A Definitive Guide to Every Facial and Why You Need It

From tried-and-true brightening to the Vampire Facial.

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Design by Katja Cho

A facial, no matter what kind you get, can be life-changing—for your skin and soul alike. But considering there's more variety now than ever (and the fact that many don't come cheap) makes picking the right one is essential. To ensure that you do, we're decoding the most notorious facials, from tried-and-true brightening to the state-of-the-art Vampire Facial made famous by Kim Kardashian in one fell #selfie.

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Lymphatic Massage Facial

When your body has difficulty removing lymph, it causes water retention and swelling, which can effect the appearance of your face. By stimulating the lymphatic glands in the face with a professional facial massage, you'll be relieved of tension and puffiness.

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Microdermabrasion Facial

A non-surgical option for an "instant facelift," a microdermabrasion tool uses tiny rough grains to buff away the surface of the skin, which stimulates collagen production and cellular renewal, leaving skin ultra-soft while minimizing the appearance of skin damage.

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Electric Current Facial

A less-invasive substitute for Botox, this technique delivers mild levels of microcurrents to the face and neck via wet sponges, stimulating muscles to restore lost energy. Perfect for anti-aging, it naturally sculpts the face draining lymph nodes while smoothing out wrinkles.

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Acupuncture Facial

A treatment rooted in ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture as a facial treatment consists of pressing needles into wrinkle-prone areas of the face. It's said to stimulate collagen growth and elastin production, which firms the skin and reduces fine lines.

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Vampire Facial

A non-surgical alternative to a facelift, but not exactly one for the faint of heart, the Kim Kardashian-beloved "vampire facial," injects a gel-like substance made from the patient's blood onto the face to rejuvenate the skin and treat wrinkles. Heavy on the hyaluronic acid, it adds youthful volume and shape while improving skin tone.

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Anti-Aging Facial

While it has all the same steps as your standard facial, the treatment is packed with active ingredients, like collagen, for mature skin—think late 30s and up. Typically, anti-aging facials consist of exfoliation, masks, antioxidant-heavy serums, and deep-pore cleansing with extractions.

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Brightening Facial

If you're worried about dull skin or sun damage, a brightening facial specifically targets hyperpigmentation, evening out your skin tone using powerful antioxidants—like Vitamin C, which improves skin's natural defenses while boosting radiance. These glowy ingredients are applied topically with masks and acid treatments.

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Gem Facial

If you're looking to rejuvenate your skin while balancing your energy levels, this is the treatment for you! It's believed that various types of stones, like amber or onyx, have special powers. Mixed with aromatherapy essences and antioxidant-packed oils, you will get a truly sensory experience while improving your skin's overall appearance.

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Gold Facial

For these fancy facials, gold is combined with the Gamma PGA compound to improve skin's overall complexion as the metal fights free radicals in the skin. The luxe technique was invented in Japan back in 2006 and has since been likened to Cleopatra's rumored nightly gold masks.

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Fruit Acid Facial

There are many skin-improving natural acids found in fruit, and they all serve up different benefits when used in facial scrubs and cleansers. For example, lemon brightens, while the malic acid in apples is a great exfoliator. But overall, you can't go wrong with any fruit acid-infused facial if you're looking to cleanse, hydrate, and improve tone/texture.

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Enzyme Facial

If you're looking target acne, an enzyme treatment like the Murad Clarifying Enzyme Acne Facial, helps eliminate breakouts while clearing up the skin. Fruit enzymes, paired with antioxidants and hydrating agents, deep cleanse to reduce the appearance of blemishes and redness.

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Contouring Facial

This is not your typical soothing facial. A contouring facial massage is like a workout for your face, as an esthetician will use microcurrent devices to firm muscles and sculpt defining features, like cheek bones.

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LED Facial

An LED facial, AKA Color Light Therapy, is notorious for treating acne and reversing the signs of aging. The pain-free technique emits special light to stimulate cell regrowth, improving overall complexion (especially if you suffer from redness), reducing the appearance of sunspots/fine lines, and filling in wrinkles.

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