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Union Street MedSpa

Spa Skin Care in A Doctor’s Hands

Some people don’t like being touched by strangers. Well, that would include me. I’m not particularly fond of being accosted by lecherous men on a bus. But, when it comes to spa treatments, I’ll make an exception. Not the lecherous men part, but the touching part. You must trust the person giving you your spa facial, and after my first one about eight years ago, I put my faith in skin care specialists. My skin was clearer and softer than it had been in years, not to mention how relaxed the whole process made me feel.

San Francisco has more than enough spas where estheticians can make my skin glow. We’ve got spas that are sleek and modern, earthy and holistic, and even ones with hot springs. So it should really be to no one’s surprise that there would be one with a medical theme called Union Street MedSpa, located on Union Street near Franklin.

But what is a med spa? Spas have always been known throughout history for their rejuvenating and healing powers. Not feeling old or infirm, though, I wasn’t sure what a medical spa could do for me.

But the name “MedSpa” is not just for show. Dr. Sandra Morrow, owner and director of the spa, has all the credentials: medical school at George Washington University, a Masters in Public Health and a fellowship in environmental medicine. In addition to running the spa, Dr. Morrow is on the teaching faculty at the University of California, San Francisco as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. The other members of the spa staff are no slouches in the medical area either. They’re experienced registered nurses, physicians’ assistants and certified estheticians, qualified to administer the wide variety of skin care choices the Union Street MedSpa offers.

Union Street MedSpa, open for about a year and a half, has more than the traditional facials, those of which run from $95 for an anti-acne facial up to $155 for a 90 minute Union Street Deluxe Facial. These other offerings, some that require the need of a medical specialist, include laser hair removal (starting at $99 for one treatment for lip hair, up to $550 for one full back treatment), microdermabrasion (a deep exfoliation of your skin starting at $99 for your first treatment), and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photorejuvenation, a process that uses intense pulsed light (IPL) to reduce brown and red spots, remove small veins and unwanted freckles, even out skin tone, reduce flushing, and smooth out the skin on the face and body. IPL treatments start at $375 for one treatment to the face, up to $675 for one treatment to the face, neck, chest and hands. Give them a call or check their website ( for more services and prices.

Tricia O’Neill was my skin care specialist when I made my visit. Tricia has been bringing out the best in people’s skin for nine years. After receiving her training in New York City at the Lia Schorr Institute for Advanced Skin Care, her experience includes work as an esthetician and educator for salons and spas such as Estee Lauder, Mario Badescu, Millefleurs Day Spa, and Jurlique Wellness Day Spa. As the phrase goes, I was in good hands.

As any good facial should start with, Tricia and I first discussed the state of my skin and my skin care routine. After her assessment of my problem issues, Tricia created a custom treatment for my sensitive skin. While the variety of masks she applied to my face worked their magic, Tricia kneaded away at my tense neck and massaged my hands and feet. Feeling relaxed always shows in your skin, and this is included in the price of the Deluxe Facial.

The spa itself was clean and comfortable. Mostly white and off white chairs couches, cabinets, tables, etc. are set throughout the sunny front reception room and waiting room. As for the room where I got the facial, it was peaceful and quiet and I couldn’t hear an excessive amount of street noise. There’s nothing like hearing car horns or the beeping of a truck backing up to take you out of your relaxed state of mind.

I should add that the other staff members who I talked to at the reception desk were friendly and cheerful, which isn’t always my experience at other spas, where employees can often be “too cool for you.” Happily blessed out after my 90 minutes in the spa, I kept that glow of happiness long into my evening. And of course, the added glow to my skin lasted me many days after that.

By the way, while waiting for my appointment, the only two other clients I saw were men. A good percentage of the customers are male and come in for all the kinds of treatments they offer there. Men, don’t by shy about this. Your skin needs care, too.

Union Street MedSpa
1612 Union Street
between Franklin and Gough in The Marina
San Francisco, CA 94123

Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 11am – 8pm
Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays: 11am – 6pm
Sundays by appointment