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For years, microdermabrasion — and its numerous variations — was the go-to option for women, men, and even teens who wanted a stronger method for exfoliation than at-home scrubs. Early versions of microdermabrasion used fine particles, typically crystal or diamond flakes, to “sandblast” away dead skin, while newer, particle-free versions are thought to be safer and more comfortable. By removing the topmost layers of skin, microdermabrasion can reduce the look of dark spots, fine lines, acne, and shallow scars.

Although microdermabrasion remains a popular medical spa procedure today, a newer treatment, called the HydraFacial™, threatens to dethrone microdermabrasion and replace it as a more popular option for exfoliation. In some doctor’s offices and medical spas, such as Refreshed Aesthetic Surgery, the clinic of Orange County facial plastic surgeon Dr. Timothy R. Miller, the HydraFacial has actually replaced microdermabrasion as the preferred option for exfoliation and allover improvement. The HydraFacial takes a more comprehensive approach to skin improvement by combining microdermabrasion, an acid peel, and a facial into one relaxing procedure thanks to its unique 5-step process:

  1. Skin is cleansed and exfoliated to reveal glowing new skin and make it more receptive to topical products.
  2. A gentle acid peel dislodges dirt and oil without causing irritation or redness.
  3. Extractions remove more stubborn dirt from pores through the use of vortex suction.
  4. Skin is deeply hydrated by an application of antioxidant and hyaluronic acid-rich solutions.
  5. At-home products from the HydraFacial Daily Essentials® line maintain results and further protect skin between treatments.

Microdermabrasion treatments are typically only 1- or 2-step processes which involve cleansing the skin and exfoliating. Although this technique works for many people, it stops short of offering the deeper nourishment and ongoing protection of the HydraFacial.

Unlike many other facials and peels, the HydraFacial has shown itself to be well-tolerated by those with sensitive skin, and it doesn’t rely on irritation to get the job done. Many people describe it as less like a medical procedure and more like a spa service. The treatment, which can last as little as 15 minutes, is efficient and relaxing. The peel and extractions, typically thought of by many people as being uncomfortable, are gentler and less aggressive in the HydraFacial than their conventional counterparts.

According to the HydraFacial website, some patients have described the sensation of a HydraFacial as that of “a cool paintbrush moving over the face.” After a treatment, patients can resume wearing makeup and get back to their daily activities as normal. There’s no downtime necessary and no peeling or irritation to make patients feel self-conscious about going out in public.

Like microdermabrasion, most skincare professionals recommend regularly undergoing a HydraFacial in order to maintain results. For most people, including those with troubled skin, this means undergoing a treatment once a month. Although most people report an immediate improvement in the quality of their skin, dead, dull skin cells typically need to be removed in 30-day intervals to ensure a continual glow.

The HydraFacial doesn’t just refine skin — it cares for and nourishes it from the inside out for more complete results day after day. With so many advantages over microdermabrasion, it’s possible that the HydraFacial may establish itself as the new go-to treatment for beautiful skin.

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