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Spa Treatment Guide: Facials

Spa Treatment Guide: Facials

With historical roots dating back as far as the 16th Century, facials have long been used to rejuvenate the skin through the application of natural ingredients. Once a symbol of power and wealth – with Queen Elizabeth I herself a frequent facial recipient – facials are now a widely-available and popular treatment in modern times, that promote radiant skin and offer indulgent levels of relaxation.

Here, we explore the sumptuous benefits of a facial, as well as what to expect during the treatment, different types of facials, facial aftercare tips and a hand-picked selection of the most soothing, reinvigorating and lavish facial treatments available at our collection of luxury UK spas.

What Is a Facial?

A facial is a rejuvenating skin treatment that works to cleanse pores, exfoliate dead skin cells and impurities, hydrate and moisturise the face and leave the complexion looking more balanced, supple and healthy.

Not only this, but as well as being a soothing beauty treatment, facials can also be tailored for those with common skin concerns to help them discover revitalising regimes and products that best work for them to help promote a clear and well-hydrated visage.

A popular and sumptuous treatment in any luxury spa, a facial is designed to plump the skin and encourage blood flow to the face for a fresh and radiant look. In fact, of all the treatments on the long list of relaxing pampering experiences on offer, facials are one of the most revered treatments alongside massages.

What Are the Benefits of a Facial?

There’s a reason why facials are so popular and it’s all down to the plethora of health and beauty benefits they provide. From helping to maintain impeccable skin health to balancing complexions, moisturising the face for a reinvigorated, refreshed feel and improving blood flow by the use of gentle massage techniques, the list of rejuvenating benefits is endless.

And while a facial is an amazing way to recharge and replenish the skin, there are also so many more additional advantages aside from just cosmetic and skin health benefits alone.

Taking time away from the stresses of everyday life to invest in some dedicated relaxation time does wonders for mental health and well-being, providing some much-needed time for relaxation and reflection in our busy lives. And what’s more, as facials leave skin glowing and promote a sense of revitalised well-being, a wholesome pampering session in opulent surroundings is sure to boost confidence and energy levels substantially.

What Happens During a Facial?

A typical facial will last for around an hour. And while there may be some treatment variations depending on the chosen spa location or expert therapist, the majority will follow a certain set of steps to help achieve the renowned nourishing results of a facial.


Once relaxed and ready to enjoy the soothing treatment, the knowledgeable therapist will take the time to fully understand specific skin types, concerns and considerations before beginning the facial.


The treatment will start with the application of a purifying cleanser, which will be massaged into the face and neck. This cleansing process is designed to delicately lift any dirt, sebum, makeup and impurities from the skin to leave the face feeling clean and refreshed. The product used may vary depending on skin type – for example, a specially-formulated foaming cleanser may be used on oily skin, whereas a hydrating gel cleanser may be used for those with drier complexions. Once applied, the cleanser will then be removed with warm water and a soft facial sponge, cotton pad or cloth.


Once the skin has been cleansed of impurities, the therapist will then work to gently polish away any dead skin cells with an exfoliating cream to promote radiant skin. This will be massaged onto damp skin in small circular motions and at this stage, the therapist may also use steam to further open up pores for a deeper exfoliating cleanse.


After extracting any impurities from individual clogged pores at the exfoliation stage, the most relaxing part of the treatment is ready to be performed – a facial massage. Using lotions, oils or balms, the expert practitioner will stimulate pressure points and relieve any muscle tension on the face, neck and shoulders. Facial massages promote healthy skin, while also having a rejuvenating effect that smooths the skin, improves circulation and enhances relaxation.


Toward the end of the facial, a moisturising mask or treatment will be applied to the face that caters to any specific needs of the skin, such as dryness or oiliness. Here, a further massage may be required to distribute the product, or it may be a case of sitting back and relaxing to let the treatment work its magic. Once soaked into the skin, the face will be gently washed, before enjoying a final application of protective serum to conclude the facial.

Different types of facials

Different Types of Facials

Our hand-picked selection of the UK’s best luxury spas offer an extensive variety of facial treatments.

These include hydrating facials that boost the skin’s moisture levels, to firming facials that promote anti-aging qualities to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Or, for blemish-prone skin, a balancing facial that helps to regulate oil production and reinvigorate the complexion could be the perfect option.

And for those looking to energise both their body and mind, opt for a rejuvenating facial that gifts a radiant glow through the production of collagen and new skin cells.

View all facial treatments
Facial Aftercare Tips

Facial Aftercare Tips

To maintain the glow gifted by a moisturising facial, there are a few tips and tricks to follow that can both minimise irritation in the immediate aftermath of the facial and promote long-term skin health and radiance long after the treatment is over.

To reduce any skin irritation following a facial, be sure to avoid any further treatments (especially those that include exfoliants, scrubs and acids) for at least 48 hours. As pores are opened and cleansed, this also applies to strong sunlight, humid heat sources (such as saunas or facial steamers) and makeup, as the skin needs some time to relax, settle and breathe.

For longer term facial aftercare, the most important tip of all is to drink lots of water and eat plenty of hydrating vegetables that help to flush the toxins from the skin. It’s also worth having a discussion with the expert therapist who conducts the facial, as they will be able to recommend the perfect products to suit all different types of complexions, meaning the routine can then be replicated at home for continued results.