May 1, 2023

Are HydraFacials Good For Acne? +Other HydraFacial Questions, Answered

HydraFacials are noninvasive, and are performed quickly and painlessly. You can receive one of these popular treatments from a dermatologist, dermatologist nurse, or licensed aesthetician who has received training on how to conduct the treatment.

Happy Monday! Today, we're answering the questions our readers have submitted about the popular skincare treatment, the HydraFacial.

If you've never heard of a HydraFacial, here's some quick info. Hydrafacials combine deep cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, and hydration. They can target multiple skin concerns, including:

  • Acne
  • Age spots
  • Scarring
  • Fine lines and wrinkles 

HydraFacials are noninvasive, and are performed quickly and painlessly. You can receive one of these popular treatments from a dermatologist, dermatologist nurse, or licensed aesthetician who has received training on how to conduct the treatment. 

During the HydraFacial, a device that utilizes vortex suction exfoliates the skin. The vortex suction removes congestion from the skin without the painful tools used in other types of extractions. The exfoliation is paired with serums and other skincare treatments that cleanse and moisturize the skin. The serums utilized can be customized to the patient's needs, allowing the HydraFacial to be a targeted treatment rather than one-size-fits-all.

Now that we've got a working understanding of what a HydraFacial is, let's move on to the interview. 

Our expert this week is Carol Evanicky, the owner of Kalologie Medspa Austin. Carol oversees a talented team of professionals who regularly provide HydraFacials under her guidance. We're grateful for her time and the wisdom that she shared with us!

What happens during a hydrafacial?

Anne asks: What does a HydraFacial involve? Could you share with us the steps that are taken during it?

Carol: A HydraFacial is a deep cleansing of the skin using a mechanical device. There are 3 steps that take 30 minutes to complete. 

The first step is to deeply cleanse and exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells. This helps to expose the beautiful new skin that has been hidden. Using the HydraFacial device, gentle suction opens up the pores, allowing the cleanser to penetrate and remove dirt and oils trapped inside. Traditional facials by hand cleanse and exfoliate, but they cannot do deeper cleansing. 

The second step performs the extractions. A gentle suction removes the impurities from the pores without harming the pores or the skin.

The third and final step hydrates by saturating the skin with intense moisturizers that are personalized for your skin's needs.

The skin after a HydraFacial treatment is glowing, smooth and hydrated. Typically, you will experience the benefits of a HydraFacial for 4 to 6 weeks. You can maintain those results by getting a HydraFacial once a month.

Is a HydraFacial good for acne? 

Kay asks: I have really bad breakouts. Would getting a HydraFacial be really that helpful in managing them?

Carol: It depends on the acne outbreak. Deep cleansing, gentle extraction and intense moisturizer can help treat some cases of acne. More severe and open outbreaks can be aggravated, and the acneic condition could be exacerbated. A knowledgeable medical aesthetician will discuss with you what other courses of treatment you are doing and make recommendations. We see a number of clients who have experienced great results from a series of HydraFacial treatments.

Clients often call and ask if HydraFacial will help with their breakouts and acne. We tell them that the best way to determine this is for the service provider to take a look at the skin to see what is going on. 

If there are pimples that are very tender to the touch or that have erupted you do not want to apply abrasive tools or substances. HydraFacial uses glycolic acid. Putting that on an exposed wound would be extremely painful. The suction and hard tip can also be rough on the tender skin. 

How long does skin purge after HydraFacial? 

June asks: How bad is the purging after a HydraFacial? How do you know if your skin is purging or if you just happen to be having a breakout?

Carol: Not everyone experiences skin purging when they get a HydraFacial, but it can happen. The salicylic acid used is a decongestant which draws out bacteria that builds up in the pores. So, if you have a lot of congestion then you may experience skin purging. It can last a few days and clears up on its own.

When skin is purging the blemishes resolve quickly because the ingredient that stimulates the purge causes rapid cell turnover. Normal pimples and breakouts last longer than that. So, if you get a HydraFacial and your breakouts last more than 3 to 4 days, that is just a normal pimple.

Are there disadvantages to getting a HydraFacial?

James asks: Are there long term risks in regularly getting a HydraFacial? I heard they were really awesome short term, but I don't want to mess up my skin long-term. 

Carol: As with any procedure there are some potential risks. With HydraFacial clinical studies have shown that it is safe for all skin types, however there are some contraindications that could possibly result in negative results. There have been reports from a few service providers suggesting that their clients have experienced thinning of the skin, uneven skin pigmentation and age spots. Some of these can be attributed to other factors such as aging, medications, medical treatments, or other medical therapies. To ensure that your skin is protected it is important that the service provider conducts a consultation at each visit to ensure that any new medical conditions or new medications have not changed the condition of the skin prior to beginning a HydraFacial treatment. As with any treatment, if you have concerns about your skin condition and if this is a good treatment for you consult with your healthcare provider prior to beginning a HydraFacial treatment.

When should you NOT get a HydraFacial?

James asks: Also, what skin conditions could a HydraFacial worsen, and when should you not get one? 

Carol: If you have an active rash such as rosacea, active or open acne, are pregnant or nursing, have used any retinol products a few days prior to a service you should not get a HydraFacial. There are certain medical conditions or medications that impact the condition of the skin, making it thinner and more delicate. Hormonal changes, cancer, chemotherapy, taking Accutane, using Retin-A can leave the skin in a very delicate state. If you are on blood thinners and some high blood pressure medications these can also affect the texture and condition of the skin. It is best not to use the suction or glycolic acid on the skin when in this weakened state to preserve the integrity of the skin. With open or active acne there is the risk of breaking open the acne and then spreading the bacteria inside the blemish all over the skin resulting in more breakouts.

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