On the coldest day in NYC this Winter Season, where we may or may not reach a record low, I figured it as good a time as any to get outside and beautify.
I am a profile in courage.
It may be that I am turning 40 this year or maybe it is just that I am so cold that I feel I need to indulge in self care more than my usual; whatever the reason I decided my skin needed a new adventure. Something to shake up my predictable regimen of anti-aging potions and lotions. In my mind I wanted to have something more medical than relaxing, but nothing invasive, and nothing that required downtime as I am high maintenance; on a rigid time frame.
Over the past few weeks I have had a handful of people ask me my thoughts on Newport Beach-based Skin Laundry. I had no answers, because I had never been. A quick web-visit to www.SkinLaundry.com and I saw that the Laser & Light Facial takes 15 minutes.
Additionally, because Skin Laundry is so confident that you will love the treatment, the first visit is free. This is a value of $75. Sold…and off I went for a treatment.
The Premise of Skin Laundry
Founded by Yen Reis, Skin Laundry is simple and wildly brilliant.
While living in Singapore, Reis, a mom of three, began seeing changes in her skin, specifically hormonal acne and found success using laser and light therapy.
Moving from Singapore to Los Angeles, Reis noticed a void. Southern California, heavily saturated in cosmetic dermatologists and plastic surgeons and an amped beauty market that rivals New York City, Reis could not find an efficient, affordable and accessible professional laser treatment that did not require some down time.
Using IPL and YAG lasers, Reis developed three treatments that follow a simple two or three step plan, but target different concerns as a result of the application process, while demystifying the world of lasers for the average skin care enthusiast or novice. Until Skin Laundry, obtaining a laser treatment required advanced thought both pre- and post-treatment. This innovative and remarkably easy visit where bookings are convenient, treatment time is ideal for a lunch break, and post-treatment requires nothing but cold water on the skin if you are applying make up or planning to go to the gym, made me wonder, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
The flagship Santa Monica location opened in 2013. Currently with 25 locations within the United States, UK and Hong Kong, Skin Laundry is hands down the most focused treatment center that I have come across, in all of my years of being a guru in the beauty world, yet manages to appeal to the most prevalent skin concerns and conditions by offering only three Facial Treatments using IPL intense pulsed light) and YAG laser with varying product pairings to achieve targeted results-fast.
IPL and YAG
IPL releases light of different wavelengths, like a photo flash, so it is different from a laser that uses just one wavelength. The light from IPL is more scattered and less focused than a laser so it penetrates to the dermis without harm to the epidermis, meaning less damage to the skin. Pigment cells in the skin absorb the energy and convert that energy to heat. In short, IPL has been used traditionally for a variety of cosmetic treatments on the face and anywhere on the body to treat sun damage, birthmarks, rosacea and hair removal because the waves destroy the hair follicle.
YAG (acronym for Yttrium, Aluminum and Garnet crystal) lasers are effective at destroying pigment in hair follicles. The YAG laser does not remove the top layer of the skin, but penetrates the surface of the skin so that energy is absorbed by the skin tissue. The laser blasts the damaged (i.e. sun damage that causes pigmentation) or unwanted tissue, thus refining the texture of the skin.
YAG laser and IPL work together; the laser deeply cleans the skin, stimulates collagen and elastin production, breaks up pigment, and reduces pore size & oil production while the IPL targets and reduces redness, brown spots, inflammation and bacteria. Each treatment leaves skin glowing and clean. Over time, Skin Laundry claims to improve skin clarity, tone and texture.
A quick trip to the Underground at Parker Meridien on West 56th Street, NYC and I was transported to a medical grade skin clinic as pristine as any I have seen. Situated in the company of Gravity Fitness, DryBar and Make Up Bar Blushington, Skin Laundry has a lively, sunny, yet sterile vibe. If you are seeking facial massages and dim lighting, this is not the place for you.
A full disclosure of medical information and some paperwork is followed by some of the most comprehensive explanations of the service you are about to receive that I have ever seen. It is evident immediately that Skin Laundry takes this seriously and that puts any first time jitters to rest on the spot.
Laser & Light Facial
The Laser & Light Facial, the service I received, is classified as a “Mild” intensity treatment. Conducted by a Certified Nurse and totaling 15 minutes, the service is conducted in two incredibly easy steps.
Step 1 uses a YAG laser energy that penetrates the skin with the intention to stimulate collagen while cleaning the skin (you may smell a little smoke) and target pigmentation. It feels like a slight pinching-nothing that you would think twice about. This laser energy is passed over the face twice.
The second step is Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) used to target pigment and redness to remove bacteria and reduce inflammation. I felt no sensation. You just experience a red flash (but your eyes are covered with specialized tiny goggles.) The service concludes with removal of product used for the IPL and an application of toner and moisturizer. It is truly so simple that I could not believe the experience.
Consistent treatments promise an improved tone, texture and clarity to the skin. Individual treatments are $75 per session, and also sold in bundles as follows:
$210 for three sessions (save $15)
$325 for five sessions (save $50)
$600 for ten sessions (save $150)
Ultra Fractional Facial
Should you be seeking a more targeted anti-aging treatment, the Ultra Fractional Facial, noted as “Advanced” in intensity, and specific for anti-aging is 30 minutes and promises to reduce fine lines and pigmentation.
The first step is the YAG laser, just as used in the Laser & Light Facial and is used more so to prepare the skin for step 2, the fractional resurfacing laser. This laser promises to revive ski cells and stimulate collagen while “creating microscopic channels” to help the serum in step 3 to penetrate the skin. Step 3 use Skin Laundry’s own Hydration Boost serum to cool and soothe the skin.
A more comprehensive treatment, the price per service is $250 and are also sold in the following bundles:
$720 for three sessions (save $30)
$1150 for five sessions (save $100)
$2200 for ten sessions (save $300)
Carbon Peel Facial
If acne is your concern, the Carbon Peel Facial, is a “Moderate” intensity service for acneic skin. A carbon lotion is applied to the skin used to pull the impurities from the skin to the surface for more effective removal. Step 2 introduces the YAG laser once again to peel the skin and step 3 used the IPL again to reduce redness and bacteria, giving the skin what would be the equivalent of a “deep pore cleanse” service. Each service is 30 minutes and $150 per service.
Bundles are priced as follows:
$430 for three sessions (save $20)
$700 for five sessions (save $50)
$1300 for ten sessions (save $200)
Three enhancements are available for $30:
“Extra Pass” where the laser is applied an additional time for a pushed efficacy, “Hydration Boost” a serum application to revive dry skin and “Neck and Chest” treatment bcause all treatments are only done on the face but the neck and décolleté need love too.
Skin Laundry Home Care
A boutique of products is available for the ever important at-home care between services. The aqua color rang a bell of the Pacific Ocean, making me wish I was in the Southwest instead of the Northeast on this monumentally cold day, referred to as a “tundra” every other hour.
Skin Laundry Cleansers and Toners, Treatments and Moisturizers, Sheet Masks, Kits, Fun Hats and Water bottles are available for sale.
Your Certified Nurse can make the most targeted recommendations for your at home care so that you may maximize your time between visits, which on average should be every other week, at least as recommended for me, to achieve the results that I am seeking from my services.
I will be back at Skin Laundry in two weeks to try the Ultra Fractional Facial and I am really looking forward to seeing how this unfolds. In your file are “Before” photos, so that you can track your progress over the period of your visits. This is definitely a place to check out.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Writer with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. Her credits include Sales and Marketing for with PRADA USA Corp., followed by a jump in to the world of beauty as an Esthetician followed by Spa Manager at Jurlique, Spa Manager and Client Relationship Manager and Digital Business Development coordinator position at Amore Pacific where celebrity clients were and remain confidential and her column, “Ask Angela,” was featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. She has also been a contributor for Beauty to Shape and Fitness Magazines.
A side job as a Hospital Victim on “As the World Turns,” and a correspondent on the now defunct lifestyle web series “Tangerine Living,” Angela is no stranger to juggling multiple positions and has built quite the resume. A move to The New York Daily News as Training and Employee Relations Manager with a night and weekend gig as make up artist for runway shows, (she studies in Los Angeles with Amy Ward) including Vogue Bambino and multiple commercials, Angela became a Mom, her best and most important credit to date.
Since Motherhood, Angela has been a Brand Ambassador for the skin line Patchology, featured in Saks Fifth Avenue in store and on air with CBS News segment “Patch me Pretty.” She has been a beauty guest for QVC, and the founder of her own social media communications business, helping business owners to share their digital voice. Actively involved with Smart Children with Learning Differences, her most favorite down time hobby is discovering the best in beauty, travel and fashion around the United States.
Angela is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BS in Communications and Writing, where she appeared on the University Union News as an Anchor and on The Beat of Syracuse, Z89 as a DJ. Angela has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Working with Alphaluxe is a unique opportunity, “to share what I am most passionate about. Living your best life. In her spare time, you can find Angela running, practicing yoga, taking her son to one of his sports practices. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, son, and chihuahuas.