San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Head to Toe: Beauty Centers Help You Look Your Best

Whether it’s a luxurious facial or massage, a skin-rejuvenating treatment or just a good haircut you’re after, the Central Valley has a host of salons and spas to meet your aesthetic needs.

With three locations in the San José area, MediSpas offers the latest technology in skin treatments, permanent hair removal, tattoo removal and removal of unsightly leg veins.

A plastic surgeon on staff performs a range of skin-rejuvenation treatments to remove wrinkles, including Botox and Restylane injections, which restore fullness to the skin to give it a younger appearance. MediSpas also offers pulsed-light acne treatments and a range of facials.

Locations include Plaza Mundo in Guachipelín, in the western suburb of Escazú (228-7506); in front of Jazz Café in the eastern suburb of San Pedro (280-9292); and 350 meters west of the Palacio de Deportes in Heredia, north of San José (262-2222).

Beauty Club (288-2980, 288-0059), a day spa in Escazú’s Country Plaza, diagonal from the Costa Rica Country Club, offers a wide range of pampering possibilities for those who want to spend a whole day or just a couple of hours indulging themselves with topof-the-line care. Various types of massage, including one using hot stones, will melt away tension, and facials and microdermabrasion treatments can freshen up dull skin.

Staff doctors perform permanent hair removal through an intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment, as well as Botox injections to remove wrinkles. They are also available for consultation on other plastic surgery procedures to be performed at a hospital, such as face-lifts and liposuction.

Beauty Club also offers a full hair salon, manicures, pedicures and “fantasy tan,” a spray-on tint that lasts about a week and provides a harmless alternative to the sun.

Broadway Beauty (282-0232) is another full-service salon specializing in hair design and styling. Stylist Kathy Martínez is known for her flair with color and can help you achieve just the hue you’ve been imagining. Manicures, pedicures, facials, massage, skin treatments and waxing are also on the menu. Broadway Beauty is 300 meters west of El Estribo restaurant on Calle Vieja, between Escazú and Santa Ana.

Wendy’s Hair Studio (228-9810), owned by stylist Wendy Nunn, from Great Britain, is an expat favorite offering cuts, blow-dries, perms, color and other hair services for men and women, as well as manicures and pedicures. The salon is in Escazú’s Plaza San Rafael.

To get your hands and feet in top form, check out Nail Spa Modern Image (228-2017). The nail spa offers several options for artificial nails, including acrylic, organic and gel nails in addition to manicures and pedicures. Nail Spa Modern Image is in Escazú, 400 meters west of Más x Menos.

Elida Centro Facial centers specialize in facials that provide deep cleansing and help the skin get rid of dead cells and residue that can accumulate on the skin’s surface. Elida offers treatments for a range of skin conditions, such as acne, dry skin and aging skin.

To rejuvenate skin and make it look younger, Elida uses painless laser rays to send light to skin cells and increase production of collagen and elastin, giving it a smoother texture.

Collagen treatments and facial massage are also available to improve circulation in the skin, as well as vitamin-C masks, microderm abrasion and peels.

Elida has two centers in San José, on Paseo de los Estudiantes, in front of the La Orquídea parking lot (257-9970, 257-8142), and on Paseo Colón, diagonal from Banco de Costa Rica in the San Jorge building (257-2433, 223-5246).

On the east side of San José, Salón de Juan Manzur (280-7895) offers a variety of hair treatments including cuts, color, extensions, straightening and perms, as well as manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials and massage.

A tanning bed is available for those out for a quick-fix glow. The salon is in Centro Comercial La Lomita in San Pedro.

If you’re looking to maximize rest and relaxation during your vacation, Serenity Spa offers six Costa Rican locations, several of which are in popular hotels.

The spas offer luxurious treatments with top-of-the-line products, such as the Nelly De Vuyst skin care line from Belgium.

Several exfoliating treatments can slough off dead skin using natural ingredients such as coconut, coffee and citrus salts. Wraps and peels use nutrient-rich volcanic mud and seaweed to envelop the body and cleanse the skin.

Deep-tissue, aromatherapy and couple’s massages are also available, as well as facials, manicures and pedicures. If you want to sample a little of everything, the spas sell packages with various combinations of massages, facials and exfoliations.

Locations include Jacó (643-1624), Villa Caletas (637-0505) and Manuel Antonio’s Sí Como No hotel (777-0777, ext. 220), all on the central Pacific coast; Villa Blanca hotel in San Ramón, northwest of San José (461-0300); and Paradisus Playa Conchal, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste (654-4121, ext. 8807).


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