Why HydraFacial Treatments Are Bad

HydraFacials have become one of the most popular facial trends in the modern world and their popularity is still growing. In this blog, we dive into why they’re being praised, as well as the perceived benefits. We’ll also explore what experts are saying about the treatment, and most importantly whether the HydraFacial is Dermoi approved.

What Is a HydraFacial?

The HydraFacial is a patented skin treatment and it’s a type of crystal free microdermabrasion. This non-invasive skin care treatment buffs away the stratum corneum, which is the top layer of the skin. It’s a type of face exfoliator and it acts to remove dead skin cells.

Rather than blasting the skin with fine crystals, like traditional dermabrasion, this gentler approach uses a vacuum to unclog pores. It also simultaneously pushes in potent actives.

It’s currently used to treat a range of skincare concerns including enlarged pores, clogged pores, wrinkles and breakouts. HydraFacials reportedly smooth skin and improve overall skin tone, and appearance. It’s said to be particularly beneficial for oily and spot-prone skin.

Hydrafacials also been reported to provide instant and more dramatic results than other facial treatments. This is due to the use of a combination of different extraction techniques.


How does a HydraFacial Work?

The facial treatment involves using a patented device to deliver exfoliation, cleansing, extraction, and hydration.

There are 2 types of exfoliation at work with the HydraFacial. The first comes from hydradermabrasion and this uses an abrading tip. The second comes from liquid being blasted onto the skin.

The HydraFacial includes 4 separate treatments rolled into one.


The Benefits of HydraFacials

HydraFacials are less abrasive than other forms of microdermabrasion. They are also less invasive than traditional facials, such as chemical peels or laser resurfacing. These treatments can leave skin irritated for days.

It can be difficult for serums to pass through our initial skin barrier when applied manually. Using hydrodermabrasion methods to apply serums can increase the penetration of skincare solutions.

When compared to other peeling techniques, hydradermabrasion comes with a reduced chance of complications and less chance of any skin bleeding. It also doesn’t require any local anaesthesia.

There’s also no downtime to HydraFacials. Other more invasive treatments leave skin red and irritated for days.

Unlike in standard microdermabrasion treatment, HydraFacials don’t use crystals to erode the skin’s barrier. As it’s crystal free, there are no health risks associated with the chemical crystals.

Dermoi Facial Treatment - HydraFacial

HydraFacial Clinical Studies

One study¹  investigated the perceived benefits of hydradermabrasion with antioxidant rich serums.

The study aimed to determine whether hydradermabrasion could boost antioxidant levels in the skin. It tested 2 groups: group A had the serum applied using hydradermabrasion delivery methods. Group B on the other hand, had the same polyphenolic antioxidant serum applied manually.

Group A was found to have:

  • Increased antioxidant levels
  • Greater decreases in signs of skin aging
  • Reduction of fine lines
  • Reaction of pore size
  • Decreased hyperpigmentation
  • Boosted collagen production
  • Increased epidermal thickness
  • Increased papillary dermal thickness

There were also no reported complications. In group B, applying the serum manually was found to make no difference to the skin’s condition.

A clinical test² determined the effects of physically applying acids on skin pores and comedones during hydradermabrasion. Clogged hair follicles in the skin are what we call comedones.

The study found that during treatment, whiteheads and blackheads significantly decreased when tested 1, 2 and 4 weeks after the procedure.

While this appears to be good news, the study didn’t test on sensitive skin. Due to the abrasive nature of both the exfoliation, and skin peel, we wouldn’t recommend this procedure being carried out on sensitive skin.

What Experts Are Saying About HydraFacials

Gretchen Frieling³, MD, board certified dermatopathologist in Wellesley, Massachusetts recommends avoiding HydraFacial treatment if you have an active rash, sunburn, or rosacea.

She also suggested pregnant women avoid the treatment.

Acne pregnancy

Are HydraFacials Dermoi Approved?

HydraFacials use hydradermabrasion. While there is some evidence that hydradermabrasion can increase skin rejuvenation, and it is also milder than traditional microdermabrasion, hydradermabrasion is still an abrasive method that will compromise the skin barrier.

Hydradermabrasion combines chemical peeling and extraction. The treatment also includes multiple passes, so you’re not doing this just once you’re doing it 4 times. As a result of the multiple passes, there is extreme potential to leave people red, raw, and sensitive.

Due to the potential irritation caused we would NOT advise you have the treatment if you have sensitive, acne-prone, or rosacea skin types as this may make conditions worse.

For these reasons, HydraFacials are NOT dermoi.

Dermoi's Chief Scientific Officer Eve Casha

Author: Sam Pennington


  1. Freedman, B., 2008. Hydradermabrasion: an innovative modality for nonablative facial rejuvenation. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 7(4), pp.275-280.
  2. Kim, S., Baek, J., Koh, J., Bae, M., Lee, S. and Shin, M., 2015. The effect of physically applied alpha hydroxyl acids on the skin pore and comedone. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 37(5), pp.519-525.
  3. Migala, J. and Ross Radusky, M., 2021. What Is a HydraFacial? How It Works, Benefits, Risks, and Where to Get One | Everyday Health. [online] EverydayHealth.com. Available at: www.everydayhealth.com/skin-beauty/what-is-a-hydrafacial-how-it-works-benefits-risks-and-where-to-get-one [Accessed 26 July 2021].