REVIEW: HydraFacial at Waterhouse Young

After attending an event at their premises, I was very kindly invited to Waterhouse Young for a complimentary HydraFacial.

The clinic is situated on the second floor of a beautiful period building in Devonshire Street, London – a mere nip and tuck away from the world-famous, Harley Street. The Waterhouse Young Clinic was set up to offer non-surgical skin solutions to help prevent, correct and slow down the signs of skin damage and ageing.

It is recommended that new clients begin with an initial skin assessment. The Visia computerised skin analysis takes a magnified three-dimensional image and reveals damage and signs of ageing on, and beneath, the surface of the skin. The results allow for a comprehensive treatment plan specifically tailored to the individual.

You are first shown to the waiting area decorated in relaxing, creamy tones. To get you through the rather extensive pre treatment form (as well as the usual medical questions, you can also list your particular skin concerns), you are brought delicious snacks of strawberries, red grapes, nuts and your pick from a choice of herbal teas.

Waterhouse Young

What is HydraFacial & How does it work?

HydraFacial is a non-invasive skin resurfacing and rejuvenating treatment which is often described as a gentler yet superior, version of Microdermabration. Instead of crystals shot into the skin to remove debris, the HydraFacial utilises a spiral shaped vacuum-based skin abrasion tip (relax, it’s plastic, not metal), designed to exfoliate dead skin cells and clean out pores.

Simultaneously, the specially designed tip also hydrates the newly revealed skin by ‘forcing’ in moisture in the form of a cocktail of key nutrients; antioxidants and bespoke serums, custom blended to your skin’s requirements and concerns. Serums are absorbed instantly into the skin and sink down to a cellular level. Mositurisers are used afterwards to form a layer of protection on the skin’s surface and to lock and seal in the serums.

What skin problems can HydraFacial help improve?

  • Acne
  • Blackheads
  • Dehydrated Skin
  • Brown Spots
  • Congested/Enlarged Pores
  • Fine Lines
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Sun Damage
  • Whiteheads
  • Wrinkles
  • Uneven Skintone

Am I a suitable candidate for treatment?

Yes, it’s suitable for all skin types, even for those with acne, inflamed skin or like me, rosacea.

What are the different stages of the treatment?

  1. CLEANSING & EXFOLIATION – Dead skin cells are removed.
  2. ACID PEEL – Loosens dirt and debris from pores.
  3. EXTRACTIONS – Automated extractions using vortex suction to clean out pores.
  4. HYDRATION – Using Antioxidants & Hyaluronic Acid.
  5. PROTECTION – Moisturisers and serums and the very last step, an SPF cream, to Waterhouse Young, skin protection is EVERYTHING!

The treatment room is comfortable without being clinical. The HydraFacial was performed by Anna, no mere beautician, but a qualified Aesthetic Nurse, yet another sign that this is a serious treatment and not a ‘traditional’ facial with set procedures. This is a customised treatment specific to your needs, every time.

Waterhouse Young Treatment Room

Lying flat with the air conditioning set to my comfort (I need to be cool). Anna first washed my make up off by massaging on a foamy cleanser, rinsing and leaving my skin squeaky clean and prepped for treatment.

Skin is cleansed and exfoliated with a custom blend of glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids, at the same time key nutrients, antioxidants, and active serums are being pushed in.


Does it hurt?

If Anna hadn’t talked me through each procedure, I wouldn’t have known that my skin was being peeled, deep cleaned and hydrated. Each step is smooth and painless.

How long does it take and are there any side effects?

The treatment is relatively fast, about 40 minutes. Admittedly, I was anticipating a little soreness, my skin is super sensitive and here it was being subjected to an acid peel and full on extractions of blackheads and other city skin gunkiness. Nothing, nada. You know there’s definitely something going on, you can feel a ‘probe’ gliding across your skin but that’s all. There’s no ‘suction’ sensation either.

Anna’s hands only touched my face to wash my make up off and massage in last stage moisturisers, everything else is automated. The penultimate procedure (for me, remember, the treatment programme was tailored to my specific needs) is red LED light therapy – literally, two tiny, heat-free, hand-held red lights to stimulate the production of collagen and help renew and repair damaged cells.

The very last step is the application of sunscreen to preserve and protect my newly revealed skin.


Well, I dashed to the mirror and saw squeaky clean and I mean REALLY  CLEAN skin and the joy of smaller pores but I also saw a good few blotches. I was wearing a bright red top as well which was a bit unfortunate.  I dived into a taxi and examined my pink, albeit smooth and shiny, face all the way home.

I had the last laugh in the morning though. Anna did say that the real benefits would be seen the next morning. My skin texture was smooth, glowy and plumped up (OK, I can now finally see why Botox and fillers are so popular, filled in fine lines make such a massive difference).

For three glorious days I went make up free – unheard of for me as you know), only wearing a generous slick of SPF 30 (Riemann P20 Sun Filter Spf30) on my face.

When I did have to apply foundation it went on smoothly and evenly, no need for a pore minimiser (what pores?). Nevermind the paint, it’s all about the canvas underneath isn’t it?

For me though, the reduced redness on my cheeks is the big winner. If you’ve ever suffered from rosacea you know what a pain it is to cover it up, you’re always aware that too much concealer could look cakey. All I needed was a dab of Liz Earle Sheer Tint and I was done.

Two weeks on

Well, we’re in the middle of a heat wave and everywhere I look, women, old and young, are glowing in varying shades of toffee and rich caramel. Me? I’m the colour of a ‘NICE’ biscuit, taken out of the oven too early. The sun, ladies and gents, is not your friend, sunscreen is and, even though it makes my face a little bit shiny, I wouldn’t leave home without it.

The immediate effects of the HydraFacial slowly evaporated (7/8 days), but the redness in my cheeks is still greatly reduced. I like to think that’s because I want to prolong the results, so I don’t touch my face half as much as I did and I’m more passionate than ever about sunscreen.

If you want to look spectacular for a special event, then a one-off HydraFacial the day before is ideal. Waterhouse Young’s ‘Bridal Packages’ are also hugely popular.

How much?

£200.00 – I told you this is serious stuff! For this price however, your skin will be thoroughly analysed by the Visia computer to pinpoint surface and underlying skin issues. It rates skin for bacteria, pores, sun damage (the biggie!), texture, thread veins and wrinkles, it then compares the results to other women (or men) in your age group and produces a personalised reading.

If you’re interested in long-term skin rejuvenation, then a course of 6 treatments is recommended. Each HydraFacial during the course will be customised to address your individual problem areas.

During the treatment plan, results are continually re-analysed to see how effective the HydraFacial treatments are and which areas have improved or need further improving.  You can even have print outs to see how your skin is progressing.

HydraFacial is one of the most popular treatments at Waterhouse Young, a non-invasive, pain-free, skin rejuvinating procedure offering instant results.

HydraFacial at Waterhouse Young

More about The Waterhouse Clinic here.


  1. July 28, 2016 / 11:59 pm


    I am planning to do the hydrafacial. Since the post was back in 2013, how did you find your skin now? How often do you go?

    Thank you,

    • August 4, 2016 / 10:10 pm

      Hi Vivian,

      I only had the one treatment as I test out others, but I was very impressed with the results.

      An even gentler alternative is EF MediSpa’s Hydro-dermabrasion which uses a hand held wand to deliver jets of cooling water. They tailor the treatments to your specific skin needs.

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