The Best Facials in L.A. to Tone, Tighten and Supercharge Your Skin
There’s a certain plumpness and glow to the skin of someone who gets regular facials. It’s the difference between looking OK and really great—and besides, it’s nice to have someone sort out what your skin needs without your having to do oodles of research. Not only that, but there are all kinds of new tech that promise to change your skin, from gold-infused face masks to LED light treatments to stone wands that massage the toxins out of your face. Here, the best facials in L.A. for when your skin needs a pick-me-up.
1. Get A-List Treatments at Shani Darden
You never knew you wanted a facial inside a rustic-chic Italian farmhouse, did you? Well, you’ll know that the minute you roll into Shani Darden’s sleek new salon, where the wall of curtains lets in enough light to dapple over the curvy velvet couch. Darden’s upbeat and warm manner, as well as her no-nonsense and detail-oriented facials, are what make people such as Jessica Alba and Chrissy Teigen regulars. Brush-on masks, oxygen-enhanced exfoliation and the Instagram-worthy Korean LED light mask (red light for collagen stimulation, blue light to reduce inflammation and near-infrared to encourage circulation).
Located in Beverly Hills; shanidarden.com
2. Exfoliate Smart at Biba De Sousa
Want a crash course in dermal science, as well as a straight-from-the-hip assessment of today’s skin care trends and fads? Get all the info while you’re getting all the plumped-up skin from Biba, who ministers to celebs like Miley Cyrus and Emily Blunt at her cozy second-floor salon. She doesn’t offer set facial styles, instead customizing everything from the products (many from her own line) to the tech (among our delights was an ultrasonic exfoliation, in which a guided spatula activated by ultrasonic soundwaves—28,000 vibrations per second—lifts the dry skin cells off the skin while a solution is infused deep into the skin). Oh, and she’s like a CSI officer when it comes to acne: She’ll pepper you with questions about what supplements or topical products you might be using to pinpoint how to stop your breakouts now and forever.
321 S. Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills; 310-770-5831 or bibalosangeles.com
3. Do Some Serious Steaming at Marianne Kehoe
The iDerm, also known as the Galvanic Facial, is something special here. In it, a leather hood is placed over your face, which has been swathed in hot cotton panels to encourage pores to open. Next, your face is uncovered and then draped with dozens more mineral-water-soaked cotton strips that are hooked up to electrodes, which zap customized skin care lotions into your face. Your skin emerges pink and perky-looking.
4383 Tujunga Ave., Ste. K, Studio City; 818-509-0384 or mkskinstudio.com
4. Bathe In Bright Lights at Joanna Vargas
Celebs like Naomi Watts and Natasha Lyonne love this culty New York–based skin care salon, which recently opened a pink and bright white outpost in the basement of the Sunset Tower Hotel. Get the Forever Facial, a multi-part treatment that uses radio frequency and controlled heat to reenergize collagen cells to tighten, tone and sculpt right away, as well as build long-term for that fresh-and-lifted look. Afterward, book 20 minutes in the RevitaLight Bed, which bathes you in infrared light to stimulate even more collagen growth (plus, it’s an excuse for a midday cat nap). Pro tip: Add a pump of Rejuvenating Serum into your daily moisturizer to super-power its hydration.
At the Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; 310-424-5141 or joannavargas.com
5. Go For Crystals + Gold at Skin Camp
This modest two-chair WeHo salon is basically your drop-in source for all the latest home tools, like a rose quartz facial roller or a jade stone to gua sha massage away inflammation while you’re, say, stuck in traffic. We love how there’s a wide range of treatments, including a 15-minute facial that includes a quick exfoliation and a face massage with the aforementioned tools or even kisses from little round suction cups that plump your skin. Have more time? Spring for the hour-long Red Carpet Facial, which includes an application of 24K gold-leaf foil to treat redness, reduce the look of fine lines and even out tone for a healthy-looking glow.
8240 Beverly Blvd.; 323-452-9667 or skincamp.co
6. Have An Electro-Massage at Take Care Salon
Aesthetician Tess Adams opened this breezy Venice outpost of the popular New York location of the salon (run by her sister). The warm sisterly vibe suffuses the space, which has one facial bed where Adams extracts and masks your skin, along with performing her specialty: electrocurrent massage. She takes electrified wands, both large and small, and rubs them along your facial planes to lift and contour your face into a refreshed and lifted happy face that lasts a few days and has a cumulative effect with repeated visits. Fun stunt: Ask Adams to hold up a mirror when she’s done with one side. You’ll be amazed to see how the treated side looks like it’s glowing and half an inch higher than its untreated counterpart.
1733 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Ste. A, Venice; 310-881-8308 or takecarebody.com
7. Look Dewy at Kat Rudu
Imagine you have an aesthetician friend who invites you over to her sunny Venice bungalow for a couple hours of working on your skin, then gifts you with magical oils to use on your own. That’s the experience of garnering an exclusive appointment with Rudu, whose gentle approach to skin care might include something as strong as a lactic acid peel but also includes the virtues of a flower-infused, pH-balancing skin toner. Her Jewel Oil is a naturally fragranced at-home guarantee for getting the glow to keep glowing.
Located in Venice; katrudu.com
8. Have a Quick Fix at Heyday
No time to spend getting undressed, putting on a robe and hanging out in a spa waiting room for your aesthetician to come find you? Neither do we. That’s why we first visited Heyday, the spa that somehow manages to get you in and out in under an hour (facials begin at just 30 minutes). But we keep coming back for the skillful aestheticians and the wonderful range of products from many brands (if you can leave without buying the Naturopathica Sweet Cherry Enzyme Peel, which smells like a dessert topping, you’re a better person than we are.).
Locations in Brentwood, on Beverly Boulevard and on Sunset Boulevard; heydayskincare.com
9. Experience a Shamanic Facial at Julie Civiello Polier
Polier is a Reiki practitioner, so she’s got the calm vibe of a midday Xanax. In her Shamanic Facial, she starts with a grounding meditation and then not only removes your skin impurities (through a gentle cleansing followed by a facial massage, masks, extractions and microcurrent) but also moves any energy that might be out of balance. She might hold her hands over your chakras to free blocked emotions or conflict—so heartbreak might be just the excuse to get a facial.
1730 Ocean Park Blvd. Santa Monica; 310-779-5889 or julieciviellopolier.com
10. Chill Out at Face Haus
You haven’t lived until you’ve had chilled blue Pyrex balls filled with antifreeze rolled over your face. Or at least that’s how we felt at Face Haus when, after steaming and masking, we got a roll that de-puffed our face, reduced the appearance of fine lines, tightened our skin and even helped with our sinus headache.
Locations in Santa Monica, South Bay, Studio City, USC Village and West Hollywood; thefacehaus.com
11. Get Lasered at Kate Somerville
This airy salon is a callback to the days when getting a facial was a luxury—and we’re so here for that vibe. From the crystal chandeliers and velvet decor of the check-in area to the crack training of all the aestheticians, this salon is going to make you feel like you’re in good hands. Besides the signature facial’s customized treatments (which always include an oxygen infusion and extractions, unlike so many facials today), we appreciate the full range of injectables, lasers and body treatments available, and the Skin Gym membership will keep you coming back regularly to maintain your glow.
8428 Melrose Pl., Ste. C; 323-655-7546 or katesomerville.com
12. Try Mineral Therapy at Angela Caglia Skin Spa
Mineral mania, with all its undoubted natural beauty and unprovable natural powers, comes to skin care with the Rose Quartz Goddess Facial. Of course, it’s not just the mask of rose quartz that’s making you look great, it’s the LED therapy, the cryo treatment and Caglia’s trademark sculpting French massage technique. (But you can totally just go with the woo-woo and say the crystals are responsible for your newly radiant visage.)
2924 Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air; 310-990-2424 or angelacaglia.com
13. Acupuncture + Oxygen at The Things We Do
This salmon-pink and glass brick–decorated salon in the Row DTLA shopping complex has a split personality: It offers old-world techniques (facial cupping and acupuncture) as well as the latest high-tech treatments (cryofacial pore tightening, injectables like Juvederm and Botox). And owner Jennifer Lee’s product line sells out fast, including a skin-stamping tool that brings collagen-inducing
In Row DTLA, 787 S. Alameda St., #100, Los Angeles; 213-278-0358 or thethingswedo.co