A guide to the very best facials in London

One of the many perks of travel is the opportunity to immerse oneself in the local beauty scene (at least, this is my opinion as a beauty editor). A recent trip to London saw me experience three facials in one week; my travel companion thought I was crazy, but my glowing complexion said otherwise.

Regardless, aeroplanes and a change in climate can wreck havoc on the skin. Plus, nothing says 'I'm on vacation' quite like laying in silence for an hour while someone tends to your pores. You might also live in London, in which case... lucky you to have such establishments on your doorstep.

No matter your motivation, find a guide to the very best facials in London for every preference right here.

Dr. Barbara Sturm



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The European queen of glow, Dr. Barbara Sturm knows good skin. A former orthopaedic surgeon, she turned her skillset to complexion health, pioneering innovative anti-inflammatory treatments such as facial cream spiked with a patients' blood. Nowadays, her topical line is on every famous vanity (Oprah is even an investor). The London flagship is light, bright and serene, combining blissful relaxation with serious results. I booked in for the Sturm Glow facial, where my incredible therapist assessed my needs (hydration... lots of it) before getting to work. The treatment had it all: high tech tools, customisation and a transformation that made me audibly gasp. I'll be back.


The Skin Lab by Augustinus Bader



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Situated conveniently in Mayfair, Augustinus Bader's newly opened flagship is a feast for the senses. Kitted out in the brand's signature royal blue and copper, it's a space that feels supremely luxurious, but also instils a sense that your skin (and maybe life) are about to change. I experienced the BaderGlow Rejuvenating Facial, which began with a detailed skin scan to zero in on any concerns. Then there was cleansing, extractions, heavenly massage, thorough exfoliation, a collagen sheet mask, and a machine that served both LED light and pure oxygen. The final step was a layer of the very iconic Rich Cream, loved for its patented hero ingredient TFC8. When I left, my skin felt the cleanest and most hydrated it had ever felt.


Sarah Bradden



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If holistic care is more your speed, I'm told that there's no-one netter than Sarah Bradden. Her signature 'Bradden Method' combines eastern modalities like acupuncture, reiki and reflexology with massage, LED light therapy and activated oxygen. Her treatment style is less about infusing the skin with actives or layering on topical hydration, but more about stress relief, energy balance, LED and oxygen therapy plus cosmetic acupuncture. it's entirely customised to your needs as well, thanks to an initial tongue analysis. If travelling throws your out mentally and physically, it's a great one to try.


Dr. David Jack



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After one of my many skin treatments, I caught up with a friend for lunch. Naturally the conversation turned towards skincare, and she told me about the facials she was having at Dr. David Jack, and how they had quite literally transformed her face. The well-known clinic administers a suite of complexion-changers like injectables, anti-wrinkle, needling and the like, but her recommendation was a bespoke Korean Glass Facial with Iris. Think rigorous massage to release jaw tension, and a skin finish so glassy, people passing by you might be able to see their reflection.


Sunday Riley



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If you live and breathe by Sunday Riley, you'll be pleased to hear they have a facial room in Liberty London (also known as department store heaven). The Signature Facial is only 45 minutes so is great if you're short on time, and is redeemable on product. It involves a good cleanse, exfoliating mask, lots of prebiotic hydration to strengthen the barrier (a must when travelling) plus massage and a vitamin C-bolstered hydration step to de-puff and reinstate glow. If you've got more time, you can add on LED light therapy or cryotherapy, too.





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The Kichi Studio client roster reads like the MET Gala invite list: Sienna Miller, Tessa Thompson, Iris Law, Olivia Wilde... Founder Natasha Clancy was a model and long-time aesthetician when a stint living in Japan inspired her to start a skincare line (she developed her best-selling Forever Oil with a Korean chemist). This eventually developed into Kichi, a revered London skin clinic where everyone flocks pre-red carpet. The treatment to try is the Baby Face facial, which marries 'baby' laser, cryotherapy and LED to sculpt, brighten, lift and firm.


D.Thomas Clinic



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Word on the street is that Debbie Thomas is the woman Dua Lipa entrusts her complexion. Her London clinic is known for its use of lasers (we're sensing a theme) and highly clinical approach to tricky concerns like acne, ageing and pigmentation. Her signature DNA method is all about a bespoke approach, and using the latest in skin tech to instigate serious change. While it might not be the blissful vacation facial you imagined, if you're able to tolerate a little bit of down time, she's known industry-wide as one of the world's best.


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