revelist facial review
photo: Blake Newby

There are thousands of types of facials out there — literally. So many, in fact, that it's often hard to decide which one is the best for our skin's specific needs. And while nobody wants to spend extra money on facials that won't fix their problems, it becomes a game of trial and error when you don't know what to look for. It's a confusing and extensive world, one that's increasingly hard to navigate without professional help.

So to find out which facials are best for which skin issues, I went on a months-long facial binge to put an end to my skin's four primary problems: dehydration, texture, discoloration, and acne. The result? My narrowing it down to four corresponding facials that actually worked and finally provided my skin some transformative relief.

My skin has never been in better shape, and these are the four facials I have to thank for that. So without further adieu, here are the official Blake Newby Facial Awards.

Welcome to your one-stop guide to facials.

facial stock photo
photo: Stocksy

Strap in tight! Your skin care woes might be put to an end soon. These are the best and brightest facials that can eliminate specific skin concerns including dryness, texture, discoloration, and acne.

Best for Chronically Dry Skin: HydraFacial ($200, Life Spa)

The HydraFacial is the soothing, moisturizing, and non-invasive treatment that cleanses, exfoliates, extracts, and hydrates all at once. The popular treatment, which has become even more popular than Botox, works as a sort of vacuum for your skin. If you're looking for blackhead extractions, this is your most painless option.

You can find a HydraFacial in just about every state. The easily accessible treatment is mostly consistent across the board and guarantees similar results no matter where it's administered. It's suggested that you get this facial consistently — at first once every two weeks. Seasoned HydraFacial recipients are recommended to get it once a month.

During my entire 40-minute treatment, my skin felt like it was in heaven. The machine used in the treatment feels like a tiny rubber suction cup moving across the skin while it simultaneously penetrates pores with hydrating fluids. 

The Hydrafacial recovery period is just a few hours — almost nothing compared to more intensive treatments.

Though applying makeup immediately after the facial is not advised, you can return right back to your normal routine after just a few hours. For some context, I received my HydraFacial at noon and attended my birthday party at 8 p.m. that evening with a face full of makeup. 

You can expect to have extremely dewy skin, reduced redness, and very little irritation following the HydraFacial.

I immediately walked away with visibly more glowing skin after this treatment. There was little to no swelling, and the dry skin that I arrived with did a complete 180. Unlike many treatments, the HydraFacial provided softness and glow that lasted. 

Best for Textured Skin: Laser & Light Facial ($75, Skin Laundry)

The name of this facial is pretty self-explanatory. A specialist with something called a YAG laser penetrates the skin, producing collagen while targeting unwanted pigmentation. After the laser treatment portion of the facial, an "intense pulse light" is used to target redness, pigment, inflammation, and bacteria. 

As it goes for any other laser treatment, slight pinching feelings and irritation are to be expected throughout. Experts recommend returning once a week for optimal results. However, women of color are advised to lessen their facial frequency to avoid hyper-pigmentation caused by the laser.

The Laser & Light facial requires about a full day of recovery, during which you shouldn't wear makeup or do any intense at-home skin care.

You might experience slight redness post-facial, but it won't be anything too serious. Giving your face a break from makeup for the rest of the day is suggested. 

All in all, you can expect to find your skin smoother, softer, and all around more consistent after a few Laser & Light treatments.

I got this facial with a friend who has struggled with severe texture issues in her cheeks, and she swears by her results. It came highly recommended, and after seeing how her skin had been transformed, I had to see it for myself. My skin texture was more consistent to the touch almost instantly, and the areas of my skin that "cratered" felt fuller. 

Best for Discoloration: Personalized PCA Chemical Peel ($325, Tribeca MedSpa)

A chemical peel is intended to remove the outermost layers of the skin. In essence, it's exfoliation times 100. To create the environment for the skin to peel, a PCA solution induces a "controlled injury" to the skin based on personal preferences. 

Extensive facials like the PCA peel are recommended once a month. When deciding where to get your chemical peel, it's imperative to go to a highly skilled aesthetician. After endless research, I decided on Tribeca MedSpa, a spa filled with experts on skin of all types. 

My aesthetician applied five layers of peel with about a minute in between. I experienced tingling that I would consider a five on a pain scale of 10, but that subsided soon after the facial was completed.

A PCA peel requires anywhere between one to seven entire days of downtime, depending on your skin and severity of the peel itself.

The average peeling time is around one to seven days. In my case, I peeled for four. As someone who exfoliates often, I had less skin to shed (gross, I know). Though you can wear makeup at the beginning of the next day, rubbing the skin isn't suggested, as it's supposed to peel naturally. 

The literal peeling of the skin will leave dark spots and other hyperpigmented spots without a leg left to stand on.

The dark spots that had long been a constant on my cheeks and chin were visibly faded at the end of my peeling phase. My skin looked completely renewed. After it completely peeled, it was like I had unlocked a brand-new layer of skin, and I technically had. The results were far better than any at-home treatment I could have done myself. 

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Biologique Recherche Le Lift ($200, Rescue Spa)

Anything involving Biologique Recherche is almost guaranteed to work. Its one-hour Le Lift treatment eliminates dead cells that clog pores and slow down oxygen exchange. The potent products paired with meticulous extractions remove buildup and blemishes. In addition to clearing out pores, the treatment creates an immediately lifted look.

Downtime from Le Lift involves some redness and swelling, but you can still wear makeup the day after the treatment.

Due to the extractions and strong chemicals, the skin might be puffy following the facial. Makeup in the first day is not suggested. In the evening, cleanse with just a gentle cleanser. 

This facial's results are utterly unreal for anyone who wants to defeat chronic and cystic acne.

Whenever I need to purge my skin of buildup and breakouts, these are the products I turn to. I went into treatment with a painful cystic buildup on my chin, and the next morning it was completely gone. My skin appeared firmer, and all my whiteheads, pimples, and zits had been removed. 

These four treatments worked for my personal skin concerns, but everyone's different. Always approach skin care with caution and as much background information as possible.

facial stock image
photo: Stocksy

Everyone's skin reacts differently to different treatments, but I can truly say these four facials did exactly what they promised. After dozens of tries, I've finally been able to pinpoint the treatments that relieve me of dry skin, acne, uneven texture, and discoloration, and I feel like I've reached the promised land. If you identify with any of these struggles, just know that these four are highly suggested. 

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