Thanks to lasers, microneedling, and other intensive complexion perfecters, today’s go-to skin-care treatments make simple facials (you know, using products to clean and nourish the skin) look like child’s play—a fact busy #bossbabes and celebrities in the throes of awards season both know well.
But this year, some of Hollywood’s biggest celebs are seeking out deeper, wellness-inspired treatments by practitioners that offer something more: cutting-edge skin care mixed with naturopathy, reflexology, and other centuries-old wellness practices, incorporated to help balance the body and glow-ify the skin. Among them: radio frequency treatments delivered with a dose of Reiki, microneedling made chill with vitamin shots, light therapy enhanced by CBD, and facial tightening offered with virtual reality-lead meditation.
Call it the new age of skin care—but if the impossibly gorgeous complexions of stars like Sienna Miller and Jenna Dewan Tatum are any indication, these all-encompassing wellness facials in Los Angeles are the best way to ground out and get luminous, all in one shot. Red-carpet ready? You’d better believe it.
Keep reading to get the details on the celeb-approved, wellness-inspired facials.
The CBD-enabled inflammation solution
While the mind-elevating elements of the so-called “green rush” may get the most attention, at its heart the modern-day cannabis movement is a medicinal one. According to Ildi Pekar, an esthetician who treats Miranda Kerr and a secret roster of A-listers when toggling between her New York City and Los Angeles offices, CBD (cannabidiol) is emerging as a heck of a healer’s helper, packing promising benefits for the skin. “CBD oil can provide powerful antioxidants, omegas, and anti-inflammatory benefits to address dehydration and signs of aging,” she says.
Pekar specializes in treating inflammation, acidic environments, and nutritional deficiencies, what she calls the “major root causes” of a compromised complexion, so it’s no surprise that she taps CBD when designing her own skin-care products and also uses it combined with the power of light therapy during facial treatments. “The light contains all the colors in the spectrum to accelerate, correct, and heal cell damage,” she says. “Adding the serum helps the product to better penetrate, which can reduce inflammation in the skin.”
Yes, her clients leave the treatment room with radiant skin, but that’s not all there is to it. “Most people are unaware how inflammation in the skin and body can be a root cause for other major health concerns,” Pekar says. “It’s important to reduce inflammation for your overall health.”
The customized vitamin—and collagen—booster
Remember the “Vampire Facial” (also known as PRP or platelet-rich plasma)? It’s a treatment in which your own blood is taken and spun in a centrifuge to isolate platelets—and it’s one that celebs like Bar Refaeli love to post, bloody-faced, on Instagram. After opening up the skin’s pathways via microneedling, the platelet-rich plasma is painted on the skin, where it’s believed to stimulate collagen and growth factors to minimize fine lines and gaping pores, and to even out skin texture.
Now, the new generation of the treatment, PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) is on the map. Thought to work like PRP with a few upgrades, it’s said to contain a higher concentration of platelets and fibrin (which may stimulate additional tissue repair and healing) and to offer longer-term stem cell and collagen stimulation. Pairing microneedling with PRF can help minimize fine lines, pore size and skin texture, according to physician assistant Melody Afvari, who administers the treatment at LA’s Blue Medical Spa.
The only hitch? Microneedling—a process in which a cluster of 12 tiny needles poke the skin—can cause jitters for some. So the Sherman Oaks mainstay (which counts January Jones and Angela Bassett as regulars) gives a calming option for patients of this (or any) in-house treatment: customized vitamin shots and IV drips to help boost immunity, restore balance, and promote higher energy. The service is so popular, the spa plans to open a dedicated space with dimmed lighting and a peaceful vibe in which to administer the boosters. Sounds like the perfect place to ground out while seeking an energetic lift.
The VR-led meditation session
Need to step away from stress-inducing triggers? Nine out of 10 wellness experts will have you ditch your devices. But when it comes to finding Zen, Natura Bissé actually taps one of the hottest technologies to help get you (and celebs who need to work out pre-red carpet jitters) centered and calm: virtual reality. The brand uses its own Mindful Touch Experience to lead clients through a guided meditation at the start of a facial.
Here’s how it works: After stepping into a domed tent pumped with 99.995 percent “pure” air, you’re fitted with VR glasses the size of ski goggles. Suddenly, you’re transported to gorgeous natural landscapes and guided in meditative deep-breathing exercises while an esthetician performs lymphatic drainage and circulation-stimulating, face-contouring massage. When you step out of the dome, your complexion and inner child are happy.
Though A-listers are known to indulge in the treatment ahead of awards shows, the rest of us can try it for free in 14 select cities with the purchase of any four Natura Bissé products.
The holistic head-to-toe tension releaser
Holistic esthetician Tammy Fender may be based in flashy Miami, but come awards season, she heads for LA, where the celebrity fans of her skin-care line, like Julianne Moore and Alicia Silverstone, can get face time with the complexion pro and healer. Her most popular offering? The custom facial with reflexology, a $300 treatment that starts with blends made by Fender herself of all-natural “highly vibrational” ingredients. Fender taps a range of sacred, medicinal plant remedies to nourish and balance skin, while stimulating circulation and cell turnover with rhythmic massage techniques.
“Whatever tension is being held is released, and the results can be transformative—not only for the complexion, but for the whole being.”
About halfway through the treatment, Helya Burgon, a master reflexologist with more than 50 years experience enters the room to work her magic by stimulating more than 7,000 reflex points in the feet while Fender performs energy work at the crown chakra. The result? Glowy skin and an instant energetic reset. “The dual treatment stimulates the lymphatic system and provides a very deep, energetic realignment,” Fender says. “Whatever tension is being held is released, and the results can be transformative—not only for the complexion, but for the whole being.”
The skin dietitian
Want a facial by one of Hollywood’s most in-demand skin gurus? You may need to spill a little blood in the process. That’s because Nigma Talib ND—a naturopathic doctor who flies between London and LA to treat clients like Selma Blair, Sienna Miller, and Kate Bosworth—treats the skin from the inside out, which means taking and analyzing blood as a first step.
After looking at hormone levels, food intolerances, and nutritional deficiencies and excesses, Talib, author of Younger Skin Starts In the Gut, gives clients individualized nutritional guidance to help balance the body and skin. “Everyone is different,” she says. “Some people retain water so they get a puffy sodium face. Others get puffy face from eating gluten. Dairy can create dark circles, congestion, and an excess of dead skin cells. Wine and sugar can bring more redness to the face.”
Some of Talib’s tony clients stay on track by shacking up in one of the new wellness suites at The Four Seasons Los Angeles (located right down the hall from where Talib practices). The specially-appointed rooms include circadian mood lighting, meditations by Deepak Chopra, air purification systems, work-out gear, and a dedicated food menu approved by the Cleveland Clinic. During a facial, Talib administers deep cleaning, radio frequency, and oxygen, depending on the client’s needs. Also employed: a bit of Reiki, which Talib says can help clients, “feel more balanced.”
The outcome doesn’t just make for Oscar-ready skin, but healthier lifestyles. “Clients leave feeling empowered and excited to maintain their new diets and lifestyles,” she says.
The bespoke facial—with Reiki
Many of Vanessa Hernandez’s posh clients likely don’t notice that the giant reception desk is made of solid opal quartz—a material that’s thought to heal and amplify good vibes. Nor do they pick up on the energy-clearing sage and palo santo lightly burning in the waiting room. But these little details help contribute to a space so filled with good juju, you can’t help but let the chaos of the outside world melt away.
What clients do pick up on —and rave about—is Hernandez’s dermatologist-like approach to skin care, which is fully customized and focused on regenerating the complexion. On a client’s first consultation, the esthetician draws up a months-long strategy for tackling hyperpigmentation, uneven tone, loss of elasticity, breakouts, and more. The approach doesn’t just aim to give skin a six-hour, post-facial glow, but also to heal any imbalances in the skin long-term, which is why celebs like Jenna Dewan Tatum and Amber Valletta hit up Hernandez’s unmarked office.
Treatments may include microneedling to even tone or radio frequency to tighten—but those looking for more than just perfect skin ask for a little something extra: a dual session in which Hernandez stokes collagen production and cell turnover in the face while Reiki master (and Vanessa’s brother) Anthony Hernandez helps clear stressful energy. “Reiki gets you back to a clear, positive, and relaxed state,” she says. Which heading into awards season (or hey, a hectic work week) can’t be underscored.
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