Meryl Streep is the blueprint. Her skin looks like one of those ancient marble busts commemorating a queen: smooth, even and fascinating. Streep has certainly aged since her rise to fame. Now 73, time has only revealed and deepened her natural beauty, as though a sculptor had patiently carved away the extraneous to reveal the art underneath. Fans call Streep brave for not resorting to major plastic surgery to hack her way back to youth. If you ask the beauty gurus of Los Angeles, in the US, they will tell you it is probably the result of rigid adherence to a skin routine – and a healthy fear of becoming grotesque under the knife. “Actresses like her are afraid that if they have plastic surgery, they will lose their face,” says Angela Caglia, who founded her eponymous brand in 2016 and counts model Helena Christensen and Leonardo DiCaprio as clients. At her studio in Beverly Hills, Caglia named a few A-listers who went down the cosmetic surgery path and lost; several well-known stars from early 2000s romcoms are nearly unrecognisable now. “Meryl is probably like Barbra Streisand, who is a client of mine,” says Caglia. “These ladies are as serious about their beauty routine as they are about their careers, because they know they are connected. They take very good care of themselves and follow their beauty regimens rigorously.” Custom skincare: how tech is changing the way we buy beauty Amaliya Kurbanova, a specialist at Joanna Vargas salon, agrees. The aesthetician says her clients who care most about looking healthy and revitalised are focusing on treatments like lymphatic drainage massage, which involves gently manipulating areas of the body to remove waste and promote better circulation, and microcurrents of electricity, which stimulate facial muscles. They also seek things like the application of pure oxygen onto the skin to clean it and make it glow; infrared therapy to promote stimulation and help muscles and skin recover; and application of vitamin and retinol serums to help trigger production of collagen and elastin. “Plastic surgery is losing popularity at this point,” she says. If anyone has the authority to speak about skincare, it is the facialists of Los Angeles. The town that attracts aspiring stars from around the world – and that launched beauty brands like Ouai, Kate Somerville and Joanna Vargas – is the epicentre for those trying to figure out how to look gorgeous at any price. A city so focused on beauty features hundreds of spots where you can go to work on your looks. But not all facials are created equal, and it is easy to spend hundreds of dollars at hotel spas and back-room salons that offer nothing more than a face massage. Here is our 2023 list of the best facials we have had in LA. Joanna Vargas’ triple crown facial Includes: microdermabrasion, microcurrent and oxygen-infusion therapies that scrub, lift and tone the skin. Microdermabrasion works like gentle sandpaper to smooth and even out skin by removing the top layer. In microcurrent therapy, practitioners use devices to send tiny electrical currents through the muscles and skin; the idea is that the painless current will build up muscles in the face, lifting and tightening the skin. Collagen helps keep your skin looking young, but what exactly is it? Oxygen infusions involve a wand of compressed O2 – oxygen gas, or dioxygen – which delivers a mist over the face in an effort to plump and hydrate the skin. You can see immediately visible results, with smoother, firmer skin that has a radiant glow. The specialists at Joanna Vargas suggest that a monthly session to stimulate collagen and elastin production offers the best cumulative benefits over time. With infrared beds available as well, to help stimulate circulation and muscle repair, Joanna Vargas offers a high-value product from a well-known and respected brand. Joanna Vargas skincare is available at Net-a-Porter. Angela Caglia’s rose quartz goddess facial Includes: in her signature rose quartz goddess facial, Caglia blends botanical cleansers, serums to brighten the skin and anti-wrinkle moisturisers from her own skin care line. She also performs extractions and uses cryo – extremely cold – treatments, all with a large, reassuringly heavy rose quartz mat draped on your chest. The mat is supposed to reduce puffiness in your body and calm your mind while the freezing cold handheld rollers reduces puffiness, she says. Model Suki Waterhouse, television personality Chrissy Teigen and model Georgia Jagger are fans of Caglia’s methods, which blend science, new age crystals and relaxation treatments for a mind-body, holistic-focused experience. Angela Caglia Beauty is available at Lane Crawford. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Angela Caglia Skincare (pronounced CALL-YA) (@angelacagliaskincare) Kate Somerville’s platinum signature facial Somerville’s signature facial is comprehensive, to say the least. It includes a double cleanse, extractions if they are needed, jelly masks to hydrate and plump the skin, oxygen treatments for even more plumping and hydrating, and a deeply relaxing neck and shoulder massage. There is even more: the facial includes the ever popular high frequency microcurrent treatment, plus ultrasound treatments that temporarily tighten the skin and stimulate collagen production with ultrasound waves. Famous fans include actresses Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Demi Moore and Olivia Wilde. Kate Somerville is available at selfridges.com. Hotel Bel-Air Spa’s the Valmont facial Located in the most beautiful setting on our list, the facial from the luxury Swiss skincare line takes place in the gardens of the secluded Hotel Bel-Air. Blended with more than a dozen products from Valmont’s signature line – including the bestselling honey-gold eye gel – the treatment includes a massage technique that is meant to clear and detoxify; a cellular collagen mask for face, eyes, neck and décolleté; and LED and microcurrent technology that lifts and defines the contours of the face. It ends with a relaxing and hydrating treatment for hands and feet. Valmont’s masterful anti-ageing line was established in 1985 and is loved by figures from fitness guru Taryn Toomey to actress Jodie Comer. How a tui na TCM massage could benefit you Skin Worship’s divine light facial Leah Avigdori’s signature facial is perfect for those who love combining spiritual and mental wellness with external treatments. It is inspired by ancient traditions and rituals; she uses chakra balancing with pressure points, crystals, meditation and sound baths from Tibetan singing bowls , which can have a transporting effect on the nervous system. She weaves in a cleansing facial massage, a custom exfoliation based on the skin condition of the person in the chair and careful extractions, then combines pure oxygen with minerals misted into the skin. She finishes her work with two rose quartz facial rollers that gently apply customised serums and gua sha – the Chinese method that uses a smooth tool to massage the skin which releases connective tissue and encourages lymphatic drainage. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Skin Worship (@skinworship) Face Gym’s cryo medi lift Face Gym is supposed to be like a gym but for your face. The idea is that if you constantly stimulate and lift the muscles deep in your face, they will stay lifted. At Face Gym, this means clients sit in chairs in a shared room, as in a hair salon or workout space. If you are all right with the group feeling and a non-luxury aesthetic, you will see immediate results. The cryo medi lift is a signature “workout” where the “trainer” stands behind you and combines deep massage all over your cheeks and jaw with foam balls, eye masks and neck and shoulder massages to boost circulation and decrease tension, plus a blast of hydration and pure vaporised oxygen. It leaves skin clean and glowing. Results tend to fade after a week or so, but this is an effective treatment before an important meeting or a special event. Face Gym is available at Net-a-Porter. View this post on Instagram A post shared by FACEGYM (@facegym) DTox Day Spa’s MicrO2 The DTox Day Spa includes access to massages, waxing and other body treatments within the spa. Those who schedule a facial can enjoy time in the rest of the spa as well. The MicrO2 facial in particular is good for clients who want to reduce puffiness, balance skin tone and iron out signs of ageing. It focuses on reducing redness and dull skin to even out pigmentation and reduce frown lines. It starts with a cleanse, followed by some microdermabrasion, and then goes to a thorough oxygen treatment using special masks, which include such components as sea algae and collagen to encourage new skin cells to grow. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Dtox Day Spa (@dtoxdayspa) Gina Mari skin care Each specialised treatment is custom-designed for the client’s individual skin care needs. Renowned for her red-carpet-ready treatments that require little downtime, Mari uses a combination of LED photomodulation – a non-invasive but very bright light first used by Nasa to help improve recovery from flesh wounds in astronauts, standard dry dermabrasion, wet dermabrasion – regular dermabrasion applied with a serum, and oxygen treatments to re-energise ageing and damaged skin. Depending on the client’s needs, she might add various vitamin-infused microdermabrasions, radio frequencies and laser therapies to help clear skin imperfections and maintain lift and radiance, especially before important events.