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