In 2004, aesthetician Danuta Mieloch left NYC, where she’d spent a decade tending to the pores of fashionistas all over the city, to open a place in Philadelphia. She was looking for a change of pace.
What she got was a steady stream of New Yorkers who would make the hour-and-fifteen-minute commute to Philly just for her pampering facials at Rescue Spa.
“We had constant requests to open in [NYC],” says Mieloch, 51, who was born in Poland and trained in Paris.
So, this past winter, Mieloch opened up a Rescue Spa in the Flatiron District, conveniently across from chic veggie-forward restaurant abcV, with which she shares many customers. The serene spa offers manicures, blowouts, massages and body treatments, but most come for Rescue’s lifting, massage-centered facials, completed with products from cult-favorite French skin-care brand Biologique Recherche.
The results-driven line is beloved by well-to-do skin-care junkies, who shell out for items such a milk cleanser ($33), brewer’s yeast mask ($70) and P50 1970 ($67 for 5.1 oz), a holy-grail product that exfoliates, tones and brightens the skin. For a while, ordering through Rescue Spa’s Web site was the only way to purchase the products in the US, although the supply source has since expanded.
A few months into her return, Mieloch says she’s found a handful of differences between New Yorkers and Philadelphians. While Rescue’s Bio-Lift facial (1 hour, from $200) is the most-requested service in the smaller city, Gothamites are more likely to ask for the Fix It All facial (90 minutes, from $300), which includes mild microdermabrasion, gentle peels, massage and a finale of microcurrent and brightening light therapy.
“I think New Yorkers are sort of like, ‘I’m getting in, I want everything done,’ ” says Mieloch. And while those in Philly often needed Mieloch’s guidance with developing a skin-care regimen, she says, “The New York client is really educated with what is out there, what they should be doing.”
Still, Mieloch says she has a few lessons for locals.
First and foremost, lay off the facial oils. “People use too many oils — especially young people with breakouts,” says Mieloch. She worries that without any stabilizers, the lipids can break down and clog pores. “Oil oxidizes on your skin . . . it turns rancid really quickly.”
Those who do use oils need to exfoliate carefully, she says, “so you’re not just putting more oil and [balms] on the skin that already has buildup,” she says.
New Yorkers should also watch out for the city’s grime. “Pollution is a big deal,” says Mieloch. “Different kinds of environments can have an effect on your skin — you get a buildup, you get blackheads, you get rough skin.”
She recommends double-cleansing for the purest clean (either with two different cleansers, or the same one twice), removing the first with water and the second with a washcloth for a gentle manual exfoliation, and finishing it off with chemical exfoliation via upward swipes of P50 toner on a cotton pad.
Written by Molly Shea for New York Post
“You have to take special care of your skin during the winter months when the humidity is low and heating systems dry out the air,” says Danuta Mieloch, renowned esthetician and owner of Rescue Spa with locations in both Philadelphia and New York City. She suggests moisturizing often with products rich in hyaluronic acid and avoiding any harsh ingredients that could trigger an allergic reaction. And for brides, Mieloch says it’s especially important to “establish a good skincare regimen now, and make sure to follow through with it on a daily basis.”
Truth be told, every product from cult-favorite French brand Biologique Recherche is worth splurging on, but this anti-aging serum should be at the top of your list. With 27 active ingredients (think amino acids and cranberry and wasabi extracts), Le Grand Serum firms and hydrates tired skin—and gives your face an unbelievable glow that’s sure to garner compliments.
To say I’m obsessed with skincare would be a huge understatement, I’m an esthetician after all, among many other things, and in constant search for the next miracle product, antioxidant-rich superfood, or beauty sanctuary to increase my outer-glow.
When I heard Rescue Spa (*RS) of Philadelphia was opening a New York City location, my beauty prayers had been answered. I discovered their e-commerce site a few years ago when I realized they carry cult-favorite skincare brand, Biologique Recherche (*BR). A super effective french skincare line that uses a clinical and holistic approach to skincare using pure, concentrated, and raw ingredients. BR was developed 40 years ago to please dissatisfied professionals in the beauty and skincare industry, and boy did they. It’s one of the most coveted skincare brands to-date with a product inventory ranging from face, to body, to hair-care.
Being a skincare nerd, it was both a privilege and honor to meet Rescue Spa owner and founder, Danuta Mieloch, who’s also a master esthetician. She’s delightful, full of pure positive energy; one of those lovely people you meet and immediately feel at ease with. Not to mention, she’s a serious badass in the skincare industry. Danuta is a wealth of knowledge and made talking about skincare easy and approachable. She performed their most popular facial, the ‘BIO-LIFT’ using you guessed it, BR products. What’s unique about the BIO-LIFT facial is that it uses round foam pads with electric current to stimulate, tighten, and tone facial muscles.
The BR product line is so advanced in treating different skin types, the products are totally customizable to your OWN unique skin type, which is one of the reasons their products are so effective. Before the lift portion of the facial, Danuta began with a warm steam, cleanse, extractions (zero redness afterwards), and a light microdermabrasion before the microcurrent (the lifting part), which produces a slight tingling sensation on the skin and subtle metal taste in your mouth (which is totally normal). Following the microcurrent is a facial massage before being layered in a wonderful blend of serums and moisturizers. Skin glows SO hard after this treatment, I didn’t have to wear a touch of makeup for a week.
The treatment left my skin feeling refreshed – smooth, even, firm, and plump – no puffiness, hello, cheekbones! A perfect treatment for a special occasion, but also for monthly maintenance to keep your facial tone lifted the natural way. Essentially, this treatment is as if you sent your face to a gym for the day, minus the sweat and hard work. Danuta explained our skin regenerates every 28-days, give or take a few depending on age, so this treatment is perfect for keeping skin in tip-top shape on a monthly basis for a serious glow
For those who call NYC home, or who are planning a visit, make sure Rescue Spa is at the top of your list for serious pampering from head-to-toe. Their NYC location offers full-body treatments, massages, manicures, hair services – cut and color, makeup application, and their detailed facial menu has the perfect solution for every skin type. If there’s an oasis in NYC, this is definitely it. Guests are greeted by sweet smiles and warm personalities. The space is a large, white,loft-like space, filled with beautiful light and located in the Flatiron section of NYC. The front of RS is filtered with exceptional skincare and beauty products, and guests are escorted to a “tea bar,” with fresh fruits and cucumber water upon arrival. Once in the treatment room, it feels like you’re states away from NYC – white brick walls, brass mirrors, and natural wood shelving make you feel instantly at home and super cozy as you tuck yourself under the sheet in prep for your treatment. Rescue Spa is the ultimate destination for self-love and for getting your inner and outer glow on. If you can’t make a visit to their NYC (or Philadelphia) location, you can access the next best thing: using BR products (available here) for achieving your ultimate skin-glow.
While at RS, I took this opportunity to get the 411 on Biologique products from Danuta to see what the hype is on using the one-and-only P50 toner that’s a must in almost everyone’s beauty cabinet.
THE LOWDOWN ON BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE PRODUCTS
Q. BR is praised in the skincare world, why are their products so loved and coveted by all? Is it worth taking the plunge to use Biologique Recherche products?
A. There’s so much love that goes into the process of creating and developing BR products. It’s about craftsmanship with this brand and family heritage, which is greatly respected and appreciated in France. The products are produced and made in a highly concentrated hand-crafted way that’s sustainable in a beautiful lab outside of Paris. The smell of most of the BR products are musky and strong, but it’s because the ingredients are raw, fresh, and active. Activating skin cells and penetrating for optimal results. There’s a beautiful authenticity behind the products and great love that makes it so desirable and the products produce exceptional results for various skin types.
Q. What’s your top selling BR product? (Like I should have even asked, ha.)
A. P50 1970, hands down. It’s basically a facial in a bottle, or a magical potion if you will. It exfoliates and balances the pH of your skin. Think of it as a probiotic for your skin. It also hydrates, but having a healthy pH means healthy, beautiful glowing skin and so for that alone it’s worth it and makes it stand out over other facial toners on the market.
Q. What’s the best product to start with if purchasing BR for the first time?
A. Of course it’s going to be our best seller, the P50 toner. We P50 1970 for everyone. It’s the most effective version of the toner and most commonly used, but for more sensitive skin, there’s a milder version available, too – the P50V.
Q. What is it about P50 toner that makes it so great?
A. Aside from balancing your skin’s pH level and overall promoting healthy skin, one of the superstar ingredients is Lactic Acid, which helps to brighten, exfoliate, and even skin tone, but in a gentle way without drying skin or causing peeling like so many other toners can do. It’s effective and packs a serious punch, while still being gentle on skin, which is why it is so cult-worthy.
Skincare experts who can truly alter your skin through touch, assessment and advice are rare. Danuta Mieloch, owner of Rescue Spa, meets that criteria and more, which is why women like beauty industry innovator/Glossier founder Emily Weiss and supermodel Naomi Campbell seek her treatments. And the newest Rescue Spa outpost in New York, a glamorous Flatiron space with a beauty boutique and services that include makeup, hair, nails, facials and soon massages, is a testament to Danuta’s expertise. (The original Rescue Spa, which is a now a 7,000 square foot space, launched in Philadelphia in 2004.) A facial with Danuta is a personalized experience—one I was lucky to experience (and plan on returning for more). She is obsessed with finding your glow and keeping it by scrutinizing your routines and habits, using the latest machines and recommending products. As high tech as a Rescue Spa facial is, perhaps the most important factor is the old-school hands-on approach that takes years of practice and an innate sensibility to master. Lucky for all us, Danuta thrives on mentoring up-and-coming estheticians. And, if you don’t live in New York, you can still get personalized, expert skincare advice on her site by just picking up the phone (1-866-772-2766).
Please tell us what you do and why: I’m skincare expert or esthetician and owner of Rescue Spa. The reason I decided to open my own business is because I worked in this industry for years and was frustrated at how inadequate the services are. I was always shorthanded with products or equipment or therapies that I wanted to incorporate. Opening my own business means I’m in charge so I can pick any product I like for my service, any machines, and finally I could realize myself as a skincare therapist.
You just recently launched in New York. Why? I used to live in New York and I’ve always loved it. I decided I wanted to be back in the city and I started looking, not super actively, but just keeping my eye open. I was invited for a Deepak Chopra and Eddie Stern talk at ABC. I was sitting at ABC Cocina and I saw a store for rent. I walked out and looked through the window. It is a beautiful building, high ceilings, great columns. It had that old New York feel so I decided to call the landlord. That was it and here we are.
What do you want your clients to feel when they walk into one of your spas? A form of relaxation and feeling they are in the bigger space. You are surrounded by beautiful things, a beautiful environment, and a relaxing atmosphere at the same time. We are a city spa. It’s not maybe like a traditional spa that you would enter in a hotel. It’s a little bit more buzz-y because we’re in an urban space. We have hair, we have makeup application as well but our specialty is skincare.
You do offer so many services, which is unusual for many spas. Why? As a consumer myself, I don’t like to run from place to place to get beautified. It’s nice to come into one location, especially in New York, and have A to Z so you can start with your day. Right now we’re not offering massages but in a month or two we will. You can have a massage, facial, manicure/pedicure, while your feet are drying you can have your blowout or a haircut and so forth and then makeup done. You basically don’t have to leave.
What do you love most about what you do? Skincare is my passion. I think the biggest pleasure is for me helping women navigate their skincare ritual and routine and helping them feel better about themselves. I also enjoy the fact that I teach and mentor younger estheticians.
What is your approach to skincare? Consistency–like with anything else, diet, exercise and lifestyle. It’s what we do every day that counts. It’s that ritual–doing your skincare regimen every day. Women who do their step one through three, cleanse thoroughly, exfoliate, and hydrate always have the best skin.
We tend to cut corners. As a human being, it’s a normal part of nature, ‘Oh, I might skip this. I might skip that.’ You can’t. You have to cleanse well in order to have good skin. You have to get rid of that buildup, that dead skin and dirt.
What a client comes to you what are they getting? The choices of the products I carry. My favorite line is Biologique Recherche. It’s an amazing line that delivers. Then it’s all about the assessment of the skin. Often times women are confused what they should be doing for their skin and it’s just sending everybody on the right path. There’s so much information out there. Everybody is reading the internet. There are so many new things coming into the beauty. Sometimes it can be confusing to navigate this world.
With the right system, the testimonials speak for themselves. Today I had a client who came in and she said, ‘Let me show you this picture. This is three months before I started using your regimen and I went to your spa in Philadelphia and I live in New York. I’m so happy you guys are here.’ She had acne and then her acne subsided and she has healthy skin. I hear this every day.
What’s special about us is we actually spend that time. It’s not something rushed. It’s more comprehensive approach than just, “Here it is” and use a script. You know? We take a more holistic and comprehensive approach. What can be done? Sometimes the road to better skin for a teenager is to really educate them how to cleanse their skin. Literally, physically, ‘That’s the pressure you should be using. That’s how you should be massaging your skin’ and maybe using a washcloth and making sure you’re removing everything, all the buildup and oil and possibly makeup.
Usually girls wear makeup and they might not be cleansing enough. Or they might be putting oils because they’ll say, ‘Oh my God. I’m dry.’ No, you’re not. You just need to exfoliate.
What is the most common mistake women make when it comes to their skincare regimen? It’s usually that–not cleansing properly. Or maybe using wrong products. We know how to clean our body, we know how to brush our teeth. I think with the face, women are slightly confused. Am I supposed to touch? Not touch? Wipe?
The face is the most exposed part of our body. It needs that thorough cleansing but at the same time not harsh. If you remove buildup and soften the skin, all the products that come after work all that much better.
Talking about Rescue Spa as a business, what was the easiest part for you when you started? What was the hardest part? I love what I do. That was the easiest part. I just know I can do a fabulous facial. I practice. I work at it. To give a good massage, to understand the muscles, to understand the skin, to understand the functions of the skin takes years of practice and you sort of inherit it, that understanding and common sense. I have that. I knew I could manage that aspect of it.
I think the thoroughly new aspect was managing people–but my approach is more coming from being a mentor and inspiring my staff and sharing. I currently have around 90 employees.
One of your attributes that helps you succeed: I love people. I love helping. I also try to meet where everybody is and try to understand everybody, just listen. I think listening is very important.
Role models: I think any woman in business is a role model for me. Also because I’m Polish, Helena Rubenstein is a role model because at the beginning of 1900 she sailed to Australia, started her own business and then traveled the world and built this incredible company.
Best career advice you received: The best education I had, which I get to appreciate now, is from my mom. It’s applying regimens and rituals. For me, it’s all about rituals and habits. We can all have good habits and bad habits, and I always encourage everybody to replace the bad habits with a good habit and watch the results. That goes with skin care, lifestyle, diet, exercise, even habits of thinking badly and correcting that with a happier thought. I think my mom taught me to create good habits and stick to them. She’s 83 and still inspires me. She’s more focused on helping other people than herself.
What has been your biggest success so far? My biggest pleasure is watching some of my employees grow with me. I have employees who have been with me from very beginning, and usually it’s very young women. It’s not like we’re attorneys and so forth. The beauty industry attracts girls who love all things beauty, but don’t necessarily have the proper education. I try to inspire them to go to beauty school, to get their diplomas.
For example, I have this girl in Philadelphia, when she was 18 she started helping and making coffee and tea for our guests, then, she moved on to work at the front desk and now she’s an assistant manager and she’s only 28 and she’s just blossoming. That is the biggest satisfaction, watching my employees grow with me and build our business. Today, I think the companies from the past are in the past. Working with Millennials you have to open up more to sharing.
What do you think your biggest dud and what did you learn from it? Business-wise I usually take risks and then I don’t look back.
What motivates you? I have 90 employees to be responsible for. That motivates me every morning to get up and show up, to practice what I preach.
What’s next for Rescue Spa? You just opened so maybe you’re not thinking that far ahead… Yeah, I think I’m okay for now. I’m really interested in keeping the company manageable, where I can be present in both places.
But we also have to keep growing. We have a beautiful online presence, which is incredible. It’s our biggest outreach. You can get skin care consultations over the phones. We have amazing experts and amazing relationships that have been built. You don’t have to be in New York. You can be in the middle of the country and call us. You can send a picture. We’ll look at your skin and can help you navigate your skin care regimen. That aspect of the business is growing beautifully. Yet we’re still keeping that experience personal.
Desert island product: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. I call it facial in a bottle. It’s like your probiotic for the skin. It balances your PH. It exfoliates. It rehydrates. It preps the skin. It’s a second step after cleansing. You put on P50 and then you follow with the serum and the moisturizer and so forth. Dr. Allouche, who originally developed this, is brilliant. He and his wife were my professional parents, mentors. I hope to carry on their legacy in that sense. That’s why I’m an ambassador for Biologique Recherche. I love it.
Three words that describe Rescue Spa: Exceptional facial treatments.
Life goals: I live in the moment so I can enjoy every day. I don’t really plan too much in the future. I’m more focused on the daily routine.
Which is? When I wake up in the morning I practice yoga. I try to have a healthy drink–a green juice or the next day I might make ginger lemon water. Then I’m off to work and contributing. I think for me, it’s just creating. Then I always look forward to my evening with friends and having dinner, enjoying my meals. I also love all things spiritual.
How do you unplug? In the morning I start with yoga and meditation. In the evening I finish with a glass of red wine.
Hidden talents or hobbies: I love to cook. I love to take trips. Yoga and spirituality take center stage with my travels, too.
Do you collect anything? Ganesha, little Buddhas. Otherwise, I try to unclutter. I keep struggling with that—living life simply and collecting experiences rather than things. Although I love bags, unfortunately.
Biggest splurge you don’t regret: I guess any bag. I have Hermès, but I like the basic ones as well, so it depends. I’m really funny with brands. I sort of like them, but then I don’t like them, because they are brand names. Basically I like the high and low, you know? Like pairing H&M with something else.
Favorite small indulgence: Lunches at ABC V.
Album currently on repeat: Ed Sheeran, Perfect Symphony.
Scent that brings back memories: There is a candle from Cire Trudon called Spiritus Sancti and it brings back the memory of me, when I was little, going to church with my grandmother.
Lucky charm: Anything with Ganesh.
Favorite hour of the day: Early in the morning first thing when I wake up at 6. I’m always grateful and excited for the new day.
Follow Rescue Spa: Instagram.
all photos Andrew Egan
via The Flair Index
Apply a hydrating mask such as Masque Creme Biofixine and leave it on all day long! Pro Tip: Use it around the eye area as a treatment.
Try mixing Masque Vivant with Masque VIP O2 for a multitasking effect. Vivant purifies and feeds the skin while VIP O2 adds extra moisture that even oiliest skin can benefit from this time of year. Check out our Multimasking tutorial here.
4. When you’re ready to remove your face mask use a warm wet washcloth and follow with layers of your favorite serums and the richest moisturizer you have at home. Our go-to face cream on a harsh winter day is always Valmont Regenera II.
Lips: Apply and reapply Biologique Recherche Biokiss as often as needed.
Hair: Massage Gloss Moderne Luxury Hair Masque onto the ends of your hair. Pull hair into a ponytail or bun and leave on all day for a super repairing treatment. Rinse away and reveal the silkiest strands.
Light a candle….
Take a bath…
Have a beautiful Snow Day!
Since opening in New York just a few months ago, Danuta Mieloch’s Rescue Spa has managed to attract some of Manhattan’s boldest-face beauty names. Pat McGrath is something of a regular—“I appreciate her feedback because she knows a good canvas,” says Meiloch—while Glossier founder Emily Weiss has also popped into the airy treatment and retail concept, conveniently located across the street from abcV, chef Jean Georges Vongerichten’s plant-based palace in the Flatiron District.
That kind of welcome is due to Mieloch’s impressive ability to tone facial muscles, cleanse pores, and curate performance-based product lines—not to mention an enviable word-of-mouth reputation that has followed the Polish-born aesthetician from Philadelphia, where she opened her flagship in 2004. There is something personal—and almost spiritual—about a service at Rescue, which comes directly from Mieloch’s own approach to beauty and wellness, that is worth tapping into as New Year’s resolutions come and go. Rather than set unattainable skin goals this year, the student of Ashtanga yoga suggests committing to a manageable daily ritual—make that a nightly ritual—with the five “small tweaks,” below. Here’s to better skin-care habits and a bit of self-love in 2018.
Commit to Double Cleansing
Try treating your skin the moment you get home from work, rather than waiting until you get ready for bed, suggests Mieloch, who begins her routine by slipping into some loungewear and double cleansing. “Thorough cleansing for me is a religion,” she says, recommending a massage with a mild milky cleanser, such as Biologique Recherche Lait U, to remove dirt and grime—and to create a moment of intimacy by releasing tension with touch. Remove with a warm washcloth, and follow with a second, heavier cleanser, such as Valmont Face Scrub.
Get Serious About Exfoliation
Exfoliation is an “essential prep step for everything that follows,” insists Mieloch, who has been preaching from the gospel of Biologique Recherche Lotion P50—a pore-clearing tonic containing lactic and salicylic acids—since the late ’90s. “I apply it with a cotton pad in sweeping upward movements to increase circulation,” she says.
Alternate Your Serums
It’s important to switch up your serums so you are giving your skin concentrated treatment ingredients on some nights, and concentrated nourishing ingredients on others, advises Mieloch. To help build collagen with active antioxidants, she recommends Environ Vita Peptide C-Quence Serum 1, which is packed with vitamins A and C, while Valmont Dermo-Structuring Master Factor III treats dehydration that is often caused by hormonal imbalances. “I also love Medical Beauty Research Liquid Surgery Serum,” Mieloch says of the German brand that recently debuted at Rescue Spa. “It’s like the Rolls-Royce of formulas,” she enthuses of the lightweight fluid that tightens without drying.
Make Your Mask Count
#Masking may be all the rage on Instagram, but there are masks, and then there are masks, insists Mieloch, who indulges in a curated selection of these deep treatments twice a week. “This is medical-grade collagen!” she says of Valmont’s “concentrated, not goopy” Regenerating Mask. She also recommends Biologique Recherche Crème Mask Vernix, named for the waxy and protective coating that babies are born with on their epidermis. “I call it a second skin,” she says of the creamy, lipid-rich salve.
Respect the Mind-Body Connection
The last step in Mieloch’s New Year’s ritual has nothing to do with ingredients or application techniques. “Most important, we need to manage our time with technology,” she says. Try turning off your cell phone when you get home at night and leaving it in another room until you wake up in the morning, she advises: “It’s the biggest small tweak you can make for yourself—and your skin.”