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What’s A Hydrafacial? Inside My Exfoliating, Moisturizing Skin Improving Experience

My experience with facials goes back a long way. Back in high school when my teenage hormones caused my skin to wild out, my mom started sending me for regular facials at a popular chain of Caribbean aestheticians. Back in my Miami days, I wrote a popular spa review column and got facials all the time – all kinds of facials. Now I’ve been living in Chicago for a decade and it’s totally changed my skincare needs. Plus I’ve gotten older, and I’m more targeted in my skincare goals. I want complete clarity in texture and tone. I’m using acids and serums and chemical exfoliants more than I did back in the day. I have new facial needs.

Recently I started using a retinol product and two days afterwards, my skin was rough and dry to the point of peeling. It was the kind of texture issue even makeup couldn’t conceal – hello, all the skin around my nostrils and along my jawline was starting to visibly peel.

I was invited to experience the Hydrafacial tour and honestly it was the perfect time. The whole treatment begins with an assessment, and I scored 68 out of 100 with just 28/50 on hydration. That’s not enough. Clearly my face needed hydration!  You can’t see how my skin is peeling but trust me, it doesn’t look its best here.

After my assessment, I was off to begin my Hydrafacial.

So what’s a Hydrafacial? It’s a propriety professional skincare system involving a facial tool and technique that’s intended to exfoliate the skin and then infuse it with skincare boosts that address a variety of issues. It can slough off dead surface cells and fill your freshly exfoliated pores with healing, beneficial skincare serums.

The Hydrafacial tour gives visitors a full idea of the possible experiences, so my first stop was a visit to tent number 1 for the Perk — a lip treatment and/or eye treatment that you can also take home in a cooling rollerball. I chose to just have the eye treatment. The cool wand and hydrating serum felt so cooling, so refreshing, so relaxing – even though it was all around my eye and on the lid. I have sensitive eyes, and this treatment felt like pure relaxation.

After my eye treatment, it was on to the Hydrafacial tour bus for the rest of my face. I met my aesthetician — Stephanie, from SpaDerma Med Spa — to begin the treatment itself. Here she’s holding the Hydrafacial tool and explaining the next steps.

Everyone’s Hydrafacial is different, because the treatments are customized for your needs. They all include exfoliation, but depending on your skincare need, the aesthetician giving you the Hydrafacial might recommend growth factors or peptides in your serum blend. My boost was Britenol, which is said to “minimize the appearance of dark spots and sunspots for an even complexion.” Sounds good to me!

It feels cooling, refreshing and like a good scrub with this specific tool all at the same time.

After the exfoliation and infusion of product, then there’s an extraction process. It’s a combination of suction and water and it basically vacuums your skin, leaving behind a cloudy mix of oil, water and extracted blackheads and such.

Three steps, thirty minutes. That’s it! Turns out SpaDerma is just one of the many locations that offers Hydrafacials here, so I can find a convenient place to get a more detailed Hydrafacial in the future.

This is my skin post-Hydrafacial, pre-makeup. See that GLOW??

I had my facial a month ago and afterwards I did get some minor breakouts along my jawline, but I usually get that after a facial with extractions. But my skin looks rested, relaxed, plump and refreshed. I would recommend, especially if you have dry skin or need gentle exfoliation for maximum brightness.

To get yourself a Hydrafacial visit their website hydrafacial.com for locations near you.

PS: After my Hydrafacial, I was lucky enough to get my makeup done by the one and only legendary makeup artist Ashunta Sheriff, who used her phenomenal products on my face. More to come on THAT because she made me look beautiful and her products are phenomenal — this beat lasted all day!  She’s relaunching soon so make sure follow her at @AshuntaSheriff for details!

All photos by LaToya Wright.

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