Photos (clockwise from left): Courtesy of International Orange, SenSpa, International Orange, and Nob Hill Spa
Most Relaxing Facial: International Orange
If you’re looking to get an all-encompassing facial that gets deep down while still offering up an ultra-zen experience, don’t go anywhere other than International Orange. Try the Deep Cleanse Facial and add the Resurfacing Mask on top and you can literally feel your facial toxins getting released. But the soft music, gentle aromas, and luxe spa setting may make you forget you are even getting a derma-centric procedure — it’s that tranquil.
International Orange, 2044 Fillmore Street (between California and Pine streets, 2nd floor); 888-894-8811.
Best Facial For Girls With Screwed Up Skin: Craig T. Shishido At Gentle Star MedSpa
Battling problematic skin of any sort is a struggle. And whether the damage is stress- or diet-induced, finding the recipe for glowing skin is an uphill battle for some. Gals with an acne-prone complexion know that upkeep and routine facials are an absolute must. But, if you think you’ve had a satisfactory cleaning, just wait until you get a load of the skin services at Gentle Star MedSpa. Co-owner Craig Shishido gets down and dirty, cleaning virtually every pore with this own two hands for two hours (we are not kidding). This isn’t your fluff facial folks, he’s serious about skincare. If there’s one person who can get your skin smooth and glowy — it’s Craig.
Gentle Star MedSpa, 14 Mint Plaza, Suite 110 (at Jessie Street); 415-618-0108.
Best Spa To Hang Out: Nob Hill Spa
When visiting this over-the-top-luxe spot, you have your pick of three different chill-out spots. Guests can gather round the indoor relaxation pool and whirlpool (both with sweeping Nob Hill views), curl up with a magazine and eat lunch on the roomy balcony (weather permitting), or head to the pin-drop-quiet Zen Room. At the latter you'll find super-plush seating, cozy blankets, and an eye mask perfect for some after-treatment Zzzzzz.
Nob Hill Spa, 1075 California Street (at Taylor Street); 415-474-5400.
Spa Treatment Worth The $$$: International Orange Essential Oil Massage
Home to some of the best massages (and facials) we've ever experienced, this Fillmore Street spot is truly an oasis smack-dab in the middle of the city. To ease major muscle tension, we suggest booking International Orange's Essential Oil Massage ($125 for 60 minutes) and topping it off with all the extra fixin's, like a hot-stone add-on (perfect for those foggy days), and a pre-rubdown yoga session. Another spendy (but totally worth it) runner-up: The $225 Four-Handed Massage, featuring two practitioners for 60 minutes. Plus, a hot tip: Don't miss the bamboo-lined patio outback!
International Orange, 2044 Fillmore Street (between California and Pine streets); 415-563-5000.
Coolest Spa Treatment: Sixth Sense Massage At SenSpa
If you're one of those S.F. gals who reads AstrologyZone on the first of the month religiously (guilty as charged), then this massage is sure to satiate your mind and body. SenSpa's Sixth Sense session includes a stellar massage and reflexology, coupled with an intuitive reading that is supposed to get to the source of any energy and emotional blocks you're having and help you figure out how to overcome these obstacles. In essence, it's a massage and therapy session rolled into one. Major bonus: It all goes down in an epically dreamy location, situated on the edge of the Presidio.
SenSpa, 1161 Gorgas Avenue (in the Presidio); 415-441-1777.
Best Organic Spa: Pure Organic Spa
Just one step into this Union Square oasis will give you an instant natural high. From massages to mani-pedis, every ingredient drenched in your treatment of choice is completely organic and eco-friendly. Thai flower pollen, lemongrass, camphor, cinnamon, Ylang Ylang, orange oil, even black pepper — you name it, pretty much herb is in stock. If you'd be keen to try this day spa for the first time, start off by getting your pretty visage slathered with their Seven Pollen Face Spa Ritual.
Pure Organic Spa, 518 Sutter Street (at Powell Street); 415-576-9600.
Best Waxing: Cocoon Spa
Most waxing places will ask you to strip down to your skivvies, and just grin and bear it. Awkward. Not Cocoon Spa. Its team of trained smooth operators live up to the name and will wax any spot on your bod that needs de-fuzzing in the most gentle way. Those with a low threshold for pain need not worry. The spot offers the "No Scream Cream," a sweet anesthetic with their signature bikini wax — for free! With only a few days of summer left, it's high time you dare to bare it all.
Cocoon Spa, 2nd Floor, 330 1st Street (between Folsom Street and Guy Place); 415-777-0100.
Best Weird-Ingredient Facial: The Caviar Facial At Spa Radiance
We took one peep at the menu and asked ourselves, "Why?" Meanwhile, we're not gonna lie: Our curiosity is definitely piqued. Something this whacked doesn't run cheap. For a whopping $750 and three hours, Spa Radiance's therapists will do something real solid on your face with a diamond peel, followed by lymphatic drainage, and a non-surgical facelift to increase collagen. Then the therapist will lather on a rich mask of caviar and Omega-6 eye treatment all over your face, and finish it off with LED light. You'll be pampered every step of the way to your freaky nirvana, with massages after the procedure, too.
Spa Radiance, 3011 Fillmore Street (between Union and Fillbert streets); 415-346-6281.