We stand firmly behind the idea that beauty has to do with far more than the state of your skin—it's confidence and energy, and it's entirely personal. But, sometimes, a little external pampering feels good too. Especially when your skin is in the hands of the right people. Which brings us to facials: a beauty treatment that can help nix breakouts, lift, sculpt, plump, smooth, and tone your skin in minutes. That being said, there is a ton of variety when it comes to technique, products, and skill level.
And when you're talking about NYC, where there's a little salon, beauty bar, spa, or medical office on every corner, you may need some discerning advice. After all, your skin can’t handle every peel, laser, or microdermabrasion treatment because adverse reactions and irritation are no joke.
That’s why we reached out to our trusted resources and asked beauty editors to spill the details on the best facials they've ever had in NYC. These women experiment with products and treatments on the daily, so you can imagine that when something sticks out, it's worth investigating. Ahead, read everything you need to know about the facials in New York that have reached top status, according to beauty editors.
But first, a note: As board-certified dermatologist Julia Siegel, MD, tells us, for some skin types, facials should be avoided entirely—for example, the acne-prone among us could experience worse breakouts after extractions, and those with eczema are at significant risk of irritation. "Facials can be very relaxing and enjoyable, and those that use microcurrents may have longer lasting effects, but the most long lasting effects come from daily skin care routines," she says."
Hallie Gould, senior editorial director at Byrdie
What it is: Joanna Vargas Supernova Facial
How much it costs: $325
"Joanna Vargas is known for her micro-current facials, a technique used to define your jawline, better pronounce your cheekbones, and refresh your eyes. But that’s only one component of the her Supernova facial—perhaps the best facial of my entire career. After cleansing, the aesthetician resurfaces your skin with a nutrient-rich liquid exfoliation, leaving it baby-smooth and super supple. Next, comes the microcurrent to de-puff and a medical-grade collagen mask activated with a peptide solution. It was cold, deeply hydrating, and plumping in all the best most sensorial ways. On top, the esthetician applied a molding. After about 20 minutes, she removed the molding mask and applied the Rescue Serum ($150) and used electroporation (a pulse of electricity to briefly open the pores in your cell membranes) to help the product penetrate your skin. Finally, it ends with cryotherapy, which increases the circulation in your skin, helps tighten pores, and soothes inflammation. And much like giving your face an ice bath in the morning, it tightens the skin and encourages lymphatic drainage. It was very cold. Like, very, very cold. But felt good and invigorating at the same time. The results are the most glowing skin I’ve ever seen in real life. And it felt pampering and exquisite the entire time. (As an FYI, honorary mentions include the Biologique Recherche facial at Rescue Spa and Ildi Pekar’s cupping facial)."
Gwen Flamberg, executive editor, beauty & style at US Weekly
What it is: Dr. David Colbert NYDG Triad Facial
How much it costs: $800
"My favorite facial in NYC is NYDG’s Triad Facial, pioneered by celebrity dermatologist, Dr. David Colbert. It combines microdermabrasion, LED light therapy, and a chemical peel. I am much more in favor of 'big guns' over a traditional European facial; I abhor steam and extractions—give me the hardcore stuff that really improves skin and its underlying structure in the big picture."—Gwen Flamberg, Executive Editor, Beauty & Style at US Weekly
Joane Amay, beauty and style director at Ebony
What it is: Heyday facial by Dorota Lisowski
How much it costs: $140
"When my skin needs special attention, I go see Dorota Lisowski. She used to work out of a doctor’s office in the West Village, but now she’s based at Heyday on the Upper East Side. I like the fact that she really gives my skin her undivided attention while she's working on it. No pore will stay clogged under her watch, even if I'm there for another type of treatment! Thank goodness her extractions are relatively painless. I also love that she often follows up with an email to check to see how my skin is behaving afterward. Though she's quite affordable, that kind of TLC is priceless."
Lauren Levinson, editorial director at Verywell Family
What it is: Joanna Vargas Triple Crown Facial
How much it costs: $250
"If it's your last day on Earth, go to Joanna Vargas for a facial. She offers high-tech, effective facials that actually make you walk away with glowing, lifted skin. I’m talking micro-current machines, LED light beds, facial cryotherapy, and collagen masks. I went to her a few days before my wedding in 2017, because I trusted her to send me down the aisle with a luminous complexion. It’s a luxe experience, which is why so many celebrities have Vargas on speed-dial to prep their skin for major red-carpet events. And if you can’t afford Vargas herself, try anyone from her team. It’s a phenomenally talented group."
Kelsey Castañon, beauty director at PopSugar
What it is: Great Jones Spa Facial Signature Facial
How much it costs: $145
"Screw mascara—to me, a really, really good facial is better than sex, and I’ve had my fair share of treatments to show for it. Most spas for me are a one-and-done deal, but the one place I keep coming back to for more is Great Jones Spa. I’ve gotten nearly every facial on the menu, and each one is just as refreshing (and affordable) as the next. Plus, you can’t beat its amenities. Where else in NYC can you get an intimate pool party with friends?"
Kristina Rodulfo, beauty director at Women's Health
What it is: Christine Chin CChin Facial
How much it costs: $120
"No one can reset my skin like Christine Chin. Last September, Zoë Kravitz told me she goes to Chin for facials when she’s in New York, so I added the esthetician’s famed Lower East Side location to my beauty bucket list. Have you seen Zoë’s skin? Dewy, plump, lit-from-within—I wanted it. So, I first visited after the holiday season, when eating and drinking without limits and travel wrecked my skin. I was greeted by a hashtag in the treatment room: #MeanChristine. She coined it herself, and it’s pretty accurate. You get deep extractions and intense microdermabrasion across your face, neck, and décolletage all while Christine comments out loud about every skin issue she’s encountering, and how to fix it. It’s not relaxing, per se, but I’ve never seen my skin clearer nor smoother than the days following my treatment. It’s as if she buffed me fresh, like you would a nail during a manicure, and results lasted for at least two weeks after."
Faith Xue, executive beauty director at BDG
What it is: Georgia Louise Glo Bespoke Facial
How much it costs: $350
"I love Georgia Louise Atelier in the Upper East Side. First of all, the spot itself is so tranquil and cozy—it feels more like you’re in a Parisian flat than in the middle of New York City. Georgia is the facialist to some people you may have heard of like Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett, so you know that you’re getting the best of the best. She uses Biologique Recherche and Elemis products (two of my favorites), and always has the latest and greatest in devices, whether it’s micro-current or LED therapy. She’s also just an all-around lovely person, and you’ll leave refreshed, renewed and with much tighter, brighter skin. What more could you ask for in a facial?"