Judy and esthetician Mackenzi in HydraFacial room

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50“There’s no downtime,” said Mackenzi, the esthetician at Moxie Blue Salon in Old City, Philadelphia, as I completed my pre-facial intake form, took off my eyeglasses, climbed up on the massage table and closed my eyes. “This very hydrating, anti-aging facial only takes about 30 minutes. It’s more internally focused since I will be putting materials into the skin instead of on top.” “Sounds great,” I responded. I was ready to receive the beauty benefits of a HydraFacial and learn more about this trendy skin care treatment.

Moxie Blue Salon in Old City Philadelphia

I had my HydraFacial at the Moxie Blue Salon in Old City, Philadelphia.

What is a HydraFacial?

Despite all the women’s style magazines I read, I had never heard about HydraFacials until the nice Philly PR Girl coordinator Dominique, invited me to experience one. “As you may or may not already know, we work with Moxie Blue Salon.* Not only does Moxie Blue offer exceptional haircut, color, and styling services, but they are one of the only salons in the Philadelphia area offering the HydraFacial,” said Dominique.

“A HydraFacial is an amazing facial for long term skin health. The non-invasive procedure removes dull, dead skin cells and impurities, while targeting fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots/hyperpigmentation. The new skin is then bathed with cleansing, hydrating, and moisturizing serums filled with antioxidants and peptides. The results are instant, with no irritation or recovery downtime,” added Dominique.

HydraFacial esthetician Mackenzi

Esthetician Mackenzi is trained on how to use the HydraFacial device.

Wow-o-wow! Hydrating is just what I need for my post-menopausal skin that is so dry. Fine lines and wrinkles – I got em. Hyperpigmentation – there are more dark spots on my post 60 face every day.

“With zero recovery time needed, HydraFacial recipients can apply makeup and get on with their day. Since Moxie Blue Salon Philadelphia is open 80+ hours a week, the HydraFacial can fit into anyone’s busy schedule,” said Dominique.

“Sign me up,” I said “You never have to ask me twice to have a complimentary facial, it’s one of my favorite things. It is, it is!” (Did I say I love being a boomer lifestyle and travel blogger? I do. I do.)

The HydraFacial phenomenon

After researching more about this beauty phenomenon, I realized I was indeed what Allure magazine described as one of the “few remaining humans still unfamiliar with the HydraFacial.” (However, not for long, nor will you be after reading this post.)

According to Allure, “Somewhere in the world, a HydraFacial is performed every 15 seconds. This essentially amounts to 2 million treatments given globally last year alone. That’s more than the total number of Botox injections administered in the U.S. in 2017.” Mackenzi told me HydraFacials are popular on the west coast and beginning to emerge more on the east coast. (Have you ever done Botox? I’ve been tempted. Can’t stand the wrinkle that is between my two eyes at my Third Eye Chakra. Ugh!)

HydraFacial device

The HydraFacial device is customized for different skin types.

In the Allure article, Sameer Bashey, a clinical instructor in dermatology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, explains the HydraFacial this way: “It’s a medical-grade hydradermabrasion device that carries out a patented three-part regimen — cleansing, exfoliating, and then infusing skin with intensive serums.”

A HydraFacial isn’t cheap. Allure says “the service ordinarily averages around $200 in spas and doctors’ offices.” At Moxie Blue the treatment will run you $149 or more if you want any extra add-ons.

A step-by-step view of my HydraFacial

Since I was going to write about this procedure I wanted to know all the details.  Mackenzi, who is expertly trained on how to use a HydraFacial device, (and whose name is spelled with an “i” just like my pen name Judi — no wonder I liked her) described what she was doing during each step:

Judy and MacKenzi after the HydraFacial

My face was so happy after my HydraFacial.

Step 1:  First came cleansing and exfoliating. It did feel a bit rough on my skin, almost like a scraping.

Step 2: Next came the chemical peel with glycolic and salicylic acids. “This resurfaces the skin, it’s a deeper exfoliation” said Mackenzi. “Because the percentages are lower, you don’t get peeling or downtime associated with a regular peel.”

Step 3: Ready for vortex extraction? Mackenzi turned the suction up and targeted my “T” zone area opening up my clogged pores and pulling out blackheads. “Your pores were clogged, probably from makeup,” she said.

Step 4: “I’m going to add CTGF, connective tissue growth factor” said Mackenzi. “Normally it’s an extra $85 add-on.”  “What does CTGF do?” I asked. “It’s like baby botox. It fills in and plumps your skin right away. The more you use it the more long-lasting the results will be,” she replied. (Remember I told you that add-ons are extra $? I guess compared to real Botox, which cost between $190 – $600 for a treatment, $85 isn’t that bad.)

Step 5: For the grand finale, an anti-oxidant and peptides serum was applied. “This fills back in the pores with all the good stuff,” said Mackenzi. “Oh it’s like the last pose in yoga where we totally relax in savasana,” I responded. “Savasana is the most important pose so all the goodness from your practice can be received.”

To top off my HydraFacial, Mackenzi patted on a vitamin C serum, a moisturizer and sunscreen.

JanMarini Vitamin C Serum

Mackenzi recommends using a Vitamin C serum to protect skin and drinking plenty of water to keep skin hydrated.

Post 50 skin care tips

I asked Mackenzi for any other skin care tips for women post 50. “Stay hydrated and moisturize,” she advised. I try to drink lots of water each day and apply serums and moisturizers each morning and evening before bed. I also use sunscreen every day, although I need to do a better job of reapplying sunscreen every few hours when I’m outdoors.

I thanked Mackenzi for my first-ever HydraFacial. My skin felt refreshed and amply hydrated. Even better, I’m no longer one of “those humans unfamiliar with the HydraFacial.” And even though you may not have had a HydraFacial yet, either are you.


*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary HydraFacial at Moxie Blue Salon in Old City, Philadelphia. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.