- The Platinum HydraFacial™
- A chemical peel
- A charcoal peel
- A laser peel
- Hot, radio-frequency microneedling
- Ask an expert!
Who doesn’t love a good facial? In a traditional spa, a facial can be a relaxing, self-care indulgence. The story gets a tad bit different in a medical aesthetic skin clinic. While medical-grade facials in Vancouver can sometimes be comforting, they’re more so aimed at getting a job done. They can feel a little rough, but they work ‘hard’ to exfoliate, so you get results.* In our book, that’s what facials should be doing, right?
Whatever you want to change in your skin, medical-grade facials should be part of your monthly routine. However, if you only try them once, below are some top picks to choose from!
Not sure which one is right for you? That’s understandable! Let an expert help you decide! Visit us in-person for a consultation, so we can analyze your skin before making a recommendation.
1) The Platinum HydraFacial™
What it feels like: a suction wand ‘vacuuming’ your skin while it washes it.
What it does: mildly exfoliates while hydrating and penetrating skin with antioxidants.
What it treats: acne, clogged pores, dullness, mild signs of aging.
You may have heard of HydraFacial™ before. It’s like the new-and-improved way to do a microdermabrasion and hydrating facial in one treatment. It can even do extractions with its ‘suction’ power, as it cleanses your pores. The brand has coined its machine as the only “hydradermabrasion” option out there. But watch out – there are copycats! Look for the true HydraFacial™.
Nonetheless, did you know that HydraFacial™ comes in different packages and strengths?
The typical HydraFacial™ packages are:
- Signature HydraFacial™ (30 min)
- Deluxe HydraFacial™ (45 min)
- Platinum HydraFacial™ (60 min)
The best one to go for is the Platinum HydraFacial™. The Platinum is the ‘full meal deal’ of everything the HydraFacial™ system can offer. It includes:
- Lymphatic drainage (for skin detoxification).
- Signature HydraFacial™ with the three basic steps of “Cleanse & Peel” “Extract & Hydrate” and “Fuse & Protect.”
- 1 “booster” serum.
- LED light therapy using both red light and blue light.
PLUS, if you get your Platinum HydraFacial™ package at a doctor-led skin centre like ours, you might also qualify for a medical-grade, mild chemical peel to go with your treatment. It is two to three times stronger than the ‘basic’ peel offered in most Hydrafacials. This higher strength peel is only available at medical aesthetic clinics.
Learn more about HydraFacial™, here.
2) A chemical peel
What it feels like: a wet solution being brushed over your face and allowed to set before being wiped off.
What it does: forces collagen renewal by dissolving a top layer of skin, either superficially or deeply.
What it treats: sun damage, brown spots, red spots, rosacea, slightly aging skin, burn marks, large pores and mild, topical scars.
What is a chemical peel? It may sound scary, due to the word “chemical” followed by the word “peel.” But, this facial is more like a strong exfoliation. You know how, in our teen years, we all used salicylic acid on our zits to clean out our pores? And let’s not forget benzoyl peroxide, the top performer in Proactiv® (remember that?).
Well, chemical peels are similar to those pore cleansers, except that, in a medical spa setting, they come in higher concentrations.
Chemical peels can be really strong, but they can also be quite mild. And, in-between you can get medium-strengths of varying degrees, as well as spot treatments.
The strength of chemical peels speeds up your skin’s exfoliation process. You may literally watch a top, thin layer of your skin peel off after treatment (gradually, over weeks, though). This helps reveal fresh, new skin as your dermal layers heal.
Learn more about chemical peels, here.
3) A charcoal peel
What it feels like: a wet solution being brushed over your face and allowed to set.
What it does: deeply cleanses pores of dirt and oil while removing dead skin cells.
What it treats: acne, enlarged pores, dullness and mild signs of aging.
This one is not necessarily medical-grade, since forms of it can be found at traditional spas. But it is certainly performed at doctor-led clinics as well.
A charcoal peel is a lot like a chemical peel, but it uses activated carbon to attract more impurities out of the pores. Charcoal is especially good at this type of deep cleaning. It’s also more accommodating to sensitive skin, since carbon is an inert substance.
Unlike forms of strong chemical peels, charcoal peels are not usually so intense that they lead to excessive peeling. They are a milder treatment, suitable for a routine facial.
Learn more about charcoal peels, here.
What it feels like: a rough-ended, gritty wand being rubbed against your skin.
What it does: removes dead skin cells.
What it treats: fine lines and wrinkles, flaking, blackheads, oiliness, large pores, uneven skin tone, uneven texture.
This facial is a classic – you’ll find it in many traditional and medical spas these days. It’s an ‘oldie but goodie.’
However, the term “micro” in “microdermabrasion” is important. Did you know that this treatment started as just plain, “dermabrasion”? It was a very aggressive way to remove a top layer of skin, for various issues. It could only be done in doctor’s offices. So, when a machine was made that could use teeny, tiny sand particles to exfoliate, it was a much safer option, and quickly took over the scene.
These days, doctor-led medical spas like ours still perform microdermabrasion. It’s more of a ‘dry’ and mechanical way to exfoliate, especially for ‘thick’ and oily skin.
Learn more about microdermabrasion, here.
5) A laser peel
What it feels like: a small elastic band snapping against your skin in pulses.
What it does: mildly removes a thin, top layer of skin to force collagen renewal.
What it treats: fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, brown spots, uneven texture, laxity, dullness, sun damage.
While the word “laser” may make you think this is a really strong treatment, that’s not always the case. Lasers certainly do exfoliate very well. However, some can be used at very mild settings. So mild, in fact, they can be milder than a chemical peel. Something like a photofacial can be considered similar to a laser peel (but photofacials use a different technology altogether).
Laser peels can be an alternative way to get your monthly exfoliation done, without requiring a lot of downtime. We say it is like getting 30 microdermabrasions all at once. But, it’s not as strong as skin resurfacing.
If you want to go ‘up and up’ with stronger laser peels, you can ‘graduate’ to less frequent treatments of Fraxel® or Fractional CO2 treatments. These are ‘big’ ones though, so they’d fall outside the category of ‘facials.’
Learn more about laser peels, here.
6) Hot, radio-frequency microneedling
What it feels like: a 1 sq cm of several tiny needles being poked into your skin spot by spot, in three passes.
What it does: removes dead skin cells.
What it treats: acne and acne scars, wrinkles, uneven tone, uneven texture, dark undereye circles, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, scars, sagging skin, stretch marks (striae alba)
Definitely a ‘strong’ type of facial, this treatment is like ‘microneedling on steroids.’ Instead of using only needle pokes to stimulate collagen production, it goes a step beyond by heating up those needles with radio frequency energy.
The heat is what makes this treatment so effective.* It’s less of an exfoliant and more of a skin rejuvenation treatment. But, it can be similar in effect to a Fraxel® laser treatment, over a series of sessions. Requiring more sessions can be a good thing though, since your skin will get time to heal in between appointments, resulting in less downtime.
There’s always a Vancouver, medical-grade facial that’s right for you!
While we could say that you can get any of the above medical-grade facials in Vancouver, that wouldn’t be accurate. Each person’s skin is different, and thus requires a customized approach to treatment.
For example, if your main concern is acne, but you have oily skin versus combination skin, then your treatment may be different than a person with combination skin.
The best thing to do would be to consult with a professional aesthetician in Vancouver. They can learn more about your skin history, see your face up close and even run you through facial analysis systems, like the VISIA® scanner. Then, they can tell you what treatments would be best to achieve the results* you want.
That said, some of the above treatments, in a medical spa setting, could be harmless. For example, the HydraFacial™ can be so mild, anyone can get it, even teens. You’ll just want to be careful if you have sensitive skin, or are prone to hyperpigmentation. In those cases, definitely take the advice of a professional!
If you’re in the Vancouver area, we encourage you to book a consultation at our Surrey clinic. We offer all of the above medical-grade facials. We also have a doctor on staff, and a team of trained aestheticians who can consult on your skin!
*Please note that while the above treatments can certainly produce results in many of our patients, results can also vary from person-to-person. Results are also best seen when making these facials part of a regular maintenance program, alongside stronger treatments and a daily skincare routine designed for your needs. Ask us for more information!