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What Should You Avoid After a HydraFacial?

If you’re like most people, you want to know what makes the HydraFacial so special. Is it the application of customizable serums? The four-step process that provides dependable results? Or the ability to completely rejuvenate your appearance in one treatment? At ProMD Health in Annapolis, Arlington, Baltimore, and Columbia, MD, we know the answer is yes to all of these questions – and the treatment requires just a few easy-to-follow post-care steps.

What Should You Avoid After a HydraFacial?

We’re going to break this down step by step to help ensure you get optimal results. To start, you should not take a shower or engage in intense exercise for about six hours after treatment. The goal in this is twofold: keep your face dry to seal in the serums we apply and allow pores to continue breathing. Washing your face removes the nutrient-rich products that are part of the HydraFacial (HF), while sweating can clog pores and irritate fresh tissues.

With this in mind, you should avoid heat for the first 24 hours following treatment. Opt for a tepid shower over one that’s steaming-hot. You should also skip saunas, steam rooms, and intensely hot foods like soup. Vigorous exercise should likewise be avoided for the first day.

Try To Go Fresh-Faced

Although you can apply makeup right after your session, we recommend you wait. Again, the point is to let fresh skin cells and pores breathe. Because your face will be bright and fresh after treatment, you likely won’t even need your usual foundation and blush.

But if you feel too uncomfortable to resume your day bare faced, it’s important you use gentle products that won’t irritate your skin and remove makeup with a gentle touch before bed. Keep in mind you want to delay washing your face for at least six hours. When you do cleanse, you should choose a gentle, hypoallergenic wash.

Watch Your Products

In the first 48 hours after treatment, you should avoid any topical medications like Retin-A or tretinoin that can inflame new skin cells. Over-the-counter acne medications should likewise be avoided. We additionally recommend you not use beauty products formulated with glycolic acid or similar ingredients that exfoliate skin.

As long as we’re talking about exfoliation, you should avoid all exfoliators. This means no microdermabrasion, chemical peels, or dermaplaning for at least two weeks (more on this point in a moment). Last but not least, skip the waxing, plucking, and depilatories during this time as well. You want to treat your skin gently, and if you follow our recommendations, you’ll enjoy a softer, smoother, and brighter complexion for several weeks.

Stay Out of the Sun

Let’s talk about tanning beds for a moment. They damage skin and can be especially harmful for fresh skin cells that have never seen the light of day. In other words, your face will be more sensitive than usual following a HydraFacial. Tanning during the first 72 hours after treatment will injure fresh skin and negate some beneficial treatment effects.

Not only should you stay out of tanning beds, but you should also avoid natural sunlight for at least five days. This is especially true if you have very pale skin. The paler your complexion naturally is, the more susceptible it is to UV damage. And you’re at risk of UV damage in a variety of situations, whether driving in a car or sitting in an office near a window. Although the risk is lower than when you’re outdoors, UV light can pass through glass and damage skin.

Wear Year-Round Sun Protection

The solution, as you might have guessed, is sunscreen. It needs to be worn even on rainy or overcast days and even when you’re simply sitting indoors. But you can’t apply sunscreen in the morning and assume you’re protected for the rest of the day.

To reap the full benefits of this product, you need to reapply sunscreen every four hours. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects from UVC damage. Sunscreen made specifically for the face is even better. Also, choose a product with the right SPF for you. Dark skin generally needs an SPF of 30 or 35, while pale skin needs at least 55.

Schedule Other Treatments Appropriately

On average, the skin takes 28 to 32 days to renew itself. This means you really don’t need a chemical peel or laser treatment within the first month of your HF. Remember your facial will remove the top layers of your skin, where debris and dead skin cells reside. The skin underneath is sensitive, and a chemical peel or similarly intensive treatment will only harm fresh tissues.

In addition, these treatments accomplish the same goal as the HF. You would simply be resurfacing your skin again, and two resurfacing treatments in the same month can be quite harsh. Instead, discuss your skincare concerns with us, and we’ll develop a treatment plan that works for you and your unique needs.

Steps of the Facial Treatment

The first step of the HF is actually two in one: cleansing and exfoliation. Our team will start by attaching a small vortex tip to the handheld tool used throughout the treatment. This tool removes the top layer of dead cells and debris. Meanwhile, the cleansing process deeply and thoroughly eliminates impurities to pave the path for the next step.

Step Two: Chemical Peel

While continuing to nourish skin with a constant stream of hydration, the next step in the HydraFacial is a chemical peel. This isn’t a manual peel like you’re thinking of, but one delivered via the same handheld tool as used for cleansing and exfoliation. Ingredients used in the peel, such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid, banish blackheads and eliminate acne-causing bacteria.

Step Three: Extractions

Extractions are a sore subject (no pun intended) when it comes to facials. They’re painful to endure and inflame the skin. Many dermatologists don’t even like to perform manual extractions because the results are highly unreliable. They depend on technique, and if a technician squeezes too hard or applies too much pressure, you may need several days to recover.

Extractions with the HF are completely different. Using patented Vortex-Fusion technology, the handheld device we keep mentioning removes impurities locked deep within pores. The unique spiral design of the tool’s tip powerfully sucks out debris without causing pain or irritation. It also simultaneously delivers vital nutrients to hydrate and protect the skin.

Seeing Is Believing

Some patients wonder if the HF truly is different from other facial treatments. Here’s one way you can be assured it is: a cup at the base of the extraction tool collects all the impurities we extract. You can think of this cup as confirmation that treatment works as described.

Step Four: Deep Hydration

We will apply a deeply hydrating serum to your face at the end of treatment to provide a completely custom finish. This step also incorporates the Vortex Fusion tool to infuse the serum deep into the skin. The goal is to promote a polished appearance and seal in the HF’s hydrating effects. You’ll leave our office with a smooth and glowing complexion that speaks to your skin’s renewed health.

A Few Final Details

Few people know this prior to treatment, but the HF can be tailored to meet your specific aesthetic concerns. From the serums we use to the suction power of the handheld device, we’re able to deliver a customized therapy that works for your skin. This means we’ll design a treatment plan just for you – and that plan won’t be like anyone else’s.

You should also understand that HF can deliver a wide breadth of benefits, from reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to delivering intense hydration to the skin. The HF can additionally:

  • Reduce inflammation and redness
  • Correct skin blemishes
  • Improve current and reduce future breakouts
  • Smooth skin texture
  • Brighten the complexion
  • Whisk away hyperpigmentation
  • Shrink enlarged pores
  • Eliminate blackheads and whiteheads
  • Reverse the effects of sun damage


Maintenance Sessions Are Recommended

Your skin will look soft and dewy immediately after treatment, but the HF is intended to improve skin’s appearance over time. This means that for maximum results, you should schedule a session every four to six weeks. Keep in mind you can complement this therapy with other non-invasive treatments like Botox or dermal fillers.

The Easy Path to Gorgeous Skin

The HF is an easy, effective way to revive your appearance. The treatment is completely pain-free and in one session cleanses, exfoliates, extracts, and moisturizes the skin. Benefits range from a more radiant complexion to softer, smoother skin. Schedule your consultation today by contacting ProMD Health in Annapolis, Arlington, Baltimore, and Columbia, MD.

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Annapolis, MD (21401)


Arlington, VA (22201)


Timonium, MD (21093)


Bel Air,
MD (21015)

Columbia, MD (21045)


Wellington, FL (33414)


Washington, DC (20001)


Tox Bar (21224)

Westminster, MD (21157)