We've donned fluffy robes, laid on the comfiest of treatment beds and been wrapped up in heated blankets (it's a tough gig) all so we can draw up the ultimate list of best facials in London. Thank us later!

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Whether you’re in need of purifying, calming, plumping or lifting, into the techiest of tech or the most wholesome of natural and holistic therapy, our list has something for every taste and desire. Treat yourself…

The one that’ll make you cry (in a good way): Bespoke Healing, Mina Lee London, SW3 from £550 for 90 minutes

Operating from a tiny Chelsea studio, Korean holistic therapist Mina wants you to feel like you’re in your own whitewashed London pied-à-terre so you can relax entirely. Her facials are always bespoke, rooted in Korean skincare and traditional Chinese acupuncture principles, and combined with technology where appropriate. You might have mesotherapy, radiofrequency, LED therapy and facial massage, alongside ear seeds, reflexology and reiki. There’s no great skin without tackling lymph and energy blockages, she says –  she’s used to patients bursting into tears on her treatment bed. Her waiting list is six months but don’t let that stop you booking in.

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The light-assisted lifting facial: The Light Salon Non-Invasive Lifting Microcurrent Face Lift, Harvey Nichols, SW1 £105 for 40 minutes

Red and near-infrared LED light is one of those rare things every expert agrees is good for your skin (it calms, heals, and stimulates healthy skin function), and The Light Salon is an expert at it. It’s offered with other skin-boosting stalwarts such as peels, lymph drainage and this, microcurrent ‘facial muscle re-education’, at the brand’s bright yet cosy treatment spaces at Harvey Nichols and Selfridges. It includes a ‘bio-therapeutic microcurrent facial tool’ being held to your face at strategic places to emit muscle-toning currents, which tickles but doesn’t hurt. You emerge with a noticeably tauter, more defined face – this is temporary but cumulative.

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The bespoke tech facial: DNA Essential Skin Grade 1, D.Thomas Clinic, SW3 £275 for 55 minutes

Facialist and laser expert Debbie Thomas, whose grasp of facial tech is more comprehensive than that of many a doctor, has discreetly offered her bespoke tech facials for over a decade to a celebrity and beauty editor-heavy clientele. This superlative skin reboot might or might not include mild peels, extractions, microdermabrasion, Byonik pulse-triggered cold laser, photodynamic red and blue light therapy, lymphatic drainage, radiofrequency, ultrasound product infusion, serums and masks – whatever it is your skin needs. It all happens in Debbie’s airy yet cosy Chelsea clinic, which always boasts the best (whale noise-free) playlist in town.

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The de-puffing facial: Rie Burdock Lymph Face and Body Treatment, Gielly Green, W1U £110 for 60 minutes

Rie is an acupuncturist and reflexologist who knows a thing or two about restoring healthy balance and flow to the body’s systems. This facial, at the elegant Gielly Green Marylebone townhouse salon, is also a body treatment - because the lymph flows from head to toe- and was designed to help eliminate puffiness and water retention. She massages your neck, shoulders and décolleté before targeting facial pressure points. It’s intense but never painful. The idea is to clear energy blockages; the same is achieved with the lymph drainage massage techniques, rose quartz balls and jade roller that follow. Then it’s on to de-puffing the body with long, rhythmic and releasing strokes; your only challenge is to not fall asleep.

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The ground-breaking facial: Xanthohumol Recovery Treatment, Doctors Tatiana + Rishi Advanced Aesthetics, W1G £395 for 45 minutes

This is the only place where you can get a facial by skincare brand ProXN, featuring proprietary super-antioxidant flavonoid xanthohumol. 30 Times more powerful than vitamin C and able to settle inflammation and irritation from skin conditions such as rosacea and acne, as well as from heat-based skin treatments such as laser and radiofrequency microneedling, it’s the ultimate skin calmer and glow reviver. I’m usually not a fan of facials that are really just a succession of products, but this layering-on of serums and masks featuring nothing but powerhouse (yet non-aggressive) ingredients alongside xanthohumol (think polyhydroxy acids, azelaic acid, lactoferrin, etc.) is worth investing in. Skin looks significantly calmer afterwards, with a porcelain-like (in my case) even-ness and a delightful lit-from-within glow.

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The illuminating facial: Medik8 Total Skin Reset Peel at Dr Motox, W1U £125 for 45 minutes (nationwide from £75)

Trusted British cosmeceutical brand Medik8’s latest addition to their salon peel menu is suitable for all but the most sensitive of skins and designed as a cure-all for dry, dull and blotchy complexions. It’s so effective it’s available in cosmetic clinics such as the Mayfair base of Dr Motox, strategically positioned opposite Selfridges so you can make a whole day of it. Expect three stages of exfoliation: a stimulating buff with a bamboo micropolish, a papaya enzyme peel to magic away all traces of dull skin, then a light-strength Medik8 Universal Peel which combines glycolic, lactic and mandelic acids. Your skin looks noticeably brighter and feels incredibly soft. It may be slightly flushed and taut-feeling for 24 hours afterwards but this is mostly mitigated by the skin-resetting potions that are massaged in post-peel: Medik8’s Calmwise and C-Tetra serums and Ultimate Recovery cream are all in the mix.

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The intuitive facial: Beata Aleksandrowicz Face Cure with Beata, W1 £260 for 90mins

‘Rest, rejuvenate and restore’ are the principles at the heart of Beata’s method. A renowned massage therapist and facialist with decades of experience under her belt, she believes that inner calm translates into rested, radiant features and healthy skin, and a session with her proves her point. She incorporates reiki, bodywork, meditation and breathing techniques into her facial treatments, which are more about manipulation of the skin and its muscular framework (they may or may not include buccal massage) than they are about applying the product (she tends to use just a light facial oil). Depending on your state of mind, she can calm or energise you and the same will go for your skin. You’ll emerge from her little Notting Hill apartment/salon brimming with positivity and feeling like you’ve had a hug.

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The time travellers’ facial: The Ancient Egyptian Facial by David Jack, SW1 £250 for 45 minutes

Turns out Cleopatra wasn’t just a fan of bathing in asses’ milk, she also used it in combination with fruit acids and face shaving for her legendary baby’s bum-complexion. Cosmetic physician Dr David Jack decided to include this method on the menu of facials in his elegant Harley Street clinic and it really has stood the test of time.

This one involves a glycolic/lactic/mandelic acid peel followed by full-face microblading to remove the very top layer of dead skin cells from your face, alongside any downy ‘vellus’ hair. I though it might be unsuitable for my reactive, rosacea-prone skin but I came out only slightly flushed and with no irritation, and a great glow that lasted for days.

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The city slicker facial: Zenii City Recovery Facial, House of Zenii, SW1 £175 for 60 minutes

Dr Johanna Ward’s Zenii skincare and supplement brand now has a bricks and mortar home in the shape of the chic House of Zenii, on Wimpole Street, just around the corner from Harley Street. Here Ward and celebrity facialist Lee Harrison dispense multi-pronged, advanced facials. Expect a phalanx of non-invasive tech and regenerative products: toning microcurrents, smoothing dermaplaning, enzyme and pore-purifying salicylic acid peels, and bespoke Zenii skincare. This one purifies, calms and stimulates polluted and stressed-out city skin, all at once.

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The Ayurvedic one for brightening: Legendary Glow Facial, Kama Ayurveda Notting Hill and Harrods £120 for 60 minutes

Ayurveda hails kumkumadi (saffron) as a powerful, glow-giving, pigmentation-busting ingredient and the brand’s Kumkumadi Oil is at the heart of this Radiance Facial, which is perfect for mature skin. It’s combined with plenty of finger pressure to stimulate the marma (energy) points. At the Notting Hill store you’ll find yourself in one of the prettiest (and most Instagrammable) boutiques in London, or go blingier at the beauty rooms in Harrods. If you have time, bolt on an Ayurvedic doctor consultation (15 mins free, 60 minutes £120) for diet and lifestyle advice for your dosha or Ayurvedic constitutional type.

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For dry or sensitive skin: The Queen Skin Therapy Session, The Omorovicza Institute, W1K £200 for 80 minutes

Image: Mark Cocksedge

This suits-everyone luxury facial in the quiet heart of Mayfair is so relaxing you might easily drift off. It starts with a consultation on your wishes and concerns, followed by a settling foot massage – during the treatment they massage your chest and arms as well. The hero product is the Queen Serum, a glow-giving multi-tasker ideal for irritated, hormonal and menopausal skin. There’s lots of facial massage, as well as a thorough cleanse and optional extractions. There’s no hurry to leave as you drink your post-treatment tea – the perfect combination of relaxation and results.

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The eczema, acne or psoriasis buster: Skin Solutions Facial, The Organic Pharmacy, SW3 £90 for 60 minutes 

This is ideal for when your skin is playing up, or you have a skin condition but still want a pampering facial. A bespoke treatment, it calms and clarifies, while relaxing you with acupressure and massage. It’s also a good option if you need skincare advice and they cater for teens too. The therapist selects products for you and sends you away with recommendations from the brand’s natural and organic performance products. There are high-tech treatments on the menu here too such as Morpheus8 radiofrequency microneedling, as well as grooming options such as waxing.

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The facial with a pool: Subtle Energies Hydrating Facial, The Peninsula, SW1 £275 for 60 minutes

Beauty biotech brand Subtle Energies is a combination of Ayurveda and aromatherapy, and every treatment is as much for the mind – if you’re overwhelmed or can’t sleep you’ll love this! - as for the skin. Here at one of London’s newest and swankiest hotels, you can choose a 60 or 90-minute facial and bolt-on ‘pairing’ treatments such as a vegan collagen serum which is rhythmically pressed you’re your skin, a guided meditation or shirodhara oil treatment. On ‘Wellness Wednesdays’ non-guests can use the spa and pool too when you book a 90-minute treatment (£352 for the facial).

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