How to choose a facial

by Olivia Cox November 1
A facial is a facial, right? Oh, so wrong.

I do see where this misconception may have stemmed from, however. You see, the latest trend in spas is for bespoke treatments, which takes the guess-work out of pre-selecting your skin type / needs /wants etc. The best spas will now welcome you into their treatment rooms for simply a generic facial, because they – standing above your horizontal body – are far better placed to perfrom skin analysis for you. So no more dithering over whether you need deep-cleanse, revitalising, anti-ageing, hydrating, brightening…… *yawns*. Now, you simply need a facial.  

But! And I do mean but. This doesn’t mean a close-eyes-and-stab-at-alphabetical-list method is now acceptable. This is where the fun part starts, because not all facials are created equal. And that’s no accident. Rather than decisions regarding skin type (which we all invariably got wrong, anyway), spas now want us to get a little more techincal. It’s not what, it’s how. Do you want luxe (focus on massage), medical (not necessarily relaxing but super efficient) or a mix of both? It’s homework time.

Now, I know – it’s a toughie. and you’re absolutely right to head for the hills in favour of making such a decision. So I’ve done the hard part for you (see – I’m kind, right?!), and here are my top facials for each category…


What: Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial, from £140 for 60mins

Where: Skin Associates, 46 Wimpole Street, London
Why: This one is pretty clinical – the room is totally white (albeit with a giant glass chandelier in above your head) and sparse, and only sounds come from the machine next to you.
The low-down: Tiny jets of oxygen are infused into your skin, which instantly brighten and plump. Honest. I had a quick peek half way and the contrast knocked my socks off (they do one half of your face at a time, to pacify initial non-believers such as myself).

Contact: Email [email protected]

What: Aromatherapy Associates facial, from £90 for 60mins
Where: Knightsbridge, London
Why: You literally feel like you’ve been put to bed (yes, there is actually a duvet), put with your own personal face masseuse to keep you company. The challenge is staying awake..
The low-down: The therapist assesses your skin type before setting to work with her various lotions, potions and massage techniques. You’re left feeling utterly indulged and fresh-faced. 

Contact: Email [email protected]

What: Erno Laszlo Facial, from £245 for 75mins

Where: West Broadway, NYC
Why: The balance of luxe and results is totally dictated by you. I opted for a more results-heavy treatment (think extraction, steam and masks), while Racer Boy (yes, they do men, too) went half-n-half. We were both equally radiant at the end, and I think it’s fair to say he looked pretty giddy with relaxation. Aw, bless.

Contact: Email [email protected]

My advice? Try one of each. All in the name of research, of course..  

Love, Laugh, Liverty x

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1 comment

Rachel Carr December 12 at 11:38 am

Amazing blogpost, I will treat myself to one next time I am in NYC..!


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