Let’s kick today off with a question we get asked ALL THE TIME (and that’s because it’s a good one). What/where is the best facial I can get? Our response always begins by working to define BEST. Do you mean the most effective, most relaxing, most comprehensive? In an attempt to answer, we’re here to focus on one of the most efficacious facials we’ve experienced, the Hydrafacial. Our friends in the beauty world, Editors, Models, and Executives alike, swear by glow the Hydrafacial provides in three simple steps. First, cleanse. Second, extract. Third, infuse (with hydrating intensive serums). The full process, known as hydradermabrasion.
Let’s just say, we understand the hype. Every 15 seconds a Hydrafacial is performed somewhere around the Globe, topping 2 million treatments last year alone!
Why A Hydrafacial?
I (Lauren) first experienced a Hydrafacial after extensive research on the most effective facial in NYC as I approached largely one of the biggest events of my life- my wedding. I needed something that worked. As the wedding countdown began, I kept a long list of personal must-dos. From the expected “work out, highlight hair, order honeymoon outfits” I found myself stuck on the “establish facial regimen 3 months prior” task. What kind of facials should I get? Should I go to one person so they can see my skin evolve and treat any issues? After searching all corners of the internet and asking my beauty friends, I landed on the Hydrafacial at Plastic Surgeon David Shafer’s office in Midtown Manhattan. And let me tell you, even after the first appointment, my skin was glowing, nearly poreless, and IMHO had never looked better. More to come on why and how.
Before we get any further, the Hydrafacial is a machine based technology. And with technology and machines, come the people responsible for using them. While the technology might be the same anywhere that is certified to perform Hydrafacials, the standout difference is the personalized approach and craft of the aesthetician. We’ll share more about how/why the Hydrafacial ranks at the top of our list for the most efficacious facial, but first let us share where we went, and why the individualized approach deeply matters.
1) The Essentials- Need to Know
Space + Ambience:
About: Dr. David Shafer is a double-board certified award-winning Plastic Surgeon in NYC (and Lauren’s go-to for Botox- more on this in another post). Graceanne Svendsen is the Practice Manager at Shafer Plastic Surgery and a licensed aesthetician.
Neighborhood: Midtown Manhattan
Vibes: Being the office of a Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Shafer’s office is impeccably clean. With bright natural sunlight and a warm, yet minimalistic vibe, the office boasts curated products from the likes of Ocygenetix and SkinMedica (our fave).
Lobby/Waiting Room: Dr. Shafer’s office is located on the 25th floor of an inconspicuous office building, atop an Equinox and Juice Press. Always filled, the waiting room is clean, cheerful, and filled with information on the many procedures offered by Dr. Shafer and his staff. From lasers to Hydrafacials, to Boxox/Fillers, and both non-surgical and surgical procedures, Dr. Shafer does it all.
Treatment Room: The treatment rooms are bright and white, donning a large mirror the high-tech machines necessary for the task at hand (i.e. Lasers, Hydrafacials, etc). There are also curated product assortments along the counters with carefully chosen items from Dr. Shafer and Graceanne.
Worth Your While:
Cost: $200-250, dependant on add-ons / Dr. Shafer is offering 20% off for our readers! Call and mention Beauty Disclosed to book your appointment. *New clients, one time only.
- Face + Body Plastic Surgery
- Dermal Fillers
- Lasers (including V-Beam, Pico Way, Clear & Brilliant, CO2RE Laser, IPL Photofacial, Laser Hair Removal, miraDry, Fraxel, and Ulthera)
- Chemical Peels
- Cosmetic Repairs (Earlobes, etc.)
- Scar Revision
The Main Event- Behind the Scenes
To set the stage let’s go back to why the aesthetician administering the Hydrafacial (or any facial for that matter) makes a difference. First and foremost, having someone who is not certified do your Hydrafacial can deeply harm your skin. Now that we’ve said that PSA, outside of having experience with the technology and skin, we’re always looking for someone who takes a different approach to the standard treatment.
The Skin Savior:
Enter Graceanne Svendsen, AKA “The Skin Savior”. Outside of her 15 years experience managing Plastic Surgeons Practices and as a licensed aesthetician and laser technician, Graceanne is a certified holistic health coach, who also has a degree from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Simply put, this is the difference.
Graceanne’s background allows her to expertly share inner beauty insights in combination with outer beauty experiences to swiftly create a path of treatment for her patients, with the goal of truly healthy and glowing skin. Graceanne recognizes that relaxation is a luxury, so she took the base protocol of the Hydrafacial and made it her own. By blending the Hydrafacial with components of aromatherapy and European facial techniques, and utilizing Ayurvedic teachings to release oxytocins, she works to customize the Hydrafacial experience for each patient. And as a post-opt aesthetician, she has a unique understanding of inflammation and lymphatic drainage, which you know we love!
The Hydrafacial was first created as an iteration of microdermabrasion. Traditional microdermabrasion works by using small crystals to exfoliate and resurface skin, but the Hydrafacial (and Hydradermabrasion) uses a specialized vortex technology to both exfoliate the skin and remove dirt and impurities, while at the same time infusing the skin with hydrating serums, peptides, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid.
There are three main steps to any Hydrafacial, however, we’ve noted in bold the additional and fully customizable steps offered at Shafer Plastic Surgery + Laser Center.
- 1) Lymphatic Drainage
- 2) Manual Cleanse
- 3) Professional Cleanse + Peel
- 4) Extract + Hydrate
- 5) Infuse + Protect
Let’s take a deeper dive into why and how these steps work to give that unique Hydrafacial glow.
1) Lymphatic Drainage:
Graceanne began the treatment with an often unused (but highly effective) part of the Hydrafacial machine, the lymphatic drainage suction. This begins with a painless cupping technique to open and stimulate your lymphatic system. You find yourself swallowing a bit more, which signifies the toxins draining from your face through your nearby lymphs, and you all know how much we love lymphatic drainage to rid our bodies of toxins and reduce inflammation.
To us, reducing puffiness and inflammation is a must in a facial, and it’s a major benefit of the Hydrafacial. This said, make sure to ask before booking if your treatment will include lymphatic drainage as many treatments do not. Graceanne showed us both sides of our faces, one which had received the lymphatic treatment and one which had not, and the difference is REAL. We saw a clear, visible, reduction in puffiness from just a few minutes of the technique.
2) Manual Cleanse:
After the lymphatic drainage, Graceanne removed our makeup and did a quick manual cleanse. There is a need for natural oils on the face during the lymphatic drainage so that the suction slides effortlessly without pulling on the skin.
3) Professional Cleanse + Peel:
Next up, begins the professional cleanse through the Hydrafacial Vortex-Fusion technology. Using a deep pore cleansing tip + cleansing serum, the tip removes surface layer dead skin. It opens clogged pores, while simultaneously infusing serum to oxygenate and resurface the skin. There are multiple tips used throughout the Hydrafacial treatment. They’re selected based on your skin condition and seasonality (i.e. skin is much dryer in the winter), and differentiated through strength and depth. A peel, typically using glycolic or salicylic acid is infused and after minimal tingling, the skin is totally cleaned.
4) Extract + Hydrate:
After changing the tip, it’s time to remove dirt and impurities from pores through suction using the vortex tip. Simultaneously, skin is replenished with hydrating moisturizers. We literally felt the dull skin and dirt being lifted away combined with a cool sensation from the newly infused moisture.
5) Infuse + Protect:
Now, its time to penetrate and permeate skin’s surface with curated peptides and antioxidants, thus encouraging maximum glow. There are 4 Customized Boosters, available for professional use only.
- BrightAlive Boost: Minimizes discoloration + brightens skin tone for an instant glow.
- Growth Factor Boost: Minimizes fine lines + wrinkles, restoring skin’s health + vitality.
- DermaBuilder Boost: Minimizes signs of aging + recharges skin via patented peptides.
- Britenol Boost: Minimizes dark spots + sunspots for a more even complexion.
Pre/Post Hydrafacial Treatments:
The great thing about having your Hydrafacial in a Plastic Surgeons Office and under their care is that you can have other treatments pre or post Facial. For example, Shafer Plastic Surgery and Laser Center also offers derma planing, aqua glow micro needling, botox or fillers, and lasers in the team treatment. The most common is to add on the V-Beam Laser Treatment to a Hydra Facial. V-Beam is a Pulse Dye laser with fixed wavelength, by the Doctors who created SkinMedica, one of our favorite skincare lines (we love the TNS Essential Serum and HA5, more below). V-Beam is most commonly used to treat scars, redness, broken capillaries, and treat fine lines and wrinkles with no downtime!
We love the HydraFacial for it’s immediate and long-term benefits to the skin. It treats specific skin concerns and overall skin health by increasing hydration. Also, using antioxidants and peptides to protect the skin. We also love the Hydrafacial as it is good for almost every skin type. And, we’re sharing the BTS things you should definitely ask for as an added extra to your Hydrafacial treatment! We’ve broken this down below.
- Hydrates, clears, and rejuvenates skin
- Softens fine lines and wrinkles
- Cleans clogged or oily pores
- Reduces acne
- Prevents and improves hyperpigmentation
- Improves texture and tone of skin
Why We Love the Hydrafacial:
- Good for most every complexion (including those with skin concerns)
- There is consistency in the training and approach (though we love the extras and personalization)
- Minimal side effects or irritation
- No downtime and can be done in as quick as 30 minutes
- Options for customization (we highly encourage this!)
- It works with other procedures (for example, lasers, Botox, Fillers, etc).
Lip Treatment: Primes, hydrates, fills and smooths lips by using ingredients like peony extract and peppermint oil to plump your pout.
Eye Treatment: Used to awaken the eye area through green tea extract to energize, and citric acid to brighten.
Anyone looking for a total skin refresh. There is (typically) no downtime, redness, or irritation, and you literally walk out the door with youthful, glowing skin. Also ideal for those with specific skin conditions or concerns. For example, fine lines and wrinkles, inelasticity and lack of firmness, uneven skin tone/texture and lack of vibrancy, sun damage, dark spots, oily/congested skin, enlarged pores, and advanced signs of aging.
The Fine Print (restrictions):
The beauty of this treatment is that it is good for almost everyone. However, monthly treatments are recommended for the full benefits.
The Afterglow- Our Thoughts
How We Felt:
To sum it up, we felt cleansed, smoothed, and hydrated. And as a result, radiant, and glowing from the inside out.
Would We Do It Again:
Bottom Line, 100% Yes. Shafer Plastic Surgery and Laser Center offers a personalized version of the VERY effective Hydrafacial treatment. For this reason, we totally recommend it before a major event, as the seasons change, or if your skin needs a total reboot!
Keep Glowing BD / Pro Tip:
Look for treatments with both efficacy and that combine awareness of mind, body, and spirit to the health of the skin. For instance, things like face mapping, an ancient Chinese technique to diagnose symptoms, can help to connect the outer and inner beauty skin health.
Also, hardworking products can help. Use products that will continue to encourage hydration and cell turnover. We LOVE SkinMedica TNS Recovery Complex. Tissue Nutrient System (aka TNS) is filled with growth factors to firm, tone, and smooth skin. It works to fight inflammation, promote new cell growth, and leave a lasting glow, by targeting blood vessels. Antioxidants and Amino Acids prevent early aging and protect from environmental damage. Another great option we use nightly is SkinMedica HA5, which restores hyaluronic acid and balances moisture levels through a blend of 5 hydrators. It works for 8 hours by utilizing humectants which collect moisture from the air and deliver it to the areas of skin most in need.
- Name: Shafer Plastic Surgery and Laser Center
- Location: 10 E 53rd St, New York, NY 10022
- Follow @shaferplasticsurgery on IG
- Book It
- Promo Code: Stay tuned for a special offer!
You Tell Us:
Have you had a Hydrafacial? Any other questions about the treatment? Ask below!