The Best Facials, Skincare, Cleansers, Masks + More

The Best Facials, Skincare, Cleansers, Masks + More


Our 2016 guide to the best of Bay Area skincare has all you need to put your best face forward, from an acne boot camp to energy healing facials and dermatologists to the rescue.

Natura Bissé Pure Air Bubble @ The Spa at Four Seasons Silicon Valley

For anyone who's ever dreamed of spending a peaceful day inside your very own bubble, Pure Bliss is for you. For just three days this spring, the Spa at Four Seasons Silicon Valley brings back the Natura Bissé Pure Air Bubble for a poolside facial like you've never experienced before. Pumped full of 99.95 percent purified air, your semi-private bubble (we can see you!) will block viral agents, allergens, and various other contaminating particles to deliver what's basically the most antiseptic facial ever. Consider it an early Mother's Day gift, even if you don't have kids. —Chloé Hennen // Pure Bliss ($250 for 60 minutes), April 29 through May 1; The Spa at Four Seasons Silicon Valley, 2050 University Ave. (East Palo Alto),

Acne Bootcamp @ AES Acne Clinic

Ready to obliterate acne? Send your skin to boot camp. AES Acne Clinic's customizable Acne Boot Camp is lauded for producing real results through recommended dietary changes, a personalized skincare regimen, and proprietary non-comedogenic products. Take 90-110 minutes out of your day and expect the compliments to start rolling in after just six treatments. // Acne Bootcamp ($260 initial consultation) at AES Acne Clinic, 222 Columbus Ave. Suite 320, (FiDi),

Custom Signature Facial @ Aesthetics by Veronica

Skincare expert Veronica O'Sullivan pampers clients with custom facials that combat a plethora of problems, from Proactiv-resistant acne to sudden-onset sun spots. The hour-and-a-half treatments incorporate luxury skincare products by San Jose–based Jan Marini and include soothing lavender aromatherapy and stimulating facial massage. If you want to put your best face forward, Veronica knows all the secrets. —Leilani Marie Labong // Custom Signature Facial ($115) at Aesthetics by Veronica, 3641 Sacramento St., Suite G (Inner Richmond),

(Gunilla Alchemy's Balance face oil ($90/oz) for oily and congested skin contains essential oils of mandarin, rosemary, bergamot, and more.)

Gunilla Alchemy @ Gunilla Skin Alchemy

The complete ultrasonic facial at Gunilla Eisenberg's tucked-away Cow Hollow salon utilizes ultrasound waves to help anti-aging and pigment-balancing products penetrate our skin. Eisenberg's bedside manner is warm and jovial, making an otherwise intimidating prospect a pleasant affair. For an everyday fix, we swear by her custom line of rose-scented face oils and cleansers. —Sarah Medina // Gunilla Alchemy ($140) at Gunilla Skin Alchemy, 2165 Union St, (Cow Hollow);

Personalized Clinical Facial @ Aria Skin & Body Studio

For a facial that's anything but superficial, book an energy healing treatment with founder Thy Pham, who combines an effective, personalized facial with super-intuitive energy work that aims to align the body's chakras for an overall sense of wellbeing. We emerged with even, glowing skin and a radiant sense of calm. —Sarah Lee // Personalized Clinical Facial ($135) at Aria Skin & Body Studio, 310 Sutter St. 2nd floor, (FiDi);

HydraFacial @ Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology

Dr. Kathleen Welsh and her team of fresh-faced nurses know all there is to know about getting gorgeous, which is why we call Kathleen for just about everything—from aggro pimples to basic peels and Botox to the big stuff like Fraxel and Ultherapy. New to the menu is the HydraFacial, which packs a doctor's office punch with an acid peel and vaccuum-suctioned extractions, and finishes with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid "vortex fused" to the skin. —C.H. // HydraFacial ($250) at Bay Area Cosmetic Dermatology, 2299 Post St., Suite 312 (Lower Pac Heights),

Beta-Ex Treatment @ Beate Comment Retreat

Visage virtuoso Beate Comment recommends her Beta-Ex facial for acne sufferers and anti-wrinkle warriors. The treatment's active ingredient, salicylic acid, is a gentle exfoliator that's not only an effective pore cleanser and pimple reducer but also a great surface line eraser. // Beta-Ex Treatment ($110) at Beate Comment Retreat, 450 Sutter St. (Union Square),

The Ultimate Luxury Facial @ Tata Harper at Credo Beauty

For those who work all week and into the weekend, a powerful facial can go a long way. The Ultimate Luxury Facial at Tata Harper uses a quadruple mask system to lift and firm on every level of the skin and leave you looking ten years younger. The relaxing experience includes a luxurious Ageless Hand Treatment and Thermal Eye Therapy for a well rested look. We swear, they work miracles. —Anthony Rogers // The Ultimate Luxury Facial ($250) at Tata Harper Spa, 2136 Fillmore St. (Pac Heights),

Botox @ Gentle Star Medspa

Now that Botox is de rigeur for everyone from style mavens to tech giants, the needle-wielding clinicians at Gentle Star Medspa are honing new treatments that won't produce stone-face results. Dr. Thomas Ellis and Craig Shishido have created a unique formulation that improves the appearance of wrinkles for up to four months, leaving us with more youthful facades. // Botox Treatment at Gentle Star Medspa, 14 Mint Plaza, (SoMa);

Korean Skincare @ KPOP Beauty

Guys, we're not kidding, we found the shoppable fountain of youth. Known as the Korean Sephora, KPOP Beauty stocks the kind of trendy Asian beauty products you've read about—think pig collagen sleeping masks and snail slime enzyme creams. To be honest, we had no idea where to start. Luckily, the lovely ladies at the store are very happy to divulge all their secrets. —A.R. // Korean Skincare at KPOP Beauty, 1 Peace Plaza (Japantown),

(Tatcha's ultra-concentrated hydrating mask may be a great way to terrify your little ones, but the real hocus pocus is in the instant lift for scary-tired skin.)

Deep Hydration Lifting Mask @ Tatcha

Need help for hungover skin? When your face feels as parched as the California soil pre–El Niño, Tatcha's hydrating mask is your new best friend. It's an ultra-concentrated gelatinous layer of red algae and botanicals that do exactly what they promise: plump you up! Your skin will be instantly smoother and more radiant. Trust. (P.S. We also love Tatcha's camellia cleansing oil.) —C.H. // Deep Hydration Lifting Mask ($28) at Tatcha,

Royal Rose Facial @ LaBelle Day Spas & Salons

Isn't it time you treated your skin to Champagne and flowers? LaBelle's Royal Rose facial will charm your pants off with a deep cleanse, Vino Reservatrol and lactic acid exfoliation, and rose extract mist. For maximum glow, a Champagne-infused facial massage and signature Age Reverse lifting mask seals the deal. —Michaela D'Artois // Royal Rose Facial ($175) at LaBelle Day Spas & Salons, 36 Stanford Shopping Center and 95 Town and Country Village (Palo Alto), and 233 Grant Ave. (Union Square),

Epicuren Signature Facial @ Lori Anderson Skincare

We like our aestheticians like we like our mates: intuitive, gentle, and in it for the long haul. For nearly a decade, Lori Anderson, who specializes in problem skin, has seen us through better and worse, tracking our habits and offering sound advice on everything from diet to sleep. Order up the Epicuren Signature Facial, which exercises our facial muscles and maximizes elasticity with various hydrating and brightening serums. Follow-up quickies are on the house. —C.H. // Epicuren Signature Facial ($130), Lori Anderson Skincare, 1801 Bush St., Suite 113, (Japantown),

SenZen Lifting Facial @ SenSpa

This Presidio retreat offers a myriad of innovative body treatments for men and women, as well as a steam room, sunlit loungers, and a fireplace to encourage deep relaxation. We're booking the SenZen lifting facial, which employs gentle microcurrents and LED therapy for anti-aging results that leave us hydrated and energized. This spring, the spa will open a cafe serving seasonal eats from The Plant Organic. —Emily Holt // SenZen Lifting Facial ($195) at SenSpa, 1161 Gorgas Ave. (Presidio Heights),

Power Hour @ SkinSpirit

SkinSpirit's four luxurious Bay Area outposts have all the offerings you'd expect from a medspa, and the new Power Hour treatment is no laughing matter. Combining exfoliating enzymes and a light surface chemical peel, this facial is guaranteed to life back to the overworked skin on your face and chest in less than an hour. —A.R. // Power Hour Treatment ($235) at SkinSpirit, 800 Redwood Highway (Mill Valley),

Nonsurgical French Facelift @ Spa Radiance

Since 1976, Spa Radiance has been one of the most booked destinations for A-listers seeking flawless skin. We're obsessed with the nonsurgical French facelift, a direct-from-Paris combination of microcurrents, lymphatic drainage, and a vitamin-rich mask that smooths our wrinkles—voila! // Organic Detox Facial ($130) at Spa Radiance, 3011 Fillmore St. (Cow Hollow),

Custom Skin Kit @ Ayla Beauty 

Acne, redness, dryness, oil...Each woman's skin has different needs for care. Based in Japantown, Ayla specializes in nontoxic products and personal consultations. “We use technology to understand our customers needs," says founder Dara Kennedy. First you complete an online form to generate a recommendation for a personalized sample kit based upon individual skin type. Two weeks later, an email follow-up reconnects you with your consultant in case you have questions, need tips or new products altogehter. // Custom skincare sample kit ($32) at Ayla Beauty,

Organic Lotion @ Earth Tu Face

When the minds at Oakland's Earth Tu Face and fashion brand Jenni Kayne and came together, they made a heavenly limited-edition lotion for face and body inspired by Kayne's personal garden. Stop and smell the roses...and geraniums! —A.R. // Limited-Edition Jenni Kayne Organic Lotion ($65) at Earth Tu Face,

Juvederm @ Union Street MedSpa

Union Street MedSpa offers FDA-approved services including microdermabrasion, Botox, and photorejuvenation. For a quick, natural-looking lift, opt for Juvederm, the injectable dermal filler that restores contouring in the face. It's a subtle makeover that lasts six to eight months. // Juvederm at Union Street MedSpa, 203 Willow St., Suite 503 (Western Addition),

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