Beauty, Style, Yummy Mummy

Top three facials in London


I am a sucker for facials. My little addiction started when I was a student. On a quest to add a little more glow to my lacklustre complexion, I’d scrape together my money to see a beautician every six weeks or so. Even if that meant spaghetti with butter and salt for lunch during half of those weeks.

Since I moved to London, my skin has definitely taken a turn for the worse. Of course, age plays a role, but I am not only talking lines here. Pollution and stress speed up the ageing process like nothing else, hence living in a big city is not doing your skin any favours. During the past decade, I have been testing an array of beauty salons and facials. Yes, it’s a tough job. But someone’s gotta do it. And this is the verdict:


1. The Bentley of facials: Rani Mirza, Knightsbridge

Rani has magical hands – however dull, congested or tired my skin looks, after 90 minutes in Rani’s care, my complexion is radiant, revived and plumped up. No surprise then that supermodels, actresses and beauty editors frequent her salon and that appointments can be hard to come by. My favourite is the deep cleansing facial, a personalised 90-minute-long affair of successive cleansing, facial massage and masks that take the years in the Big Smoke off like nothing else. Price: £98 that are worth every penny.

Rani Mirza, 41 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 1NX, Tel.: 020 7589 9080

2. Holistic beauty with an Asian twist: ZEN, Notting Hill

I first went to ZEN a couple of years ago when my problems were more than skin deep: at the tender age of 30, I felt exhausted, drawn and I had developed a spot (or several, actually) of adult acne. It was clear that I needed more than a thorough facial to get me back on track, inside and out. A single consultation with a Chinese doctor and a handful of herbal medicine helped to recreate balance and significantly calmed down my skin. In addition, I started seeing Keiko, a Japanese beautician that works wonders on worn-out complexions. Keiko uses gentle massage technics to boost collagen production, leaving your skin squeaky clean and glowing. Prices: £45 for 30 minutes Traditional Chinese Medicine consultation; £75 for 60 minutes balancing facial

Zen Spa London, 32–34 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3HX, Tel. 020 7229 8686

3. No frills deep cleansing: Dermacia Pharmacy, Islington

This one is a bit of a hidden gem. A total surprise find, as I was dashing into Dermacia Pharmacy randomly to pick up some baby stuff in my old neighbourhood, Islington. Spotting a sign that said ‘treatment rooms’, I inquired about what was going on behind those doors. More curious than convinced, I booked a facial, and OH MY WORD did I never even once regret going down those stairs into the basement under the pharmacy. Ask for Amy if your pores need a thorough cleanse – and say good bye to every single blackhead or little impurity you didn’t even know you possessed. Price: £48 for a 60 minute Dermalogica facial. Beauty on a budget!

Dermacia Beauty Salon & Pharmacy, 260 Upper Street, London N1 2UQ, Tel.: 020 7226 2780



  1. I love facials. I can’t wait to have one once I get home from China. The pollution is killing my face. Thanks for all your wonderful comments the past week and a half. 4 more days and I am back with my Buddha belly baby with the yummy cheeks to kiss all over.

  2. Sounds like I need to see Rani. I had a Guinot hydrosomethingsomething facial yesterday and it felt nice and all but my face is so bad that I never ever notice any immediate effect 😐 I WILL make it a monthly thing though, hoping that one day it pays off 🙂

  3. I always want to have facials but somehow never find the time. I must try harder. Thanks for the recommendations!

  4. I do love a facial – these sounds wonderful, due to current budget constraints, I am doing my own facials (it isn’t the same) it’s been a great excuse to invest in great products, oils particularly.

  5. I’m always looking for the best facial, so thanks for this. Fern skin in NW3 is used by all the primrose hill posse for amazing facials and waxing. If ever you want to try so ethi g new they’re very good xx

  6. They all look fabulous…. I love a good treatment, and I am still suffering a little adult acne brought on by all the hormonal changes after I’d finished breastfeeding – Chinese medicine sounds like one to try!

  7. Big M says

    As much as I hate to say it and as rarely as I get to go, but I love facials too now that MetMum has introduced me to them. For guys they bring out the heavy guns such as sand paper and angle grinders, but it is very relaxing nonetheless and the results are noticeable. Maybe a Valentines gift…

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