We put the brightest and best trailblazing facial treatments to the test, so you can ensure your skin is wedding day ready.
The Best Facials in London and the UK
Skinpen Microneedling with Renée Lapino, London
Reviewed by Danielle Wilkins, editor
I’ve never met a facialist so passionate about helping people with their skin concerns. And not just minor tweaks. I’m talking about the issues that plague confidence, like acne, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, scarring… As a former sufferer herself, Renée just gets it.
She covers everything from your at-home routine to skin health in a consultation, before performing a fully bespoke treatment. Microneedling sounds scary. It’s the needling part, right? But when Renée suggested that it’ll dramatically improve my skin’s tone and texture, I had to give it a go.
In a nutshell, it organically encourages the skin to heal itself by creating thousands of tiny ‘micro- injuries’ (or pin-pricks). The natural wound-healing process boosts collagen formation.
The result? Smoother, more youthful skin. OK, so this isn’t your usual sit-back-and-relax facial, but it is all about results. Likewise, there’s nothing to be worried about. I hate needles, but barely flinched during the procedure – it’s only minimally invasive and doesn’t hurt. After around 30 minutes of needling, I was placed underneath an LED light to help reduce redness and minimise downtime. Naturally, everyone’s skin reacts differently, but I saw results after just one session. Follow up with the right skincare (I used Cosmedix Purity Solution Cleansing Oil and Phytoclear Clarifying Moisturizer, as recommended by Renée) and within a few days, your skin will look the best it ever has.
Price: from £150
Find out more at reneelapino.com.
The Hydrafacial at Cavendish Clinic, London and across the UK
Reviewed by Laura Sutherland, sub-editor
Cleanse, extract, hydrate. Sounds a bit basic, right? But this complexion cure-all is anything but, taking these fundamentals to new heights via medical-grade microdermabrasion and a chemical peel.
I’ll admit, I was a little nervous when I first came face-to-nozzle with its patented Vortex-Fusion delivery system (a tool which removes impurities, before replenishing thirsty pores with a nutrient-rich serum). However, the gentle pulsing as Agnieszka buffed away my flaky topcoat soon lulled me into a relaxed state. Even the extractions were painless. The session closed with 20 minutes of LED light therapy to stimulate collagen production and tackle redness, then I was given a final slick of SPF. Expecting to look at least a little pink after the intensive medley of treatments, I was delighted to find with a radiant, fresher – and yes, better – version of me.
With repeat sessions, you can expect to see marked improvement in pigmentation, fine lines and skin elasticity – ideal if you want to take your big-day glow-up to the next level.
Price: from £165
For more information visit cavendishclinic.co.uk.
IS Clincal Fire & Ice Facial with Dr Pradnya Apte, London and Exeter
Reviewed by Danielle Wilkins, editor
With clinics on London’s Harley Street and in Exeter, Dr Pradnya is one of only a handful of clinicians who offers this Hollywood-approved treatment. And it’s a favourite for good reason: just half an hour with Dr Pradnya leaves you red-carpet ready (or aisle-ready), with zero down-time. The instant results make this perfect for the night b efore or morning of the wedding. It started with a cleanse and potent peel containing sugar cane, retinol and niacinamide (vitamin B3). First came the heady scent of cinnamon, then a hot, prickly sensation – the ‘fire’. But before it became too tight and uncomfortable, it was time for ‘ice’, as Dr Pradnya removed the peel and slathered my face in a rejuvenating mix of hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, green tea and rosemary extract. Cooling doesn’t do it justice – it felt heavenly. “You look amazing,” Dr Pradnya reassured me as I lay there wondering what to expect. And I did – I really did. My usually-enlarged pores were almost invisible, the lines around my eyes were reduced and my skin looked the smoothest it ever has. It’s the pharmaceutical-grade ingredients that encourage cell turnover that make this speedy facial so brilliant, and it’s particularly effective for acne sufferers and those who want to improve overall skin tone.
Price: from £80
Find out more at skinsouthwest.co.uk.
Emma Hardie Lift & Sculpt Facial at Harvey Nichols & Space NK Stores, Nationwide
Reviewed by Chloë Collyer, creative director
After negotiating my way through a sea of shoppers, I was really ready for some relaxation. But I had no idea just how much escapism could be found behind an innocuous sliding door on the ground floor of Harvey Nichols – or to be more precise – during an Emma Hardie facial. Wanting to find a way to help herself through recovery after an illness, and with a passion for natural skincare, Emma Hardie researched various massage techniques before establishing her brand. The iconic Lift & Sculpt facial has been a celebrity favourite for more than 10 years. After a thorough cleanse with a balm and cloth, my skin already felt the smoothest it has in a long time, but this was merely the start. With a name like ‘lift and sculpt’, I was fully expecting to be kneaded to within an inch of my life (anything for a tighter jawline…) but what followed was a series of light, sweeping strokes and gentle pinches that I was even able to doze through. These softly-softly techniques are what make these tried-and-tested treatments stand out in the crowded skincare market. When I finally came round from my pamper nap, I felt fresh, serene and lifted – quite literally.
Price: from £25
For more information head to emmahardie.com.
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