Kabuki Springs & Spa

Eco beauty is about more than just using great organic products or the latest miracle oil. Striving for natural beauty means putting overall wellbeing first. Getting enough sleep and exercise, drinking plenty of water, eating nutritiously, and staying relaxed are vital to feeling and looking great.

For instance, my skin is brighter and clearer, and the circles under my eyes retreat, when I am the least stressed. For these reasons, as well as other health reasons, I put a high priority on de-stressing activities like soaking in a hot tub or getting a massage. Soaking in hot water and sitting in steam rooms and saunas are time-tested methods for unwinding, but they also help flush toxins out of the body, improving skin and the immune system.

Recently, I was delighted to add a new favorite spot for soaking to my list (which also includes The Well Within and the Teahouse Spa in Santa Cruz): Kabuki Springs & Spa (kabukisprings.com) in San Francisco’s Japantown. I visited the traditional Japanese-style bathing house on a Sunday, when the communal baths are reserved for women only. Bathers gather in one large, dim and tranquil room that holds a large hot pool, a cold plunge pool, an amazing steam room, and a sauna. In between sessions in these pools and rooms, I reflected in the silence and made use of the provided hot tea and cold water (infused with lemons or cucumbers), icy washcloths, sea salts for exfoliating, and sweet-smelling body products. The $25 entrance fee ($22 on weekdays) lets you stay as long as you please. I was reluctant to leave after nearly three hours, but felt plenty Zenned out by the experience.

Kabuki Springs & Spa, 1750 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, (415) 922-6000.