Often the best way to find out about a treatment is via word of mouth. A lot of the time beauty editors are the ones shouting about a new product or treatment first, but recently I was chatting with Danielle Peazer who was telling me about a facial she had tried and loved. She was so positive about it that I had to book in. The treatment in question was the HydraFacial, a six step treatment designed to clean out pores and calm inflammation making it ideal for anyone struggling with blocked pores, blackheads or acne. Now, I don't know about you but when it comes to my spots I'm a bit of a squeezer, so when Danielle told me that you could see all the grime that's sucked out of your pores at the end of the session I was desperate to book in.
I headed to Nuriss on Wimpole Street, London, to put the HydraFacial to the test. The facial itself is a little under an hour but the therapist sat me down to talk through what I was to expect from the treatment. Sounds wonderfully gross, right?
HydraFacial's Six Steps
The HydraFacial starts like any other with the therapist removing makeup and giving the skin a thorough cleanse. A special machine with a spiral tip is used throughout the treatment. It can do everything from sucking out dirt and blackheads to infusing the skin with brightening ingredients.
1) To start the machine is used for some gentle yet stimulating lymph drainage massage. This boosts the flow of oxygen to the cells and helps to rev up the skin's natural process of eliminating toxins. It feels gentle and pretty relaxing.
2) The next stage involves simultaneous cleansing and exfoliating. Dead skin cells are buffed away, while a combination of lactic acid and glucosamine are pushed into pores to aid the exfoliation and boost hydration deep down.
3) The third step in the process uses a powerful mix of glycolic and salicylic acids to help loosen any leftover debris and brighten the complexion.
4) Now comes the key part of the process: the extraction. This is where the spiral tip spins and draws out blackheads and other impurities from the pores. It feels more gentle than manual exfoliation, so I was sceptical as to whether it would be as effective.
5) After this a cocktail of hyaluronic acid, peptides, antioxidants are funnelled into the pores to plump and hydrate.
6) The last part of the facial involves red LED light to reduce any residual redness and help to boost the collagen.
Tailor It to You
While the facial follows a set six step process, this cocktail of ingredients that is applied to the skin post-extraction can be tailored to your complexion's needs.
If you're a city-dweller dealing with pollution-induced dullness then you can opt for the 'Life' treatment with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid which is what I went for.
If your skin is particularly dull and lacklustre there is an aptly named 'Brightening' treatment which contains Vitamin C to target brown spots and sun damage, as well as hyperpigmentation.
Lastly, if acne or acne scarring is your concern then the 'Acne and Acne Scarring' treatment targets the excess oil in the skin and tackles the scarring with deeper exfoliation using varying strengths of peel.
Considering the HydraFacial is less hands on and more machine based it was surprisingly relaxing. I could feel myself drifting off as the machine whirred away and the therapist ran the nozzle over my face during each phase. Once the facial had finished I hopped off the bed and the therapist presented me with a flask of murky water. The facial uses pressurised water throughout to flush out the pores and the H2O that had been used during my treatment was now sat in the flask and in it was all the debris, dirt and blackheads that had been in my pores. So gross, yet so addictive to look at. My scepticism that this wouldn't be as effective as manual extraction was instantly dispelled as I peered into the flask on the table.
While the facial wasn't painful and while I did find it quite relaxing, this definitely isn't something you would book in for if you're after an indulgent treat. This is essentially a deep clean for your skin, something to book in for come January, post-party season, when your complexion can look a little worse for wear or after a beach holiday when your skin is parched and perhaps a little blocked from all the sunscreen and sweat.