We Tried It: 3 Different Facials at 3 Different Price Points
We tried three different facials at three different price points to get to the bottom of whether price matters when it comes to the beauty treatment.
Before this article, I had never had a facial before. I was interested in treatment (though hesitant if I'm being honest), but realized once I started looking at options that I had no idea where to start. How much should a facial cost? Where should I go? What can I expect once I'm there?
In hopes of debunking these questions, I had the opportunity to try three unique facials from various spas in Toronto, where I live. I went to Blitz Facial Bar, Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa and The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel. As a newbie, I had no strong feelings toward one type of place, so I was able to go in with an open mind to consider the interplay between price, experience and the treatments themselves. Here's what I found.
Lower Price Range - Blitz Facial Bar
The treatment: The Works Facial with an oat milk mask instead of microdermabrasion.
Price: With facial options from $38-$120, and add-on facial boosters available, your wallet will thank you.
Customization: Because I have sensitive skin, my esthetician was happy to swap out the microdermabrasion part of the treatment for a face mask. Willing to tailor treatments based on my skin concerns, I felt like this spot had my best interests in mind.
Time Commitment: If you’re low on time, it’s a great option for a quickie—there are multiple 30-minute facial options available.
Eco-Friendly Products: The brand has developed their own line of eco-friendly products to enforce its dedication to a healthy body and environment. You can be sure that all of the products used during your facial experience have both you and the planet in mind.
Staff: The staff is extremely friendly and willing to explain every step of the process—something I definitely appreciated during my first facial ever. They are also experienced and qualified, providing excellent recommendations for your complexion post-treatment.
Atmosphere: If you’re looking for something extremely relaxing, this place may not be the best fit for you. You remain fully clothed, with a cape draped over you, sitting in a reclining chair comparable to a hair salon. You’re also in the presence of other people getting similar treatments in full lighting.
Select Treatments: Many of the techniques could be easily done in the comfort of your own home, such as a standard face mask and the use of jade rollers.
Final Verdict: If you’re crunched for time or limited on funds, this is the type of place to consider for your next facial. You’ll get the benefits of a facial treatment and still come out feeling rejuvenated, but due to the lack of privacy and overall ambiance, you may sacrifice the relaxation aspect that usually accompanies the experience.
Mid Price Range - Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa
The treatment: Classic Facial with Oxygenating Booster
Price: With most facials starting around $100, it is more price-friendly than other luxury options and won’t break the bank if you treat yourself every once in a while.
Atmosphere During Procedure: Relaxation was definitely at a high as your facial takes place in a secluded room. I was asked to remove my top and replace it with a towel provided. Then, cozying up under blankets on a massage table, I was transported to instant relaxation mode thanks to dimmed lighting and instrumental spa music.
Recommendations: Before you begin your facial, the aesthetician asks all about your daily skin routine and skin concerns—she helped me understand which elements were most important to focus on post-facial and made me feel confident that she understood exactly what I wanted out of my facial experience.
Products: Only using products from trusted skin-care brands, such as Dermalogica and Yon-Ka, I knew my skin was in good hands. The amazing facial massage coupled with the products used, made my skin feel extremely refreshed.
Staff: The staff were outgoing, knowledgeable and enhanced my experience—I could tell they knew what they were doing and I knew I was being well taken care of during my time there.
Waiting Room Atmosphere: Lacking the ambiance of a spa, the reception area felt very commercial, similar to the waiting room in a doctor’s office—it made my pre-facial experience feel very procedural as opposed to “spa-like”. It was as if I was waiting for them to yell, “next!”.
Time of Suggested Boosters: While I liked that they did not suggest added boosters until evaluating my skin during the procedure and suggesting what was best, I did find it interrupted the relaxation aspect of the facial—it triggered a pause where I had to think about money and whether or not the additional cost was worth it.
Final Verdict: Waiting around a month between facial treatments is recommended, so despite it’s slightly higher price range, it’s more financially manageable compared to luxury choices. This is your best go-to option when you want the perfect balance between affordability and some relaxing “me” time.
Luxury Price Range - The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel
The treatment: Rose Gold Facial
Atmosphere: To start, you are escorted to a change room with a glass of complimentary iced tea in hand, and given a locker with a comfy robe and sandals to change into. You wait on cushioned loungers for your appointment and then escorted to a private room. I felt like I was getting the royal treatment and was instantly relaxed from the moment I walked out of the elevator doors.
Special Treats: Providing countless tea options and finger food (like a delicious fresh oat bar) in the change room, you (and your stomach) are sure to leave satisfied.
Extended Access: With any 60-minute treatment, you're given entry to the steam room, pool, showers and the rest of the spa amenities for the day. If you have a full day to commit to the spa, this perk will definitely give you more bang for your buck.
Products: Using only top quality products, namely Omorovicza, my skin felt rejuvenated post-treatment. I also liked that all of the products were neatly laid out on a table as I entered the room—this way, I knew exactly what would be going on my skin.
Staff: With extremely welcoming staff, I could feel that they wanted to ensure I had a great experience. I appreciated that my esthetician took the time to explain everything that she would do for my facial before the treatment so that I could simply relax and enjoy once it started.
Price: The cheapest facial here is $215—which is more than double the other treatments I tried. These steep prices could definitely be inaccessible or dealbreakers for many spa-goers, no matter how luxe the experience.
Time Commitment: Because you are spending a lot of money on your treatment and are also given access to all of the spa facilities, it would be silly not to spend the day (or at least a few hours) there. If you don't have a lot of hours to spend, maybe save this option for when you do.
Final Verdict: While my experience was nothing short of amazing, it’s not realistic for most to spend around $200+ on monthly facial procedures. Focusing extensively on the relaxing experience of the treatment, this type of facial is a great gift for you, a friend, or significant other. Go to a luxury spa if you’re looking for a real treat and have multiple hours to spend there—if you’re going to spend the money, you want to take advantage that you can use all of the spa facilities for the day.