The HydraFacial combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction and hydration for younger healthier looking skin
On a cold February afternoon I visited Waterhouse Young, the renowned clinic adjacent to London's medical centre, Harley Street. This was the first time I had stepped foot in an aesthetic clinic and I was immediately aware of the professional medical surroundings one comes to expect from this area of London.
Waterhouse Young was created by Norman Waterhouse and Richard Young, two of the UK's most respected plastic surgeons, to offer non-surgical solutions to soften lines and rejuvenate skin as well as treat medical conditions such as acne.
As well as an air of professionalism, the clinic has a very relaxed atmosphere where I was instantly put at ease by Duncan who easily persuaded me to have a delicious antioxidant drink rather than the water I had requested. I'm glad he did it was quite delicious.
After completing the medical forms I was introduced to Michele Engel who is known as Mica. Mica is a fully qualified General Medical Practitioner who has studied preventative medicine as well being trained by an eminent plastic surgeon. Together Mica and I went through my skincare routine, the supplements I take daily, the condition I feel my skin is in now and what the procedure I was having would entail. I signed the medical consent forms and was ready to greet my new skin.
Visia Skin Analysis
Mica explained that with the Visia Skin Analysis computerised equipment we would be able to look deeply into my skin and see any history of sun damage, dehydration, wrinkles, texture, bacteria (yes I winced at that one as well) brown spots and red areas. After placing my head within the light box and resting my chin on the guard, I closed my eyes and three magnified three-dimensional images were taken of the various areas of my skin. There is nowhere to hide in the Visia booth, you are trapped and all your past indiscretions are there coming to light before you – literally!
Once your personal details have been programmed into the machine and your images taken, the Visia Skin Analysis quickly gets to work comparing your data against people of a similar age, gender and skin type. I was pleasantly surprised by the results and grateful for having never liked sunbathing and also taken good care of my skin in the past.
Mica reported that after the Visia Skin Analysis 'two things became evident, that Tracey has excellent skin to start with and that the only thing we need to focus is on prevention. Although the sun damage is under control, we can observe a few blemished and pigmented lesions on the top layer of the skin, which may interfere with an even skin tone. The oil production is a little increased on the T zone, starting to enlarge the size of the pores on the area, so using the right kind of exfoliants and moisturizers is mandatory. Also, we have to keep the collagen production going, so treatment to stimulate the fibroblast is important as a maintenance plan (remember that we reach our pick of collagen production at 25, so we need to keep stimulating the skin after that)'.
This news brought a great sense of relief that the years of taking Collagen Shots and the religious application of sunscreen had paid off. Mica went on to advise a course of HydraFacial Glysal to address tone and pores, and Endymed Radiofrequency Skin Tightening to reignite collagen production.
What is a HydraFacial?
The HydraFacial is a non-invasive, non-surgical procedure that gives instant results with no discomfort. It promises to cleanse, exfoliate, extract and hydrate. It resurfaces skin, improving the tone and texture and leaves it plump refreshed and glowing. The best part of the HydraFacial is that there is no downtime, you can literally leave the clinic and go back to work. It's the perfect lunchtime treatment.
I was then introduced to Anna, an aesthetic nurse and Clinic Director, who took me through to the treatment room. This facial should not to be confused with a pampering spa facial, think dentist chair and an efficient clinical room, no candles or dimmed lights.
Anna explained that the HydraFacial equipment uses a vortex extraction tip for microdermabrasion, it gently but efficiently sweeps the skins surface of impurities and dead skin cells. It's hard to explain the exact feeling, it's pleasant and a little like a tiny vacuum working on your skin.
Next came the extractions where the HydraFacial equipment literally sucks up all the excess sebum and gunk that's trapped within the upper layers of your skin. Again, a satisfying feeling knowing it's better out than in! Anna then applied glycolic and salicylic acid to lightly peel the skin. This was a low percentage peel to just lift and illuminate rather than tackle any more serious issues. Once the peel was removed the HydraFacial equipment then works in reverse to drive an antioxidant and hyaluronic acid hydrating serum deep into the skin.
To complete the treatment red LED light is used to help stimulate the collagen and activate the fibroblasts. This is probably the most relaxing part of the facial where you can lie back and imagine the warm sun rejuvenating you.
My skin was a little pink after the treatment but by the time I had walked home in the very cool evening air it had all subsided. My skin looked as if it had just been beautifully polished, the lines on my forehead looked less obvious and I looked clean – very clean!
After the HydraFacial
But the big reveal came in the following days, my skin continued to improve, skincare absorbed easier and my makeup looked better on my skin. My complexion was clear, bright and looked a slightly different shade. I can only assume this is where any light sun damage has been removed.
If your skin is looking a little lacklustre and has that slightly grey look that it can take on during the winter, I would recommend having a HydraFacial to refresh and brighten it. The added bonus is that this facial will make your skin look younger in the most natural way with absolutely no pain, discomfort or downtime – what's not to love?
The HydraFacial costs £230 and it's recommended that you have a series of six to see the full benefits. Contact Waterhouse Young for a comprehensive treatment plan
Waterhouse Young are offering readers a 20% discount off the HydraFacial - please mention Fighting Fifty when booking.
I wish to thank Waterhouse Young for offering me the opportunity to review the HydraFacial