THIS CULT FACIALIST GAVE ME BOUNCY MARSHMALLOW SKIN
Danuta Mieloch of Rescue Spa has clients like Naomi Campbell and Pat McGrath.
Last year, Rescue Spa opened in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood and has become a new obsession among beauty editors. The owner, Danuta Mieloch, whose facials run around $500, came barreling into the city (her original spa is in Philadelphia) with a talent and sprawling, extremely chic spa like we haven’t seen in a long time. She’s gotten raves from Vogue, Allure, New York, and Into the Gloss. Clients include Pat McGrath, Naomi Campbell, Amber Valletta, Sophia Amoruso, Eva Chen—and now, naturally, me.
That said, I went in for my first facial at Rescue Spa ready to be a critic. I have a complicated sensitive skin/hormonal acne situation that I’ve found most estheticians aren’t equipped to deal with, and I also find that most facialists have a terrible, bullying, know-it-all-complex about skin care (especially acne) that will drive you to never return. Jane Larkworthy wrote about this phenomenon beautifully.
But Mieloch is as much a psychic remedy as she is a technical wizard. She listened to my diatribe about all the things I’ve tried, didn’t scold me, asked lots of questions, and suggested solutions that lined up with what I’ve already come to know about my skin. There was no “You’ve got it all wrong, everyone you’ve ever talked to is wrong, I will save you!” speech. Instead, she told me what she has been through herself with her own acne, what she thinks I might like (not must do or I’ll die), and then proceeded with such thorough and meticulous extractions that my face had soft, buttery, marshmallow skin for a month afterward. I haven’t felt anything like that in a long time. I would have been petting my cheeks from dawn to dusk if that wasn’t something that could trigger more acne, and my breakouts went down from one a day to about one a week. Mieloch made a devotee out of me, and the Biologique Recherche-heavy routine she suggested—including, yes, P50—has been working really well (though I plan to give it one more month—remember, I’m a skeptic).
Here are some of the important skin care lessons that Mieloch—who tells me she’s done approximately 10,000 facials in her career!—gave me about skin care:
GOOD SKIN CARE IS LIKE GOOD FITNESS
“I love everybody’s skin, and every skin has its own positives and some challenges. If it’s acne, it’s usually a person with oilier skin, so they don’t have to battle wrinkles. If it’s super dry skin, dehydrated, then we can moisturize more. There’s always an answer, and you can always improve the skin at any age because skin is a living organ that regenerates itself. If you get a cut, it heals. It might be not an overnight sensation, but if we develop a plan, we’ll make it work. That’s how life works. You go to a personal trainer; it’s not an overnight thing.”
DO THE DOUBLE CLEANSE
“Never go to bed without double cleansing your skin. Most of us wear makeup, sunscreen, or a more occlusive cream during the daytime to protect ourselves from the environment. It stays on your skin, oftentimes it’s waterproof, so you need to break it down. Massage your cleanser in and remove that first, and then use a second cleanse for more of a treatment, where you’re really softening and preparing your skin to receive the next step.”
TRY MILK CLEANSERS
“I love a milky cleanser across the board, for two reasons: If you’re using an oil cleanser it might soften your skin, however, once you remove the oil, it still leaves that film. Long term, it’s not a good solution. And then, the sudsy and the more foamy cleansers, they might over-strip you.”
“Cleansing just using your hands only is not enough. You need to really massage; you really need to use your fingers to get into little crevices. Then it’s best to remove it using a washcloth, this way you’re assisting to removing all the buildup. I like the muslin cloths. Or softer, gentler ones, like a baby cloth.”
“I’m happy how people are really pay attention to nutrition. All of a sudden we heard about bone broth, and that’s the best thing for your skin because it’s packed with protein. Our skin is protein; you want the proper protein and fat content, like avocados, and eating things that are collagen-dense.”
BUT BE CAREFUL WITH DIETS
“Dieting is really harmful for skin. Finding your happy weight, and staying within that is really important, because each time you dramatically diet, your collagen fibers are collapsing. Think about: If you lose so much weight, all of a sudden you have stretch marks, your skin is loose, and so forth. As a young girl, it’s not a problem. But as you get older, collagen fibers are not as elastic; so each time you lose so much weight, it’s almost like losing after pregnancy, it takes time to recuperate.”
“Extractions are controversial because they can also spread bacteria. So you have to be really, really careful. By saying I believe in extractions, it’s only if I do them. [Laughs] I know the consequences of what I’ve done, and I can warn my clients [about the healing process afterward]. When people do them at home they squeeze inward, but you have to stretch out and pop up. You’re going under the skin, and pushing it out. You want to feel that the bottom of the pimple is cleared out. But you have to be trained and have done thousands of facials. If you’re tempted or you have that nagging whitehead that is right there, then only do it after a shower, when skin is totally softened, being so gentle, and really sterilizing. Remembering that extractions need to apply alcohol or something antiseptic afterward, because it’s almost like you are puncturing the skin. You have an opening; it’s like mini surgery.”
SHE’S IN THE P50 CLUB
“It’s the most magical product I’ve come across. P50 is created to balance the pH of the skin, so it’s a little bit like probiotic for your skin. Our skin constantly struggles to stay at the right pH, which is 5.5. When you’re young, you’re more acidic. That’s why younger people have more breakouts—acne loves that state. As you get older, you’re much more alkaline—dryness, dehydration. If you’re balancing your skin with pH, the skin does not have to spend its energy to balance the pH; it spends energy to heal. It’s like a factory, there’s only so much you can pull out of it. The more healthy environment you create for your skin, the better it is.”
INDEED, ADULT FEMALE ACNE IS ON THE RISE
“I think more and more women battle acne, even in their 30s, adult acne. It’s hard to point where the culprit is. It might be [the] fact that we don’t have children as early, or hormonal imbalances, or things like that. It’s hard to tell, with stress and pollution and all that stuff. I think everybody’s different; everybody has different skin, and it’s best to really seek advice first, really expert advice, and then follow that regime and see how it’s working, observing. Getting in tune with your skin I think is the best.”
SHE TRAINED LIKE A NURSE
“I studied skincare in Poland. It’s a three-year study after high school to be an esthetician. You study like a nurse alongside with doctors and nurses, and then you just kind of take up the front direction in the second year and third year. An esthetician is more like a hygienist for a dentist, so you can do certain things more. You can extract deeper, you can remove skin tags and things like that in Poland because it’s an actual profession. I think it’s going this way here.”
“I love this facial: So between being lazy and pregnant and then nursing for 9 months for each kid, I’ve basically slacked on skincare for a solid four years. I’m beginning to inch back into taking care of my skin and the Biologique Remodeling facial at Rescue Spa helped to kick start that. I never got as many compliments on my skin as I did after getting this facial… I don’t know if it was the LED lights, the electric currents, or the tons of facial massage but… the combination works. I think I’ll get this (not inexpensive, alas) facial 4 times a year.” –Eva Chen
ELLE: You mentioned you love skincare. What are your top three must-have items?
Lucy Hale: BIODERMA Micellar Water… And then there’s this toner that I guess has been around for a really long time by Biologique Recherche USA. It’s the P50 lotion that is notorious for smelling really weird. It smells like fennel, so I get really weird about wearing it, but it’s pretty magical. It’s from some European country. It’s hard to find, even hard to find online. I can’t find it in LA; I can only find it New York. I think a place called Rescue Spa NYC sells all their stuff.
ELLE: I was just looking at their Instagram (@rescuespa) yesterday!
Lucy Hale: You have to go there anyway because it’s amazing. 100 percent. There’s this girl, Diana Chiticari Yerkes; I’ve only been twice but usually what I do is I walk in and tell them my needs and concerns and just let them do whatever.
For Europeans, taking superfood supplements is far from a fringe concept. Pharmacies there have been stocking detoxifying milk thistle and skin-renewing spirulina for quite some time, alongside other body-enhancing fixes like cellulite creams and compression tights. The cult Parisian skin care brand Biologique Recherche recently teamed up with French nutritionist Pascale Modaï to create Griffonia & L-Tyrosine ($111), a medicinal-sounding pill formulated with Griffonia simplicifolia plant extract and an amino acid — together they work as precursors to dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin, which might regulate mood and motivation. – T Magazine
“Rescue Spa is heaven on earth. After snapping into a terrycloth cover-up, I lay down, and Danuta Mieloch, the spa’s founder and owner, looks at my face and asks me what I want. I tell her what I’m sure she hears all day: “I just want it to feel a bit brighter. More glow-y.” And with that, she analyzes my skin and tells me that I need to exfoliate more, but says other than that, I’m actually pretty good. In a time where everyone is trying to sell more and more and more, it’s nice to fully trust someone.
The next 90 minutes are spent massaging, toning, microcurrent-ing, and using Biologique Recherche for the first time. People complain about the smell, and maybe it’s just being a native New Yorker, but I honestly wasn’t bothered. After what felt like the most relaxing and educational facial of my life (Mieloch walked me through everything), I couldn’t believe the way my skin looked and felt. It was as if good lighting was following me everywhere once I left.
Their facials can go for over $300, but Mieloch says I only need one a season (like I said, honesty!).I leave Rescue Spa with a small black bag of products and a mission to go get the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device. The device uses tiny electric pulses to stimulate the muscles in the face, which improves circulation for better collagen production and a smooth, tightened face. The results are almost instant. In days, some fine lines disappearing and my cheeks are more prominent. After a long week, it’s a pretty good fake for eight hours of sleep.” – Coveteur
A Sophisticated Rose Layered with Soft and Earthy Musk
The special edition Rose Poivrée, candle was created by Cire Trudon in partnership with designer Giambattista Valli to celebrate the 2010 opening of his first store on rue Boissy d’Anglas in Paris.
The bouquet of fresh and lush roses evokes Marie Antoinette’s love of the flower. A hint of Tuscan black pepper at the heart of the rose delivers subtle, unexpected harmony.
- Size: 9.5 oz
- top note : Lily of the Valley, Madagascar Pepper, Tangerine
- middle : Amber, Palmarosa, Rose.
- base : Musks, Sandalwood
- 60 Hour burn time
What beauty product do you splurge on?
The Bio-Lift Facial is one the spa’s most requested services, “lauded for its supreme lifting, sculpting, and firming.” One session is $200 for 60 minutes at the New York location. – #patmcgrath
Your skin is beautiful! What does the world’s most famous makeup artist use?
“I love, love, love Lotion P50 by Biologique Recherche.”
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