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Last year, the number of people getting a new facial treatment, called HydraFacial, was outpacing Botox injections administered in the U.S. in 2017.

Allure magazine took a look at the trend, declaring “this is a facial, people. A FACIAL.”

But the hype shows no sign of slowing down, and as more and more HydraFacial devotees take to insta- and beauty blogs to boast their beyond-standard results, it looks like the HydraFacial is here to stay, and may have benefits that make it a mega-alternative to your favorite spa service.

“It’s like yoga for your face,” said North Dallas Dermatology owner and physician, Dr. Mary Hurley. “I can’t say enough good things about it when it comes to keeping your skin clear and toned. It pulls out the toxins and debris and infuses the good stuff. The real benefit is that the more you do it, the better it gets at keeping skin clear and delivering important compounds in a way that just applying serums can’t accomplish on its own.”

In fact, the “delivering important compounds” bit is HydraFacial’s strongest selling point for the professional Derm crowd – who are famously skeptical of recommending the latest skin craze without a clear benefit to back it up.

While using a “medical-grade Hydra-dermabrasion device” to essentially vacuum out pores in a cleaning and exfoliating exercise that involves “vortex technology,” the treatment takes advantage of open, newly clear skin, to push in the good stuff – “actives” that brighten, moisturize and plump out skin.

This is, at the core, a very effective delivery method for intensive serums, and can boost the restorative power of your daily serums, said Dr. Hurley. “That’s why I like to use it with patients who want to take more intensive steps to keep their skin clear and smooth between other procedures or treatments.”

Speaking of “other procedures,” the HydraFacial has also earned something of a reputation as the go-to treatment to help skin recover and accelerate the rebuilding process after ablative laser procedures like Fraxel.

Because it pushes hydrating compounds deep into the skin, it’s a great option for post-procedure self-care and a nice complement to procedures like injectables or filler, which look the best with newly cleaned and exfoliated skin.

What to know:

1) It’s non-ablative.

The HydraFacial doesn’t disturb the skin in same way, as, say, microdermabrasion, which blasts the skin’s surface to exfoliate. That makes it a great option for people who can’t tolerate more ablative facial treatments.

2) It’s highly customizable.

The use of serums and serum boosters help technicians really tailor results to a patient’s priorities. Growth factors are available to address fine lines, prescription strength vitamin C concentrations can deliver a more powerful skin-brightening punch (than topical applications alone), and compounds like the body’s own hyaluronic acid can be enhanced with an infusion to support collagen stimulation.

3) It feels (and looks) good.

With the HydraFacial, the sometimes-routine admonishment you give your facialist to “skip extractions” like squeezing or pressing the skin, is a non-issue. The vortex device and deep-cleaning pore flushing solution (made from anti-inflammatory Tasmanian pepper, salicylic acid and willow bark extract) gets the gunk out (at the end you can actually see what came out of your skin).

4) It’s an instant brightener.

Because it doesn’t irritate the skin, the HydraFacial has become something of a last-minute go-to for a quick improvement in skin texture, tone, and even sometimes acne, without downtime. It’s the rare treatment that can deliver consistent results and brightening even hours before a big event – like a red-carpet gala or a wedding.

“This is one of the best ways to take care of skin for the long run and make sure you’re doing the necessary maintenance so you can minimize problems down the road,” said NDDA’s Dr. Hurley. “Think of it like getting a tune-up for your face.”

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