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What is a Hydrafacial and Why You Need It

A Hydrafacial is a noninvasive facial treatment that reduces fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and clogged and enlarged pores. It also evens skin tone and reduces redness and acne.

I deal with all of this—especially issues with my pores, breakouts, and mild rosacea.

Before COVID, Hydrafacials were part of my routine; I saw a difference across the board. Most notably, my pores were practically invisible, my acne significantly reduced, and my skin generally looked plump and glowy. 

Then, salons closed, and facials were the last thing on anyone’s mind. My skin started to get problematic again. The stress of everything was showing all over my face, and I knew part of the issue was that I wasn’t getting a regular, deep, professional clean.

But it didn’t take long after returning to regular monthly Hydrafacials for my skin to turn around.

There are so many options for facials, but the only one I spend on is the Hydrafacial. It includes everything you need to maintain your skin, with quick results and no downtime.

What is a Hydrafacial and Why You Need It

I love learning about skincare and sharing what I discover with our readers.

I have tried many things but never loved anything like the Hydrafacial. If I had to pick one professional, topical treatment to spend on, this is it.

How it Works 

A Hydrafacial requires a patented proprietary machine that is only available at salons and med spas. There is no DIY alternative. You must be trained and certified to use the machine.

The machine will exfoliate, cleanse, extract, and then plump your skin full of goodness.

The results come from the wand attached to the machine, which cleanses and exfoliates your skin. 

Next, the technician will turn on the suction mode, and the same wand will pull all the “guck” out of your pores.

Seriously, you’ll see it all come out. It’s gross and highly satisfying. There are no manual extractions; instead, the machine vacuums debris out. It’s completely painless and better for your skin.

Note: if you have an experience where you get manual extractions, don’t go back. The whole point of the hydrafacial is for it to be gentel and manual extractions when done incorrectly and damage your skin, leaving it scared and inflamed.

Finally, the same wand plumps your skin up with antioxidant-rich serums.

The machine uses water to keep your skin hydrated, hence Hydrafacial, so even super sensitive skin like mine is barely red when I leave and back to normal in 20 minutes. 

This quick video gives a good overview of the experience.

Depending on your salon, you can add different options, like eye masks or light treatments.

Amazing Results

You’ll see a noticeable difference immediately. Your pores will appear smaller, and your skin will be brighter.

Over time, you’ll notice less acne, reduce inflammation, and have smoother skin, especially on your forehead, cheeks, and around your eyes. You’ll also lighten dark spots—but not entirely.

Each session takes about one hour. Prices will vary depending on your salon. I pay about $200 for an introductory session before the tip.

You’ll be offered add-ons, which are entirely up to you, but an introductory session is all you need to see results.

Of course, experts will tell you to go every 4 – 6 weeks for maintenance, but if you have a special occasion coming up, like a wedding or other important event, treat yourself to one a few days beforehand, and you’ll look and feel amazing.

What is a Hydrafacial and Why You Need It

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Barbara Geiger

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

Yes, hydrafacial is wonderful, but for $200, results do not last very long. Great before a big event


Tuesday 19th of March 2024

Can anyone offer advice on how to find an excellent facility or aesthetician? It is rather overwhelming to look on the internet and read reviews, but I don't know anyone who can recommend someone. Thanks!

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

My first stop is always to ask my girlfriends who they go to. If that doesn't work, I've had a ton of luck in the local Facebook Mom Groups, those ladies could rule the world if they wanted to. Also, use Instagram to search for local options and then check out their pages to see if they look like a good fit. Be open to trying a few places. It took me maybe three appointments to find my current spot. Hope that helps!

Lesley Revuelto

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Good morning, I just had a hydra facial yesterday and had forgotten how wonderful it feels and how great your skin looks. I’m hooked again and hope to keep it as a regular treatment every 4-6 weeks. Great timing on the article! Lesley


Tuesday 24th of August 2021

I’ve been looking into this as well and decided to take the plunge and try it! Thanks for the great blog post and the feedback from other WDL readers. Is any part of it relaxing lol? Does it hurt? No more or less than extractions. I would probably do an add-on just because I like to get the spa experience. Thanks again.

Nupur Jain

Wednesday 29th of August 2018

This is the best tip ever!! I started getting regular hydrafacial based on the recommendation from your blog earlier and couldn't be happier with the result. Thank you so much!!

Megan Kristel

Wednesday 29th of August 2018



Tuesday 28th of August 2018

I have just recently discovered the Hydra Facial. I was looking for "something" to make my face look good for my daughter's wedding a few weeks ago. I agree, that it is a great treatment. I also can have a bit of sensitive skin and was somewhat reluctant to try the "facial", but the esthetician was thorough in explaining how you would look glowing after the treatment with no redness and I absolutely dd!

Now for the prices... the place I originally went to is a "medical spa". They charged $175. If you bought packages of treatments you could get it for a cheaper price (20% off). Then last week, I was researching other places that offered the Hydra Facial and found one close by. She has her own business and charges $95 for the exact same facial. She was also having a special for $65. Her Hydra Facial was the same treatment and she explained everything more thoroughly than the other place. So, I guess it does pay to shop around. But overall, I would definitely recommend the Hydra Facial.

Leigh Richards

Tuesday 24th of August 2021

Heidi, hopefully the salon you picked is in the Philadelphia/ South Jersey area. Could you share the info about it, please? I want to go.

Megan Kristel

Tuesday 28th of August 2018

I'm glad you had such great results - it does at first seem a little too good to be true. The price you found is amazing. I've heard of a place local to me that is under $100 but a friend went and had a terrible experience. There are also places that charge between $250 - $300 which is outrageous. Shopping around is always a good idea to make sure the best price and results.