London Review: My first facial at Aesop Northcote Road

To kickstart my 3.5 weeklong vacation, I decided to celebrate with a super impromptu 60 minute Aesop facial at Aesop’s newest London store on 71 Northcote Road, SW11 6PJ!

This is pretty unlike the usually risk averse me given it’s the end of year 1) flu and 2) Covid-19 season.

I guess when I decided a few days ago that I wanted to book a facial, the omnicron variant of coronavirus wasn’t so widespread.

Nevertheless, I’ve started taking extra precautionary measures, i.e. wearing two layers of masks, sanitising after handling anything, and carrying Dettol wipes with me! Now let’s get on with the review of my first Aesop London facial experience!

Pricing

Let’s talk pricing. The 60 min facial in London is definitely on the pricier side, costing a whopping £120, which is almost S$50 more expensive compared to the Singapore equivalent (at S$170). Honestly imho, I don’t really believe the facial experience I had was *worth* that much. Especially since I can get the same or better facial in Singapore.

Availability

It was difficult to reach them by email/phone due to the busy seasonal period in the store (but the shop floor didn’t look super crowded to me), however, having said that, there were many slots available (due to customer cancellations ‘cos of Covid-19) and it was generally much easier to get a facial slot versus in Singapore where the waitlist is several months long which is a tad annoying.

Less great aspects

There was one point during the facial where I was conversing with the facialist and I could feel a tiny amount of her saliva fly onto my face, which was slightly unsettling (given she’s supposed to be wearing a mask at all times), also she often touched her mask to push it up (from the front with her fingers) which is quite a no-no to me, because the front of your mask is precisely where all the germs in the air land on!

On the plus side, at least I heard her washing her hands very thoroughly for 20 seconds.

I also wished there was at least a little bit of (physical) extraction given the price tag of the facial but she said it wasn’t necessary.

I also didn’t quite like how the temperature of the pads on my face was incredibly hot.

Another negative for me was that compared to Aesop in Singapore, there were zero free product samples to try. And I felt a little like the experience ended quite abruptly. To me, the Aesop Singapore facials transition/end better on like a nice, closing kind of note.

What I enjoyed

I felt like my facialist was quite professional in how she spoke to me given that she’s been doing facials for over 4 years. Enjoyed chatting with her. And at the start of the facial, the hand movements on my face really felt like the sea sweeping onto the beach 🥰 The time flew by very fast and I felt like the facial was really quite gentle. There was also a washroom which I have never seen at an Aesop store before! Apparently all stores have one but they’re strictly for staff. I really liked how this new store and therapy room looked – from the greenhouse filled with plants, classic Aesop orderliness to the retro looking architectural interiors. It reminded me a little of Australia.

The changing room was also really delightful and gorgeous, with an Aesop candle, rinse-free handwash, deodorant, Rozu perfume and a cute tray that looks like it came from a shell. Comparing this to my 2nd Aesop facial in Singapore, these little amenities weren’t available.

I also really liked how the therapist explained what products and stuff she recommended and the ‘why’ behind the recommendation, such as salicylic acid – antibacterial properties, purify the skin especially during hormone-related breakouts.

I would probably rate this experience a 7.5/10. I did prefer the way Kit (the therapist from Aesop Singapore) tucks me under all the layers as well as how she arranged the leg rest under my knees – Kit is really good.

Again, the music in the facial therapy room was really therapeutic and atmospheric and cinematic and instrumental all at once. I think it really lends to the zen facial experience that Aesop offers. I also like how the ceiling was covered in recycled paper – a testament to how Aesop is a certified B corp company.

But I liked how my facial therapist today actually said genuinely positive things about my skin (she said that my skin has elasticity and good amount of collagen! 🥰) and also said objective stuff in a very neutral way, like just flagging the hormonal changes and dry skin. As I mentioned, she was really professional and lovely.

My facial was a pretty nice experience and I like that I could secure an appointment easily (booking it is a separate issue I guess, I called several times over a few days and emailed twice) and I would really recommend the facial at Northcote Road (especially if the price tag isn’t an issue to someone considering going). I really, really look forward to visiting and exploring more Aesop facial therapy rooms around the world!

Aesop, 71 Northcote Road, London SW11 6PJ

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