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How Does SkinWave Work?

how does skinwave work

A classic facial has several steps that are designed to rejuvenate and restore your skin layer by layer. But classic facials are usually performed manually, which means the results aren’t as comprehensive as unique energy-based facial treatments that combine steps into a patented treatment system. One of the most popular facial treatments is Hydrafacial, but at O’Donnell Vein & Laser in Annapolis, MD, we know that SkinWave treatments may be a more effective option.

How Does SkinWave Work?

SkinWave is a non-invasive facial treatment that addresses several visible signs of aging and other skin concerns with a few unique treatment steps. Each step of this treatment opens the pores, deeply cleanses and exfoliates the skin, and treats the skin with active serums and hydration to promote skin health from the very deepest layers of the skin.

Your facial treatment will generally take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete based on the options you select for your treatment. Before your treatment starts, your skin will be cleansed or sterilized to remove make-up or other skincare products so the treatment system can start with a blank slate. Then, your treatment will be performed with SkinWave’s aqua-delivery system. This system offers a unique trio of solutions to rejuvenate the skin, which includes:


Hydrogen for the skin? Some people learn about the hydrogen step of this treatment and wonder what a chemistry element is doing in a facial treatment. However, hydrogen is very beneficial for the skin as an antioxidant that reduces inflammation of the skin. Hydrogen is a molecule that can quickly penetrate all skin layers to reduce inflammation, which then makes it easier to hydrate or deliver other skin-rejuvenating active ingredients to the deepest subdermal layers.

By including hydrogen as a solution in this treatment, this treatment system can essentially open your skin without exfoliation to allow for better product absorption in later steps of this treatment. Hydrogen prepares your skin for all the restorative solutions, serums, and hydration that will be delivered with the aqua-wave system. The hydrogen in this treatment will also bond with oxygen in the skin and remove oxygen with the handpiece system to reduce visible aging.


AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid) are calling cards for your everyday skincare routine. Most people will use products daily that are either an AHA, BHA, or a combination of both to help resurface the skin at home to reduce dark spots and promote skin brightness. Examples of these acids include glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and lactic acids for AHAs, and salicylic acid for BHAs.

This step of your facial treatment will be about physically exfoliating surface layers of dead skin cells, not unlike a chemical peel. This step is performed with the aqua-delivery system to allow for faster, more accurate delivery and gentle exfoliation that will remove dead skin cells without irritating the skin. AHAs and BHAs are key ingredients to control oil production in the skin, reduce bacteria on the skin surface, and prepare skin for moisturization.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is the final solution in the trio that is applied with the aqua-delivery system. You may already be familiar with hyaluronic acid as an intense moisturizer that can plump the appearance of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-derived sugar molecule that can absorb several times its weight in water to hydrate the skin at every level.

Hyaluronic acid works by sitting near skin cells and drawing moisture to the skin, which then hydrates the skin to soften visible signs of aging and subtly increase skin volume. This ingredient is commonly found in at-home moisturizers because of how gentle, effective, and compatible it is with all skin types and tones.

Why Exfoliation, Extraction, and Hydration Steps Are Important

In almost every facial, you will find a pattern of steps – exfoliate the skin, extract dirt and oil, and hydrate the skin. This trio of steps is so common because it’s the most effective way to address skin health on every level. For treatments like SkinWave, the goal is to regulate the function of your skin to promote better skin health and appearance. This is most easily done when the skin is fully prepared to receive supportive nutrients, antioxidants, and hydration.

Additional Treatment Options

In addition to the unique aqua-delivery system, this facial also offers additional handpieces to further customize your facial experience so you can target specific skin concerns. These additional treatment options may be a good idea if you want to address all skin concerns with one aesthetic treatment, or if you have complex concerns that need targeted treatment. Your additional treatment options include:

Electric Pulse and LED

The electric pulse handpiece focuses on enhancing the absorption of serums and antioxidants. As the electric pulse opens the pores, it allows for larger molecules in the hydration step to enter deeper levels of the skin. With this handpiece, you can also use LED light to target specific skin concerns.

Red LED light is known to help produce collagen for anti-aging and faster skin healing, while blue LED is typically used to treat acne, reduce oil production, and kill certain bacteria on the skin. Using this treatment option is a good idea if you are struggling with acne breakouts and acne scarring. You may also use both red and blue LEDs in your treatment.


The double-lifting handpiece is designed primarily to address the root causes of age-related concerns and inflammation. This handpiece encourages lymphatic circulation to promote blood flow, improve your complexion, and smooth the appearance of the skin. Lymphatic circulation and drainage are beneficial for the skin because they clear toxins from the skin surface. This additional treatment can improve the muscle relaxation in your face to reduce dynamic wrinkles and also tighten and lift the overall appearance of your skin.

What Can This Treatment Address?

Regardless of whether your SkinWave facial is basic or you choose to customize your treatment, you will be able to reap impressive skin benefits with this treatment. This treatment is used to address multiple aesthetic concerns at one time, including visible aging like dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness, as well as active skin conditions like acne, inflammation, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

How Often Can You Use This Treatment?

This facial treatment can be used as frequently as you desired, although most patients schedule monthly appointments to maintain their desired skin health and appearance. Some people may use this treatment more frequently at the beginning of their treatment plan to get control of skin conditions like acne, and then later space their appointments further apart.

When Will You See Results?

Most of the time, you will be able to see the results of this treatment within days of your appointment. Your skin will appear healthier, brighter, and tighter as collagen production, cellular turnover, and the benefits of the antioxidant hydrating serums begin to take effect. These results can last for as long as one to four weeks depending on the condition of your skin, your age, and how well you can maintain your results at home.

How Can You Maintain Results?

After your treatment, the key to maintaining your results will be to use daily skincare products that support the health, tone, and texture of your skin. If you are aiming for anti-aging results, then the use of anti-aging products can be especially beneficial; likewise, if you are trying to treat acne or another active skin concern, then you will need to use acne-fighting products. Not sure what products to use? We can give you recommendations during your appointment based on your skin type and skin needs.

Can You Combine This Treatment?

Yes, you can combine this treatment with other aesthetic treatments. Facial treatments such as this one are primarily used to address superficial signs of visible aging, but some types of aging may not be responsive to a facial. For those who have moderate to severe volume loss in the face, it may be a good idea to incorporate dermal fillers into your treatment to restore facial volume and use this treatment to focus on achieving a brighter skin tone.

Get the Ultimate Facial Today

A good facial is a key to achieving younger-looking and healthier skin. Regardless of the concerns you are trying to address, SkinWave is the ultimate treatment option to correct visible aesthetic concerns from scarring to acne to wrinkles. The unique aqua-delivery system uses a trio of solutions to allow for maximum rejuvenation at every skin level. Contact us at O’Donnell Vein & Laser in Annapolis, MD to schedule your first appointment today.

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