At Isis Skin & Body, medical director Dr. Noha Aboelata grants her patients' desires for beauty with a gentle touch, exclusively performing noninvasive rejuvenation treatments that employ the latest advancements in aesthetic upkeep. The practice is split between laser-based and topical therapies that both remediate existing problems and stimulate of the body's natural healing mechanisms.
Lasers earn their keep and daily continental breakfasts with work in three principle areas: routing unwanted hair, healing nail fungus, and helping to firm and smooth contours all over the body. To ensure topical treatments are safe for all skin types, Dr. Aboelata handpicks the products used in each service, which range from custom acne-scar treatments to eight types of chemical peels. Online forms dotting the company's website encourage curious visitors to start their restorative journey with a free analysis by identifying their skin and body concerns from a list that will help the staff to suggest a fitting course of treatment.
In tribute to its eponymous Egyptian goddess, the white and gold spa takes rich decorating cues from ancient palace-inspired aesthetics and the advice of style-blogging mummies. Columns capped with gold lotuses rise up to the entry hall's high ceiling, and gilded folding screens backdrop chaise lounges covered in bolts of lustrous, eggshell-colored cloth.
Almost as long as the list of ingredients that Simply Green Day Spa’s organic nail polishes include is the list of common polish chemicals that they don’t. The colorful hues from SpaRitual and Butter London eschew DBA, toluene, formaldehyde, parabens, and phtalates—and none were tested on animals. By using products such as these, Simply Green simultaneously nurtures both its clients and the environment. While nail technicians wield the nontoxic polishes and acetone-free polish remover, augmenting mani-pedis with sugar and salt scrubs and hot-stone massages, skincare experts turn to natural facial treatments. Antioxidants from blueberries and vitamin C set to work on blemishes along with exfoliation, masks, and steam, which helps patrons clear their clogged pores without trying to suck out dirt with a Shop-Vac.
Simply Green Day Spa’s staff also eases aches and stress with Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal massages. After a thorough coddling, waxing specialists banish leg hair or evict unwanted fuzz from the face, leaving patrons completely made over. Setting the stage for these transformations, Simply Green’s decor lives up to its name’s other meaning with plush green armchairs arranged amid sage-green walls, a rock fountain, and sweeping white curtains.
As an avid athlete, Megan Brooks looked forward to a lifetime of tight, sore muscles. Physical stiffness did not impede her agile mind, however, which targeted massage therapy to deepen her knowledge of the body and hurdle the side effects of exercise. She formalized her passion at the National Holistic Institute's College of Massage Therapy in San Francisco, and she graduated with a letter of excellence. Currently, she focuses on harmonizing body and spirit with her strong hands and the warm, soothing light emanating from her third eye, knowing firsthand that this balance—different for every client—is critical to general well-being and athletic performance. A specialization in integrative massage reflects this attitude, as the style allows her to respond to individual problems with any stroke from her repertoire, including Swedish, deep-tissue therapy, and rarer styles such as Hawaiian lomi lomi.
As director of the manual therapy program at Inner-Action Sports Rehab in Oakland, she continuously expands her knowledge of how the human body works, fails, and can be righted without jamming limbs into a T-square. Practicing the 3,000-year-old art also sparked her interest in the ancient holistic health systems of ayurveda and Chinese medicine, the study of which she has penned into her continuing-education schedule.
The technicians at Bisou Nail Lounge go above and beyond to create works of nail art using gel paint, jewels, and glitter polish. But before intricate designs of butterflies and Gary Busey on a steed are handcrafted, digits are refreshed with organic and eco-friendly products during mani-pedis. A volcanic clay mask and Dead Sea salt scrub help to purify the skin while cabernet grape extract oil and the salon's own line of organic coca butter nourish and moisturize. Harsh chemicals are also exempt from Bisou's footsoaks, enhanced with limes, rose petals, and mint leaves floating in a non-whirlpool, stainless steel bowl, and UV-gels from Bella Forma, Calgel, Bio Sculpture, or Crystal Nails provide chip-resistant polish that is acid-free. The salon's earth-friendly ways are also showcased during Nova eyelash extension services as technicians carefully use a formaldehyde-free adhesive to adhere tree-sized extensions to existing lashes.
Bisou's attention to details can also be seen in the intimate salon's décor, a country French theme complete with pale pink wall colors, a gold chandelier, and plush, floral-covered furnishings.
Rockridge Day Spa employs as many vegan and organic products as possible. These naturally derived palliatives aid the aestheticians as they design personalized facials that manage to hydrate, improve skin tone, or simply restore a youthful glow around the cheekbones. Body scrubs leave the skin soft and radiant by using everything from brown sugar and honey to antioxidant-rich strawberries and fizzy sparkling wine to exfoliate the topmost layers. Similarly, the spa's chemical peels and microdermabrasion sessions use more advanced approaches as they conceal the appearance of wrinkles and pigmented blemishes.
While sipping on a cup of tea, clients can dangle their toes over pedicure bowls and enjoy a thoroughly indulgent nail treatment that pampers the feet with mineral soaks and gentle massages. The spa's massage therapist indulges visitors even more by using a personalized blend of Swedish and deep-tissue techniques to soothe aching muscle and relieve the chronic pains caused by sleeping in a bathtub full of marbles.
If The Foot Spa and Tea Bar’s the trickling water fountain, botanical art, and drifting herbal aromas don’t immediately mark it as a tranquil haven, its lengthy list of commendations will. Readers of Oakland Magazine named it the Best Spa in 2012 and the Best Place to Treat Your Feet in 2011, and the magazine's editors called it the Most Relaxing Place to Take a Load Off in 2010. The cozy, Asian-inspired spa has also been nominated in the Best Day Spa category on the San Francisco A-List.
Inside the spa’s lauded confines, skilled massage therapists and reflexologists perform treatments ranging from acupressure and shiatsu sessions to soothing aromatherapy massages with lavender, ginger, and peppermint essential oils. At the tea bar, guests sip complimentary loose-leaf varieties grown in the mountains of China while gargling responses to the nearby water fountain.