There is no shortage of beautification services in San Francisco. But unless you have a tried and true or reliable referral network, it's tricky to find exactly what you're looking for. And sometimes you're looking for something beyond pampering and relaxation.
Medicine, technology and nature are where Med Spas collide. Anti-aging and deep cleansing treatments continue to thrive, while organic skincare and non-invasive alternatives are on the rise. Depending on what remedy you're seeking, here's a quick guide to San Francisco's skincare labs.
Aesthetician Andrea Sanchez runs an appointment-only operation in the Mission offering personalized skin care treatments that are either problem solving or pure pampering. Her signature facial uses the elite Diamond Tip Wet/Dry Microdermabrasion or Dermasound Elite, which is ideal for sensitive skin—both deeply exfoliate and renew the skin. Or you can opt for a classic deep pore cleansing facial or non-invasive Microcurrent treatment for lifting and plumping. Other services include acne and back facials and waxing. Andrea carries her own line of organic skincare products and like-minded brands as well as non-chemical sunscreens, mineral makeup and all-natural Blinc eye makeup.
Specialties: Personalization, Dermasound treatments, product samples
Within a beautifully renovated Pacific Heights Victorian you can find medical treatments such as PhotoFacials, which treats sun damage and age spots, rosacea and helps to balance skin tone, along with laser hair removal. Botox, Juvederm and Radiesse provide cosmetic boosts. Spa services like massage, body therapies, LED light therapy, waxing, nails, natural tanning and muds and scrubs are abundant.
Specialties: PhotoFacials, skin peels, laser hair removal
Union Street's Mod Vellum is known for being eco-minded and effective. On top of that, the Best of the BayList 2011 winner for “Best Facial.” With playful treatment names like the “Get in the Ring” chemical peel and the “Sweat Lodge” facial, this skincare clinic offers serious services with a dose of humor. They carry products that are organic, cruelty-free, paraben and sulfate-free. They have an a la carte menu where you can add on additional services like teeth brightening, peels, masks, and Microcurrent treatments to any facial as well as waxing for women and men.
Specialties: Eco-minded, multifaceted services, creative facials
If it's new products you're seeking, look to cosmetic chemist Sopiea Mitchell, where a 20-minute consultation leads to handmade products specially formulated for you on-site. Your age, health, lifestyle and the current season are all factored into your personalized skincare. Cleansers, day and night moisturizers, serums, eye creams, masks and more will be yours and yours alone. Everything is kept on file for easy refills or seasonal tweaks. With combined experience in the biotech field and the skincare industry, Sophistry Skin Care is local luxury in a bottle.
Specialties: Custom made skincare products, seasonal treatments
Tre Balm is a day spa in Presidio Heights with a focus on facials. Intimate and friendly, they offer personalized treatments using the best technology on the market coupled with luxurious products. The co-owners Sarah and Erica are both licensed aestheticians certified in Microdermabrasion, a facial treatment that mends the effects of aging as well as diminishing acne redness and scarring. A small staff helps administer facials and waxing while a charming apothecary carries aesthetician approved skincare products and fanciful gifts.
Specialties: Microdermabrasion facials, browse-worthy boutique, intimate vibe
Sam Durbin (email@example.com) is a California lifestyle writer who honed her blogging skills as Editor of FabSugar.com. Sam graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology, and also writes for 7x7 Magazine, Gilt City and Zagat.