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Home Beauty The Best Facials That Are Totally Worth Spending Your Hard-Earned Money On

The Best Facials That Are Totally Worth Spending Your Hard-Earned Money On

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If the world of facials sounds about as daunting as stepping into a Chanel boutique on Bond Street, then you’ve come to the right place.

Sorting the game-changing facials from the ‘not really worth it’ ones, we’ve rounded up the best facials that are actually worth spending your hard earned money on (and asked the questions you really want to know the answers to as well).


Shane Cooper

Shane Cooper Aqua Tight Facial, price on enquiry

The vibe?

Think of the Aqua Tight Facial as the Hydra Facial 2.0, courtesy of celebrity aesthetician (he counts Nicola Coughlan, Hannah Waddingham and Phoebe Dynevor among his regular clients), Shane Cooper. A combination of no less than three different machines aims to deliver serious hydration whilst sculpting and lifting your skin, all in the chic surroundings of Cooper’s South Kensington mews clinic.

Is it for my skin?

If a defined jaw and glowy, plump skin that challenges gravity to do its worst is what you’re after, then this is the facial for you. The mission is to achieve a dewy, celebrity-esque complexion rather than treating specific skin conditions so, if acne, rosacea or other skin issues are your concern then we’d recommend a different facial. However, those with skin conditions can still benefit from the hydrating and tightening effects.

What does it do?

A multi-step facial, after a thorough double cleanse, this treatment works its way through an initial water-based peel that uses salicylic acid and a gentle vacuum that’s rolled over your skin to help decongest pores. Forget the painful acid peels of old, this feels sort of like a tiny wet hoover being placed all over your face. Next, the techy-sounding mesoporation handpiece applies hyaluronic acid, followed swiftly by a Diamond-Grain tool that’s used to buff away dead skin. A dose of LED, radio frequency, a hydrating face mask and a final layer of serum and your one-stop-shop for really really good looking skin is complete.

best facial

Shane Cooper

Best part?

The satisfaction of feeling the vacuum remove the stress, oil and, most notably, London gunk from your skin and pores. You can wave goodbye to congested skin, and almost feel the hyaluronic acid absorbing into your newly smooth complexion. Also, the glass jars of Werther’s Originals.

Weirdest part?

One of the final steps of the facial is radio frequency. Designed to help contour and tighten skin, it’s a great way to conclude a treatment, leaving with more cheek bone action than when you arrived. So far, so normal. The weirdness comes when you hear the noise the radio frequency machine makes. Quite the shock after being lulled into a hazy half sleep by ten minutes of LED.

Downtime?

Unlike other acid-based facials this one doesn’t require you to hide out watching Netflix in the dark for three days while your skin peels off, however, we would say the final serum that’s applied to your skin is thick and quite sticky. It sinks in after about 20 minutes but in the meantime your face will look like a slick seal. Not necessarily a bad look, but not one to go straight to dinner with either.

BOOK YOUR SHANE COOPER FACIAL HERE


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Glow Facial at the London Aesthetic Medicine clinic with Dr Uliana Gout, £480

The vibe?

Dr Uliana Gout is pretty much a skin miracle worker. President of the British College of Aesthetic Medicine, she’s a pioneer in the field of evidence-based skin science, with an array of books that she’s authored or co-authored on the subject, so to get an appointment with her at her Harley Street clinic is, essentially, a privilege. Prepare yourself for a medicinal-feeling environment and to learn something about skin science from the very best in the business.

Is it for my skin?

In a word, yes. As a scientist, Dr Gout is well placed to assess your particular skincare needs. She offers what she refers to as ‘hyper-personal consultations’, examining the tissue planes, muscles, bone structure and more to suggest only the sorts of treatments she would consider beneficial for your particular face. The consultations themselves can last up to an hour or so, and constitute £200 of the overall fee.

What does it do?

Well it really depends what sort of treatment Dr Gout ends up tailoring for you, as she prides herself on every single situation being bespoke. She’s got everything from simple glow-ups to more serious injectables on offer. The Glow facial (recommended as part of a Glow package of six facials) is all about releasing your skin from dullness – which could have been caused by anything from stress through to menopause – and giving it back a bit of youthful radiance.

Even within the Glow facial, the treatments are likely to vary slightly, depending on what she thinks your skin needs, but broadly they include a personally formulated, medical-grade peel and an infusion of gentle humectants, to up the moisture levels and help your skin feel bouncy, firm and radiant. If there’s time and Dr Gout thinks you could benefit from it, she might also throw in a session under the light therapy machine.
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Best part?

The personal consultation feels like acquainting yourself with a part of you that you only vaguely knew existed. Dr Gout can give you knowledge about your bone structure and predictions about how your skin might change with age that only she is qualified to impart and you probably won’t have heard from anyone else. One thing is for sure, you will come out more educated than you went in.

Weirdest part?

The light therapy machine is not like any of the little light masks you might have seen on Net-A-Porter’s beauty section. It’s a big contraption, which covers your whole face and head and could feel a little claustrophobic if you’re not prepared for it. You have to wear blackout goggles to protect your eyes from the intensity, which only adds to the odd intensity of the experience. But there’s no gain without a little discomfort, we kept telling ourselves.

Downtime?

For the Glow facial, no real downtime. You’d be best advised to avoid hard exercise and sun exposure for a little while and not to use any further peels or acids on your face for a few days afterwards. And, as ever, get your hands on a solid high factor SPF for everyday use.

BOOK YOUR GLOW FACIAL HERE


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Skinwork Soho City Cleanse Facial, £175 for 55 mins

The vibe?

An unassuming little location in a side street behind one of London’s trendiest nightlife destinations, The Box, Soho’s Skinwork flagship salon might be humble in exterior, but the services on offer pack a serious punch. Stepping into the clean, bright and chic salon – stuffed with utterly covetable Ikon København tile console tables, complete with green grouting in the brand’s signature shade – you’ll be met by a ‘Skin Coach’ ready to perform your treatment, as well as provide you with homework, longer term after care and product recommendations.

Is it for my skin?

Skinwork specialises in detoxing your skin, which means ridding it of all the pollution, chemicals, irritants and other filth that city-living tends to generously heap on your face. So, if you’re looking for a deep clean, some black and whitehead removal and to come out feeling scrubbed, rubbed and new, this is the facial place for you. If you’re looking for just a relaxing light touch, a bit of lavender and some soothing whale sounds, then probably seek a treatment elsewhere.

What does it do?

The signature facials at Skinwork are all about deep cleansing and, in the more advanced treatments, peeling. Both the signature facial and the very popular ‘City Cleanse Facial’ offer a comprehensive step-by-step journey to getting rid of all the toxins of metropolitan life. The ‘City Cleanse Facial’ is something of a supercharged version of their classic signature treatment, which as well as anti-bac pore extraction, also offers microdermabrasion, as well as a Lactic and Mandelic acid perfecting peel in order to seriously break down and remove your facial clutter, as well as resurface and rebuild the skin barrier.
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Best part?

Well firstly, there is something seriously satisfying about knowing that you’re helping your skin get back to its uncongested best self, so in that sense, the whole 55 minutes is enjoyable. But if you pushed us to pick a moment: some of the steps of the treatment take a little while to soak in and begin working. In the meantime, your skin coach will treat you to a little neck, shoulder or scalp massage – a seriously relaxing and enjoyable moment to tide you over while the active ingredients do their job.

Weirdest part?

There are some strange tingling sensations, which can affect some people more intensely than others. The peel can have a prickly effect on the skin as it does its work and the antioxidant infusion you can also make you feel a little a little tingly, and it can also leave a metal taste in your mouth as it helps with collagen production. These might not be the most pleasant sensations as they’re occurring, but they’re soon over, and worth it for the after-effect.

Downtime?

Absolutely no downtime required. You can pop some make-up on and go about your day as soon as you leave. But given that you’ve just had all the pollutants removed from your face, you may not want to put anything back on it! Enjoy the fresh, clean feeling for as long as you’ve got it, we say.

BOOK YOUR SKINWORK FACIAL


best facial

The Ned

Akwaterra Facial at The Ned London, £140 for 60 mins (bookable by hotel guests, Ned’s Club members and Ned Friends)

The vibe?

Zen, zen and more zen. Think dim lighting, blankets, rose water and face massage using Akwaterra sandstone pods designed to provide a continuous flow of heat. The result? If you’re not lulled into a comforting state of relaxation and manage to stay conscious for the entire facial, we applaud you.

Is it for my skin?

Yes! This isn’t a hardcore facial full of techy treatments or harsh active ingredients. In fact, this is the opposite. A sensory experience designed to lift, tone and soothe skin using the Akwaterra face massage tools and a range of hot and cold treatments, your face will look as relaxed as you feel.

best facial

The Ned

What does it do?

If dramatic transformations or treating specific skin issues is what you’re looking for, this isn’t the facial for you. But, if sinking into an hour long series of delightful rose water mists and facial massages is for you, then it doesn’t get better than this. Focussed on lifting, toning and plumping skin using the specialist Akwaterra pods, this facial harnesses the benefits of hot and cold temperatures to leave your face well-rested and glowing.

Best part?

The whole thing. We know, we know. But when a facial submerges you in a cocoon so relaxing you’ll forget Bank tube station is only a few floors up the entire experience is the best part.

Weirdest part?

If you haven’t seen an Akwaterra pod before then its bumpy bottom vial appearance might not be too familiar. But trust us when we say its face-sculpting credentials outstrip any rose quartz roller.

BOOK YOUR AKWATERRA FACIAL HERE


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VOTARY facial with Charlotte Connoley at Liberty London, £140 for 55 minutes (redeemable against VOTARY products purchased on the day in store)

The vibe?

Tucked away off of the bustling Liberty shop floor, this soothing, sculpting facial is as much as treat for the soul as it is for the skin. The pairing of VOTARY’s delicious products with facialist Charlotte Connoley’s healing hands is *chefs kiss *

Is it for my skin?

If you’re looking for lifting, glow and smoothing (tick, tick, tick?) yes. If you’re usually scared of oils, don’t worry, as VOTARY uses seed oils rather than the usual essential oils, which are much more suitable for reactive and sensitive skin.

What does it do?

Using a specifically designed sculpting technique alongside glow-boosting ingredients, this facial gives instant gratification, but also ongoing hydration and smoothing with masks and oils picked for your skin type. The massage techniques – which extend to your shoulders and feet while masks are on – are deep and divine, releasing knots and maybe even a few happy tears.
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Best part?

The fact that you get a well-renowned expert like Charlotte for… free? The cost of the facial is fully redeemable against VOTARY products on the counter, and we defy anyone to not want to take home a selection of their seed-oil based beauties.

Weirdest part?

Some of the massage techniques are pretty… intense. Charlotte’s hands flurry across your face like a tornado, not quite slapping but almost. Nothing is painful at all, but might wake you up from your mid-treatment nap.

BOOK YOUR VOTARY FACIAL HERE


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Oxygen Treatment at Lisa Franklin’s Clinic Privé, £225 for 90 mins

The vibe?

The Oxygen Treatment does what it says on the tin – breathes life back into skin. Lisa Franklin’s Clinic Privé combines the OXYjet machine, a device with numerous attachments that do a variety of things to your face (more on that later), with Lisa’s own skincare products and it’s a match made in heaven.

Is it for my skin?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. The multi-layered treatment is tailored to your skin’s needs because, say it with us… facials are not one size fits all. The OXYjet offers a variety of skin treatments including deep cleansing, peeling and light therapy all with the aim of repairing and reenergising your skin with oxygen infusion.

What does it do?

What’s doesn’t it do? The Oyygen Treatment uses an OXYjet machine which is a full oxygen skin rejuvenation system with numerous capabilities – each of the machine’s attachments serve a specific purpose for your skin and every step is designed to leave your face feeling repaired, energised and lifted. The steps include oxygen cleansing, steaming and extraction, pressure injection, lifting, cold lifting, peeling, spray treatment, inhalation and light therapy. Told you it did everything.

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Best part?

The multi-layered treatment means each part of the treatment brings a new tool and a new sensation on your skin. From the warmth of the steaming to the coldness of the lifting. The pull of the extraction was a personal highlight!

Weirdest part?

One of the steps involved latex gloves and every available pimple being popped, which, although it was a touch painful, was surprisingly satisfying.

Can you actually see results?

While straight after the treatment we looked fresh, the real results arrived the following morning. Particularly spotty and aggravated areas looked calmer and this lasted for a couple of days. We would advise getting the treatment a day or two before an event if you have acne-prone skin you’re looking to treat.

Downtime?

No downtime needed! We went straight to a work dinner after the treatment and all that was needed was a dab of concealer to hide a few spots and a touch of mascara.

BOOK YOUR LISA FRANKLIN FACIAL HERE


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Carol Joy London Silver Glow Facial at The Dorchester, £260 for 60 minutes (includes a Carol Joy London Face Polish)

The vibe?

Imagine a luxury facial that’s at The Dorchester and uses silver leaf and you’ve got the swankiest hour you might ever spend lying down in just a bra and pants.

Is it for my skin?

Yes! All about enhancing your glow via the skin-boosting properties of silver, this facial is a mix of face sculpting massage and radiance-giving products, minus any aggressive or slightly scarier treatments such as microneedling.

What does it do?

A blend of natural actives combined with the antibacterial properties of real life silver leaf (we dare you not to take a selfie) help encourage new skin cell turnover whilst reinforcing your skin barrier at the same time. In short, fresh new skin without sacrificing on sensitivity.

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Best part?

The face massage is what can only be described as intense, but in a good way. Prepare for some serious cheek bone and jawline sculpting, trust us, the light pummelling is totally worth it.

Weirdest part?

Not weird so much as totally extravagant, the feeling of silver leaf being applied to your cheeks and forehead is one we would totally recommend.

Can you actually see results?

Where before we had cheeks, after this facial we had sky high cheekbones and a jaw line Hailey Bieber would be envious of. A light glow and super soft skin made for a worthwhile hour of nearly falling asleep.

Downtime?

None at all. We walked straight out of The Dorchester (regretfully) and took more than a few selfies of our newly plump skin en route to dinner. Even the most reactive of skin needn’t be worried about any redness or sensitivity. Just enjoy your gleaming new skin.

BOOK YOUR CAROL JOY FACIAL HERE


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Skinesis by Sarah Chapman Micro-Facial, Skinesis Clinic, £65 for 20 mins

The vibe?

Short and oh-so sweet. This 20 minute facial is briefly but brilliant, adding instant brightness and ongoing clarity to congested or dull skin. Highly recommended for brides who, the day before the big day, want a skin-boosting facial but haven’t got an hour or two to spare for it.

Is it for my skin?

It’s tailored to your skin type, so definitely. In fact it’s perfect if you’ve been wary of facials due to sensitivity, as you can test the water without too much investment. Generally speaking, Sarah’s products are soothing and caring, but your facialist might opt for a milder exfoliation or less active ingredients if they don’t think your skin can handle it.

What does it do?

In just twenty minutes, quite a lot. Following a lovely cleanse, a light peel or exfoliation will be applied, and then the best bit. Sarah Chapman’s signature massage techniques – pummelling, pinching and pulling but in the loveliest possible way – to sculpt and lift, using the delicious Skinesis serums.

Best part?

The fact it’s so quick. Because yes, we all love a chance to lie, eyes closed, horizontal for an hour or so, but we don’t all have the luxury of time. This gives results on par with other full facials, in less than half the time.

Weirdest part?

The facial massage is pretty… surprising, if you’re not expecting it. Hands move at the speed of light around your face, and although not at all painful it can be quite unexpected. Just relax into it and you’ll enjoy it.
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Can you actually see results?

Immediately and definitely, yes.. it’s a brilliant pre-event option as, thanks to the mad massage, the lifting and contouring effects are long lasting. As is the glow.

Downtime?

You could be a little tomato-ish afterwards due to the peel and hyped up blood circulation to your face. If you can spare the time and money (an extra 20 minutes and £45) some post-mini-facial LED will take down redness and help to further boost collagen.

Bang for your buck?

Considering Sarah Chapman is such a household name (Meghan Markle is a big fan soooo…) and the results are so good, we think it’s a sound investment. You won’t get the full spa experience (the facial is done on a reclining chair in a little section in the back of the swanky Skinesis store, not on a bed in a separate room) though.

BOOK YOUR SKINESIS MINI-FACIAL HERE


best facials uk

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Signature Sturm Glow Facial, Dr Barbara Sturm Spa, £215 for 60 mins

The vibe?

The spa, situated on one of the fanciest streets in London, Mount Street, is a heavenly haven of skincare: white walls, white display units, all sparkling clean. Warm lighting and friendly staff stop it from teetering into the unapproachable, but you might want to leave dirty-handed toddlers at home. You’ll be taken downstairs for your appointment, to one of the spacious, sparkling treatment rooms. Although it’s more white on white, luxurious finishes stop it from feeling clinical but do give a hint that the treatment is going to be a proper job.

Is it for my skin?

This specific facial concentrates on soothing the skin barrier and boosting hydration (resulting in an instant and ongoing glow) so, yes, because everyone wants that. Your therapist will consult you and analyse your skin to curate any extras you may or may not want or need, such as extractions or deeper exfoliation.
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What does it do?

The multi-stepped facial aims to reset and reboot the skin, leaving you sculpted, smooth and shining afterwards. It’s all about results, so don’t expect any holistic or essential oil elements, but still relaxing, with anti-aging lymphatic massage around the face and a little shoulder release while a face mask is on.

The combination of the many steps (cleansing, exfoliation, serums, massage, masking, LED and micro-needling if you wish) increase blood flow to the face, deeply hydrate the skin, and tone the facial muscles for instant lifting.

Best part?

Without sounding geeky, the brilliance of the products and the fact you can carry on the regime at home. If you do stay awake throughout, your therapist will explain the importance of the ingredients and formulas and you can keep seeing results by using them yourself. The hyaluronic serum and calming serum are especially brilliant, especially for dry or sensitive skin types.

Weirdest part?

The facial massage is pretty thorough. Don’t be alarmed if your face gets pinched or lightly pummelled by some fast-moving fingers. It’s all part of the process!
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Can you actually see results?

With the word ‘glow’ in the title you’d be annoyed if you didn’t, right? ‘That Sturm glow’ aside, the sculpting is sensational. It’s a great option the morning or day before an event. Carry on the hydrating regime at home and the results will last even longer.

Downtime?

If you opt to add microneedling you will likely be a little red afterwards, but otherwise you should leave with no need for large sunnies or a quick dart into a cab.

Bang for your buck?

Sturm’s products aren’t exactly cheap, so the fact that so many are used in this facial mean you really get your money’s worth. Plus it’s seriously thorough, with gadgets and expertise you couldn’t get at home. We also love that extractions are included (sometimes they can be extra).

BOOK YOUR SIGNATURE STURM GLOW FACIAL HERE


best facials uk

de Mamiel

De Mamiel’s Digital Fatigue Facial, NoMad London, £250 for 75 mins

The vibe?

Located in a Grade II-listed building, previously known to locals as The Bow Street Magistrates’ Court and Police Station and opposite Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House, it’s no surprise Nomad London is quickly becoming one of the ‘It’ places to be seen in the capital.

As you enter the building you’ll walk through its black, gold and emerald-hued interiors, red curtain-draped library and dimly lit lobby and pass its open-plan two-tiered restaurant. You’ll then be led to a room upstairs for the treatment. With its soft magnolia-hued furnishings and soft lighting, the treatment room feels like a world away from the vibe downstairs.

Is it for my skin?

The facial has been devised by renowned skin health specialist Annee de Mamiel with every client’s skin in mind. De Mamiel’s products and treatments are all based on scientific studies informed by the anatomy, physiology, aromatherapy, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine.

best facials uk

de Mamiel

What does it do?

If you’re in need of a moment of calm and relaxation, both for mind and skin, then this is the facial for you. The facial’s aim is to infuse natural antioxidants to tackle inflammation and boost skin cell metabolism which will hydrate and create a dewy glow. It’s ideal for those who suffer from tired, lack lustre skin as well as acne and rosacea.

At the beginning of the treatment, you’ll take part in a short moment of breathwork and inhalations followed by a thorough massage of your facial muscles and ligaments to get rid of that unwanted stress and tension by encouraging the lymphatic system. A gentle exfoliation with an ultrasonic spatula comes next, followed by a serum and LED treatment, additional massages, an oxygen dome mask and it’s all topped off with a final few moments of inhalations. Relaxing enough for you?

Best part?

The facial massage, without a doubt. Throughout the treatment you’ll feel your face gradually lose its tension (no doubt as a result of hours sitting at a desk, clenching your jaw all day during Zoom meetings) and feel calmer. The lymphatic drainage might sound slightly disgusting, especially as it’ll make you want to swallow several times but it’s more than worth it.

best facials uk

de Mamiel

Weirdest part?

The LED therapy mask. If you’ve never worn an LED mask before, don’t be alarmed if it feels quite claustrophobic at first. Just take some deep breaths and relax into the moment, knowing that the light therapy is helping to reduce acne and speed up collagen.

Can you actually see results?

Yes, immediately. The second you look in the mirror you’ll notice your skin not only appears to be glowing and hydrated but any inflammation, red pigmentation and acne scarring noticeably fainter. We were seriously impressed by how youthful our skin looked at the end.

Downtime?

Contrary to some facials which leave your skin slightly red, you’ll walk away from this treatment with but a slight shiny glow. Just be careful if you’re wanting to apply a face mask straight away – we suggest leaving it a good 10-15 minutes before applying one if you’re getting on public transport or going shopping.

Bang for your buck?

While this might be at the higher end of the price bracket for a facial, we can’t sing its praises more. If your skin is feeling tired after a year of working from home, dull from a lack of Vitamin D and in need of a good pummelling, hydration and TLC, then this is the facial for you.

BOOK YOUR DIGITAL FATIGUE FACIAL HERE


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The Prager Hydrogen Facial, The Prager Clinic, £125 for 45 mins

The vibe?

Known for their seriously considered and classy approach to aesthetic transformations (that’s injectables to you and me), The Prager Clinic is one of the most trustworthy skincare destinations in London, backed by leading cosmetic dermatologist Dr Michael Prager himself. Whether you’re going for lip fillers or their new Hydrogen Facial, you’ll be in expert hands.

Is it for my skin?

If totally detoxed, super clean and refreshed skin is what you’re after then yes. More of an all round pollution purge for your face than a targeted treatment, it’s suitable for almost everyone.

What does it do?

Once your face has been thoroughly cleansed, the Hydrogen Facial treats your skin with hydrogenated water via a techy wand-like device that ‘jet cleans’ your complexion. More than just a power shower for your face, the hydrogenated water clear pores of dirt, excess sebum and accumulated environmental aggressors such as pollution. You can even ask your facialist to show you all the grime they’ve collected once the facial is finished. We can confirm it’s surprisingly satisfying and only a little gross.
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Best part?

Aside from the deep clean that feels a little tickly, a solid dose of LED light to reduce inflammation and lymphatic drainage help to polish off your newly refreshed face.

Weirdest part?

If you haven’t had a tiny jet of hydrogenated water fired at your skin before then it might feel a little unusual at first.

Can you actually see results?

Our skin felt immediately cleaner, de-clogged and overall less grey.

Downtime?

Although it fades after a few hours, our face was a little red directly after the facial so it’s possibly not one for a post-clinic dinner date. But, it’s totally understandable when a year’s worth of grime has been blasted out of our pores.

Bang for your buck?

If a total face refresh in under an hour is what you’re looking for then this is the best facial around. Think of it as a power hour for your face, rather than a relaxing spa experience. For less than £150 your skin will thank you.

BOOK YOUR PRAGER HYDROGEN FACIAL HERE


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ESPA Glow From Within Facial, The Corinthia, £195 for 60 mins

The vibe?

Nestled below the Corinthia Hotel in arguably London’s most luxe spa, this facial might be the closest you get to a true escape from the traffic above. We can’t think of a better word to sum up the glass vaulted ceilings, all white interiors and stone fireplaces than exquisite. And that’s just the reception. Come for the facial, stay for the boujiest retreat you can get without leaving Embankment.

Is it for my skin?

In short, yes. Designed to give your skin a much-needed post-lockdown glow with a dose of relaxation, this facial is all about using effective products and techniques without going too hardcore. Think results minus the slightly scarier acid peel/dermaplaning/microneedling that can be too harsh for more sensitive or acne=prone skin types.

What does it do?

We’ll get straight to the point: this facial gives good skin. Like, really good skin. Like, go straight out without make-up on because your skin looks plump and clear as heck. A combination of deep cleansing with the techy FOREO Luna 2, face steaming and ESPA enzyme peels gently slough away dead and dull skin ready for a hit of hydration from a mix of face masks. So far, so great. Then the gua sha happens. We’re not just talking gua sha face massage, but across your arms, chest and, most importantly for our WFH posture, down your neck too.
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Best part?

The gua sha neck massage was everything our tense shoulders needed and more. From now on we vote all facials come with a rose quartz neck massage. We’re actually still not over it.

Weirdest part?

Not necessarily weird but definitely unexpected, ESPA’s Pink Hair and Scalp Mud is applied to your roots to soothe and condition your hair while your skin gets a good overhaul. So that’s our faces, posture and scalp sorted. Is there anything this facial doesn’t do?

Can you actually see results?

Definitively, yes. Our facialist used a skin scanner to show up areas of sun damage and dehydration before the facial. After? Let’s just say the bad patches were significantly smaller.

Downtime?

None whatsoever. If anything go out immediately and show your new glowy fresh face off to anyone who’ll look.

Bang for your buck?

Between the next level spa setting, the indulgent ESPA products, the face steaming, gua sha neck massaging and clay scalp treatment, this facial delivered over and above our expectations. We even snuck in a little nap between masks.

BOOK YOUR ESPA FACIAL HERE


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Su-Man The Advanced Oxygen Awakening Facial, @ Hotel, £300 for 75 mins

The vibe?

After travelling up through the disco ball-bedecked W Hotel lobby, arriving in the seriously zen Away Spa is a welcome escape from the manic Leicester Square location. The treatment room is your typical all-white slightly clinical situation but Su-Man’s fun personality immediately puts you at ease. Although this is a major investment facial, Su-Man’s legendary status and face transforming powers make a must-try. Think a facelift minus the needles.

Is it for my skin?

Su-Man is the queen of facial massage and skin sculpting, rather than treating specific skin concerns, which means it works on everyone. Because who doesn’t want higher cheekbones and less post-lockdown puffiness?

What does it do?

Although a teeny tiny person, Su-Man’s hands hold serious strength, which is ideal for massaging and sculpting your face into its most gravity-defying self. A combination of her unique Shiatsu movement technique, from the Skin Reborn facial, as well as the powerful oxygen therapy to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin with the active ingredients from her skincare line, will leave your face looking firmer, lifted, luminous and seriously healthy.

Best part?

In short – all of it. There’s nothing better than the feeling of someone who truly knows what they’re doing cleansing, massaging and generally pampering your face. Su-Man’s holistic approach even includes a stomach massage. Yes, really.
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Weirdest part?

Prepare to take your socks off, yup, this facial includes a foot massage, amongst everything else. Su-Man believes that in order to re-invigorate and sculpt the skin on your face, you need to massage the soles of your feet. Also, it’s super relaxing.

Can you actually see results?

If brighter, smoother, firmer skin is what you’re after, then it’s a strong yes. De-puffed, glowy and with a stronger jawline than Allison Williams, we set off through Leicester Square completely make-up free.

Downtime?

None at all. If anything, our sudden lack of eye bags and fresh complexion made us want to go for drinks, if only to show off our lack of concealer.

Bang for your buck?

Although the location isn’t necessarily the most luxe for the amount of money you’re paying, what you do get is Su-Man’s years of experience and a pair of hands that work wonders. Make the most of the splurge by getting Su-Man to prescribe a bespoke skincare routine for you whilst she’s doing her thing.

BOOK YOUR SUMAN FACIAL HERE


best facials

Rebecca Hope

Mesojet Signature Rejuvenation Facial at the Recharge Rooms, The Laslett, £190 for 60 minutes

The vibe?

Far away from the bustling streets of Notting Hill and Portobello Market is the seriously luxe hotel The Laslett and its Recharge Rooms – a haven for those looking for a slice of R&R in the capital. Clients are immediately welcomed into a home-from-home wellness space with fresh water and green tea on arrival (if you feel so inclined, surrounded by plush grey and dark wood interiors, splashes of colourful artwork, plants and soft furnishings.
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Is it for my skin?

Yes, and not only that, the Mesojet technology can be applied across the body, from scalp to thighs. Unlike other facials, Mesojet can be tailored to any skin type. You’ll have time to discuss your individual skin requirements, dermatological history and desired results during the pre-procedure consultation with the therapist. This is the perfect time to flag your concerns, whether you want deep wrinkle reduction or sun and age spot lightening

‘We have formulas for all skin types and for various skin conditions, and formulas for scalp as well – it’s a very important part of the skin that needs to be looked after properly,’ says Mikhail Tabakov, founder of Recharge Rooms.

What does it do?

The signature rejuvenation facial is a needle free anti-ageing procedure which is perfect in the winter months if you often find yourself struggling with hydration issues, oxidative stress, lines and wrinkles (the results of working from home in a pandemic, anyone?).

A session will commonly involve lymphatic drainage, cleansing and gentle exfoliation with glycolic acid or mandelic and salicylic acids.

During the procedure, the therapist will use a handheld ceramic Mesojet head which works by using radio waves to make the skin temporarily permeable (stimulating collagen and elastin in the process), while the jet infuses a combination of minerals, vitamins, acids and anti-aging ingredients 4.5mm deep into the skin on the face and body.

best facials

Rebecca Hope

The rejuvenation procedure is based on a complex mix of five hyaluronic acids and peptides, which works to keep the skin look glowing and hydrated. The hyaluronic acids help reduce vaporisation and plump the skin with deep hydration, while the bio-peptides improve the skin’s natural biological functioning.

Better yet, the Mesojet can be applied to the face, chin, neck, hands, thighs and arms (the Recharge Rooms really are a one-stop shop for full-body tightening) and you can ask for additional booster infusions (think Vitamin A+E, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid).

Best part?

Lymphatic drainage might sound disgusting but it’s oh so glorious when the therapist is working across your face with light, rhythmic strokes to reduce the body of toxins.

Weirdest part?

Other than our hands and a toothbrush, we’re not really used to a piece of technology going anywhere near our face so the Mesojet ceramic head might feel slightly bizarre on first impact with the skin. But the gradual heat soon soothes any concerns you might have and, with eyes closed, it gives you the sense of lying back on a chair in the Côte d’Azur in the summer heat.

best facials

Rebecca Hope

Can you actually see results?

As with all facials, your face will look a bit red on first glance post-procedure. But on closer examination you’ll see your skin looks instantly smoother and more hydrated. Think of it as a much-needed spa break in Iceland without the faff or quarantine and traveling outside Zone 2.

Downtime?

It’s advised clients refrain from wearing make-up for a couple of hours post procedure, and avoid exercise for at least 12 hours. After all, when you’ve had a hydrating, rejuvenating facial, the last thing you want to do is cover your skin in beads of sweat and foundation.

Bang for you buck?

The facial isn’t exactly the cheapest compared to its competitors, especially if you were to book for weekly Mesojet facials at the Recharge Rooms. That said, the care and attention the therapists take to understand your skin concerns is second to none, which is essential if you’re concerned as to how your face might react to a good bit of heat, massaging and hyaluronic acids.

BOOK YOUR MESOJET FACIAL HERE


facials

The Light Salon at Selfridges
Andy Heathcote

Super Renewal Microneedling and Growth Factors, The Light Salon, £220 for 60 mins

The vibe?

Tucked away in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, The Light Salon provides a soothing escape from the manic shoppers. Backed by 15 years of experience in LED, the in-store experience builds on the accolade from their cult portable Boost LED Mask which won Selfridges’ award for Best Beauty Device in 2020 and is loved by Victoria Beckham to Clara Amfo.

Is it for my skin?

The first part of the treatment is microneedling, which can be used on most skin types, but it’s not suitable for people with an active skin infection, including acne. You also can’t get this if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding – those with sensitive skin may get more “reaction” after and be red for longer than average.

You’ll experience LED light therapy post-microneedling, which is a safe and effective treatment for all skin types.
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What does it do?

The main aim of microneedling is to generate collagen so your skin feels tighter, smoother and softer. It uses tiny needles to cause micro-injuries to the skin, stimulating the cells to heal the skin. Yes, needles sounds scary, but the results are worth it. There will be fewer visible fine lines and a reduction in the appearance of scarring and pores.

The LED light therapy helps calm and redness and speed up the wound healing process.

Best part?

Definitely the calming LED light after your microneedling. Let your muscles un-tense as you’re hit with therapeutic wavelengths of light to energise the cells. It boosts wellbeing (expect less stress and more energy), and strengthens the skin barrier (expect less acne, pigmentation, and inflammation).

Weirdest part?

Expect to feel rather uncomfortable during the microneedling. On the genuine pain scale it’s minimal, but you may need to take a few breaks – your therapist will be happy to oblige!

Can you actually see results?

In a matter of days your face will feel firmer, expect to look as young as you feel. Your skin may start to flake and this is exactly what you want to see, dead skin making way for the new. But don’t just take our word for it, trust The Light Salon regulars from Princess Eugenie to makeup master Lisa Eldridge.

Downtime?

You’ll likely be a little red afterwards, so we advise booking this before an evening at home on the couch. Your skin will feel a little dry, tight and sensitive for another 5 to 7 days, so avoid using any actives (Vitamin C and A) or having any other treatments for the next 2 weeks.

Bang for your buck?

Consider this an investment, the price point really isn’t that bad since you’re getting literally new skin.

BOOK YOUR MICRONEEDLING FACIAL HERE


best facials in the uk

La Mer

La Mer The Signature Facial at the Spa de La Mer, Harrods, £200 for 90 minutes

The vibe?

La Mer, La Mer and more La Mer. Step down to Harrods’ recently opened oasis under their Knightsbridge store and you’ll find a spa haven complete with private treatment rooms dedicated to the best beauty brands in the biz. Trust us, the La Mer room doesn’t disappoint. Larger than our London flat with more marble orbs and plush furnishings in La Mer’s signature shades of green and gold, we could stay here all day.

Is it for my skin?

We’re yet to meet someone who’s skin doesn’t love La Mer to be honest… But, rest assured your face will fall head over heels with the full roster of La Mer’s iconic skincare that feature in their Signature Facial. Designed more to soothe than to gain visible results, if you’re looking for a high-tech all singing all dancing facial complete with lasers, this isn’t for you. But, if you’re up for over an hour’s escape from the world where your face is treated to endless skin-softening lotions, sheet masks and moisturisers infused with La Mer’s legendary Miracle Broth, in a room that feels more like a comforting cocoon minus the spa music (just wave sounds here), then this is very much the facial for you.

best facials uk

La Mer

What does it do?

Hold tight for the hero part of the facial where pure Miracle Broth is applied to your face. So major is this application of La Mer’s concentrated elixir that the therapist chimes bells to announce its arrival on your skin. Packed full of fermented vitamins and minerals derived from sustainably-harvested giant sea kelp, this direct dose is designed to rejuvenate and nourish your skin. Expect plushy, plump and perfectly hydrated skin that looks like it just got some really good news.

Best part?

Everything. The head massage, the arm and hand massage, the face massage. Mainly, the massage. Favouring bespoke massage techniques over machines, La Mer’s facials utilise unique movements and strokes to move your face and ease in their skincare. Combine muscle-soothing massage and La Mer lotions and potions and you’ve got the best half nap you ever took.

Weirdest part?

Chiming to proclaim the arrival of the pure Miracle Broth could have been startling in our semi-conscious state, but a gentle warning from the therapist introduced the change of pace perfectly.
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Can you actually see results?

If the theory that stress, or lack thereof, is good for your skin, then consider this facial your complexion’s new (calming) best friend. The most restorative hour we’ve spent in Zone 1, well, ever, expect glowy, hydrated skin with a satisfying sheen from all the La Mer goodness that’s been comfortingly kneaded into your face.

Downtime?

Almost nothing. Yup, this is the ultimate facial direct to dinner situation. We went straight to after work drinks and skipped the make-up altogether.

Bang for your buck?

With the sheer amount of La Mer products being liberally applied to your skin, it’s hard not to consider this luxurious radiance-boosting facial more than worth the price tag. Add to that the instant ‘spa skin’ we walked out with and this is definitely one for gifting yourself or treating your favourite people to. Because, when it comes down to it, can you really put a price on escapism?

BOOK YOUR LA MER FACIAL HERE


best facials

SEAN EBSWORTH BARNES

Chanel The Sublime Treatment at Chanel Privé, Harrods, £220 for 90 minutes

The vibe?

Chanel as hell: luxurious and chic in spades, but also with very trustworthy skincare. Down a sweeping staircase in Harrods’ newest beauty space, the room is all white and gold and serene and super private. The therapists are as lovely as they are knowledgable, and the focus is as much on you having some serious downtime as it is about you leaving with gleaming skin (which you will).

Is it for my skin?

The products used are catered to each skin type, so yes. Nothing is going to be too crazy active, but always let your therapist know if you’re super sensitive. Because Chanel skincare is all hydrating, it’s especially good for dry skin and anti-ageing.

What does it do?

The techniques, tools, and Chanel skincare used have been chosen to reactivate and re-oxygenate the skin, which will result in firmer and hydrated skin. It will also, importantly, send you into a deep, deep nap. Especially the hand massage given while masks are doing their work. Heavenly.

best facials

SEAN EBSWORTH BARNES

Best part?

Without sounding too on-the-fence, the whole experience is really the best part. From the CC logos on the sarong, hair band, mirror, ok everything, to the incredibly plush bed, to the gleaming Harrods staircase that leads you to the room, everything is swanky and sophisticated. The fact the facial is thorough and effective is almost an added bonus.

Weirdest part?

Icy balls. This is the only way to describe them we’re afraid. Two spheres that, harnessing the power of cryotherapy, are rolled up and around your face to tighten things up. If you are in a deep sleep at this stage, it’s a rude awakening, but quickly feels refreshing and invigorating.

Can you actually see results?

The Chanel-y glow is impossible to ignore, and although you shouldn’t be putting your hands on your freshly cleaned skin if you DO, it’s bouncy to the touch. The cyro aspect means your cheekbones will be poppin’ too.

Downtime?

None. In fact not only will your glow go from zero to one hundred, but your therapist can add some light, skin-friendly coverage with Chanel’s make-up afterwards if you’re not off home to continue your napping.

Bang for your buck?

It’s over £200, so we can’t say it’s a bargain. But considering the length (and ability to add a make-up touch up on), the cost per minute isn’t so bad. Like anything Chanel, it’s an indulgent treat, and we all deserve those from time to time.

BOOK YOUR CHANEL PRIVÉ FACIAL HERE

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