The Hydrafacial MD Skin Treatment (what it is and what it isn’t)

hydrafacial md vortex technologyThe Hydrafacial MD claims to clean your pores as a microdermabrasion or chemical peel would. I was happy to be the guinea pig for you on this one!

Let’s get to it.

What is the Hydrafacial MD?

HydraFacial MD hydradermabrasion unit

HydraFacial MD hydradermabrasion unit

The Hydrafacial MD, also referred to as simply Hydrafacial, is a non-abrasive, non-evasive and non-laser treatment to remove the dead skin layer, clear out the pores, hydrate and brighten the skin.

It’s a hydradermabrasion machine on steroids.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the hydradermabrasion procedure, it’s basically the same as a microdermabrasion, but instead of using crystals & diamonds to exfoliate, it uses water to extract and active serums.

Read more about microdermabrasion here.

Rejuvenation Stairway on the Hydrafacial MD website

Rejuvenation Stairway on the Hydrafacial MD website.

The HydraFacial MD is marketed on the ‘Rejuvenation Stairway’ as being more effective than microdermabrasions, chemical peels, non-ablative laser treatment, Botox, and IPL, and attributes their bold claims to the 4-in-1 Vortex Technology.

So, what is that?

4-in-1 Vortex Technology

The Hydrafacial Tip

The HydraFacial Tip using Vortex Technology

The 4-in-1 Vortex Technology™ exfoliates, peels, extracts impurities and hydrates the skin, all with one unit.

The tip is changed between steps to facilitate the special job that it’s doing. You can see why they call it ‘vortex’, right?

Step 1: Vortex-Exfoliation

HydraFacial first cleans and exfoliates the surface of the skin

Step 1: Cleans and exfoliates the surface of the skin.

The treatment starts out with the blue tip (or the orange one if it’s been a while since you’ve exfoliated) to glide across your skin, using a vacuum powered stream of Activ-4™ serum, to gently remove the outer layer of skin called the stratum corneum, as well as all the dead skin cells, sebum and dirt accumulated on the surface of your skin during the day.

The Activ-4™ serum is comprised of lactic and glycolic acid to cleanse and dislodge the gunk inside the pores, algae extract to sooth and hydrate, and yeast extract to smooth fine lines and firm the skin.

Step 2: Vortex-Peel

Step 2: Acid Peel

Step 2: Break up the debris in the pores using glycolic and salicylic acid.

After the skin is exfoliated and cleaned, the teal tip comes into action, infusing the skin with the Glysal™ serum, a happy mix of salicylic and glycolic acid to help loosen the deeper dirt, dead skin and sebum from the pores.

This is so important since sebum accumulation is the cause of blackheads and whiteheads, the precursors of acne.

Step 3: Vortex-Extraction

Step 3: Strong vacuum suction removes blackheads and other nastiness.

Step 3: Strong vacuum suction removes blackheads and other nastiness.

After loosening up all the bad stuff, the teal tip stays on but the serum du moment is the Beta-HD™.

Beta-HD™ has ingredients such as Salicylic Acid to aid in sucking all of that loosened stuff out (and into a vat for your viewing pleasure afterwards). Then, to hydrate and sooth your skin, it also has Honey Extract and Spirea Ulmaria Flower Extract.

You may also add the DermaBuilder™ option to this step, which will simultaneously infuse the pores with wrinkle reducing serums comprised of several types of peptides (and believe me, you ain’t ever seen a peptide you didn’t like).

Step 4: Vortex-Fusion

Step 4: Infuses antioxidant serum Antiox-6 into the skin

Step 4: Infuses antioxidant serum Antiox-6 into the skin

Vortex-fusion is the final step, when the pores are all clean, and the clear tip comes out to infuse the skin with an antioxidant serum called Antiox-6.

Antiox-6 is a yummy combo of good stuff like Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A & E, White Tea Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract, Rosemary Extract and Turtle Shell Flakes, that help to plump up your skin and protect it from free radicals at the same time.

How it Goes Down

HydroFacial MD Procedure

During the HydroFacial MD Procedure

I did my HydraFacial with Heather at Skin Frenzy in Phoenix. The treatment was exactly how I explained above, but with a couple of additions.

Before the treatment, Heather cleaned my face off with a steaming towel.

Pre-HydroFacial Cleansing

Pre-HydraFacial cleansing

Next, she steamed my face to expand my pores to make them more accessible. I have an issue with broken capillaries on my face so I didn’t keep it there for long in order not to exacerbate them.

facial steaming

Facial Steaming

The treatment was pretty relaxing and comfortable – a lot more pleasant than any microdermabrasion that’s worth having, to be sure!

The only not so pleasant part of the treatment, I can’t attribute to the HydroFacial MD itself, but to a separate extraction tool that she used to extract stubborn blackheads that didn’t come out during the treatment.

Extractions are no fun!

Extractions are no fun!

I was a little surprised when she whipped out that extraction tool as the HydroFacial claims to do this in Step 3, right?? But, I’m glad she was thorough, nevertheless.

I take pretty good care of my skin so the gook in the cannister afterwards wasn’t as bad as she usually sees, but you can see that it’s pretty dark.

gook after hydrafacial

The gook that came out of my pores!

After the treatment she applied some HydraFacial MD UV Smart Daily Sunscreen that’s loaded with hyaluronic acid and Vitamins E & C to hydrate and protect your skin from free radicals and, of course, damaging UV rays.

The end result was that my skin was glowing! Doesn’t it look divine? I wish I had got it on my neck and chest. Next time!

skin after hydrofacial

My skin after the hydrafacial. GLOWING!

The Bottom Line

WilI I substitute my monthly microdermabrasions for a hydrafacial? No. Maybe I’ll alternate, but only maybe, because it costs so much more at $150 + Tip = $190 (vs microderm at $70).

Is it anywhere as effective as an IPL? Oh, hell no. Just NO. After one treatment I saw no change in my hyperpigmentation, which I never expected but I thought I’d mention it since if was listed above the IPL on the ‘Rejuvenation Stairway’.

And Non-Ablative Lasers? I don’t think so!

The HydraFacial MD is ideal for someone that wants zero downtime, or just doesn’t want the discomfort of the other, more meaningful, options.

If you have dark skin, and therefore are not a candidate for IPL, the HydraFacial can also be a good option for you (but only without the steam as steam can heighten melasma in some people).

telling you like it is


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