World’s most high-tech facials: hyddrafacial |

5 mins

World’s most high-tech facials: hyddrafacial

In this series, Aesthetic Medicine deputy editor Kezia Parkins tries out some of the world’s most high-tech facials

The first thing I noticed when I walked through the glass doors of HydraFacial’s flagship store, aside from the lovely breakfast spread, was the comfy-looking reclining chairs. It was 9 am, and I was groggy from sleep and the heatwave we were suffering over the summer. A little lay down in an air-conditioned open space was exactly what I needed.

Since joining Aesthetic Medicine, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of kind offers from the industry to try treatments. For the past eight years, I have mainly worked in pharma, health and MedTech journalism, where such perks of the job aren’t a thing.

While I love learning about all exciting developments in the industry, none thrill me more than the high-tech, cutting-edge, science-y stuff. The aesthetics industry is ripe with this kind of innovation right now. Statistics estimate that the tech market for cosmetics products will grow at a CAGR of 16.7 per cent between 2021 and 2026 in the UK.

With that in mind and with all the fascinating offers that have come through my inbox this summer, I have decided to do a series on “the world’s most high-tech facials.” As a nerdy, millennial STEM journalist, facials have never been in my budget so I feel super lucky to be able to do this.

First up: HydraFacial. I was so excited when our editorial team got invited to the HydraFacial flagship store for a treatment. The brand caught my attention on Instagram a while ago. I was incredibly curious about the HydraFacial device itself, overflowing with tools, lights and serums, and about all that “gunk” you get to see sucked out of your face at the end.

I received the HydraFacial Platinum treatment which involves six key stages: Detox, Cleansing and Exfoliating, Brightening, Extraction, Hydration and Rejuvenation.

The treatment promises to help boost hydration, refresh dull skin and protect against environmental factors, leaving your skin looking radiant.


After a quick consultation and being nestled into my chair by the lovely Amanda Abetts, assistant manager of HydraFacial flagship store, we were away. Step one involves detoxing the skin with a specially formulated lymphatic drainage technique. Amanda explains that this helps increase circulation, which aids in the elimination of toxins. I was very happy to hear this, as I often worry about the effects that years of smoking will have on my skin - plus I have really bad circulation. After a lovely relaxing facial massage, Amanda got out her first tool, which gently sucks to aid in drainage.


Next up is the cleansing and exfoliation stage of the facial. This part helps to gently lift dead skin cells and impurities. For this, Amanda changed the tip of the device to the Blue Hydropeel Tip, specifically made for exfoliation and suitable for all skin types. I was glad to be receiving this part, as summer sweatiness, coupled with being out and about in polluted London had left my skin feeling pretty clogged up.


The third step saw a brightening agent applied to my skin containing glycolic and salicylic acid - two of my favourite ingredients for when my skin is dull and lacklustre. This solution helped to loosen any debris in my pores for the next step.


Ok, so this was by far my favourite part of the facial. HydraFacial was one of the few facial brands I had heard of before joining Aesthetic Medicine. I had seen the gunk videos all over social media and was more than a little intrigued to see what could be pulled out of my face.

Amanda switched to the Teal Hydropeel Tip for this part. Using honey extract, salicylic acid and some gentle pressure, she explained that this segment sucks up blackheads and impurities in congested areas. I told her to go for it on my nose and T-zone, which always seem to be congested, no matter what I do. I nearly went completely cross-eyed trying to witness all of the gunk, blackheads and whiteheads being removed from the area, which Amanda said she could see coming out.


After my pores were thoroughly cleaned out, it was time to rehydrate my skin. A combination of hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and peptides made sure of that while also plumping and replenishing.

At this point, Amanda popped in a Regen skin booster. Using the Clear Hydropeel Tip, she applied the booster to my face while explaining that this product’s M-007 Fulvate Complex is a bonder and helps boost collagen and elastin production while diminishing fine lines and wrinkles. After having my face deeply cleansed, this product felt tingly and refreshing on my skin.


The sixth and final step involves using LED lights to stimulate collagen and reduces redness.

First, Amanda went in with a red LED light which she explained contained 880 nano lights. The effect was very warm and relaxing. With my eyes closed and covered with protective goggles, I could have fallen asleep at this point. Low-wavelength red light reportedly improves skin’s appearance by reducing wrinkles, scars, redness and acne, while also boosting collagen production.

This step was followed by a blue LED light which is often used to treat sun damage. I have spent years living in hot countries and I hate to say that I wasn’t as good as I am now at applying sunscreen. Blue LED light can help with acne also by reducing oil production and acne-causing bacteria.

Then, Amanda applied HydraFacial Perk eye replenishing serum. This, she told me, was super hydrating and also depuffs and helps with tension, which is something I suffer with a lot. It felt wonderful while it was being applied around my eyes with light pressure. I could see puffiness disappearing before my eyes The facial was topped off with some Murad city shield SPF 50 before I was taken over to the ‘gunk hall of fame’ to see how many impurities had been pulled from my face.

During and After

After my HydraFacial experience, I had an otherworldly glow all day, but it was in the days following that I noticed the incredible results. Friends couldn’t believe that I wasn’t wearing makeup as my skin looked so even, but best of all was the absence of blackheads, whiteheads and general gunk. Despite my skin always looking quite clear, on any given day, I can squeeze stuff out of the pores on my nose, even if I had just done it the day before.

Three full days after the facial, it occurred to me to squeeze as I normally would and nothing came out. Amanda recommends having a HydraFacial once a month to remove impurities and increase hydration. After this great experience, I don’t know how I went about life all of these years without it.

This article appears in November 2022

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This article appears in...
November 2022
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