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Published Tuesday Feb 18, 2020 by Erica Arvanitis

The Best Spa Days in San Diego for Stress Relief (& All-Around Good Vibes) 

Acupuncture
Beauty
Motivation
Relaxation

While being in constant sunshine and warm waters might feel like a wellness treatment in and of itself, the way to really make those out-of-office days count is to treat yourself to one of San Diego’s best spas. Whether you’re in need of a calming facial, a deep tissue massage that hurts so good, or you want to try cupping for the first time, these are our favorite places in San Diego to work on your wellness.

San Diego in Pocket

Saffron & Sage 

Nestled on a cute little street corner in San Diego’s Little Italy, Saffron & Sage is the ultimate mind, body, and spirit lounge. A client-based holistic health club on a mission to heal their members by focusing on and treating the root causes of their ailments, the studio and spa operates on a membership, although don’t let that stop you from dropping in for the occasional class or treatment.  

Featured in Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes, what truly makes Saffron & Sage stand out is the knowledgeable experts for every facet of physical and mental wellness. In a free consultation, well-trained therapists will find the right treatment for you. Plus, their treatment rooms are much chicer than your standard dark, boring room. Picture plants galore and cool, white décor.  

What We Love: While it might feel like an emerging trend, sound healing isn’t new. Practiced in Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian cultures for centuries, west coast culture is drawing on that knowledge to incorporate sound therapy into workshops, yoga classes, and spa treatments. At Saffron & Sage, you won’t want to miss their Sound Therapy sessions. Utilizing bowls made of quartz crystal and precious stones, sound healing creates a relaxed atmosphere aligning the body and mind to the melodies, which raises vibrational frequency. Sound therapy can take on many forms such as singing bowlsbiofield tuning, or wind chimes.  

According to Cristin Smith, the founder of Saffron & Sage, sound therapy helps with “decreased stress, which is one of the most important aspects since the body cannot heal if it is in a state of stress.” So, instead of sitting that 5 pm traffic, book some sound healing – you’ll thank us later.  

Book a Class 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

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Saffron & Sage 

Nestled on a cute little street corner in San Diego’s Little Italy, Saffron & Sage is the ultimate mind, body, and spirit lounge. A client-based holistic health club on a mission to heal their members by focusing on and treating the root causes of their ailments, the studio and spa operates on a membership, although don’t let that stop you from dropping in for the occasional class or treatment.  

Featured in Condé Nast Traveler and Forbes, what truly makes Saffron & Sage stand out is the knowledgeable experts for every facet of physical and mental wellness. In a free consultation, well-trained therapists will find the right treatment for you. Plus, their treatment rooms are much chicer than your standard dark, boring room. Picture plants galore and cool, white décor.  

What We Love: While it might feel like an emerging trend, sound healing isn’t new. Practiced in Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian cultures for centuries, west coast culture is drawing on that knowledge to incorporate sound therapy into workshops, yoga classes, and spa treatments. At Saffron & Sage, you won’t want to miss their Sound Therapy sessions. Utilizing bowls made of quartz crystal and precious stones, sound healing creates a relaxed atmosphere aligning the body and mind to the melodies, which raises vibrational frequency. Sound therapy can take on many forms such as singing bowlsbiofield tuning, or wind chimes.  

According to Cristin Smith, the founder of Saffron & Sage, sound therapy helps with “decreased stress, which is one of the most important aspects since the body cannot heal if it is in a state of stress.” So, instead of sitting that 5 pm traffic, book some sound healing – you’ll thank us later.  

Book a Class 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Four Moons Spa  

A self-care gem in the beautiful beach town of Encinitas, Four Moons Spa is a modern healing SPAce offering everything from facials to massages and yoga classes. Radiating good energy and high vibrations, prioritize your well-being surrounded by worldly designs including bungalows and Balinese-style day beds. Book one of their 14 curated spa package options for some serious me-time, or treat that bride-to-be, or your mom – she deserves it.  

What We Love: We are obsessed with all the treatments at Four Moons, but The Mellow Moon spa package is our go-to self-care special. Treat yourself to a 60-minute massage and then another luxurious hour-long facial (upgrade to a CBD massage for optimal zen).  

If you want to focus more on your skin, we have our eyes on the Lymphatic Massage Facial. Get all the benefits and customization of a Four Moons facial with extra added Lymphatic drainage, which effectively carries away toxins, excess water, and smooths away stress and anxiety. You’ll leave the table with your face and skin looking younger and more vibrant.  

Find Your Zen 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

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Four Moons Spa  

A self-care gem in the beautiful beach town of Encinitas, Four Moons Spa is a modern healing SPAce offering everything from facials to massages and yoga classes. Radiating good energy and high vibrations, prioritize your well-being surrounded by worldly designs including bungalows and Balinese-style day beds. Book one of their 14 curated spa package options for some serious me-time, or treat that bride-to-be, or your mom – she deserves it.  

What We Love: We are obsessed with all the treatments at Four Moons, but The Mellow Moon spa package is our go-to self-care special. Treat yourself to a 60-minute massage and then another luxurious hour-long facial (upgrade to a CBD massage for optimal zen).  

If you want to focus more on your skin, we have our eyes on the Lymphatic Massage Facial. Get all the benefits and customization of a Four Moons facial with extra added Lymphatic drainage, which effectively carries away toxins, excess water, and smooths away stress and anxiety. You’ll leave the table with your face and skin looking younger and more vibrant.  

Find Your Zen 

 

Photo Credit: Facebook

Firefly Wellness  

For those searching for a city wellness escape versus an outdoor retreat, Firefly Wellness is your answer. Located in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego, this boutique spa has a tight-knit team of four massage therapists, a yoga instructor, three facialists, and an Ayurveda guide. What’s on the menu for treatments? While there’s no specific list of services – just customizable treatments – they also offer waxing, yoga, meditation classes, and even spa parties for birthdays, bridal showers, or just an extra relaxing Sunday with friends.  

What We Love: Every month, Firefly has a seasonal facial “flavor” that helps keep your skin glowing and feeling fresh. They kicked the year off with Arctic Cranberry as the January facial of the month. A wintery combo with arctic cranberry enzyme and seed oil that’s rich in fatty acids, they follow up this facial with the cooling sensation of peppermint in the Wintermint Hydrating Mask, loaded with antioxidants. Ahhh.  

Treat Yourself 

3
Firefly Wellness  

For those searching for a city wellness escape versus an outdoor retreat, Firefly Wellness is your answer. Located in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego, this boutique spa has a tight-knit team of four massage therapists, a yoga instructor, three facialists, and an Ayurveda guide. What’s on the menu for treatments? While there’s no specific list of services – just customizable treatments – they also offer waxing, yoga, meditation classes, and even spa parties for birthdays, bridal showers, or just an extra relaxing Sunday with friends.  

What We Love: Every month, Firefly has a seasonal facial “flavor” that helps keep your skin glowing and feeling fresh. They kicked the year off with Arctic Cranberry as the January facial of the month. A wintery combo with arctic cranberry enzyme and seed oil that’s rich in fatty acids, they follow up this facial with the cooling sensation of peppermint in the Wintermint Hydrating Mask, loaded with antioxidants. Ahhh.  

Treat Yourself 

Girl on the Go! Night Spa  

Don’t be thrown off by this boutique spa’s downtown neighborhood – stepping into Girl on the Go!’s HQ, you’ll encounter a bright, gorgeous space where the décor is straight out of an influencer’s living room. While there are several spa treatments, massages, and facials, GoTG’s gem is that they are open until 10 pm on weekdays (6 pm on weekends), so you can drop-in after work and try out a new facial.  

What We Love: Created for busy women on the go, GotG isn’t the same experience as a hotel, but each session starts with a complimentary glass of champagne or tea. Spa treatments like facials, waxing, massages are done in comfortable private rooms, while any makeup services are given in the main area. Of those spa treatments, our favorite is Herbal Renewal.  

A 90-minute body treatment, the age-reversing antioxidants from acai, goji, pomegranate, and bilberry will leave your skin feeling fresh. Enjoy a gentle scrub while your therapist perfects your complexion with a mandarin orange body polish. Once you’re in a deep state of Zen, you’ll be coated in a coconut hydrating milk and cocooned in a warm blanket (we know, it sounds divine). While you drift off into a peaceful sleep, don’t forget about your luscious locks. The therapist will work a coconut and mandarin infused hair treatment into your scalp while giving you a deep neck and shoulder massage. Can we go like, now?  

Try a Facial 

4
Girl on the Go! Night Spa  

Don’t be thrown off by this boutique spa’s downtown neighborhood – stepping into Girl on the Go!’s HQ, you’ll encounter a bright, gorgeous space where the décor is straight out of an influencer’s living room. While there are several spa treatments, massages, and facials, GoTG’s gem is that they are open until 10 pm on weekdays (6 pm on weekends), so you can drop-in after work and try out a new facial.  

What We Love: Created for busy women on the go, GotG isn’t the same experience as a hotel, but each session starts with a complimentary glass of champagne or tea. Spa treatments like facials, waxing, massages are done in comfortable private rooms, while any makeup services are given in the main area. Of those spa treatments, our favorite is Herbal Renewal.  

A 90-minute body treatment, the age-reversing antioxidants from acai, goji, pomegranate, and bilberry will leave your skin feeling fresh. Enjoy a gentle scrub while your therapist perfects your complexion with a mandarin orange body polish. Once you’re in a deep state of Zen, you’ll be coated in a coconut hydrating milk and cocooned in a warm blanket (we know, it sounds divine). While you drift off into a peaceful sleep, don’t forget about your luscious locks. The therapist will work a coconut and mandarin infused hair treatment into your scalp while giving you a deep neck and shoulder massage. Can we go like, now?  

Try a Facial 

ALCHEMĒ 

Hidden inside a renovated warehouse in the heart of Little Italy, ALCHEMĒ’s mantra is “rebellious health for vibrant living.” Combining integrative medicine with aesthetic beauty, this edgy spa helps clients maximize their inner and outer wellness. Take a shot at an improved you with the creatively titled Periodic Table of Vibrant Living – check out the Electric Child or the Booze Gypsy – or focus on outer beauty with Collagen Induction Therapy.  
 
What We Love: Wanna know the secret to gloriously glowing skin? ALCHEMĒ’s IV Nutrient Therapy. Whether you try out Energy Boosting or Collagen and Skin Support, these integrative treatments are all about enacting radical change to treat a variety of conditions. IV nutrient therapy allows for the administration of vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system, improve sleep, decrease chronic pain, and kill viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells. Creating custom IV’s using the highest quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and botanical and homeopathic medicines, take some time out of your schedule for a little boost at ALCHEMĒ.  
 
We know wellness retreats are trendy, but if jet setting out of the country isn’t currently an option, book a self-care, San Diego spa day instead. From edgy medical spas with new-wave vitamin shots to traditionally zen-inducing hot stone massages, download the Mindbody app to explore new ways to take care of you in America’s Finest City.  

Book a Treatment

5
ALCHEMĒ 

Hidden inside a renovated warehouse in the heart of Little Italy, ALCHEMĒ’s mantra is “rebellious health for vibrant living.” Combining integrative medicine with aesthetic beauty, this edgy spa helps clients maximize their inner and outer wellness. Take a shot at an improved you with the creatively titled Periodic Table of Vibrant Living – check out the Electric Child or the Booze Gypsy – or focus on outer beauty with Collagen Induction Therapy.  
 
What We Love: Wanna know the secret to gloriously glowing skin? ALCHEMĒ’s IV Nutrient Therapy. Whether you try out Energy Boosting or Collagen and Skin Support, these integrative treatments are all about enacting radical change to treat a variety of conditions. IV nutrient therapy allows for the administration of vitamins and minerals that can boost the immune system, improve sleep, decrease chronic pain, and kill viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells. Creating custom IV’s using the highest quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and botanical and homeopathic medicines, take some time out of your schedule for a little boost at ALCHEMĒ.  
 
We know wellness retreats are trendy, but if jet setting out of the country isn’t currently an option, book a self-care, San Diego spa day instead. From edgy medical spas with new-wave vitamin shots to traditionally zen-inducing hot stone massages, download the Mindbody app to explore new ways to take care of you in America’s Finest City.  

Book a Treatment

Erica Arvanitis MINDBODY
Written by
Erica Arvanitis
Copywriter
About the author
A copywriter by day, Erica spends her free time mastering the art of puzzles while forcing her 10-year-old Chow mix to wear sweaters. With experience in PR, social media, marketing, and copywriting, Erica lives and breathes the written word. Warning: don’t test her on Friends trivia - she will win every time.
woman running outside
The Latest
Published Tuesday Jun 30, 2020 by Dermatologist's Choice

The Summer Skincare Routine for Outdoor Workouts and Activities

Beauty
Fitness
Skincare

Summer is officially here, and with that, there are so many fun activities that will motivate you to get outside to stay in shape and strive for those post-quarantine fitness goals. But before you decide to get outside to enjoy some walking, yoga, swimming, or hiking, remember these best practice skincare habits to protect your skin from common skin concerns, such as, sunburns, chafing, and excessive dryness. 

Here, board-certified Dermatologist, Dr. Bottiglione, shares some advice to help your skin stay healthy as you embark into the great outdoors.  


But first, protect

When going outside, the sun is going to be your biggest culprit for damaging your skin. While the sun boosts benefits like vitamin D production, take notice when your skin is overexposed to the sun’s harmful rays as it becomes dangerous. When overexposed to direct sunlight, the skin is irritated, causing sunburns, dryness, and sensitivity that can increase the chances for wrinkles and skin cancer as we age.  

Luckily, staying inside when it’s so pleasant outside is not the only skincare alternative to avoid the sun’s damaging rays. Here are a few simple tips to prep your skin before stepping outside.  
Opt to protect your skin with a clinical-grade sunblocking lotion of 15 SPF or higher.

“Anytime you go outside, you need to apply sunscreen to your skin,” advises Dr. B. “Ensure you apply sunscreen to the full body and reapply often. In the morning, after cleansing your face, is the best time to apply.” He recommends a spray for oily skin, or the Dermatologist’s Choice Sunscreen Enhanced Moisturizer for dry to combination skin types that needs a little extra hydration.  
 
 
The key is the more intentional you are about proactively protecting your summer skin, the healthier it will be. It may sound simple, but your skin will be happier when you take a preventive approach rather than a reactive approach—for example, applying the sunscreen moisturizer before a walk to help to avoid the treatment of a sunburn after. When prepping your bag for the fun day ahead, make sure to add sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water.  
 
 
Now the real excitement begins! However you decide to get your fitness outdoors, we have the skincare routine you need or a carefree and healthy day. 


Yoga / Walking 

Deep breath. Like our favorite flow, these skincare tips will keep our mind—and our skin—at ease. If you take your yoga practice outdoors, wear an SPF shirt, and lay your mat under a nicely shaded tree to help shield you from excessive sun exposure. 

“Avoiding direct sunlight and wearing protective clothing is smart to protect your skin from sun damage. Even if you are going for a relaxing walk or doing just a few sun salutations. Staying out of the direct sunlight will reduce your risk of sun damage and wrinkles.”     - Dr. B


Swimming 

Swimming is one of the best cardio and strength training workouts, while also an enjoyable activity during the summer. Whether you are swimming in open water or laps in the pool, the excess amount of water with exposure to pool chemicals and environmental pollutants can cause skin irritation and dryness. To keep your skin hydrated and protected, Dr. B. recommends applying the Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil to your skin before entering the water. This will seal your skin’s protective barrier to avoid skin irritation from chemicals and debris. He adds, “The Pre-Bath Oil is what I give to all my patients with eczema or dry skin. It is the only thing that will protect and also deeply hydrate the skin.” Just apply this serum before you put on your sunscreen, and you're good to go! 


Hiking 

With warm temperatures during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for hiking and exploring the mountainous outdoors. It is essential to take the necessary steps to avoid your skin becoming sunburnt, irritated, or breaking out. “Wearing a hat with a large brim that will shade your face and neck is key. A baseball cap is just not enough for the sun protection you need. After your hike, it is important to clean your face and pores of sweat, dirt, and toxins with Dermatologist’s Choice Glycolic Peel Cleansing Pads to avoid breakouts from occurring,” Dr. B. warns. Keep them in your bag for easy cleansing after a hike. 


Cycling/ Running 

One of the biggest skin concerns cyclists or runners usually bring to dermatologists is chafing. Even if you’re just cruising along the seaside or taking a cycling class, those tight clothes and friction can cause some intense irritation and redness. “When you have an issue with chafing, you need to protect your skin. You need armor over the skin. Beeswax, for example, is thick to coat the skin and protect it. Another effective option is the hydrating Dermatologist’s Choice Pre-Bath Oil. For best results, moisturize your skin, and then add a piece of clothing to cover it (that is actually like armor),” Dr. B. shares. Are you a runner? Feel free to use this tip too before your next mile or 30.  


Workout done, now what? 

At the end of your activity, the real results of that skin preparation set in. But sometimes, you need a little extra support afterwards. After any good workout, cleansing off the sweat, dirt, toxins, and irritant is paramount. Dermatologist Choice pH Balanced Cleanser helps to gently but effectively remove sweat, oil, and restore the skin’s natural pH levels.  

Did you end up getting a sunburn, or is your skin dry from the elements? Soothe with the Pre-Bath Oil with natural oils like sunflower and jojoba oil for deep hydration and healing.

“Sun damage can manifest in multiple ways. Most often, you will notice a sunburn first, which can then lead to irritated skin—and over time, sun damage increases the appearance of wrinkles.” For safe measure, at night regenerate sun-damaged skin with Dermatologist's Choice Ultra Anti-Aging Cream with 15% non-neutralized glycolic acid to your skin. This powerful dermatology treatment rebuilds the collagen and exfoliates fine lines, sunspots, and acne on the skin. “Do not apply the Ultra Anti-Aging Cream on a sunburn or irritated skin,” Dr. B. shares. These are long-term habits to aid in maintaining your best skin health.
 
 

Capture your best skin with everything you need this summer with the Dermatologist’s Choice Skin Kit, and get 20% off your order with code MB20 at www.dermchoice.com.

Dr. B Dermatologist
Written by
Dermatologist's Choice
Clean and Clinical Skincare Brand
About the author
Dermatologist’s Choice is founded, formulated, and tested by award-winning dermatologist, Dr. B. It's not just about keeping your skin clear, but providing clean and clinical formulations. DermChoice has no parabens and no fragrance, is certified cruelty-free, and is formulated with natural and organic ingredients.