Hydro Dermabrasion - All You Need to Know

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on November 1, 2022

Here’s everything you need to know before booking a hydro dermabrasion – what it is, how it’s done, what it can do, how much it costs, and more.

Hydro Dermabrasion - All You Need to Know About the Hydrafacial

Image source: Instagram @skinco.beautybar

Glowing, radiant skin without a single is something we all dream of. No amount of makeup can really help if our skin isn’t healthy and smooth, so many people have integrated an occasional professional facial into their routine.

But which facial is the best?

There are so many options it can be very hard to choose. Okay, if you’re dealing with a severe skin condition, you’ll go to a dermatologist and get a therapy plan and a recommendation. But if you just want to maintain facial hygiene and boost the glow of your skin, you probably get confused by the long, long lists of services spas offer.

Well, today we’re talking about everyone’s favorite facial – hydro dermabrasion. Here’s all you need to know.

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What Is a Hydro Dermabrasion?

Hydro dermabrasion is a gentle yet effective facial treatment that provides a thorough exfoliation, a deep cleanse and an intense plump, resulting in instant anti-aging effects, better skin texture, and a radiant appearance.

It’s actually a spin-off on microdermabrasion (which is, in turn, a spin-off on the original dermabrasion), so it utilizes the principle of simultaneous exfoliation and suction of dead skin from the surface of the epidermis. But hydro dermabrasion features an additional step – an infusion of solutions that provide a deeper cleanse of the pores.

If this sounds familiar, you’ve probably heard about this treatment under the name hydrafacial, but this is just a branded name for the treatment. Hydro dermabrasion is done with an elaborate device, and many brands manufacture hydro dermabrasion machines. Different salons carry different brand machines, so they may call the treatment different names.

Another common name for it is hydro microdermabrasion.

What Is a Hydro Dermabrasion Treatment?Image source: Instagram @vipcosmedics

What Can a Hydro Dermabrasion Facial Do?

Hydradermabrasion delivers several effects in 1:

  • Exfoliates the stratum corneum – the layer of dead skin cells is removed, revealing better skin underneath
  • Cleanses the pores – the contents of all pores is sucked out
  • Disinfects the skin – a disinfecting solution is infused into the cleansed pores, preventing breakouts
  • Provides deep hydration – a mix of hydrating and nourishing ingredients is injected deep into the pores

Basically, it evens out your skin tone and texture, leaving the skin smoother and healthier. The powerful infusions make the skin plumper, which diminishes fine lines and wrinkles for an anti-aging effect.

Who Is the Hydradermabrasion Facial Suitable For?

Hydradermabrasion is suitable for everyone.

It’s suitable for all skin types, from sensitive to oily, and all skin tones (there’s no risk of hypopigmentation for darker skin tones).

It can help you tackle particular skin imperfections, like acne, clogged pores, and signs of aging, but it can also just perfect your complexion if you’re not facing any specific issues.

Hydradermabrasion Facial Is Suitable For EveryoneImage source: Instagram @enesthetic__

How Exactly Does It Work?

The hydro dermabrasion facial is one of the more elaborate non-invasive skin treatments. It combines several methods, and it’s most often done in 4 steps.

The hydradermabrasion machine features a handpiece that’s connected to a tube, which is connected to several tanks. The handpiece is multipurpose:

  • Its tip does mechanical exfoliation when it’s moved across the skin
  • It has a vacuum effect which immediately sucks away all dead skin cells and the contents of pores
  • The tip is also used as a high-pressure sprayer which ejects solutions and infuses them deep into the pores

The whole treatment is done with the same handpiece, but the modes of the machine are switched to perform different functions.

How Exactly Does Hydradermabrasion Work?Image source: Instagram @a1_skin

What Does the Facial Look Like?

Let’s go through each step of the hydradermabrasion facial:

1. Pre-Cleansing

First, your skin is cleaned with a gentle tonic before the actual treatment starts, to remove all makeup or skincare residues.

2. Exfoliation

Then, it’s time to activate the handpiece. The handpiece features a tip which is just sharp enough to scrape off the dead skin cells of the epidermis. It will not go deeper than that, so it won’t cause any damage. What it will do is send signals to the body to start producing more collagen and elastin, which will contribute to improving the skin structure from within.

Usually, the mechanical exfoliation is backed with a chemical peel. A low-concentration acid is applied and distributed over the skin with the handpiece.

3. Infusion of the Solution

Then, the handpiece is used to apply a mix of serums, acids and water which will loosen up the pores and dissolve their contents. The handpiece ejects the solution and sucks it back in at the same time, into different channels. That way, the contaminated liquids aren’t retained on the skin for long.

4. Suction

This step may vary depending on the hydrodermabrasion machine used. The suction may or may not be accompanied by a high-pressure stream of solution.

In either case, the mode of the handpiece is adjusted to intense suction, which will extract the contents of the now loosened pores. All the accumulated sebum, dirt, bacteria and product residues are sucked right out and the pores are instantly unclogged.

Hydro dermabrasion prevents post-facial breakouts, which can sometimes happen with extractions. It disinfects the unclogged pores, which prevents bacteria from developing inside.

5. Hydrating Formula

The final step is the application of a hydrating formula which is injected into the skin, again with the handpiece. This step provides nourishment and anti-inflammatory effects.

The formula is usually custom-mixed to best suit the needs of your skin, but it almost always contains a low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, the go-to ingredient for intense skin moisturization which plumps up the skin.

What happens with this type of application is the serums are enabled to penetrate the pores much deeper than with basic topical application. As a result, the volume of the skin is maximized, diminishing fine lines.

6. Optional Add-Ons

The hydro dermabrasion can be combined with some other facials, usually LED light therapy or an oxygen facial. This is optional.

What Does the Hydradermabrasion Facial Look Like?Image source: Freepik

How Long Does the Treatment Take?

The treatment doesn’t take long – up to 1 hour. If you’re not getting any add-ons, it probably won’t take that long.

Does It Hurt?


Actually, most clients claim it’s quite pleasant and feels like a facial massage.

Are the Results Immediate?

Yes, your skin will look great right after the treatment. Apart from the gorgeous glow, you will also notice there’s no puffiness. The motions of the handpiece across the skin will do lymphatic drainage.

You will also notice some additional effects a few days later: your pores will look much smaller – they will shrink since they’re empty – and the collagen production will kick in, maximizing the glow of your skin.

How Often Should I Repeat the Treatment?

The hydro dermabrasion facial is a one-off, but it can be done periodically to maintain the results. If your skin is on the oilier side, you can get it once a month to cleanse the skin and prevent acne breakouts.

It’s really down to personal preference.

How Often Should I Repeat Hydro Dermabrasion Treatment?Image source: Instagram @doktor_sharifova

Are There Any Side Effects?

Nothing major:

  • Your skin will probably be red for a few hours after the procedure – this just means the blood flow into the area was increased.
  • If your skin is on the thinner side or you take blood-thinning meds or supplements, there might be some minor bruising as a result of the suction.
  • Your face might feel dry in the days after the procedure – make sure you moisturize generously.
  • There can also be some flaking a few days later – this is not uncommon and it just means your skin is doing some additional exfoliation.
  • If you’re prone to cold sores, the treatment could cause a flare-up. Talk to your GP and have them prescribe an antiviral if it’s possible.

One important thing to bear in mind is that your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight, so you need to wear SPF after the procedure to prevent sun damage.

How Does Hydro Dermabrasion Compare to Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion?

Think of these 3 treatments as a gradation:

  • Dermabrasion is the most aggressive treatment only used for severe skin conditions that can’t be improved otherwise. It’s only done by dermatologists or plastic surgeons and it entails 1-2 weeks of downtime.
  • Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive treatment which provides exfoliation of the epidermis, but doesn’t include so much hydration. It’s somewhere in the middle – not as aggressive as dermabrasion, but slightly more intense than hydradermabrasion. It can treat minor scarring and hyperpigmentation, and give great anti-aging benefits. It’s done in spas and salons and entails no downtime.
  • Hydro dermabrasion is the most gentle. It introduces deep hydration into the mix and it can give amazing skin brightening effects, but it can’t really tackle deeper wrinkles and more severe imperfections.

Read more about dermabrasion here, and more about microdermabrasion here.

How Does Hydro Dermabrasion Compare to Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion?Image source: Instagram @medlinksaesthetics

How Much Does Hydro Dermabrasion Cost?

The price of a hydrodermabrasion facial varies depending on which salon you go to. More exclusive salons naturally charge more, and which brand of hydradermabrasion device they use is an important factor. Location is also a factor. If you get add-ons, the price will be higher.

But generally, the price range is from $100 to $300.

Hydro Dermabrasion – Main Takeaways

Hydradermabrasion, or the hydrafacial, is a gentle skin resurfacing treatment that combines exfoliation, deep cleansing, and intense hydration to make the skin brighter, smoother, more energized, and looking rejuvenated. It can improve the texture and firmness of the skin and give it an attractive glow, but it can’t really tackle more severe cases of hyperpigmentation or scarring – in those cases, microdermabrasion or the original dermabrasion is a better choice.



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