Sometimes it's true that you get what you pay for. If you are interested in a luxurious or even necessary treatment to baby your skin, you'll find some great choices at LA area hotel spas. Known for their heavenly decor, indulgent services, and extravagant price tags, these spas deliver the best facials in town.
Best Facial: DNA Growth Factor Exfoliating Facial
50 min. - $180; 80 min. - $250
The Spa at Four Seasons Westlake Village is the mother of LA spas with a spacious area of 41,000 sq. ft., beautifully designed with a Zen-like atmosphere. A plethora of facial treatments are offered from deep-cleansing and purifying to regenerative and restorative. Whatever type of facial you're seeking, you're bound to find it here -- from collagen firming, antioxidant infusion, oxygen rejuvenation or ultrasonic microdermabrasion. But the fairest facial of all – exclusive only to the Four Seasons Spa – is the DNA Growth Factor Exfoliating Facial from Dr. Ronald Moy, a professor at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and president of the American Academy of Dermatology.
This medical-grade facial is especially beneficial for stressed or photo-damaged skin and can help to reverse sun damage, the signs of aging and may even reduce the risk of skin cancer. A unique amino acid glycolic peel gently removes dull surface cells and prepares the skin for an infusion of professional-strength growth factor from Iceland, paired with DNA repair enzymes. The result is absolutely radiant skin.
My facial esthetician from Thailand had the most exquisite skin, which I believe is partially from her own DNA and from receiving regular DNA Growth Factor Exfoliating facials. Anyone would feel lucky to have such beautiful skin. It was my lucky day – after I experienced this exclusive facial, I left with a wonderfully smooth face that was visibly revitalized and glowing.
Best Facial: The Peninsula Radiance Facial
90 min. - $375
The Peninsula's Rooftop Spa is a sophisticated and intimate urban spa offering several types of facial treatments, including age-defying, deep cleansing, microdermabrasion, enzyme peels, vitamin infusion and organic oxygen. The stand-out facial here is the Peninsula Radiance Facial, which incorporates cutting edge technology with the Ultra CACI, the most advanced esthetic system on the market. All of the modalities of the Ultra CACI are utilized during this luxuriously long facial, which delivers immediate and lasting results. Your skin is initially cleansed and then an ultrasonic exfoliation unclogs pores and prepares your skin for extractions. Next, a micro current is used to lift and tone your facial muscles naturally, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Lastly, a soothing LED light therapy evens skin tone, helps to fade fine lines and build new collagen. The result is clear, glowing skin.
A HydraTone Mask is a great add-on to any facial for $65. This deeply hydrating gel-based mask soaked in hyaluronic acid, collagen, rosewater toner and vitamins is infused deep into the skin using specialized micro current rollers. Whether you're dehydrated from travel, lifestyle, or just too much sun and surf, this luxurious mask will leave you and your skin looking vibrant and refreshed.
I can also recommend the exclusive Shiffa Gemstone Facial, which utilizes organic gemstone-infused oils, each with specific properties to benefit all skin types (my esthetician selected the Ruby oil for my skin). At some point, a cool jade stone will be used for a facial massage to help tone and firm your skin and reduce puffiness around the eye area. Lastly, your hands and feet will not be forgotten, as they are treated to a blissful massage with the precious gem oil, as well as, your neck and shoulder area.
Best Facial: HydraFacial
30 min. - $170; 60 min. - $220
With its beachside location in Santa Monica, the Sea Wellness Spa at Casa del Mar, is the perfect place to relax and become mesmerized with the calm and rhythmic waves of the sea. Though there are many wonderful spa treatments to choose from, the HydraFacial is an advanced medical grade skincare treatment that is truly revolutionary and will leave your face absolutely glowing, without any redness or downtime.
Popular with brides on their wedding day, the HydraFacial is quick, painless and delivers instant results by resurfacing your skin without lasers or harsh chemicals. What sets it apart from other facial treatments (other than no downtime) is the unique, painless extraction method the esthetician uses while exfoliating and how antioxidants are introduced into the skin. Your skin will be cleansed, exfoliated, extracted, and hydrated by a high-tech machine, all while nourishing it with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid to soothe and moisturize the skin. The treatment targets fine lines and wrinkles, congested pores, oily and acne-prone skin, hyper-pigmentation and uneven skin tone.
This is also a great lunchtime facial, as the treatment can be completed in less than 30 minutes. I found the HydraFacial to be soothing, refreshing, painless and very effective. Afterwards, my skin glowed and appeared more youthful and radiant.
Best Facial: White Caviar Illuminating Facial
90 min. - $1,000 (includes a full set of White Illuminating Système to take home, valued at $1,150)
As you drive up the winding road into the scenic hills of Bel Air, a tranquil feeling sets in as you take in the beautiful surroundings. Following a recent renovation, the Hotel Bel Air has been updated with a modern, sophisticated look and a brand-new spa by La Prairie, the luxury Swiss beauty company revered for its collection of powerful, anti-aging products. Here you will find the finest face and body treatments combined with state-of-the-art science and impeccable service. You'll feel a million miles away from the stresses of a bustling city life as you settle into this peaceful world of privilege and indulgence.
La Prairie's comprehensive menu of services includes customized de-aging facials for men and women, unique body treatments, pampering nail services and European, Asian and therapeutic massages. The exclusive White Caviar Illuminating Facial is the royalty of facials and the ultimate skin investment. Recommended seasonally, this facial features a cellular 3-Minute peel, hand and foot treatment, unique caviar intensive eye treatment and, of course, the White Caviar trifecta -- formulated with golden caviar to reveal a brighter, clearer complexion. This is the ultimate facial for those concerned with hyper pigmentation and age spots.
Experiencing the White Caviar Illuminating Facial at the Hotel Bel Air Spa by La Prairie is a completely luxurious and worthwhile experience. The best part of this facial is that it doesn't have to end. You can continue your skin regimen at home with a full set of these luminous facial products -- the White Illuminating Système collection is valued at $1,150 and is included with the price of the facial.
Liz Laing is a writer, web designer and photographer who lives in Los Angeles. Her latest projects may be followed on Liz Laing.
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