The Best Facials
There are good facials. And then there are the beyond-brilliant treatments that manage to make our skin glow as if it’s exuding the very essence of summer. We’re more interested in the latter. So we’ve compiled the most spectacular of the very best therapies—from New Mexico and LA to the Maldives and London—and come up with a mix of restorative Ayurvedic treatments, brightening microdermabrasion, lifting gua sha massages, sessions that start with shots of bone broth and end with circulation-rousing acupressure, and, of course, extractions, lasers, masks, and steams. What’s more, many of these facialists employ some of our most-loved serums and creams, making at-home upkeep significantly easier.
- NYC & East Coast
- Midwest & SW
- The South
- Pacific NW
- Central America
- Africa & Asia
- The Islands
Mila Moursi Skin Care LABarneys, 9570 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles | 310.276.4400
Mila has been taking care of many high-profile LA women for decades, all of whom swear by her skin and body treatments. More specifically, it's her European facials (tack on a dry contouring session for a bit of extra lift), "face-changing" line of skincare products, and discretion that keep everyone coming back. While the flagship spa on Sunset Boulevard is worth an in-person visit, we love the complexion-perfecting sessions at this intimate outpost (you can also book treatments at Barneys New York locations in most major cities).
Natasa Bose1611 Montana Ave., 2nd Floor, Santa Monica, Los Angeles | 310.918.3644
Natasa Bose's philosophy is the same as ours: Overall health and beautiful skin go hand-in-hand. This means that her famous custom-blended facials—pH-balancing and toning massage, followed by an oatmeal-cranberry, carrot-ginger, or egg-honey mask—don't just nourish the skin, but aids in full-body well-being. As far as more inventive treatments go, there's lymphatic drainage, ultrasound, and microcurrent therapies that are immensely effective.
Shani DardenBeverly Hills, Los Angeles | [email protected]
Shani Darden, one of the most talented aestheticians around, may work out of a beautifully appointed guest house in her backyard, but the niceties end there. Darden, who happens to be hilarious (and have poreless, perfect skin) is all business when it comes to results-driven facials. Her touch is magic, and the peels, extractions, microdermabrasion, and infrared-light treatments are excellent.
Dayle BreaultLower East Side | 310.420.2703
Anyone who gets a facial with Dayle Breault (who, aptly, also goes by Goddess of Skin) emerges with a gleam that extends, almost impossibly, into the next week. Whatever your issue—blemishes, dullness, uncomfortable dryness, sagging—Breault helps sooth, energize, and balance skin with a nurturing touch and variety of high-tech devices. Sessions with Breault are a beautiful, pampering haze; she even makes extractions feel luxurious. Layers of her nourishing products are massaged and smoothed in with her exceptional touch, and she often uses special microcurrent gloves that are truly next-level. “They enable me to use my hands to apply the current, as opposed to probes—it’s a more tactile experience for the patient, as well as for me,” she says. “I can really feel each muscle, it helps encourage manual lymphatic drainage.” Breault travels the world to learn about skin (she recently learned an amazing inside-of-the-mouth technique in Paris), and prizes vitamin C, peptides, and gentle exfoliation as the most important ingredients for a healthy-skin routine. We’re obsessed with how light, airy, and unburdened we feel walking out of her studio, not to mention how glowy we look. Call or email for an appointment; Breault sees clients in both NYC and LA, and she books up fast.
Alexandra Wagner1636 Abbot Kinney, Venice, Los Angeles | 310.399.0123
Perched up above Abbot Kinney, this whitewashed space feels more like a tree house than a spa. Wagner, who also moonlights as a painter, is chill and wonderful, meaning that an hour spent with her skilled hands is kind of like hanging with a friend. A recovering tanning junkie herself, Wagner is nothing short of a magician when it comes to banishing sun spots and UV damage. Product-wise, the focus here is on holistic and organic lines, supplemented by Wagner's own turmeric and plant stem cell serum.
Francesca Paige9735 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Los Angeles | 310.860.0898
Francesca “Frankie” Paige is a legend in Los Angeles for her no-nonsense, results-driven facials. There's no gimmick-y spa menu or ambient music, sessions are custom-built around clients’ specific skin needs, and tend to err on the intense side. On top of numerous methods of exfoliation, microdermabrasion, peels, and oxygen treatment with an infusion of hyaluronic acid and vitamins, there’s the turbocharged PMCi treatment: Your skin is infused with epidermal growth factor for collagen support and then bathed in LED light. Frankie herself is often booked, in which case ask for Erika, who is just as great.
Face Place LA8701 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, Los Angeles | 310.855.1150
Don’t expect soft music and gentle massage protocols here. Face Place, whose minimalist aesthetic fits its no-nonsense treatment approach, takes a more clinical approach to skin care. The signature facial combines a round of extractions with oxygen therapy and pore-tightening galvanic current. Our other favorites: The Vitamin C Peel is excellent for softening hyperpigmentation, and the Enzyme Peel is superbly brightening.
Vanessa Hernandez11677 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 214, Brentwood, Los Angeles | 310.849.4452
Her laid-back personality and healing approach to skincare have made Vanessa Hernandez one of the most in-demand aestheticians in LA, so much so that she juggles clients in two locations (Beverly Hills, where she works in conjunction with two plastic surgeons, and the Pacific Palisades). The treatments range from customized facials and microdermabrasion to oxygen therapy and vitamin infusions, and are all fantastic.
Beverly Hot Springs308 N. Oxford Ave., Koreatown, Los Angeles | 323.734.7000
This is a traditional Korean bath house, built over the city’s only natural hot springs and fueled by a 105-degree artesian well. We love to come and soak in the hot and cold therapeutic mineral-water pools, but the roster of treatments is compelling on its own. A powerful dose of AHAs and topical probiotics help clear congestion in the Pure Acne Oxygenating Facial, while the TCA Peel is enormously effective at helping to soften hyperpigmentation, support collagen, smooth lines, and brighten skin.
Be Hive of Healing5017 Lewis Rd., Agoura Hills | 818.452.4483
Founder Dr. Habib Sadeghi believes that with the right healing protocols—he focuses on homeopathy, osteopathy, and anthroposophical medicine, the belief that we’re able to access the spiritual world through inner development—the body can be restored back to its natural equilibrium and heal itself. He and his staff integrate techniques from Eastern and Western medicine to get to the root of issues, and on top of providing rehabilitating treatments like the Integrative Medical Colon Hydrotherapy and Integrative Neural Therapy, they’re also remarkable at balancing skin. During the Integrative Medical Facial, you get a thorough cleanse and deep exfoliation. The aesthetician traces a scalpel along the side of your face to smooth away the top, dull layer of skin, revealing radiance beneath. It’s enormously detoxifying and brilliant for pores. A rousing facial massage follows, as well as layers of beautiful hydrating and antioxidant-infused formulas that nourish and melt into skin. It’s the only facial on the menu, and it’s beyond.
Striiike9278 Civic Center Dr., Beverly Hills | 310.205.2600
It can take years of trial and error to find a go-to spot for cuts, facials, brows, and makeup, so finding a salon that offers all four is kind of like hitting the beauty jackpot. Striiike in Beverly Hills is owned by a trio of sisters—Kristie, Ashley, and Jenn Streicher. Each has a specific beauty talent: Kristie (aka The Eyebrow Whisperer) has a cult following thanks to her famous feathered-brow technique, Ashley is a hairstyling genius, and Jenn is an incredible makeup artist. Striiike is also one of the best under-the-radar spots for facials, thanks to resident aesthetician Melanie Simon. Her two-hour Physics Facial tones and repairs skin with low-frequency electric current and sleight of hand that leaves you unfathomably radiant for days afterward. In a rush? The fifteen-minute Lightning Striiike brings all three sisters together for a quickie mini makeover.
International Orange Marin2421 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, California | 415.563.5000
We love this sleek, supremely restful spa so much that we even sell goop skin care here. The facials are superb; the Organic Detox is an invigorating seventy-five minutes of lymphatic-drainage massage, balance-restoring herb and flower masks, and layer upon layer of the most nourishing serums and oils. And we’re equally obsessed with Bright Eyes, a powerful collagen-supporting therapy for the undereye area that soothes and tightens. The lounge has a cozy fireplace, as well as organic teas and delightful chocolates to nosh on while relaxing. The outside deck, with its lounge chairs and incredible view of the bay, is a blissful way to ease back into reality post-treatment.
Tenoverten8830 Washington Blvd. | 310.878.9903
This is not your regular neighborhood mani/pedi/beauty joint. The thoughtfully designed space is outfitted with mid-century modern furniture (you won’t find any oversize massage chairs), and the technicians are incredibly well trained. It offers kiddie manicures, at-home appointments, and best of all, it’s open late. Culver City is just the newest outpost—the original is in Tribeca, and there's a third outpost at the Parker Meridien hotel in Midtown, plus a location in the Financial District and another in Austin, Texas. Facials are the unsung heroes at Tenoverten, which is staffed with highly skilled aestheticians. The four treatments are all incredible—and all powered by beautiful, enriching, clean, and nontoxic True Botanicals formulas. You can’t go wrong with the Pure Radiance therapy, which restores balance with custom enzyme exfoliation, gentle extractions, vitamin therapy, tension-relieving myofascial jaw release to quell breakouts, and Reiki. It’s just heaven.
Tina K Skin Studio13207 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles | 818.907.0502
The signature treatment here, The Diamond K Facial, uses a diamond-encrusted pad developed by spa owner Tina Keshishian to remove the topmost layers of your skin for a truly deep cleanse. Next, layers of oils, serums, and masks are massaged into skin, cocooning it in a deep layer of moisture and nutrients. You’ll walk out undeniably fresh-faced—skin looks even-toned and glowy.
Skin Thesis8969 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite J, West Hollywood, Los Angeles | 310.598.1580
This high-tech salon combines medical and spa treatments together in one sleek spot, with lasers, LED light therapy, PRP, radiofrequency, microneedling, and more. If you’re not sure where to start, go in for a consultation and meet the team of doctors, nurse practitioners, and aestheticians, who can help you develop a step-by-step plan to reach your glow goals. There’s also specialized clinic focused on teenage acne, where they suggest everything from enzymes and probiotics to manage oil production and purify skin.
Resonance Spa & Wellness26 Tamalpais Dr, Corte Madera, California | 415.891.3328
As a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and therapeutic massage practitioner for the past twenty years, Gia DiMatteo is impressively intuitive when it comes to skin healing, and so is the rest of her team. Their holistic approach includes sound therapy: Aestheticians begin and end treatments with tuning forks, and the vibrations reverberate through your body, easing you into relaxation mode. They vet all the products they use and sell for synthetic fragrance and potentially endocrine-disrupting ingredients. The treatments, too, are serious business: There’s facial cupping, an ancient massage technique believed to support circulation and nutrient supply; facial acupuncture, in which ultrafine needles are inserted into the face at synergistic points to help support collagen production and wake up skin; and sessions involving extractions, calming LED light therapy, and potent masks for breaking up congestion.
Atrio Spa at Las Alcobas1915 Main St., Napa Valley, California | 707.963.7000
The team of aestheticians here meditate before and after the workday. It’s a ritual that informs the healing treatments they perform, like the Bio Energy Remineralizing Facial, a rejuvenating ninety minutes in which skin is flooded with marine extracts and restored with the spa’s proprietary copper-and-amino-acid complex. The pore-opening lavender essential oil steam that’s part of the Allergy Relief treatment, which also includes a heavenly circulation-stirring massage, is another reason we’re in love with this place. That and the fact that the menu includes Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic therapy involving pouring oils, coconut water, and milk over the forehead for an incredibly soothing and—for our money—soporific effect.
Auberge du Soleil Spa180 Rutherford Hill Rd., Napa Valley, California | 866.228.2490
Perched on a hill above an endless, undulating view of beautiful vineyards, Auberge du Soleil has set the standard in Napa luxury for thirty years. The property’s incredible spa is replete with light-filled treatment rooms overlooking an olive-tree-flanked courtyard. The Best of Auberge Facial spoils you for life, fortifying skin with nourishing, collagen-infused serums, hydrating masks, balancing botanical enzymes, a powerful dose of antioxidants via the deservedly obsessed-over Vintner’s Daughter, and pure olive extracts sourced from the property’s groves right outside.
Sumbody Natural Cosmetics Store and Spa Treatments118 N Main St., Sebastopol, California | 707.823.2053
Treatments at this dreamy oasis happen in chic tent cabanas—and truly feel like a reprieve from the world. A ten-minute consultation allows the aesthetician to craft a whole protocol for you and to blend the purest seasonal ingredients right in front of you. After you’re slathered in a variety of pore-clearing masks, mineral-packed serums, and antioxidant-spiked creams, the heavenliness is topped off with a hand, neck, and shoulder massage. You emerge radiant beyond belief and profoundly rested.
International Orange San Francisco2044 Fillmore St., San Francisco, California | 415.563.5000
Every treatment at this gorgeous spa is soothing, rejuvenating, and remarkably skin-enhancing, so we’re especially proud that they sell goop skin care. The Facial Acupuncture treatment targets specific points for a sculpting effect, and we recommend adding on cupping, jade rolling, or gua sha. The Acne Facial eases congestion and gets skin into shape with a peel, careful extractions, and a lymphatic massage to unblock stagnation.
Kristina Holey864 Post St., San Francisco, California | 415.854.5825 or [email protected]
Any facialist worth their salt can make you glow after a treatment, but Kristina Holey’s aim is to bring skin into long-term balance. This means that each treatment begins with a thorough dissection of eating habits, skin-care routine, and general lifestyle and ends with a detailed homework assignment for everyday maintenance. There’s no menu at her airy, laid-back studio; the one and a half to two hours she spends with clients are completely customized, though all include a rousing face massage, as well as broths meant to calm and strengthen skin from within.
Ole Henriksen Face & Body Spa8622 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, Los Angeles | 310.854.7700
Ole Henriksen is a skin-care OG. Every treatment at this Danish legend’s spa includes a full consultation, extractions if you want/need them, lymphatic-drainage massage, supremely relaxing sound wave therapy, and custom-blended essential oils. Powerful skin energizers like chaga mushroom, bioactive peat enzymes linked to collagen support, and omega-packed serums are incorporated into many, and we recommend the Healing Jade Treatment as an add-on to any facial: The ancient Chinese facial massage tool feels spectacular and cooling as it glides over your skin.
KRB StudioVenice | [email protected]
Even one trip to skin guru Kat Rudu’s sleek Venice studio can change your skin. (The gorgeous Rudu, with her impossibly poreless complexion, is her own best advertisement.) Combining the purest healing botanical ingredients—soothing chamomile extracts, brightening papaya enzymes, hydrating aloe—with corrective modalities like CO2 lasers, microneedling, and radiofrequency, the facials here are deep and utterly transformative.
Alchemie Spa2021 Main St., Santa Monica, Los Angeles | 310.310.8880
The space is an eco-haven, designed with renewable, sustainable flourishes (the walls are made of cork, seagrass, and recycled wood)—and the facials are healing, pampering, and just: beyond. The Custom Superfood Facial floods skin with nutrients from tamarind, acai, turmeric, and manuka honey, while the Enlightening Ormus treatment’s miracle trifecta of microcurrent, LED light, and nurturing essential oil blends thoroughly revives skin. The infrared saunas are each tucked into a cozy private room with a shower—and they aren’t hooked up to Bluetooth, which means the promise of a genuine digital detox, too.
Skin Worship9001 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, Los Angeles | 213.841.1270
We go here for gua sha treatments (an ancient massage technique in which a rose quartz tool is smoothed across the face for brightening, smoothing effects), microneedling, facial cupping, microdermabrasion, and more. The mother of all treatments, though, is the Transformational Facial Ceremony, two hours of skin-energizing, pore-refining, high-vibrational bliss. You start off lying on a healing infrared-heated BioMat embedded with amethyst crystals. Then comes a triple microexfoliation session, followed by LED light therapy, nourishing serums, and ointments galore, topped off with a thirty-minute chakra healing treatment.
Angela Caglia Skin Spa2924 Beverly Glen Circle., Suite B, Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles | 424.343.0253
This serene oasis is tucked away in Glen Centre in Bel Air. Guests sip cucumber-lavender water in plush robes and emerge gleamy after the only facial on the menu: La Vie en Rose Power. Caglia herself has twenty-three years of experience and a touch that’s both soothing and assertive, and she customizes her facial to suit any concern. Microphoto treatment tightens pores, radiofrequency lifts, peels help tone and soften discoloration, and a massage with a rose quartz roller helps drive in Caglia’s beautiful botanical infusions. You amble out completely rejuvenated.
Dr. Nigma Talib at the Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills300 S Doheny Dr., Beverly Hills | 310.786.2229
Naturopathic doctor Nigma Talib is something of a legend, and for good reason. A session with her starts with face mapping, where she takes a long look at your skin to discover what’s happening within (dairy-, wine-, and sugar-face are all common diagnoses). She uses blood tests, stool samples, and a deep but gentle line of questioning to get at underlying issues before she works her magic. You’ll walk out of the treatment room looking fresh and renewed but note that these are no ordinary facials or one-off treatments. Dr. Talib gives each of her patients “homework” —lifestyle and dietary changes to make and maintain for long-term healthy, beautiful skin.
Face Haus Santa Monica1426 Montana Ave., Santa Monica | 855.550.4287
The idea and execution here are brilliant: Face Haus is a facial bar with treatment chairs spaced evenly apart in one huge, airy room. The therapies are excellent and varied, ranging from peels and eye-area pampering add-ons to more intense sessions that include LED light and microdermabrasion. Renowned Beverly Hills–based dermatologist Harold Lancer is the consulting physician, so you can rest assured your face is in great hands. Bonus: You can rent out the whole place for private bridal and baby shower facial parties. (The OG location is in West Hollywood.)