Decoding The HydraFacial

Some people eat or go shopping when they are stressed and need a little me-time. I am similar in the sense that I share the same craving for some self-indulgence every now and then. But instead of buying a dress (or three) or a bag, I am the type of girl who turns to pampering staycations, spa treatments or facials to unwind.

On one of these self-indulging moments, I discovered a gem – the HydraFacial. This facial promises clearer, brighter, younger-looking skin immediately. (I heard you say “Seriously?” there!) Here’s all you need to know about this relaxing, gentle, yet effective facial treatment.


What Is The HydraFacial?

The HydraFacial prides itself for being suitable for all skin types and thus being able to address both oily and clogged skin, as well as dry skin with fine lines and wrinkles. It is usually done at a doctor’s clinic and takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes. In order to perform the HydraFacial, the proprietary HydraFacial MD needs to be used to perform 4 main steps:

  1. Cleansing & Exfoliation
  2. Acid Peel
  3. Extractions
  4. Serum application


How Does The HydraFacial Work?

Touted as the only facial that penetrates deep enough to stimulate growth of collagen and elastin, HydraFacial uses a unique, vortex suction extraction tip that dislodges impurities from clogged pores. This is more effective than you think, and you can literally see exactly what was extracted in the cup at the base of the machine. (Eeeks!)

This vortex tip also acts as an infusion tool and delivers an antioxidant-rich and collagen-rich serum into deep into the pores.

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Is It The Same As Microdermabrasion or Chemical Peeling?

Microdermabrasion is similar to the HydraFacial in principle, because both involve manual extractions to remove impurities. Microdermabrasion is probably more abrasive and can cause more redness, because it employs a “sanding” method to abrade the skin’s outermost layer. HydraFacial uses a suction tip instead to remove impurities. Because the HydraFacial is more gentle, it is probably more suitable for patients with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and other sensitive skin conditions.

Chemical peeling normally uses salicylic, glycolic or lactic acid to remove skin cells at the surface of the skin. While it is extremely effective at kickstarting the skin renewal process, and is therefore a wonderful treatment for patients who wish to address fine lines and mild pigmentation, it is not so friendly for people with certain skin troubles, such as eczema, rosacea and for very dark skin types.


Is There Only One HydraFacial?

There is only 1 HydraFacial MD machine. I found that most doctors’ clinics offered the same treatment, so I went on a quest to find a clinic that would give me the most pampering experience. My girl friend told me about the SW1 Spa, and I decided to check it out.

I was really impressed with the décor of the clinic. Who said medical clinics had to be boring? Everything about SW1 spoke of style and that piqued my interest. My experience being a spa and retreat hopper was that anything like this would be worth checking out. And doctor-designed facials? Take me there now!

This place is anything but boring. I started to ask about their doctors, and found out that all the doctors who were formerly from The Sloane Clinic are actually here!

When I arrived, I was strangely served a Degustation Menu. What? Only that it wasn’t a degustation menu for food, but it was their spa menu teaser! Who thinks of such clever and stylish stuff for a clinic? I was very excited and told my therapist, Melody, that I wanted to try the HydraFacial.

“We have three HydraFacials, would you like me to help recommend one?” Melody was very tactful and professional.

Apparently, SW1 Spa has tailored the HydraFacial for specific skin types. Bardot HydraFacial was for detoxifying troubled skin, Monroe was for the coveted glow and Hepburn was anti-aging.

A facial for the instant party glow? I quickly decided on the Monroe HydraFacial.


The Monroe HydraFacial

SW1 Spa’s HydraFacials are named after iconic actresses. I couldn’t wait to try out the Monroe HydraFacial for the healthy, sexy glow!

This facial uses the HydraFacial MD to get rid of dead skin cells using the exact HydraFacial steps, but that is only the first half of the facial. After the HydraFacial, a dual light therapy was applied. Blue LED light is known for calming red, acne-prone skin while Red LED light was healing, and anti-aging. Next, there was sonophoresis of 2 different vitamins (which Melody picked Vitamin C and B for me).

By this time, my skin already felt really soft and smooth and was really shiny. The facial finished off with a power packed Pearl éclat gel mask which contains skin whitening ingredients such as glutathione, vitamin C and pure pearl powder.

This mask was unbelievably good, I would have been happy with leaving the Spa with clean skin, but after this mask, my skin was pink and glowing!

My verdict? Definitely gold and worth a try! Not many facials out there guarantee an instant glow but this one really does it.


Where: SW1 Clinic (Paragon Medical, Level 13)

What: Monroe HydraFacial, 90 mins

Price: $310

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