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What is a HydraFacial?

HydraFacial procedures can provide an array of skin benefits. Learn about the process and means for effective aftercare. Discover more with SkinCeuticals.


HydraFacials are a popular three element facial performed as a clinical procedure. What is a HydraFacial good for? This question has many answers, because this procedure can facilitate a wide variety of benefits for different skin types and concerns.


This article will explain the full scope of HydraFacial benefits and side effects (which are minimal). How to care for sensitised skin before and after a HydraFacial will also be detailed, to alleviate any confusion regarding what to do after the procedure.





HydraFacials involve a triple element facial regimen that deeply cleanses and nourishes the skin. This bespoke facial uses a device similar to those used in a microdermabrasion procedure, however HydraFacials cleanse and exfoliate using water rather than crystals or diamond tips. The technical name for this process is hydradermabrasion.

As a three element clinical procedure, HydraFacials involve cleansing, exfoliation and infusion. The hydradermabrasion device uses a vortex water flow to deeply cleanse impurities from the pores while exfoliating and infusing the skin with nourishing ingredients. 

HydraFacials have maintained a high degree of popularity likely due to their beneficial potential without the likelihood of any discomfort, pain or downtime. Unlike chemical peels or extractions, HydraFacials are a relaxing experience that feels similar to a gentle facial massage. 




In order to determine whether this procedure may be suitable for your needs, it’s important to ask what does a HydraFacial do? Each of the three elements of HydraFacials has its own distinct set of benefits for the skin. 

The deep cleansing element of a HydraFacial can provide benefits very similar to those of a traditional manual extraction, without the associated pain or potential of inflammation. The vortex extraction process removes any sebum or impurities that may be clogging your pores, visibly minimising their appearance. When pores are clogged, they stretch to appear larger, so regular HydraFacials can help stave off this process.

The exfoliation element of a HydraFacial can help slough away dull looking dead skin cells from your complexion. This gently resurfaces the skin to reveal a fresh layer underneath. Overall, the result of the exfoliation element is a more radiant looking complexion. 

Lastly, the infusion element of a HydraFacial intensely nourishes and hydrates the skin via a serum that targets a range of different skin types and concerns. Acne-prone skin, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven pigmentation and excess sebum can all be targeted during the infusion stage of a HydraFacial. After your procedure, you’ll likely also experience visibly improved skin texture and firmness.




To ensure optimal results from a HydraFacial, there are several things to avoid in the weeks and days before your appointment. In the weeks before a HydraFacial, it’s recommended to avoid chemical peels, cosmetic procedures and isotretinoin products. In the days before, avoid laser hair removal, waxing, exfoliation, excessive sun exposure and topical retinoids. 



In the days after a skin procedure, knowing the optimal aftercare rules and habits can sometimes be confusing. Although HydraFacials are a no downtime procedure, following the aftercare recommendations below will help ensure you achieve the best possible results from your facial. 


While mild exercise is okay, it’s helpful to avoid moderate or intense exercise that may result in flushed skin. This is to allow your skin to rest post-facial. 


Although peeling after HydraFacials is not a known side effect, it may still be tempting to touch or pick at your freshly exfoliated skin. While touching your face is always something best avoided, it’s especially important to avoid introducing bacteria from your fingers to skin that has recently been through an extraction..


Just as with the days leading up to a HydraFacial, it’s also advised to avoid laser hair removal or waxing procedures on the face in the days following your facial. This allows the skin time to recover without additional interruptions. 


Post-procedure skin can exhibit increased sensitivity to UV exposure. Consequently, it’s even more important than usual to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen at least daily after a HydraFacial. Our Ultra Facial Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+ has been scientifically developed with state-of-the-art UV filters that synergistically stave off photodamage. 

Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.



It’s important to pare back your skincare routine after a HydraFacial to ensure only gentle formulas are present. Although this procedure does not usually cause peeling or residual inflammation, SkinCeuticals does not recommend applying products containing harsh ingredients such as enzymes, glycolic acid or retinol for at least one day post-procedure. 

The morning after a HydraFacial, we recommend carefully cleansing with a gentle cleanser targeted towards sensitive skin. Our Soothing Cleanser has a soap free formula combining orchis mascula extract, cucumber extract, sorbitol and glycerin to comfort sensitised skin. 

After cleansing, follow up with a hyaluronic acid serum to provide optimal hydration for post-procedure skin. Our Phyto Corrective Essence Hydrating Mist is a corrective formula that can help comfort and reduce redness in sensitised skin. Use the touchless applicator to mist your face after cleansing or as needed throughout the day. 

Finish up with a non-comedogenic moisturiser free from parabens, alcohol and dyes. Our Emollience moisturiser has a gentle yet elegant formula utilising a cocktail of plant oils and algae extracts ideal for sensitive or sensitised skin. Use a generous quantity over the entire face and neck to complete your post-facial skincare regimen. 

It is recommended to incorporate an at-home skincare regimen after a HydraFacial. Always consult with your Local Clinic for individual at-home advice.


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