Photography by Camille Lizama

This summer, while innocently scheduling my biannual hair trim at Haus Salon, I noticed a new service: the HydraFacial. I wondered, What in the hell is that? Don’t tempt me with a good time! Haus is known for its highly trained stylists, colorists and aestheticians as well as its incredible product lines (Kjaer Weis, Rodin, Shu Uemura). In other words, it’s a safe place to try something new. So two clicks later, I had booked an appointment with spa director and resident skin/brow expert Catherine Lleras, a kind soul with a serious knack for making skin glow.

I’ve been down the skincare rabbit hole (sheet masks, oils, “Exfoliate a ton” versus “Don’t exfoliate at all,” and the classic “Just drink a lot of water”), and I’m here to tell you that most of it is expensive and disappointing. However, I am an advocate of taking care of your skin with high-quality products and professional help. The HydraFacial checked every box for me. It’s known to work wonders with sensitive skin, so I was very excited to see what a series of facials with Lleras would do.

How It Works

The HydraFacial feels like someone is vacuuming all of the gunk out of your pores while simultaneously infusing it with all the good stuff.

The signature handheld device does the heavy lifting for the three-step treatment, starting with a deep cleanse and a gentle glycolic-acid peel. Don’t let the word “peel” scare you; the strength is customized based on your skin’s needs. Next up is the HydraFacial’s shining star, the duel-vortex vacuum pore extractions. Blackheads just don’t stand a chance. Finally, there’s an infusion of a powerful mix of juicy antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate.

Afterward comes the light (potentially my favorite part). It’s a relaxing treat after the treatment. The targeted LED light-therapy wand is held close to the skin. Red light calms redness and increases circulation, while blue light’s antibacterial properties help break up congestion, fight oil and shrink even the most inflamed acne. In my experience, this speeds up the healing of breakouts while reducing hyperpigmentation left over from even the peskiest cystic acne.

What to Know

The HydraFacial feels more medical than a traditional facial, and in my experience, the former boasts much more noticeable results than the latter. There’s a post-facial glow and there’s a post-HydraFacial glow — these two things are not the same. Results for me were super smooth skin, much clearer pores, broken up congestion on my jawline and slightly broken up hyperpigmentation due to melasma, allowing my freckles to just be freckles again.

The HydraFacial’s efficiency is another major draw for me. Treatments start at just 30 minutes, and there’s no downtime. Lleras assured me that it works for all skin types, even the most sensitive. That said, if you have an important event coming up (I’m looking at you, brides), Lleras recommends booking one month prior to the big day so that your aesthetician can get to know your skin. You will see results from just one treatment, but a series based on your individual concerns is the most impactful approach. A pro tip for the super busy: Stack your brow appointment with your HydraFacial and leave feeling brand-new.

The Verdict

I think of the HydraFacial as the facial treatment that allows you to cut way back on makeup because it can brighten, tighten, clean and create a beautiful palette, making cosmetics less necessary — and providing a real confidence boost. Since starting my treatments, I’ve spent less on tinted moisturizer, foundation, concealer and CC cream. Instead, I’m investing in healthy skin that breathes. I told Lleras that my morning routine had sped up, that I am becoming increasingly low-maintenance. Lleras wasn’t surprised to hear I was skipping my RMS Living Luminizer altogether. The HydraFacial can be a transformative experience, a confidence booster and a reminder that a healthy glow isn’t meant to be tempered by covering it up. Let the glow show.