Whether you have oily or dry skin, sensitive skin or wrinkles, every bride wants a radiant complexion for the big day. But with facials not necessarily part of the wedding budget, it's important to choose the perfect one for your skin concerns, whether they are blackheads, clogged pores or dehydration. So at You & Your Wedding, we did the research for you, trying and testing the best facials for your big day. Tough job, we know...
When it comes to your pre-wedding pampering routine, we definitely recommend adding a facial to the mix. The best facials can help sort out your skin concerns, whether you’re worried about blackheads, dullness, spots, fine lines, puffiness or dehydration. It’s all about choosing the right treatment for you. The key with facials is to start early, particularly if you want to have a course rather than a one-off. Most importantly, never try a new facial in the weeks leading up to your wedding. If you’re never tried it before, you can’t be sure how your skin will react. Even if your skin is normally trouble-free, the last thing you want is a flare-up in time for w-day.
If you don’t have skin concerns but want to add some glow, look for a relaxing facial, with plenty of head, shoulder and neck massage included.
There are lots of different treatments out there, so it can be tricky to choose. Do your research, and always choose the best salon your budget allows. At You & Your Wedding, we love trying new facials, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites to help you find the right one for your skin. You’d be surprised at the results you can achieve. And always make sure to ask your facialist for advice on how best to care for your skin. We’ve learned some of our best skincare tips and tricks this way, covering everything from facial massage to the best time to exfoliate and how to make sure exercise doesn’t damage your skin. Once you’ve found the right facial for you, check out our round-up of the best skincare for brides, featuring brands to suit every budget, so you can keep the good feeling going all the way up to your wedding day.
The signature facial Le Visage by Chelsée Lewis,
Best for: Brides and grooms looking for a completely bespoke programme
Y&YW says: “As a facial connoisseur (I’ve been addicted to them ever since my delightful sister pointed out my wrinkles at the tender age of 22) I was keen to see how Chelsée’s completely bespoke Le Visage treatment would stack up against the many others I’ve enjoyed. Her credentials are pretty impressive you see, with the likes of Stella McCartney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Suki Waterhouse and Erin O’Conner regularly sneaking into the townhouse behind Green Park station where she practises her magic. The verdict – it was the best I’ve ever had. Ok, so I didn’t immediately look like Suki and her supermodel pals, but I did emerge into the Mayfair sunlight the most glowing version of myself, to the point that I happily took the tube home after the treatment make-up-less. This aisle-ready glow took just a couple of heavenly hours to achieve and started with Chelsée carefully looking at my skin under a bright lamp to see exactly what my skin needed… moisture, moisture and more moisture. The treatment included a deep cleanse (Chelsée even removed by hand any blocked pores, most of which were around my hairline due to my bad make-up removal technique), followed by a micro peel to help speed up skin renewal and get rid of those dreaded fine lines and wrinkles. My favourite part of the treatment was the unique facial massage that Chelsée has devised to detoxify and bring oxygen and nutrients to the skin. It was all I could do to keep myself awake. When she then put a nourishing mask on me and left me under warming flow of steam I actually woke myself with a little snore! After just one treatment I could see a massive improvement in my skin – plump, fresh and most importantly not a wrinkle in sight. Chelsée recommends a 12 or 6 month programme for brides or grooms and now also offers 3D-HIFU technology (the latest way to increase collagen production). Book at Chelsée Lewis
Facial Yoga, Aesthetics Lab
Best for: Brides (and grooms!) with puffy skin.
Y&YW says: “The salon has a chic modern grey and white interior and is fresh, bright, calming and adorned with white orchids. I was greeted by a lovely therapist who gave me a detoxifying shot: freshly pressed apple juice with Acai berry supplement which is high in antioxidants and also great for anti-ageing. I was then taken to the therapy room to change into a massaging suit for the Lymphastim part. This is non invasive and focuses on lymphatic drainage and boosts your blood circulation. You receive this body massage throughout your facial and while it is very relaxing and great to think that it is helping to remove the toxins in your body, the motor was a little noisy so a bit distracting. The facial started with a cleanse before the super relaxing massage begun. As my therapist worked on my skin I felt instantly refreshed and could feel the tension release in my head. Next up my skin was examined under a strong light, which highlighted any abnormalities and treated accordingly. I didn’t quite know what to expect from a yoga facial but I left feeling rejuvenated, relaxed and my facial muscles felt toned and firm. The worst thing about this treatment was that it was over far too quickly and after seeing the results in the mirror I won’t be leaving it as long before my next facial. It was simply superb.” Book at Aesthetics Lab
Essential facial, PfefferSal
Best for: Brides with a dull complexion
Y&YW says: “Forget Barrocca, consider this your multi-vitamin facial” is a pretty bold claim, but I have to say, it delivers. I went in with the idea that this was essentially a green smoothie for my face, and that’s what I got. The room itself has got a pleasant Nordic feel to it, and wouldn’t be out of place in an interiors mag. The facial starts off with a cleanse and a steam, before a thorough extraction. Some people don’t really like this bit as it’s a tad painful, but I find it quite satisfying, knowing all the grime is being (quite literally) popped out of me. The therapist also got rid of annoying milia (cysts under the surface of the skin), which I was very grateful for. Next up came a dynamic face massage, before a powerful serum was applied to my skin, which was enhanced thanks galvanic technology. My skin was plump and radiant and I had a bounce to my step as I headed to the tube afterwards. Result.” Book at PfefferSal
Darphin Pure Balancing Facial at Spa Illuminata, Mayfair
Best for: Skin that’s looking tired
Y&YW says: “True story: the evening after my facial at this rather sleek spa, I got asked for ID when buying wine. Now, to the 25-year-olds out there, this may not sound particularly impressive or, indeed, desirable. But for those of us who know what it’s like to blow out 30 plus candles on a cake? It’s pretty damn satisfying – and means this facial has just shot to the top of my must-repeat beauty list. My usual favourite facials involve some serious scrubbing to clear out those clogged pores. However, I realised during the pre-treatment consultation that on this occasion my weary skin actually needed nourishment rather than a deep cleanse. Not a problem: my therapist deftly adapted the facial to play up the hydration and glow-giving elements, using some glorious Darphin products (I particularly loved the Eye Sorbet Mask) and rather blissful facial massage techniques. The vibe on my visit was luxe but friendly. And unlike several city spas I’ve been to recently, Spa Illuminata was properly peaceful – no traffic noise in the treatment room, a discreet hush in the relaxation area. But to be entirely honest, I’d agree to have a facial in a bin in a supermarket car park for results this good: fine lines softened, a pleasing plumpness to my forehead and that elusive glow.” Book at spailluminata.com
OSKIA signature glow facial
Best for: Boosting radiance
Y&YW says: “To be completely honest, I’ve never really been a huge fan of facials. I’ve only had two before (given the option, a massage has always been my treatment of choice) so wasn’t sure how I’d find the experience, but I might have just been converted… First, my skin was cleansed with hot towels (dreamy!) and then exfoliated using the Micro Exfoliating Balm. This was then followed by a steam to open up the pores before a quick extraction (blackheads, be gone!) My therapist then applied a mask and, whilst that was working its magic, exfoliated and massaged my arms – bliss! By this point I was feeling seriously relaxed and starting to see what all the fuss is about facials. Mask washed off (using those gorgeous hot towels), it’s not quite over as the Nutri-Active Day Cream and then Get Up & Glow is applied, finished off with a wonderful shoulder and back massage using the oil from the massage candle. Studying my face post-facial, I can see in the mirror that it instantly looks plumper and brighter – I’m glowing inside and out!” Book at One Aldwych
Clarins Radiance Reviver Facial
Best for: Tired and stressed brides with dull skin in need of a moisture recharge
Y&YW says: “When it comes to facials, one size does not fit all skin types, so I took it as a very good sign when my therapist spent several minutes at the start of the treatment not only asking me what my skin concerns were but also taking a close look and feel of my skin to see for herself what I needed. The verdict? Moisture, and lots of it. Hours spent in a central-heated office in front of the glow of a computer screen meant my skin was dry and lacklustre and far from aisle-ready. No two Clarins facials are exactly the same, so every b2b that walks through the door gets a completely customised experience. Using ClarinsPro products, that are only available in the spa, mine started with a cleanse and a gentle exfoliation followed by a heavenly massage to reduce puffiness. Then came the personalised supplements to add that much-needed moisture back into my skin. Finally a deliciously cool intensive mask was applied liberally on my face and left to solidify while I tried to stay away during a foot and shoulder massage. Having removed the mask a silky day cream was applied. Before I’d even seen myself I could tell I was going to be pleased with the results as my skin felt fresh as a daisy. When I did look in the mirror I was glowing and my skin looked much tighter. So much so that I declined the offer of having my make-up reapplied and took to the streets of London with a completely bare face, something I’ve never done before. The results lasted for a lot longer than anticipated too. Partly thanks to the advice to drink more water from my therapist as well as the Clarins products I’ve now been converted to and use on a daily basis. For the big day therapists suggest starting the journey from dull to dewy six months before you say ‘I do’ with monthly visits to the spa…now that’s my kind of wedmin!” Book at clarins.co.uk
Rose Diamond Facial
Best for: Brides or MOBs looking to soften wrinkles and improve skin’s overall texture
Y&YW says: “90 minutes of sheer bliss, starting with a deep cleanse then triple exfoliation of the face, neck and décolleté – using the Rose Diamond products which are infused with diamond dust and enzymes, designed to melt away the surface layer of dead skin and dirt. This was deeply relaxing, with expert hands massaging away. Next, a further exfoliation using the enzyme peel, (fruit acids and enzymes work together to go deeper to remove dead skin). Any remaining dead cells were then “hovered up” with a mini suction rod that has almost a diamond end to it, but it was not harsh or painful at all. Spritzing with Hydrating Tonic followed, and a retinol-packed Rose Diamond Lotion was applied to help rejuvenate my skin. Eye cream and more massage. The treatment uses The Organic Pharmacy’s signature acupressure massage, which is brilliant – I drifted out of there!!! But the technique lifts, stimulates lymphatic drainage, helps to eliminate excess toxins, release tension in the muscles and reduces puffiness. Plus, all that aside, my skin was glowing and looked fresher, and smoother after all that work. Can’t wait to go back and try other massages!” Book attheorganicpharmacy.com