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Hopping on a plane and landing in San Diego is fantastic. But as we know all too well, that journey wreaks havoc on your skin. While rocking posh sunglasses and applying sunscreen should be top priorities during your time in SoCal, we tend to forget about the ultimate skincare remedy: a facial. I’m uncovering a hidden gem to put your best face forward and honestly, I’m ashamed that I didn’t know about this place sooner.

There’s one particular block in Point Loma that is especially sweet and inviting. One one side of the street is a tea shop and a plant store. On the other, a salon, florist, and yoga studio. Tucked away inside that yoga space with its own private entrance is Citrine Spa, an intimate haven for exceptional skincare and massage services. I have lived five minutes from this block for years and only recently discovered this magical spot.

Citrine and its team are so warm and welcoming, I instantly felt at home upon arrival. The minimalist spa room features touches of soft pink accents, with lush local greenery lining the shelves and floral essential oil scents in the air. It’s quiet and calming: the perfect place to settle in for some self care. Citrine’s resident esthetician Dawn asks what my skin concerns are, if I have any allergies, and what kind of scents I like. After snuggling into the covers on a plush massage table, I make a note to self not to fall asleep because I want to enjoy the experience.

Even if you take good care of your skin, there’s really nothing like getting a facial from a professional. Over the course of an hour Dawn gives my skin a deep clean using several holistic and all-natural products. After applying a cleanser, she spends a few minutes on microdermabrasion. Microderm gets a bad rap because it sounds…abrasive. I was surprised at just how gentle it and quick the process was. Next she applied a cherry enzyme concoction to naturally brighten the skin, thanks to antioxidants in the fruit. After a few minutes of the tingling enzyme mask, Dawn whipped up a Moroccan clay mask with rose petal essence just for my combination skin type. She ends with a cooling goji berry and yogurt mask; again, letting nature do its job to heal the skin instead of harsh chemicals.

In between treatments Dawn gives clients a mini rub-down. To promote lymphatic drainage, she uses Gua Sha heart-shaped stones for a facial massage. While topical treatments help to improve and protect skin from external factors like pollution and UV rays, massage can stimulate the lymph system and assist in natural detoxification. Talk about beauty from the inside out. Her aromatherapy-infused shoulder and arm massage is just icing on the cake.

After working as a makeup artist for many years, Dawn transitioned over to skincare in 2004. Not only can she doctor up a facial for your exact skin type, but Dawn also creates mists, serums and more. I’ve been a fan of her Neroli spray since my first visit; the tonic consists of grapefruit, ylang ylang, neroli orange water and rose water. The Citrine serum is just as intoxicating, with a mix of organic rose hip, argon, ylang ylang, jasmine and neroli. These sprays and facial treatments are made of fresh, seasonal ingredients, so they vary throughout the year. And after my hour of bliss? I’m already anticipating my next appointment.

Whether you’re in town for work or play, be sure to schedule some downtime here. Citrine’s restorative massages and facial treatments will help extend that post-vacation glow.

Citrine at Yoga Arts

3017 Canon St, San Diego, CA 92106