What I Wish I knew before my first Facial

I used to believe that facials were only for bougie people.  My skin care up until this point is basically store brand face cleaner and regular SPF during the day.  I’ve been using the same makeup routine since highschool.  You know those facebook memes that say “If you’ve had this item in middle school, it might be time for a night cream”?  Let’s just say, it’s time for a night cream.

cosmeticare littlegraythread

At the beginning of this year, I decided to invest a little bit more in myself and update my self care and outer appearance routine.  Since I am officially in my mid-30s, my skin care is vastly different than that of my early 20s.  Also with the ever advancing cell phone front cameras, these fine lines and wrinkles are getting harder to hide with filters alone.

cosmeticare newport beach

Enter CosmetiCare in Newport Beach.  I was approached with an offer to try the HydroFacial Premium for free in exchange for an honest review.  It took me awhile to think about it, especially since my bias was that only really rich and fancy people do facials (both of those things I am not).  But then I figured that I’m sure that someone out there who is just like me is curious about what actually goes on in that little room, and hopefully my experience can help them make a decision about their own skin care.

What is CosmetiCare?

CosmetiCare is a combination MedSpa and Plastic Surgery Medical office.  Don’t worry–if you make an appointment at CosmetiCare, they will not assume or pressure you to go under the knife.  They have a huge menu of out-patient, non surgical procedures (like Botox, Juvederm injectible fillers) which is also the category where facials lie.  They are conveniently located in Newport Beach (technically Corona Del Mar if you’re using google maps), just before the bridge going into Balboa Island.  They have worked on a variety of celebrities including the Real Housewives of Orange County (check out their Instagram Story highlights for some first hand experience!).  This is not a typical spa where you check your shoes in at the door and don a robe and hot towel.  You can rest assured that you are being taken care of by licensed estheticians.

cosmeticare treatment room

What is a HydroFacial Platinum?

Any facial is basically a deep clean of your face.  Much how like you go to the dentist regularly to get your teeth cleaned, it is recommended to get a facial to remove dirt, debris, and bacteria from deep inside your pores.  Results can show reduced wrinkles, smoother skin, and smaller pores.  Fine line reduction can continue up to 30 days and results last for up to 4 months.

What makes this different from a regular facial?  While a regular facial usually includes some massaging and extractions, the HydroFacial Platinum uses a machine to simultaneously cleanse, extract, and hydrate.  This process is done through several steps:

  1.  General cleansing of the skin (aka taking off any makeup if you have chosen to wear some in)
  2. Dermaplaning–lightly scraping the surface of the skin to remove dead skin cells and any unwanted peach fuzz
  3. HydroFacial Deep Cleanse (this is where the pen like device comes in).  It felt like a cool soft suction.
  4. Exfoliation (also using the pen like device).  Suction to remove black heads and dead skin while infusing the skin with glycolic salicylic acid
  5. Optional extraction of more prominent black heads and removal of millia (I had these–basically little pustules caused from makeup or lotion build up).  I won’t lie and say this part was painless.  It felt like exactly what you would think it would feel like to have things squeezed out of your pores.  BUT it was quick and efficient.  The removal of millia felt more like tiny shots (I only had 2 that she suggested to be removed and one on my eyelid that she recommended leaving alone).
  6. Brightening booster with lactic acid (this was the boost that is included in the package.  This might vary due to what your personal skin needs are)
  7. Red light therapy to boost collagen
  8. Antioxidant infusion to repair skin to fight free radicals and help retain moisture
  9. Lastly, sunscreen!  You will leave with a clean face, so they will apply a SPF to protect it from the sun.

The entire procedure took a little over an hour.  My appointment time was at 9:45, and I was in my car by 11:00.  This also included about 10 minutes of introductory paperwork since I had never been a patient at CosmiCare before.  The HydroFacial Premium is on special for $150 and it is recommended to get one every 3-4 weeks for ultimate skin health.

Know Before You Go

  • You can wear a full face of makeup before your appointment, or go in with a clean face.  Your skin is going to be fully cleansed anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you are or not wearing makeup.
  • After the procedure, they will recommend that you keep your face free from makeup until you wash your face at night.  My face looked very dewy and felt a little sticky for the rest of the day.  If you have a big event later in the day, I recommend rescheduling the facial a day or two before.  I ended up putting on light eye makeup after the treatment.
  • It’s not all painless.  I knew it couldn’t be that bad since they don’t even have a numbing process in the beginning.  The most painful part was the manual extraction, but Jessica made sure to check in with me to make sure that I was doing okay.  The HydroFacial process itself (all the steps using the pen and the light) was completely painless.
  • I wasn’t sure if I could bring my kids along for the procedure.  Luckily, I was able to find a time where both of them were in school so I could sneak away.  They did have a little chair in the treatment room.  I say, if you’re comfortable bringing your kids to the dentist with you to wait, they’ll probably be okay in the room for this procedure.
  • What to wear:  you’ll be on a medical chair/table for about an hour, so wear something comfy!  They will also moisturize your neck, so leave your turtlenecks at home.
  • Where to park:  the CosmetiCare parking lot can be a little confusing if its your first time there.  They share a paid parking lot with the harbor (you’ll see signs for $10 parking). Ignore those and park in any spot that says “reserved” on the right side of the lot.  They also have a few spots marked “patient” and “doctor” since the building is shared with another surgical center.  You do not have to pay for parking.

Is it worth it?

I will admit, $150 is a lot to spend on a skin procedure, especially since I never really noticed a problem with my skin in the past.  After my esthetician Jessica explained it to me as a deep clean for your face, I began to see it as more of preventative self care than a luxurious opulence.  As I get older and my skin ages, it will be more prone to sun damage and the after affects like discoloration, fine lines and wrinkles.  An added bonus is the extraction step of the facial, which literally means your face will not harbor any bacteria which can lead to break outs.  Getting regular facials is particularly great for people suffering with hormonal acne–plan your MedSpa days around the time of your hormonal breakouts and you won’t have to deal with pimples ever again.  After your treatment, your esthetician will also recommend products you can use at home to prolong your skin health, so also think of this as a consult for further skin care.

cosmeticare esthetician

Huge thank you to Jessica and CosmetiCare for sponsoring this HydroFacial Premium!  For more information about offerings and procedures, visit them at CosmetiCare.com.

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