The Best Facials
There are good facials. And then there are the beyond-brilliant treatments that manage to make our skin glow as if it’s exuding the very essence of summer. We’re more interested in the latter. So we’ve compiled the most spectacular of the very best therapies—from New Mexico and LA to the Maldives and London—and come up with a mix of restorative Ayurvedic treatments, brightening microdermabrasion, lifting gua sha massages, sessions that start with shots of bone broth and end with circulation-rousing acupressure, and, of course, extractions, lasers, masks, and steams. What’s more, many of these facialists employ some of our most-loved serums and creams, making at-home upkeep significantly easier.
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Herve HerauHome appointments in Paris | rendezvous spamherveherau.com
Much like his culty product range, Herve Herau's dermatology practice is not widely publicized—in fact it's almost exclusively a word-of-mouth operation. We first heard about his restorative treatments (each one is 100% personalized, which explains why there's no treatment menu on his site) from a friend who swears that a session with him is like hitting the beauty jackpot.
Joëlle Ciocco8 Place de la Madeleine, 8th Arrondissement, Paris | +184.108.40.206.58.80
Clients swear that Joëlle Ciocco’s blend of buccal massage (to stretch and tone facial muscles) and product (her eponymous line of cleansers and serums is insanely hardworking) has the power to make you look like a teenager. What's truly remarkable is that she's actually a biochemist by trade, so there's real science behind her technique. An appointment with Joëlle is not cheap, but the results are kind of priceless. That said, booking with a member of her team is the next best thing and much easier on the wallet.
La Maison Dr. Hauschka39 Rue de Charonne, 11th Arrondissement, Paris | +220.127.116.11.40.55
This is one of those spots that doesn't feel like it could possibly be in a bustling city: Faced with a flowering courtyard, stone walls, and a glass ceiling, La Maison Dr. Hauschka is oh-so-quiet. Fitting really, because the facials and massages are relaxing enough to knock anyone out.
La Maison Guerlain Spa68 Champs–Élysées, 8th Arrondissement, Paris | +18.104.22.168.11.21
Maison Guerlain's perfumes—in all their original, vintage-cut-glass glory—orbit around a giant chandelier on the ground floor here, which is probably the first clue that opulence awaits. Next, you'll notice the gold mosaic tiled walls as you ascend the sweeping staircase to the spa: Established in 1939, it's one of the first of its kind (the perfume house dates back to 1828, though it really hit its stride in 1853 when Pierre-Francis Guerlain created Eau de Cologne Impériale for Napoleon III). Washed in white marble, the spa is luxurious and precise—the facials, in particular, are straightforward and effective.
Spa Nuxe Montorgueil43 Rue des Mathurins, 8th Arrondissement, Paris | +22.214.171.124.01.44.94
Vaulted stone ceilings and walls (vestiges from its first life as a 17th century wine cellar) may not immediately channel comfort and warmth, but the flagship Nuxe spa is balanced by any number of tropical flourishes, like palm leaves, rattan, and a cozy pool for Watsu (there are multiple outposts in Paris). The gentle, plant-based Nuxe line never gets any complaints from us either, particularly when administered during a soothing facial. There are also locations in the 1st, 9th, and 16th.
Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8th Arrondissement, Paris | +126.96.36.199.41.67
Surprisingly, Le Bristol is the only Parisian hotel allowed to perform facial treatments using La Prairie products. Much like the product line itself, the driving force behind the treatment menu is rejuvenation—as evidenced by treatments like the Caviar Lift Facial and the ultrasoothing Swiss Cellular Anti-Aging facial. The best part? You can drop off the littles at the Kids Club for the duration of your treatment.
Amanda Lacey Facial AtelierChelsea, London | +188.8.131.52.43.60.29 or email: [email protected]
This is the woman responsible for helping in-the-know Londoners achieve that glow-from-within radiance. Amanda Lacey's legendary facials are gentle and pleasantly old school—no lasers or needles in sight. Instead, she relies on time-honored facial massage, quality, natural products, and educating clients about preventing future damage. Clients swear by her eponymous product range for at-home maintenance.
Cowshed Holland Park119 Portland Rd., Holland Park, London | +44.20.7078.1944
We love Cowshed for its minimalist yet cozy vibe and deeply therapeutic treatments that always deliver. The Holland Park location, which has an organic café, is probably our favorite. The Signature Facial is intensely skin-clearing and includes steaming, exfoliation, extractions, and a killer scalp massage. Pro tip: Supercharge it with a 15-minute cryofacial add on, in which your face is whooshed with chilled air to smooth, detoxify, and energize skin.
Linda Meredith Salon36 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London | +44.20.7225.2755
OG skin whisperer Linda Meredith has worked on everyone from Farrah Fawcett to Kate Middleton, and she's one of the facialists local goop friends swear by. An appointment at her Knightsbridge salon is definitely worth the splurge. Her team identifies, treats, and eliminates skin conditions with restorative algae-oxygen therapy, plumping collagen treatments, and more.
The Spa at the Four SeasonsHamilton Pl., Park Lane, London | +44.20.7499.0888
While you're pretty much guaranteed a solid facial at any of the Four Seasons, it's the Omorovicza treatments (they harness the curative properties of Hungarian mineral waters) at the Park Lane outpost that leave skin incredibly soft and glowing. Packed with anti-aging minerals, the products shine in particular during the exclusive gold hydrating facial, which starts with a copper-spiked lactic acid peel and ends with the ultra healing gold serum.
Vaishaly51 Paddington St., Marylebone, London | +44.20.7224.6088
This studio was founded by superfacialist Vaishaly Patel, and the skin-care treatments are incredible. The signature facial combines Patel’s famous techniques (deep cleansing, extraction, microdermabrasion, and high-frequency treatment) to create a custom plan to improve your skin on the day of your appointment. All facials include a craniosacral massage to treat tense areas at the scalp, brows, and jaw—heaven.
Anastasia Achilleos at The Lanesborough Club & Spa2 Lanesborough Place, SW1X 7TA, London | +44.020.7333.7064
Unlike many aestheticians who rely solely on traditional lotions and potions to treat skin maladies, Anastasia Achilleos targets the facial structures, including the lymph nodes, fascia, and muscles. She offers a huge range of therapies, including deep cleansing, steam, extraction, and bespoke massages to lift, depuff, soften dark circles and hyperpigmentation, and reduce congestion in sinuses. Her sessions are relaxing, and she makes sure to teach her clients how to best manage their skin at home. Best of all, she incorporates goop by Juice Beauty products into various treatments, which you can often catch at In goop Health summits in the US.
The Light SalonHarvey Nichols, 4th Floor, 109-125, Knightsbridge, London | +44.20.7201.9606
The ExpressLED facial is the draw here, a fantastically efficient fifteen minutes of collagen- and elastin-supporting light therapy. Most treatments consist of a combination of yellow and near-infrared light (longer wavelengths that penetrate skin more deeply and are shown to help stimulate healing and ease pain), but for clients with congestion, courses of bacteria-eliminating blue light are most effective. It's worth making a habit—results are said to be cumulative—and it doesn't hurt that the salon is located inside Harvey Nichols.
Pfeffer SalThe Stables, 10B Warren Mews, Fitzrovia | +44.20.3883.4702
Andrea Pfeffer’s passion for glowing, balanced skin led her to create this beautiful, intimate studio with a menu of novel, high-tech facials. They started a bit of a craze for collagen-supporting copper microneedling, but what really sets Pfeffer apart is that no matter how cutting-edge the treatment or how hard-core the extractions, needling, or vitamin infusion, there's an exquisitely relaxing facial massage built in to your session.
Marlene Method221 Westbourne Park Rd., Notting Hill, London | +44.78.4148.3516
Using a mix of acupuncture, LED light, and even tuning forks (the vibrations have soothing, stress-easing effects), the facials here leave clients with a serious glow, balanced skin, and an even deeper sense of calm. We’re especially in love with the Chi Rejuvenation Facial, fifty minutes of acupressure, gua sha, and jade rolling, all of which energize skin by supposedly stimulating the flow of chi. With her faithful following, Marlene Muñoz splits her time between her Notting Hill practice and the hallowed halls of the Bulgari Hotel.
Agua Spa at the Sanderson50 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, London | +44.20.7300.1414
Entering this all-white spa inside the Sanderson feels a bit like walking through a cloud (there are giant, billowing curtains). Inside, there are Reiki adjustments and enzyme facials, custom massages and luxurious manicures. Best of all, you can book a one-on-one acupuncture, sound fork, and facial session with clean-beauty genius (and founder of one of our favorite brands) Annee de Mamiel. The rejuvenating treatment, which changes seasonally, includes a craniosacral massage, gua sha, and a custom herbal mix that is ground into a mask.
Skin Matters222-224 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill, London | +44.77.1038.1438
Down a flight of stairs beneath a private wellness club is Joanne Evans’s Skin Matters. The air is oxygenated, the neutral-tone treatment rooms are immediately calming, and the facials are skin-changing. Evans has been tending to faces for over two decades, and her specialty is problematic and eczema-afflicted skin. She has a beautifully light touch and uses incredible active formulas, along with collagen-supporting microneedling therapy. Bespoke facials aside, there also are vitamin infusions, and you can grab a Bodyism shake or an acai bowl on your way out. Evans has a second location on Kensington High Street.
L’Institut Darphin350 Rue Saint-Honoré | +33.1.47.03.17.70
Through a beautiful garden courtyard near the Paris Vendôme, every treatment at the glamorously hushed Darphin Vendôme Institute starts with a soothing pressure-point massage. The facials are off-the-charts incredible, and we like to hang out beforehand in the super soothing relaxation room. We love the Harmonizing Touch treatment, which blends soothing botanicals to lift and firm skin and the La Parisienne, an hour and a half that includes a soothing facial and a rejuvenating massage.
Dr. Nigma Talib11 Lambton Place, Notting Hill, London | +44.20.7792.8073
Dr. Nigma Talib is a bit of legend around West London, particularly among Notting Hill’s best-complexioned residents. Treatment starts with a consultation. Dr. Talib believes in a holistic approach and that the face is a map of what’s happening within—dairy-, wine-, and sugar-face are all diagnoses. Expect stool samples, blood tests, and a deep but gentle line of questioning before the naturopathic doctor works her magic. These are no ordinary facials, nor are they one-off treatments. Plan on leaving with lifestyle and dietary advice and a renewed sense of calm thanks to Dr. Talib’s soothing manner and cool expertise. She also works out of the Four Seasons in Los Angeles.
The Organic Pharmacy Spa396 King's Rd., Chelsea, London | +44.20.7351.2232
In 2002, pharmacist Margo Marrone and her husband, Francesco, created a beautiful, wildly successful chain of wellness dispensaries in London devoted to their ever-expanding, luxurious, certified-organic line of homeopathic remedies, skin, hair, and body care. Their flagship store also has a gorgeous spa where all of the products are used. The facials are amazing: We especially love the vitamin C and papaya enzyme peel, the express thirty-minute facial with microcurrent, and the amazing Rose Diamond Facial, which combines a diamond exfoliation with an oxygen-infused mask and lifting massage for super glowy skin.
Content Beauty & Wellbeing14 Bulstrode Street, Marlyebone, London | +44.20.3075.1006
Open for over a decade, this Marylebone shop is part clean, nontoxic beauty store and part amazing day spa. Upstairs, colorful shelves are stocked with Four Sigmatic, Intelligent Nutrients, Oskia, Juice Beauty, and Vintner’s Daughter. You can book a full or express facial using the store’s most popular brands—Pai Skincare and Tata Harper—and withdraw to the super quiet treatment rooms downstairs.
Biologique Recherche32 Av. des Champs-Élysées, Paris | +184.108.40.206.0292
The company’s three-story flagship spa is set in a quiet courtyard off the Champs-Élysées, and no two treatments are alike. Instead, skin is meticulously examined with the Skin Instant Lab, which measures moisture, elasticity, pigmentation, and oil production. Next you’re ushered into a gorgeous, all-white treatment room, where a custom regimen of products for the facial is selected.
Les Bains de Léa62 Rue Pierre Charron, Champs-Élysées, Paris | +220.127.116.11.4208
This is Paris’s largest day spa—and the ultimate place to spend an entire day resting and relaxing. Booking two treatments gets you all-day access to the indoor pool, sauna, hammam, juice bar, and the especially deluxe sushi bar, along with the coziest robe and slippers ever. The treatments focus on traditional Balinese beauty rituals, and the Five Flowers Ritual, which combines the essences of five tropical flowers to nurture skin, is especially delightful.
Dr. Barbara Sturm ClinicKönigsallee 53-55, 40212 Düsseldorf, Germany | +49.211.8632003
World-famous dermatologist Barbara Sturm’s work is incredibly high-tech—her endogenic blood therapy, for example, takes dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid and enriches them with regenerative elements taken from a patient’s own blood. At the same time, she’s passionately clean and nontoxic in her approach—a rarity among dermatologists. After researching both techniques and skin-care ingredients at her clinic, she’s come out with a line that manages to be super effective, luxuriously textured, and chic as hell all at once. Treatments at her clinic run the gamut from low-tech to super advanced, from lymphatic drainage and microdermabrasion to hyaluronic-based mesotherapy, nonsurgical face-lifts, and microneedling.
The Berkeley London SpaWilton Place, Knightsbridge, London | 011.44.20.3870.2580
The gorgeous pool and serene rooftop garden are incredibly compelling, but it’s the powerful treatments using clean, nontoxic skin-care brands Oskia London and Bamford that keep luring us back. The aestheticians are gentle yet thorough as they steam, exfoliate, and pamper skin with acupressure, eye-contour massage (the depuffing effects are magic), and cold stone therapy to rejuvenate tired skin. The spa itself is a delightful mix of earth tones, flickering candlelight, and soothing vibes.
Chanel au Ritz Paris17 Place Vendôme, 1st Arrondissement, Paris | +18.104.22.168.3060
After four years of renovations—the first closure in the hotel’s history—the Ritz Paris’s charming, traditional style is firmly intact but decidedly spruced up. The spa is as stunning as ever, aglow with gilded flourishes and newly embellished with art from the room Coco Chanel inhabited for over thirty years. The treatments are at least as luxurious: Aestheticians use sound and light to ease you into total relaxation, then they go to work. The fascia massage, in which the membranes coating the muscles of the face are manipulated to ease tension, is amazing, and getting slathered in a collagen-infused formula leaves you smoothed and soothed. When it’s all over, delay the crushing return to reality by retreating to the neoclassical swimming pool with one of the spa’s fantastic beauty-elixir cocktails.
Alexandra Soveral20 Upper Ground, Southbank | +44.203.747.1000
After a long, dehydrating flight or an intense week at work or really any other time, come to think of it, there are few things we love more than a massage at Aqua Spa in the Sea Containers hotel (formerly the Mondrian). Skin specialist Alexandra Soveral’s Signature Treatment is manna to your visage. A deep clean is followed by an intense lymphatic-drainage massage. Hot and cold stones are dipped in fragrant oils and rolled over the face, taking care of puffiness and smoothing out fatigue lines. Soveral’s organic, nontoxic products are made from botanicals grown on her family farm in Portugal—and they smell heavenly. Pick up a jar of Angel Balm, a miracle in a jar that you can cleanse with or smear on as a hydrating mask while up in the air or overnight in bed. You can also book in with Soveral herself at her Maida Vale London clinic.