Good Facial

Treatment we had: One-hour European facial with salicylic-acid peel, $150.

What we liked: Want an expert skin consultation but find a dermatologist’s office or med spa sterile? Consider a facial at Toka.

When I called to book an appointment, I asked if I had to choose a specific facial from its menu. I was told the aesthetician would determine which facial I needed. Sure enough, at the start of my visit, Linda Hardiman, the aesthetician, spent more than ten minutes determining what my face needed—by asking questions and examining my skin—before beginning steam, extractions, and ultimately a salicylic-acid peel for my clogged pores. The peel burned, as peels usually do, but a thorough shoulder-and-neck massage melted away the pain.

What you should know: This is not a day spa; it’s a salon with spa services. The treatment room I was in was little more than a closet, but the bed is heated and the room is clean and spacious enough for the therapist to move around.

Bottom line: The treatment was professionally done, and it worked—my skin, although blotchy where extractions were performed, cleared within the week.

Toka Salon & Day Spa, 3251 Prospect St., NW, Suite 19; 202-333-5133; 801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, 202-628-5133;

>> See all 2009 Great Day Spas