Could Super Facials Surpass Injectables?

By Rebecca Newman

2 weeks ago

As Hollywood leans ever increasingly on the super facial, Rebecca Newman considers whether hybrid treatments could equal, even surpass, a reliance on injectables

A facial isn’t just a facial anymore – the newest ones come with lifting, tightening powers that could rival a cosmetic procedure, says Rebecca Newman. Here’s exactly what a super facial is – and where everyone is getting them.

What Is A Super Facial?

Something happened at the Oscars. And I don’t mean the Ken dance. Rather, the fully fledged articulation of the ‘snatched face’, the look that’s taken Hollywood by storm. Think skin that is dewy, bouncy – naturally tight jaw-lines and defined cheekbones – and so healthy it gleams. The secret? Emma Stone, Margot Robbie and co are heading to a new breed of skin guru: luminaries with global followings, such as Ivan Pol or Fabricio Ormonde. These uber- facialists blend multiple modalities into newly powerful, bespoke facials. Could these hybrid treatments promise results that could equal, or even surpass, a reliance on injectables? Do they mark a pivot toward treatments that work on a profound level to make our ‘snatched’ skins act and look better than ever? Here’s hoping. Welcome to the new age of the super facial.

Time was that facials were simple. A couple of masks, some products layered on and off with uninteresting sweeping motions. They equated to a pleasant lie down with some fluffy towels, and results that were fine, but neither lasting nor epic.

‘Facials have evolved tremendously,’ says Keren Bartov (, one of the UK’s leading lights who treats Bar Refaeli and Isla Fisher. They can profoundly alter the cellular health of the skin.

Further, these treatments come at a time when people are realising the limits of Botox and filler. Courtney Cox has been candid about how she overdid things, and ‘messed up a lot’. Alongside the likes of Kylie Jenner, she’s had her fillers dissolved. Instead, Cox now sees Bartov, who continues: ‘I never judge anyone who does choose to have these treatments. But yes, if you want to avoid more invasive treatments like Botox then facials can give exceptional results.’

It’s not only, continues super facialist Sarah Bradden (, that too much Botox and filler can make a face look fake, ‘They are both quick fixes. They don’t address the health of the skin’. Moreover, injectables lack the sense of ritual, of looking after oneself. Of self-care as well as skincare.

A woman holding a mask to her face

Photos: Mateusz Sitek
Styling: Ursula Lake
Swimsuit: The White Company
Jewellery: ‘Riviere’ necklace with square emerald cut diamonds set in platinum and ‘Secret Cluster’ ring with diamonds set in platinum, Harry Winston.
Mask: Boost LED Mask, The Light Salon

Manual Power Lifters

Katharine Mackenzie Paterson ( is celebrated as a specialist ‘where tech meets touch’. From her elegant rooms in a Georgian townhouse, she deploys everything from LED therapy to microcurrents that lift and tone. However, the secret sauce is her signature, muscle-melting massage – sculpting the muscle, stimulating blood flow and with lymphatic drainage.

South Korean facialist Mina Lee’s ( method also hinges on touch, and may begin with legs being pulled, hard, and shaken; then firm manipulation of the face with some combination of cupping, acupuncture and Korean massage techniques to release any ‘stuck energy’.

‘To treat the skin, you must treat the body too, and taking care of the skin can recharge your mental and physical wellbeing.’ She stops after having done only one side of your face to show you the improvement – an astonishing, instant lift. This holistic method is then coupled with state-of-the-art Korean products, as well as mesotherapy and LEDs.

Sessions with Bradden start with acupuncture on the ears and face, while lying on a bed with an Infrared Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Mat (emanating healing electromagnetic waves). ‘It’s all about freeing the energy from within,’ she says: ‘to sculpt, lift and boost circulation and collagen.’

Fascial release massage may be followed with LED light therapy. It’s a transformative facial: it washes off lines and the fatigue from your complexion, and restores a vastly better-looking version of yourself; it also renders you somehow internally – even spiritually – rejuvenated.

Giselle Sommerville (info@ also starts from within: clients are given antioxidant supplements to lower inflammation. Like Lee, she uses deep massage, and Korean innovations such as Celltweet (topical exosomes, messengers that encourage skin cells to behave optimally, which can ‘reverse the biological age of the tissue’ to make your skin behave – and look – freshly hatched.

Cold Snatch

At the new Chelsea flagship Eudelo clinic (, Dr Stefanie Williams is a fan of the cold, creating the inaugural facial with cryostimulation (firing precision CO2 at the skin) – as well as LED lights to prompt the fibroblasts to bring more elastin to the skin, along with reducing inflammation, to boost the function of what Williams calls ‘fit skin’. She’s long had a holistic approach too, evidenced by her offering oxygen therapies, and using binaural sounds in many treatments (to promote the healing, resting state), telling me: ‘Skin health is good health.’

Technology Heavy

Shane Cooper ( and Keren Bartov are particularly known for their high-tech wizardry. From her four- storey clinic in Notting Hill, Bartov offers some 50 different modalities. There’s a bushel of lasers, lights, radio frequencies, ultrasound and collagen-stimulating cold plasma. ‘Our speciality is how in one treatment we combine perhaps five machines,’ she says. The lifting and firming effects are sufficiently potent that results can last up to two years.

There’s a similar array in Cooper’s arsenal, beloved by ‘snatched’ stars including Cara Delevingne and Sienna Miller. ‘My toolkit includes an army of medical grade machines, which can be tailored for muscle lifting and skin tightening,’ he tells me. Again, he builds them, using up to six in a single session to maximise the effect.

Victoria Beckham’s facialist Sarah Chapman ( was one of the earlier facialists to move into these kinds of devices – at the same time, she continues to emphasise the holistic component.

‘We all feel the damaging effects of everyday stress. It can be worth investing in treatments not only to improve the skin, but also it’s important they have a positive effect on the mind.’ Hence, she continues to champion her ‘gymnastic’ massage techniques, as well as treatments such as ultrasound, cell therapy and microneedling, and is a strong ‘advocate of regular phototherapy’, expounding on the benefits of using the clinic-grade Dermalux Flex to be used at home to deepen the results, especially reducing inflammation.

All these are a far cry from the fluffy dressing gowns and cucumber eye-patches of yore. Will they replace Botox or filler entirely? Likely not – yet. But it’s hard not to be drawn toward the bouncy, biologically youthful effect of a ‘snatched’ face. And after all, says says Dr Surbhi Virmani, whose Exosomes on Ice Facial is particularly high-tech, these next-gen approaches radically ‘improve skin health, texture and appearance. Once you create luminous skin, once skin is brightened, tightened and hydrated then people often only want very minimal [surgical or injectable intervention].’

In lieu of a megawatt facial, there is a tool you can use at home to lift droopy jowls and smooth away crinkles – not just on the face but from bingo wings and saggy knees too. Three times more powerful than its predecessor, the Lyma Laser Pro tightens crepey skin, clears blemishes and reduces pigmentation with no pain or downtime. It costs an eye-watering £4,995, but then on a cost-per-wear basis, it’s practically a bargain.