If you're going to fork out on a facial, you want one that works, right? Not some half-arsed cleanse, tone and moisturize that you could have done better yourself at home. You don't want whale song and lavender pillows, you want lasers and lights, gadgets and gizmos. It's a big no thank you to the softly-softly approach—instead, you want to get straight down to super-strength facial massage and skincare formulas more potent than you can buy off the shelf.
These high-impact, high-intensity, high-results treatments are out there, it's just a case of finding them. We've done the legwork for you, having offered up our faces like little sacrificial lambs to a whole host of facialists across London to bring you this: Byrdie's definitive guide to the best facials in London that we'd actually rebook—and in some cases, already have done so.
You and your face can thank us later.
The Facial Bar by Dr. David Jack
"If you’re in a hurry but want results head to The Facial Bar at Neville Hair & Beauty. You’re not undressed, relaxing on a bed under a fluffy towel, instead, you get comfy in a reclining chair while the facialist thoroughly, yet swiftly, tends to your skin. This treatment is for those who are time-poor and results-driven."
"Masterminded by Harley Street expert Dr. David Jack the facials start with a thorough cleanse and then depending on the facial you choose from you are treated to a combination of steps that could include a deep peel, brightening oxygen therapy, LED Light or lymphatic drainage massage. There are also bolt-ons by way of boosters and masks that you can add to your base treatment if needed. I was in and out within 45 minutes with skin that looked glowing and bright. The ideal pit stop at the end of a hectic week." —Amy Lawrenson, Editorial Director
- Location: Neville Hair & Beauty, 5 Pont Street
- Price: From $75 for 30 minutes
- How to Book: Online
iS Clinical Fire and Ice Facial at The Ned Spa
"I have pretty sensitive skin, and unfortunately for me whenever I have had a facial it comes with a hefty amount of issues after. I know, I know, it's my skin purging, that means it's working—but as someone that works in beauty, walking around with a face full of spots after isn't nice. That was until I tried the iS Clinical Fire and Ice LED facial. This intensive treatment is a combination of an intensive peel, with a mild facial. It helps to resurface the skin and reduce fine lines all while addressing problematic areas (in my case, hormonal acne)."
"The peel does feel slightly uncomfortable, but nothing you can't handle and the 'ice' part is applied immediately after. Lastly, you lie under an LED light to help boost collagen and kill off bad bacteria that cause acne. I left the treatment a little red, but the beauty of this facial is there's no downtime so I was able to shoot off for dinner plans right after. And the next morning I woke up with glowing, clear skin. I'm not even joking when I say my bout of hormonal acne had reduced so dramatically you could hardly see it—and the magic continued throughout the coming weeks." —Alyss Bowen, Associate Social Media Editor
- Location: The Ned, 27 Poultry Street London
- Price: $205 for 50 minutes
- How to book: Online
Bespoke Inner Sculpting Facial at Joss Beauty
"If you're looking for some serious lifting and firming, then I wouldn't recommend anything other than this facial. Developed by the queen of skin herself, Nichola Joss, I actually experienced it at the hands of her wing-woman and fellow super facialist Charlotte Connoley. It isn't for the faint-hearted, as it's not long before you find Connoley's fingers inside (yes, inside) your mouth, as she practically pummels your facial muscles into submission and forcefully returns them to their rightful place. This one made my eyes water, but my jawline was sharper than it's ever been, and I actually had cheekbones for once. Dreamy."— Shannon Peter, Deputy Editor
Bespoke DNA Facial at Kate Kerr London
"When Kerr asked me to send a swab of my saliva to Sydney six weeks before my treatment, I knew this wasn't going to be just any facial. When we finally met, she knew my skin way better than I ever could and had stats on everything from its ability to maintain collagen to how good my body is at making its own antioxidants. And from there, she ransacked my entire skincare regimen, telling me to throw out things that just didn't suit my genetic makeup and advising me on the products that would really make a difference. The facial itself was focussed on my individual skin needs, so I got a heavy-duty peel, 20 minutes under a red LED face mask and a good number of extractions. The results of the facial and her product recommendations were so impressive that I was averaging two skin compliments a day."— Amy Lawrenson, Editorial Director
- Location: The Mondrian, 20 Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PD
- Price: DNA test $635 and facial from $190
- How to book: Visit Kerr's website or call 01914 958 468
Clean and Lift at Face Gym
"If you're really not fussed about padded slippers and aromatherapy oils, look no further. Skin is coated in a ton of the + Oil Signature Muscle Blend serum before a fractional laser is run over the entire face killing up to 99% of bacteria, making it ideal if the London smog has cast a grey tinge over your complexion. That one isn't painful, but the next one is a bit hotter, which can feel a little uncomfortable. Of course, I fought through the pain, as this light kicks the skin's collagen production back into action making it firmer and more resilient. I was in and out within half an hour, but my skin looked nothing short of glorious—so much so, I'm booking in again, as the team recommends a course of six to see optimal results."— Shannon Peter, Deputy Editor
- Location: Exclusive to Face Gym, The Beauty Workshop, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
- Price: $95 for 30 minutes
- How to book: Online
The Signature Treatment at Face Place
"So—things got pretty serious pretty fast when I went to try out Face Place's iconic treatment. As well as the highest potency of skin-brightening vitamin C I've ever experienced, my face withstood galvanic currents (that's what the mask is about) and the most extensive session of extractions (aka pore squeezing) my face has seen. The results were little short of incredible. My skin literally looked juicy by the end of it—I was gleaming—and stayed that way for weeks."— Shannon Peter, Deputy Editor