Skin Camp: Where your face goes to get rejuvenated over summer vacation

Model Sydney Bonpua, 22, of Los Angeles, has suction cups applied to her face at Skin Camp.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

If you believe the glowing no-makeup selfies of Instagram, your face doesn’t need more makeup or traditional facials, but rather a workout and wellness routine all its own.

There are no shortage of places in and around L.A. promising a workout for your face, a way to lift and tone naturally, and I chose to head to Skin Camp Beverly Boulevard. It bills itself as a “facial workout” studio offering a menu of treatments with such names as “Sculpt,” “Train” and “Detox.”

To call it a “face workout,” however, is a stretch.

It took zero effort on my part and involved all the relaxation of a spa facial, with massage, cupping and rubdowns with an assortment of woo-woo wellness tools included, such as the now-seen-everywhere facial rollers that are also clogging my Instagram feed.


But does it get your glow on as well as a good sweat? I tried the Train services to see what the buzz was all about.


Walking into the millennial-pink studio, I was struck by how much it resembled a hair salon, with reclining barber-style chairs for services. Rather than getting your facial treatment in a private spa room with New Age music, Skin Camp’s 15- to 45-minute treatments are delivered in the middle of a salon, served up with gossip and the sound of Kanye West and Shaggy floating overhead.


The workout started with a relaxation exercise, as my “skin counselor” Julia Barna cupped lavender oil in her palms for me to inhale, before cupping my forehead with one hand while using the other to rub the tension away near the top of my neck and around my shoulders.

A rose quartz crystal Sculpty Heart Gua Sha tool is used during a treatment, one of many tools said to help massage the skin, boost circulation, and more.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

After applying a mango turmeric cleanser to my dehydrated skin, an enzymatic radiance peel was applied. Then the acupressure massage began, with Barna rubbing my neck and jaw — zeroing in on the jaw muscle with ferocity — before shifting into light pinching motions up the sides of my mouth and cheeks. With a serum on my face to prevent the skin from being pulled or dragged, rubber cone-shaped cupping tools said to stimulate lymphatic drainage were applied briefly across my face.

Facial rollers
Different facial rollers on display at Skin Camp.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

A peaches-and-cream hydrating mask came next and after it was removed, a spiky Goldie tool was rolled across my face in an upward motion to, I was told, stimulate collagen as was the so-called Face Sculptor with its two squeezing rolling balls that mimic massage. (The salon is like a showroom for these colorful, mesmerizing tools made by owner Karina Sulzer’s other L.A.-based brand, Skin Gym.)


When she’s finished, my skin looks a little red and blotchy. To dial the red back to pink, Barna applies a chilled pink quartz roller to my skin and eases the puffiness under my eyes with chilled glass Cryo Globes, which are said to help improve circulation. At the end, my face looked hydrated, pink and plumped up.

I admit, it’s a step up from my usual post-workout glow.

Skin Camp might not be a workout, but it is decidedly relaxing self-care.

Skin Camp


Where: 8240 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

Price: $40 for a 15-minute treatment and up. $80 for Train session. Monthly memberships are available.