The Best Facials
The factors that take a facial from good to life-changing depend solely on personal preference (borderline medical-grade microdermabrasion vs. gentle hydrotherapy, for example). Nailing down the ideal treatment for your skin’s needs involves a bit of trial and error. To minimize error—and make the trial process a pleasurable one—we’ve corralled the best luxury spas, aestheticians, and straight-up dermatologist offices known to yield great results in a single visit. What’s more, many of our favorites bottle their star formulas (some have even launched entire skincare lines), making at-home upkeep significantly easier.
Christine Chin Spa82 Orchard St., Lower East Side | 212.353.0503
Christine Chin has been famous for years, and with good reason: She doesn't mess around when it comes to facials, delivering the sort of cleaning that will have you digging your fingers into your palms (we know friends who have popped a painkiller before stepping in). In short: She will excavate every pore on your face. Chin knows what she's doing, as evidenced by the glowy complexions that glow even more under her care (supermodels like Gisele Bündchen and Erin Wasson to name a few). If you have any sort of skin ailment, start here; if you want a more spa-like facial, stay away.
Joanna Vargas501 5th Ave., Midtown | 212.949.2350
Joanna Vargas first moved to NYC in hopes of pursuing photography, only to discover that she actually cared a lot more about skincare. It's a good thing, too, because she's kind of a genius at it. Perpetually on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest in skin-bettering treatments, she offers her stable of loyal clients collagen-boosting LED light therapies and the now-famous microcurrent facial, which smooths fine lines and carves out cheekbones without ever having to go under the knife. Her organic product line is great for daily upkeep.
La Prairie Day Spa50 Central Park S., Midtown | 212.308.9100
This spa is not as packed with amenities as other high-end options, but it does not lack in luxury, meaning that if you're feeling flush, book a few treatments and spend the day. The facials here range from over-the-top ($1,250 for the white caviar facial) to classic (the anti-aging facial includes a glycolic peel for some extra firming).
Mila Moursi SkincareBarneys, 660 Madison Ave., Midtown | 212.833.2093
Mila has been taking care of many high-profile LA women for decades, all of whom swear by her skin and body treatments. More specifically, it's her European facials (tack on a dry contouring session for a bit of extra lift), "face-changing" line of skincare products, and discretion that keep everyone coming back. While the flagship spa on Sunset Boulevard is worth an in-person visit, you can also book treatments at Barneys New York outposts in most major cities (besides New York, also Chicago and Beverly Hills).
Susan Ciminelli118 E. 57th St., 3rd Floor, Midtown | 212.750.4441
Susan Ciminelli's true claim to fame is her roster of freakishly potent anti-aging facials, which incorporate everything from aromatherapy to essential oils to hydradermabration. She's also a big believer in the inside-out approach to skin health and will send you home with an approved list of skin-healthy foods in addition to a customized at-home product regimen. Not coincidentally, her namesake product line is as extensive as it is hard working. She spends a lot of time in Los Angeles, too, where she treats clients in a private space.
Dayle BreaultSoho | 424.228.5117
Dayle Breault (aka The Goddess of Skin) has an obsession with natural skincare that was born out of her own struggles with acne. That said, acne is just one of many skin concerns she tackles: She (apparently) singlehandedly solved Cara Delevingne's issues with psoriasis and her three-part Epicuren mask visibly diminishes sun damage after a single session. Plus, her namesake product line offers the perfect balance between good-for-you ingredients and potency (the Bonafide scrub is a fan favorite). Call or email for an appointment, she sees clients in both NYC and LA.
Georgia Louise114 E. 71st St., 1E, Upper East Side | 347.703.2726
Judging by her client list alone (Emma Stone, Gucci Westman, Christy Turlington), Georgia Louise is doing something right. Each treatment—whether it's the gravity-defying Lift & Sculpt treatment or her classically European facial—starts with an in-depth consultation. There's a lengthy waitlist to get in with Georgia herself, but a session with a member of her team is the next best thing.
Maria Radu Skincare24 E. 64th St., 3rd Fl., Upper East Side | 212.249.2345
Maria Radu sticks to a no-nonsense, European approach, which also happens to get great results. Not only is she the go-to for anti-aging and rejuvenating treatments, she's been known to work miracles on acne-riddled skin.
Face Place425 W. 14th St., 3rd Fl., Chelsea | 212.367.8200
Don't expect soft music and a gentle massage. Taking a more clinical approach to facials than a typical spa, the space is stark and clean, and the staff really knows what they're doing. The signature facial combines a round of extractions with a galvanizing treatment, which promises to tighten and rejuvenate skin tissue. They also offer some pretty effective peels. There are other locations in Los Angeles and London.