I love getting facials. In my opinion, there's really no better self-care option out there. Facials not only give me a built-in amount of time to not stare at a screen and try to relax, but they also give tons of skin benefits that make the treatment truly worthwhile. My facials typically fall on the more affordable end of the spectrum (I have bills to pay!), but when I got an invite to try "the best facial in NYC," which comes with a whopping $1000 price tag, I was immediately intrigued.
This facial is from none other than JTAV Clinical Skincare, a luxury skincare clinic in Manhattan. Founded by Joie Tavernise, an NYC-based skin expert and medical aesthetician, JTAV's signature facials are completely tailored to each person's individual needs. Unlike many facials, JTAV facials combine clinical devices with tried-and-true facial techniques, rendering them a unique experience.
That being said, there are a few things you can typically expect from a JTAV facial. Usually, Tavernise will deeply cleanse, exfoliate skin with a Hydrafacial, dermaplane, extract clogged pores, and use LED light. Depending on your needs, Tavernise will also use Laser Genesis therapy for tone and texture, Clear + Brilliant for more extreme tone and pore-size issues, or intense pulsed light for hyperpigmentation.
The experience itself felt like a mix between a relaxing facial and a dermatologist appointment. Tavernise seemed to know more about my skin than I do (and even spotted some places I may have picked at too much). Each step felt methodical and results-driven, and I felt like I could ask questions as she went along to get a better understanding of the process.
My skin is typically pretty clear and leans dry, but lately, I've been experiencing a lot more breakouts than usual thanks to stress and hormones. I let Tavernise know this, and she made sure to customize my facial accordingly, targeting problem areas while still ensuring my skin remained hydrated.
Honestly, the best part of the facial is that (aside from the clinical devices) Tavernise used a lot of skincare products that you can buy and use at home—which is great for those of us who can't spring for a facial the price of our rent. I asked Tavernise to walk me through our entire facial, including all the products she used. Keep reading for the full rundown straight from Tavernise herself, not including the laser treatment and LED light treatment Tavernise used to even tone and texture and help mitigate breakouts.
1: Skin Prep
"After cleansing, I started the Custom Treatment with Hydrafacial to prep the skin. This device works like a vacuum to deeply cleanse pores by extracting dead skin cells and excess oil. This leaves the skin ready to absorb active ingredients so that they penetrate deeper and give the best results possible." — Tavernise
"The next step is to dermaplane the skin to remove vellus hair, aka peach fuzz, from the face. In addition to hair, this also removes any remaining dead skin cells and makes your skin feel incredibly smooth." — Tavernise
#3: Double Cleanse
"After dermaplaning, I cleansed the skin a second time with SkinCeuticals Purifying Gel Cleanser. This cleanser contains glycolic acid and is fantastic at sloughing out debris from the pores without overdrying, leaving skin refreshed and conditioned." —Tavernise
"Next, I used one of my all-time favorite boosters. This formula goes from a powder to a bubbling cream and really cleans deep to detox the skin. This product is a fantastic addition to any cleanser but can also be used on its own." — Tavernise
#4: In-Office Peel
"This gentle, non-chemical peel uses a blend of organic enzymes from pumpkin, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, and mango (it smells amazing!) to regenerate the skin while helping to bring balance. I applied it to the face, neck, and décolleté for a few minutes in order to let the enzymes do their job." — Tavernise
#5: Neck and Décolleté Exfoliation
"I then used MBR Beta Enzyme on the décolleté to further lift and tighten the skin. This beautiful product aids in cellular turnover and regeneration yet is gentle enough to be used often." — Tavernise
#6: Face Mist
"I love face mist and always incorporate them into treatments. This hydrating facial mist is clinically proven to strengthen the skin’s barrier and immediately reduce visible redness. It is perfect to use toward the end of a treatment to soothe and calm the skin while encouraging it to retain water to keep skin plump." — Tavernise
#7: Sheet Mask
"To trap in moisture and hydration, I applied the SkincCuticals Biocellulose mask. This mask is extremely cooling and soothing and instantly makes the skin feel fresh and hydrated." — Tavernise
#8: Vitamin C
"When I removed the mask, I applied JTAV Brighten and Firm Vitamin C & E Serum. This high-efficacy serum improves the look of wrinkles, brighten skin’s complexion, and supports the microbiome, while a protective antioxidant system guards against free radical skin damage." —Tavernise
"Next, I applied SkinCeuticals Epidermal Repair. This moisturizer gives your skin an instant glow and helps to strengthen the skin’s barrier function." — Tavernise
#10: Eye Cream
"As we concluded the treatment, I lightly tapped MBR Eye Cream 100 around the eye orbital and under-eye to hydrate and brighten the eye area." — Tavernise
"Lastly, I applied this fantastic tinted moisturizer to even skin tone and protect from UV rays. It provides excellent coverage while still letting your natural skin glow." — Tavernise