Experts Say HydraFacial Is The Best Facial For Congested Skin, So I Tried It

Best Facial For Congested Skin - Hydrafacial for Congested Skin

Congestion can take a toll on your overall complexion. Clogged pores, whiteheads, and blackheads don’t appear overnight. And they don’t disappear overnight either. To properly get rid of them, you need patience and a few hardcore decongesting skincare products in your arsenal.

Even so, it’s easy to get carried away and go too harsh with exfoliation, which may result in things getting much, much worse. Those times call for a proper facial performed by a professional to push the reset button on your skin. Well, good news!

I’ve found the best facial for congested skin that’s a little more aggressive than a daily skincare routine but not as harsh as invasive treatments. It’s HydraFacial and I’ve tried it to prove my point. It’s the best facial for congested skin. And it’s going to give you the headstart you need to get rid of congestion.

The summer weather, a skincare routine that changes by the minute, and an unprecedented level of stress wreaked havoc on my skin. That’s why I reached out to Burcu Guleryuz, founder of Burcu Guleryuz Beauty Consultancy in Istanbul, to hook me up with the treatment.

Find below everything you need to know about HydraFacial, and how it helps congested skin.

What is HydraFacial?

HydraFacial is a non-invasive skin treatment that utilizes a handheld device to thoroughly clean, lightly peel, and deeply hydrate the skin. The device has vacuum-like tips in different sizes, which are the pillars of this treatment.

And they have a patented working mechanism, which is called Vortex Fusion. The tips extract gunk from the skin and deliver solutions into it at the same time. The whole facial is done using the machine. And there’s little to no intervention from the esthetician.

How does it work?

There are three major steps in a HydraFaical. Before anything else, your esthetician removes your makeup just like in any other facial. Then the magic starts. Below is a step-by-step explanation of how HydraFacial works.

Step #1

The treatment starts with basic cleansing and exfoliating using one of the tips. The tip is not a one-way tool. It delivers a solution into the skin while removing surface debris. So your skin is damp during the whole process. It reminded me of those industrial wet vacuums. The tip feels super gentle on the skin. And it works both as chemical and physical exfoliation.

Step #2

This is the core of the whole facial. It’s when the major extraction happens. Another tip is used to deliver a blend of glycolic and salicylic acids into the skin. “With the help of salicylic acid, the oily layer of the skin is stimulated. This is the part where blackheads and other impurities are sucked out of pores to ease congested skin”, says Burcu.

As I have sensitive skin, she applied a soothing face mask before moving on to the next step. People who have sensitive skin or rosacea are advised against using alpha and beta hydroxy acids in their skincare routine. Even though it didn’t irritate my skin at the time, I think the soothing mask prevented potential irritation.

Best Facial For Congested Skin - Hydrafacial Step 2

Step #3

The last step of HydraFacial is all about soothing, hydrating, and moisturizing the skin. The vacuum-like tip still works in a vortex motion. And it delivers humectants and antioxidants into the skin. Because of exfoliation, these goodies penetrate the skin better and your skin basically drinks up.

As a result, it looks smoother, brighter, and glowing. It reduced dullness and gave me more even-looking skin. Once we were done with the machine, Burcu applied a serum, a moisturizer, and sunscreen onto my skin.

How does HydraFacial help congested skin?

“HydraFaical helps congested skin by getting rid of surface dead skin cells, blackheads, and built-up dirt stuck inside the pores”, says Burcu.

“Excess sebum production or environmental aggressors can lead to the accumulation of dirt inside the pores, which leads to blackheads. HydraFacial deeply cleans out the skin via physical and chemical exfoliation. That’s why it’s the best facial for congested skin. It also stimulates circulation and leaves the skin looking fresh and plump”.

She suggests managing your expectations from the facial though. “It’s not really a “treatment” for a major skin issue. It’s more of maintenance to keep the skin clear and smooth. Regular HydraFacials can improve your skin texture and tone.

But realistically speaking, it can’t get rid of deep wrinkles, tighten loose skin, remove stubborn hyperpigmentation, or reduce pore size. Those kinds of issues require treatments that are a little bit more aggressive; treatments that affect the deeper layers of the skin. In that sense, HydraFacial won’t be as effective as, say, a laser treatment”.

Does HydraFacial help with acne?

“Hydrafacial is not suitable for people with severe acne”, says Burcu. “It’s because the way the suction works can easily irritate active, inflamed acne. And as we are moving the tip across the face, it’s not hygienic either. It can cause breakouts on otherwise unproblematic areas of the face”.

Burcu suggests you get a medical facial if you’re actively dealing with cystic acne. “A medical facial is more suitable for acne-prone skin to properly care for the skin and perform extractions when needed. In that case, HydrFacial would be a complementary treatment to “polish” the skin, helping you achieve even better results”.

On the other hand, as congestion can lead to acne, HydraFacial can be a preventative option to maintain clear skin and avoid breakouts from congestion.

So if you’re not currently dealing with painful, cystic acne, which hurts to touch let alone vacuum, HydraFaical can help clear out your skin.

How often should you get it?

Burcu suggests that HydraFacial is not a one-and-done treatment. Even though you get immediate benefits even after 1 treatment, you get the best results after about 4 treatments done regularly once a month.

Is there any downtime?

As HydraFacial is a very gentle treatment, there is no downtime. However, because of the suctioning and the acids, you might experience mild redness for a few hours. Some people see redness the next day too. In my case, the redness was gone the next day.

Can people with sensitive skin get a HydraFacial?

“HydraFacial can be performed on people with sensitive skin. It is not an irritating skin treatment and is unlikely to cause inflammation. Inform your esthetician during consultation. And they can modify the facial, the products they use, and the tips they use depending on your skin’s condition.

They may add steps into the facial or skip them. Some people steam the face in advance; something I don’t do on sensitive skin. It’s a versatile treatment, too. You can incorporate a lymphatic drainage massage or a LED mask into the facial. Some even squeeze in a manual extraction”.

Well, that’s the beauty of facials. Anything is customizable. I have rosacea, which is currently in remission right now. So I was not irritated by the treatment at all. The acids are very light and don’t even cause peeling. But still, it’s something to keep in mind if you have sensitive skin or rosacea.

Below is my before & after image. My skin looks much more alive, bright, and even. And this is just one treatment.

Hydrafacial for Congested Skin - Before  After
HydraFacial Before After


Burcu suggests not going home and washing your face immediately after your facial. “It’s best to let the skin absorb all that’s infused into it and give it at least a few hours before washing your face. Let the products remain on the skin for a while.

Additionally, make sure you wear sunscreen, especially during the first few days after your treatment. Your skin has gotten rid of dead skin cells and is exfoliated via chemical acids. Unprotected sun exposure can cause dark spots”.

Burcu also suggests you stop using exfoliants and retinol a few days before your appointment and the following 2 days after the appointment.

Well, I loved my results. And it was definitely the headstart I needed. If you have clogged pores and blackheads, HydraFacial is the facial for congested skin.

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