Dubai facials tested

Time Out puts Dubai’s facials to the test to find out whether you really get what you pay for


Mini facial, Tips & Toes
What’s involved? This relaxing facial uses eco-friendly products by Pevonia Botanica (which refrains from animal testing and uses biodegradable packaging), championed by celebs including Angelina Jolie and, er, Denise Richards. Exfoliating cleanser, skin lotion and eye gel are applied before your face is covered with a mask soaked in phyto-aromatic mist (it soothes, heals and hydrates, apparently). This is the best part – we received a great head and neck massage while the mask worked its magic. Afterwards, yet more sensitive skin lotion and eye gel are applied. Finally, the therapist massages skin cream into your face – bliss.
Does it work? It may be a stress-busting 25 minutes, but we couldn’t see much impact on our skin.
Is it good value? It’s an enjoyable treatment and, in this town, Dhs80 ain’t bad for a pampering. The problem is that we paid for a facial and couldn’t see any discernable results, making the massage more memorable.
Various locations across Dubai (04 399 0550)


Deluxe facial, Shaz Beauty Bar
What’s involved? After a quick scour of the skin for blackheads under a big spotlight, a green apple cleanser is applied, followed by an apricot scrub to exfoliate the skin. Next, the facialist extracts the skin’s gunk, which, thankfully, is only slightly painful. After blasting mild heat onto your mug for a few minutes, you’ll get a lymphatic massage using cream containing peach extract and collagen in an attempt to plump up and brighten dull skin. This feels a little tingly, though it doesn’t hurt. Then, after an arm, hand, neck and shoulder massage, a spearmint clay mask is smeared on for extra radiance.
Does it work? Very impressive. Our skin felt so much smoother and fresher, we couldn’t stop stroking it.
Is it good value? The salon may be a little rough around the edges, but the friendly service, rock-bottom prices and decent products make Shaz Beauty Bar a real hidden gem.
Near Rashid Hospital, Oud Metha (04 334 9217)


Oxygen facial, Revival Beauty Salon
What’s involved? As well as offering an array of Dermalogica products, this is one of the cheapest facials in Dubai that uses oxygen. The idea is that the older we get, the more difficult it is for our skin to retain oxygen. The technicians at Revival spray pure oxygen on the face, which they claim helps to heal weakened skin cells and works to eliminate toxins. Given that the salon is both independent and budget, it’s surprising they use such high-end products and have so much fancy equipment. At one point our technician attached some headgear that sprinkled us with fresh air. They also gave us a delightful massage while we waited for the various oxygenating lotions to take effect.
Does it work? Our normally dry skin was so hydrated, it looked shiny (although the sheen soon calmed down). Regardless, we felt renourished.
Is it good value? Given that facials at the Dermalogica spa in The Dubai Mall start at Dhs475, we’d say Revival offers fantastic value.
Al Abbas Building, Bank Street, Bur Dubai (04 355 7435)


Deep-cleansing facial, Go Fuschia Beauty Studio
What’s involved? This 90-minute facial is certainly comprehensive: our Kazakhstani cosmetologist began by assessing our skin in order to tailor our treatment. After a cleanse and tone using classy Rejuvi products from the US, you’ll get a purifying mask and an extraction, which is inevitably painful, but mercifully quick. Once the pores are cleansed, the therapist will close them using a D’Arsonval microcurrent device, which burns a little. A tingly menthol mask is then lathered on before you’re treated to a relaxing facial massage. We thought this was the end of the treatment, but no: we had two masks to go, one anti-inflammatory and the other an algae concoction to remove redness.
Does it work? Thanks to the final two masks, our skin wasn’t red or inflamed: one week on and it still feels super-smooth.
Is it good value? This eight-step facial is a bargain considering it’s performed by a qualified cosmetologist (her English isn’t fantastic, but she’s friendly and keen to explain things).
Marina Terrace Tower, next to Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina (04 422 4345)


Clarity facial, Kaya Skin Clinic
What’s involved? Kaya’s cleansing facial involves wiping off your make-up and applying a lactic acid cream to get rid of dead skin, followed by a cold compress and a mask that hardens on your face. It’s not as frightening as it sounds, or in any way painful, but it’s more practical than pampering.
Does it work? Immediately after the facial our skin was blotchy and red (to be expected), but not at all sore; the next day it felt smoother. There wasn’t a huge visible difference, but our face felt a lot tighter so it definitely worked.
Is it good value? Dhs400 is a lot to pay, but if you believe in the healing properties of lactic acid you’re advised to have one a month.
Town Centre Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 349 9558)

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