This treatment takes hydration to the next level.

Hydra-facials are on the rise. The reason? The in-office treatment has garnered notable interest on social media for its ability to transform the look and feel of the skin. To determine whether or not the treatment lives up to the hype, we chatted with a board-certified dermatologist. Keep reading for everything there is to know about hydra-facials—including whether or not you're a candidate for one.

woman getting facial at spa
Credit: katleho Seisa / Getty Images

What Is a Hydra-Facial?

While a hydra-facial might seem like nothing more than an ultra-moisturizing treatment, the in-office procedure goes far beyond the product level. "A hydra-facial is composed of exfoliation using a dermabrasion wand, cleansing using a water and suction wand, and treatment by delivering actives via serums directly onto the new skin beneath to increase penetration and absorption," explains board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, Dr. Purivsha Patel.

The Benefits

Curious as to why this treatment is suddenly everywhere? According to Dr. Patel, the popular facial helps remove the top layer of skin with mechanical exfoliation, which essentially tricks the skin into thinking it is wounded. The result? Collagen production significantly improves, resulting in smoother, moisturized, and younger-looking dermis. As with any in-office treatment, eliminate the risk of a bad reaction by seeking out a professional skilled in this application—whether that be a dermatologist or a highly-rated esthetician. "If performed too aggressively, it can result in skin damage and hyperpigmentation," Dr. Patel warns.

The Best Candidate for a Hydra-Facial

While a hydra-facial is best for those with dry skin, Dr. Patel says that anyone can enjoy and benefit from one. That being said, the exfoliation portion must be performed with the utmost care on those with sensitive dermis, she continues, to prevent extensive redness or irritation. That's not to say those with delicate complexions can't experience the treatment—after all, the final serum traps moisture and repairs the barrier, which is especially beneficial for those with sensitive or moisture-depleted skin.

Results, Upkeep, and Cost

Once you see the smooth, radiant results that a hydra-facial can deliver, you might be wondering how much time and money it might cost to maintain the effect. According to Dr. Patel, the results typically last for just two to three weeks, or until the skin turns over again. Here's the kicker: Depending on your locale, the professional you choose, and the actives used, a single session costs somewhere between $150 and $250. This is important to keep in mind; if you fall in love with the treatment, it could potentially cost you $500 a month.


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