Bridal Facials: Part II

Planning for a wedding can be stressful. I know it’s a beautiful time and all but it can wreck your nerves too. If you’re not already a spa diva, the thought of having to formally attend to your skin by researching a spa and then calling and booking a consultation can be a bit daunting. But believe me, now is not the time to run to CVS to peruse the Oil of Olay or Neutrogena counter because we both know Carrie Underwood, Diane Lane and Michelle Chen do NOT use those products to maintain their skin (You do know that right?) Now is the time to place yourself in the skilled hands of a skin care expert. More often than not, word of mouth is a good way to find a great esthetician. You might also want to ask your co-worker whose skin always looks Hollywood ready who her esthetician is. But can we talk? Would Aishwarya Rai or Kerry Washington ask Audrey Tatou who her esthy is? Well actually they might, but if you are an ethnic beauty you might want to ensure that the esthy has expertise with your skin type. This is critical. Now is not the time to become part of a learning curve for someone inexperienced with your ethnic skin. Myself and the other Rescue Rittenhouse Spa estheticians have years of expertise in diverse skin types as well as problematic ethnic skin. Our brides receive special care because as a bride you are special. Your consultations are free. And we have a dazzling array of the finest global products that ensure bridal beautiliciousness. BTW this week I am obsessed with Carita’s Cotton Mask. Soft aroma, soft texture, soft removal, a lovely product. And Carita’s Velvet Glove hand crème is off the charts luxurious.

Ask yourself these questions when you are searching for your bridal esthetician:

  1. Is she willing to initially consult with me at no cost?
  2. Does she have the product selection to address my specific needs that fit my budget?
  3. Is she trying to sell me a package before I’ve said anything?
  4. Is she listening to me?
  5. What is her experience level with brides?

I suggest you Google your potential esthetician (Yes I’m going there). Research your esthetician like you researched your vendors. A few years ago I heard Oprah say that before she became a gazillionaire she would clean her condo before the housekeeper came to avoid embarrassment. I get a kick when girls come in with freshly scrubbed skin for a consult or facial. Don’t try to drink a gallon of water on the way to the spa. Bring me the real deal- oil, makeup, flaking… everything. That way I can truly assess what’s going on. Depending upon your skin type over cleansing may cause irritation. Come as you are. After all, you’re in good hands at Rescue Rittenhouse Spa.

Love ya,
Linda Harding

Beautiful skin is a matter of choice, not chance.

Skincare has always been my passion. Growing up in Poland, where the weather is harsh, cold-windy winters; dry-sunny summers, caring for your skin is a daily necessity. Naturally I started learning about skin early on, having two older sisters and my mom as my first mentors. My first memories are of applying thick cream to my face and hands, before going out to play in the snow, hearing my mom say “protect your skin, it’s cold outside!”. In the summer we always wore hats and played in the shade (those were the times, before sunscreen).

It was in Poland, where the culture of a beautiful complexion has been always present, that I learned my first skills in maintaining glowing, healthy skin. I was always eager to learn the whole science of health and beauty. While Polish women are known for being practical, at the same time they don’t mind spending money on little jars of luxurious cream a happy balance.

In my later studies in beauty seminars and workshops in Paris, I learned that French women famously take good care of their skin; having a facial once a month is a must for them. I perfected my facial massage in Paris, and I believe in restorative benefits of a well performed facial massage. (I’ll talk more about this subject in an upcoming blog post.)

During this blog post I’ll describe the choices we can make to achieve glowing skin:


I care very much about what I eat. I follow a balanced diet with no specific name, yet I incorporate lots of vegetables, homemade vegetable juices, wheat grass shots, and enjoy my regular restaurant outings. I have never believed in any diet fads, but I do believe in staying the same weight for optimal skin. Losing and gaining weight takes it’s toll on the skin’s elasticity. I also take vitamin supplements that are customized by my naturopathic doctor.


I vary my exercise routine with Ashtanga Yoga, cardio, and I lift weights. So my life is pretty busy, so much that my own skincare regime has to be simple yet effective.

The science of good skincare should not be found just in the laboratory, but also on your bathroom shelves. Instead of thinking about “skin types” I prefer to remember that skin is an ever changing body organ. Our skin conditions change by season, by day, and even throughout a single day. That’s why it’s wise to consult a skincare specialist to develop a step-by-step guide to the best skincare program for you. At Rescue every member of our skincare team is trained to recognize your skin condition and prescribe the best program. We also offer free consultations to everyone, that’s how dedicated we are to beauty.

Good skin care regime

Any good skincare regime begins with proper cleansing. I advise every woman to develop a cleansing ritual which will serve as the necessary foundation of good skincare. Without it you simply cannot achieve healthy, beautiful skin. Everyone can benefit from using a mild cleanser like Biologique Recherche Lait U or Cellcosmet Milky Cleanser. At night I suggest to cleanse twice, with the second cleanse use a washcloth, gently patting, yet making sure the skin is cleansed well. I like to finish off with a cold rinse (an old Polish trick!). As a second step, use a gentle balancing, exfoliating lotion. My favorite is a P50 lotion. I also like Environ alpha beta and hydroxy lotions, because both contain fruit acids which are very effective exfoliators.

Almost everyone’s skin also will benefit from using mild retinols. It is important to start with the lowest level of retinol and then work your way up in intensity. Patience is very important here. It takes a while to get used to using active ingredients. Retinols should only be used at night, and always be sure to protect your skin during the day with an SPF 30 or higher. I like using my retinol every other night and on alternate nights I use antioxidant serums. I never forget to use my eye cream. I have been using eye cream since I was 15! Make it your habit too, you will thank yourself later. I promise.

Also remember that your skincare regime is not just about your face, but your neck, decollete and eyes! Make sure to pay attention to the rest of your body as well. I exfoliate with a body scrub twice a week while I have a facial mask such as Masque Vivant on, and always moisturize my whole body, head to toe.

Finally, have an effective morning routine. Mine is quick and simple. A quick cleanse, P50, serum, and a moisturizer with SPF. This whole process takes literally 2 minutes. I always apply my serum before moisturizer because it helps to keep me hydrated throughout the day. If I have an extra 15 minutes in the morning I’ll use Renewing Pack. It is very refreshing, like a thirst quencher for your face. It gives me an instant glow.

See you next time. Until then remember: beautiful skin is a matter of choice, not chance!

Danuta Mieloch

Owner of Rescue Rittenhouse Spa

danuta mieloch


Staff Pick: Carita’s Intense Smooth Out Micropeel

Like a mini-microderm on your fingers that leave’s your skin looking smooth and just perfect!
The reason why I like this product is because it has active enzymes and exfoliating micro particles.
It’s great to do once or twice a week after cleansing and using P50.
I just love the way it brightens and leaves my skin looking radiant!
– Michele Brand

Get into Retinols!


Clients love to ask questions! And fortunately I usually have the answers. The sad part is, the
answer is almost always the same, retinols. I know, it may sound like a cop-out but it’s true.

Do you wish you could fix any of these skin conditions??

  • hyperpigmentation
  • sun damage
  • acne
  • rough texture
  • fine lines
  • dull complexion
  • dehydration

If you answered yes, then retinols can grant you your wish! Well, almost. Seriously.
While retinols are not a cure, they are definitely a requirement for skin correction.

Now that brings me to my next point. Don’t be afraid. Run, don’t walk. Many people are hesitant to use retinols because they immediately think that their skin will become super sensitive to the sun, peel, and fall off. Well, part of that is true. While using retinols, (and always!!) SPF of 30 (or greater) should be used. And why not? The sun, quite possibly, is the reason you’re in this situation anyway. So yes, direct sun should be avoided, and yes, your skin will exfoliate faster than it normally does.
Fall is the perfect time to refresh and rejuvenate the skin with retinols because of
how our outdoor habits change and providing one less environmental factor to overcome.
And yes, we want the skin to exfoliate. This is nothing to fear. Cell regeneration
through the use of retinols is easy when using Environ, an industry leader in corrective skin care.

Speak with an esthetician during your next visit to Rescue Rittenhouse Spa to determine a plan of action to give you the skin YOU’VE always wanted.

Feel young, look younger!

Samantha Lowe

Bridal Facials

I love brides. I’m that crazy woman you see at weddings who always sits on the end seat of the church pew craning her neck to see every detail of the wedding gown, Kleenex in hand ready to bawl her eyes out. I believe that all brides should be as perfect as possible for that special day because the pictures are for posterity. And it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing Monique or Vera or your Mom’s gown because if your skin is not glowing and beautiful you probably won’t feel as pretty as you should.

With regard to bridal skin the game has changed a bit. The Bridal Book of Beauty
Rules (BBBR) has in many ways become obsolete. Similar to the IT industry, skin
care advances are moving at the speed of light. This is great news for brides because it
makes the road to beautyliciousness easier to navigate with the assistance of the right

The BBBR states that you should never have a facial within 2 weeks of your wedding
date because your face might explode in a mass of zits making you totally unrecognizable
to family and groom. That rule is so not true. But I do understand where it came from.

For 8 years I served as a bridal makeup artist for two prestigious spas on the Main Line.
Often the bride-to-be would book a spa package which included a facial followed by the
makeup trial or actual wedding day makeup application. It would drive me crazy having
to apply foundation over beaten up, irritated skin which resulted after an aggressive
facial. I would wonder who in their right mind actually performs deep extractions or uses
extreme products on a bride the day of her wedding or the week before.

My philosophy is when the wedding date is this close the focus of the esthetician should
be only to enhance the bride’s skin making it pretty and radiant in preparation for that
walk down the aisle.

My brides will come in the week of their wedding to get their facials because of this philosophy. At Rescue Rittenhouse we have the most up-to-date, state of the art equipment as well as world class products to insure ultimate bridal beautyliciousness. I am totally in love with Cellcosmet Gel Activateur which gently dissolves dead layers leaving your skin crazy beautiful and glowing. This product also works well on skin with rosacea since it doesn’t irritate. Cellcosmet is the skin care line placed in the swag bags of Oscar nominees. Need I say more?

And if you are having an evening wedding the Golden Fluide serum by Carita is the must have product splurge for all skin tones. It gives the skin a golden lit from within finish that is unreal. It would also be fabulous for those candle-lit honeymoon evenings.

I have to say, if you have even a tentative wedding date you should be scheduling for a
bridal skin consultation. Six months (or more) ahead is ideal because if you have issues
or problems with your skin you’ll want to allow sufficient time to get it photo ready
and if your skin is perfect I can recommend products to make you a goddess. But my
last minute brides have been known to pop up for a facial the morning of their wedding.

That’s Ok too. After all, they’re at Rescue Rittenhouse Spa.

Love ya,

Linda Harding

To Exfoliate Or Not To Exfoliate…That Is The Question!

No seriously Ladies, that is the big question! So often clients come into my room claiming they’re skin is dry and sensitive and when I ask them about their skin care regimen, most are not exfoliating properly. What happens is dead skin creates a build up which inhibits the skin from functioning properly. This will eventually create problems like dehydration and congestion which leaves the epidermis (the outermost layer) feeling rough, “dry” or broken out and will ultimately lead you to finding yourself in my room completely frustrated and losing hope. This is where it gets gross… When I look at a client’s skin under that magic lamp of mine, what I usually see is a combination of old, dead skin cells glued together with topical garbage like sunblock, make up, sunless tanners, junky moisturizes and of course, environmental dirt. It’s not pretty. This garbage, if neglected, will eventually lead to sallow, lethargic skin that lacks of tone, luster, appropriate hydration levels, or even worse, can lead to adult onset acne.

So, the bottom line is, if you aren’t 21 anymore…chances are your skin isn’t shedding like it used to. Studies show younger skin renews itself every 15-30 days, but as we age (ahem.. all you 30 somethings and up) that renewing process more than doubles! That’s right, this means you could be wearing last seasons skin, eww gross! We don’t wear last seasons fashions, so why wear last seasons skin? Got it, Good.

So how does one exfoliate, you ask?

There are a few mediums that can be used to exfoliate. First, is the good old fashion Scrub, but it’s not for everyone. A scrub includes any granular substance or gommage, this type of exfoliant is a what I like to call manual exfoliation. It’s kind of like sanding down an old antique before you refinish it. It’s a good prepping step that can polish and smooth the epidermis, but do keep in mind it doesn’t penetrate the dermal layer (lower and deeper). The problem with scrubs besides the lack of penetration, is that if used too frequently or if it’s too harsh, it can lead to irritated red skin, where the appearance of broken capillaries can get worse over time or for those of you struggling with acne, it can over stimulate sebaceous glands thus making break outs worse! This is bad, very bad. If you’re prone to redness, broken capillaries, thinner skin, acne or are under 17, I would skip scrubbing all together. One of my favorite scrubs is Valmont’s “Exfoliant” which uses crystallized algae to gently exfoliate the epidermis, it’s even great for you Rosacea folks! Please see your local Esthetician to help you figure out your skin type.

Then there are Alpha beta hydroxy acids… If I could play music here and move clouds with beams of light, I would. Alpha beta hydroxy acids are amazing and great for all skin types; however, rules do apply.

The most common and simple alpha hydroxy acids are glycolic, lactic, citric and malic acid. These awesome acids are derived from food, like sugar, milk, citrus fruits and apples, YUM! The will skin like this, trust me. Alpha hydroxy acids improve skin because they have little, tiny, cute molecules small enough to penetrate the outermost layer and reach the dermal layer (lower and deeper layer). So essentially, AHA’s cause dead skin cells to become unglued, slough off, dissolve, pack their bags and say Sayonora! This makes room for the regrowth of new skin, and this is what gives you back your youthful glow. Wrinkles will be less defined, evil sun spots will fade, and the overall texture and color of your skin will slowly transform. It’s truly amazing!

Now, Beta hydroxy acid, last but definitely not least.

The ultimate Beta hydroxy acid is salicylic acid. This acid is similar to the alpha in that it does all those magnificent things I listed above, but while Alpha hydroxy acids are water soluble, Salicylic acid is lipid (oil) soluble. So what in the world does that mean? Salicylic acid is actually able to penetrate a single pore containing sebum (oil) and exfoliate or loosen up that build up and help that pore purge, YES! This means see ya later blackheads, and peace out white heads!

So the moral of the story is to say YES to exfoliation and to look for products containing alpha beta hydroxy acids. Keep in mind, especially you sensitive types, that these acids are active, stimulating and vasodilate (expand) the capillaries. This means feeling a heated rush or tingle is very normal, as is a flushing of the skin, do not be alarmed, this is temporary. This means blood flow is being increased and circulation is being improved in the skin, all of which is good. It’s kind of like yoga for the face. Remember, no pain, no gain, so stop whining and get on board!

Now, using just beta or just alpha or too much of one without the other can cause various problems like redness, itchiness and/or peeling. So, finding a product that has mastered achieving that delicate balance of alpha beta acids can be a difficult and painful process. But look no further than Lotion P50 by Biologique Recherche, it is a remarkable product, it’s a toner and exfoliant in one, and a best seller here at Rescue Rittenhouse Spa. This product, completes me!

See one of our trained Estheticians to get started on your new exfoliation routine right away!

– Tirzah Fowler