lasts 4–6 weeks. After 6 weeks, the skin may begin to respond to the ingredients, and a person should be able to see improvement.

What is the purge skin? ›

A “purge” starts when the rate of skin's cellular turnover (aka the speed at which new, healthy cells reach the surface of the skin) is increased. This can push old, dead cells—along with all the excess sebum and buildup that comes with them—to the surface, clogging pores and causing breakouts.


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