The best spas and shops in Denver to try out a facial

Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more.

I’ve recently become a person who gets facials.

It happened right around the time a mask mandate was lifted. I had seen a dermatologist during the pandemic for “mascne,” then decided to take another approach. After a few visits over the last year or so, I’ve come to understand why some people work facials into their routine in the same way that others go to the nail salon or hairdresser or massage studio.

I have gone from a skeptic with sensitive skin to a facial person with sensitive skin that I take care of.

The thing is, a 30- to 60-minute deep cleansing, hydration and face and neck massage is something everyone can appreciate, whether as part of a regular skincare routine or as an occasional treat. The other day, my fiance even said he wanted to plan a date around one.

Here are two starter facial businesses that I’d recommend, along with one for a special date or an outing with friends.

Aillea is a clean-beauty brand based in Cherry Creek that sells makeup and skincare free of the parabens, sulfates and petrochemicals you’ll find in most face products. New to the store is a 30-minute “express facial” ($45), which includes cleansing, toning, a mask and finishing hydration. This is the treatment to try if you’re interested in switching up your home routine with more natural products. You’ll test out brands such as Indie Lee, Osea, Tata Harper and others. (Note that facials are done at the back of the store, without much privacy.)

Alchemy Face Bar has three locations across Denver and Boulder and a setup that I find unintimidating and kind of fun. Spa beds are positioned in an open, communal room that’s closed off from the store’s entrance and front desk. Facial clients get a small dressing room to store their belongings, and wear a wrap-around towel to leave the face, neck and decolletage exposed. For your first time, I’d recommend a Signature ($100, 60 minutes) or Basic facial ($55, 30 minutes). The aestheticians use all Eminence Organic products, which is my favorite part.

Jalan Facial Spa offers a popular date or friends’ special called “back together,” which costs $118.50 — plus an automatic 20% tip on the regular price of $158 — for two 60-minute facials at the same time. You and your loved one will get individual treatment rooms. The discount only works for certain days and times, but the price is a relative steal. And this “urban retreat” is a real escape for your facial experience — complete with hot tea, a foot soak and meditation lounge to unwind. In addition to the couples’ facial, there are unique options like sakura goji antioxidant facials ($89, 60 minutes) and a 45-minute gua sha face massage ($69).

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