Spa Diary: The Spa by Joanna Vargas
Located inside the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel, a historic Hollywood landmark on Sunset Boulevard, The Spa by Joanna Vargas is the ultimate skincare destination in Los Angeles. It’s the West Coast counterpart to Joanna Vargas Salon in NYC and is owned by celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas, who is known as the “Queen of the naturopathic facial” for her powerhouse facials and clean skincare line with all-natural ingredients.
Recently, I visited her Los Angeles location, which is cozily tucked away in a pristine, private space that makes you feel as if you’ve escaped from all the hustle and bustle, despite being located just steps away from busy West Hollywood.
Here’s what you’ll love about The Spa by Joanna Vargas:
It’s centrally located in the iconic Sunset Tower Hotel on Sunset Boulevard and is a short drive to Beverly Hills.
The treatment rooms are spacious and luxurious, some with private bathtubs, showers, and couches for ultimate relaxation.
The friendly staff and experienced aestheticians ensure that guests have the perfect experience from start to finish.
The spa provides cutting-edge technologies including LED light beds, radio frequency, and microcurrent machines.
With a long list of celebs that swear by Joanna Vargas facials and treatments, you know you’re getting quality services that guarantee incredible results.
Joanna Vargas Skincare products are used in the treatments and are available for purchase in the spa’s retail area.
The Spa has a second location in New York, making it more accessible for East Coast clientele or those traveling between coasts.
After leaving my car with the valet, I entered the lobby and was guided towards the elevator, which I took down to the the Spa. After checking in at the front desk I was offered a glass of water, which I sipped on while filling out my new client form.
I enjoyed browsing all of the Joanna Vargas Skincare products that were on display in the spa’s retail section. The lounge area was stylishly decorated with lots of cute wall art, and I relaxed on the comfortable velvet seating with soft pillows until it was time for my appointment to begin.
When it was time for my service, I was led down the hall into one of the treatment rooms and was pleasantly surprised by how large it was. There was a bathtub in one corner, as well as a comfy couch, vanity area, and a private shower—I had everything I could possibly want or need during my visit!
After changing into my towel wrap and lying down on the treatment bed, I was greeted by my esthetician, Asia. Today I was going to receive the Supernova Facial—a 60-minute treatment that is one of Vargas’ signature facials. It incorporates state-of-the-art technologies and is the beauty secret behind many celebrities on the red carpet, so I was very excited to be experiencing it today!
After a double-cleansing, Asia performed a nutrient-rich liquid exfoliation to resurface my skin, which left it feeling ultra-smooth and soft. Next, she used a microcurrent device to emit low-voltage electrical currents on a cellular level, which contoured and de-puffed my complexion. She also applied of a collagen mask infused with vital nutrients, which she left on for several minutes that made my skin super hydrated.
During the service, a massage therapist came in and performed the Happy Feet, a 30-minute hand and foot massage, which made the experience even more relaxing and indulgent. I came very close to dozing off several times, but resisted the urge because I didn’t want to sleep through my wonderful treatment!
My service concluded with cryotherapy, which uses vaporized liquid nitrogen to increase cellular metabolism, circulation, oxygenation, and lymphatic drainage while providing anti-inflammatory benefits. It feels like an ice cube gliding against the skin and is incredibly cooling and refreshing. Asia also performed a relaxing facial massage on my face to help firm and tone the skin.
The Supernova doesn’t include extractions, which is nice because my skin wasn’t red and irritated at the end—instead, it left me glowing and looking red carpet-ready. It’s the perfect treatment to get right before a special event that you want to look your best for. Some of Vargas’ other facials do include extractions, so it really depends on what your skin goals are for the day (or week!)
Asia also shared a special tip for clearing up breakouts faster: she told me to wash my face with sea salt. Simply take a small amount of sea salt (you can buy it at Trader Joe’s, the grocery store, etc.), add a few drops of warm water to it in the palm of one hand, and gently rub it all over your face in circular motions. Leave it on for up to 30 seconds, then gently rinse.
Salt has the ability to kill certain types of bacteria (why do you think they tell you to gurgle with salt water every time you have a sore throat?), so cleansing skin with saltwater exfoliates dead skin cells and helps to deprive bacteria cells of moisture, which effectively kills them off and dries out zits. Just be sure to properly moisturize skin afterwards in order to avoid skin completely drying out. Ever since Asia gave me that advice, I’ve been doing it every time I get a breakout—it’s easy and works like a charm! I wish I’d known this 10 years ago, but hey, better late than never, right?
After my treatment, I felt way more relaxed than I usually am after getting a facial. My skin looked and felt amazing, and I had a feeling that this would not be my last Supernova Facial. I’ve heard that Joanna Vargas skincare treatments can become addicting because of the results, and now I can officially speak from experience and confirm that is the truth! The spa menu does include a list of many other incredible services that I want to try, including Vargas’ other signature treatment, the Triple Crown Facial—looks like I’m going to have to book multiple appointments…
In addition to its famous facials, The Spa by Joanna Vargas also offers an array of body treatments such as full-body microdermabrasion and sunless tanning. It also has an LED Light Bed, which activates the body’s natural healing powers, stimulates cell turnover, and helps reverse signs of aging and promotes well-being.
That’s the sign of a good spa session: it always leaves you wanting more, and although today’s treatment had concluded and I was feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, I was already looking forward to booking my next visit. Until we meet again, The Spa by Joanna Vargas—you’ve made a lifelong fan out of me!
Insider Tip: There is valet parking at the hotel. Wear comfortable clothes and arrive five minutes before your scheduled treatment time to fill out a client form. There is a 24-hour cancellation policy.
Cost: The Supernova Facial costs $325 for 60 minutes. A 30-minute Happy Feet massage costs $95 and can be performed alone or added to any facial service.
Address: Sunset Tower Hotel, 8358 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90069
11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Tuesday - Friday)
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday)
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday)
[Images by Kamala Kirk]
Kamala Kirk is a University of Southern California graduate and has been an editor/writer for more than a decade. She has written for E! Online, Total Beauty, TravelAge West, Malibu Times Magazine, and many more. She resides in Los Angeles and is a proud pug mom. Follow her on Instagram: @kamalakirk