When I first heard about Skin Laundry, the recently opened New York City treatment center devoted exclusively to ten-minute laser facials, I immediately made an appointment. After debuting in Los Angeles last year, it quickly became a cult sensation. The premise is simple: In less time than it takes to get crosstown in a cab, the high-tech skin service claims to to remove your blackheads, shrink your pores, and reduce blotchiness without any recovery time.
At the moment, my biggest beauty pet peeve is my pores. Over the past few years I’ve seen them, well, grow, which has also resulted in a lot of blackheads. As a result, I’m always on a hunt for the latest pore strip or clay mask to clean and shrink them—anything to keep them in check. So at 8:30 a.m. on a Monday morning, I went to see if Skin Laundry could provide the aforementioned quick fix.
The company’s Flatiron location looks like a very clinical beach house, which makes sense given its California roots. When I arrived, I had to answer a series of questions regarding my medical history before meeting the physician’s assistant and registered nurse who would administer the treatment. Had I undergone any past surgeries, for example? Yes. Any scars on my face? One—a small mark near my lower lip that I’ve had since I was five. Everything was noted in my file for consideration—and they were definitely paying attention.
Finally, it was time to get started. First, a tech washed my face with the in-house cleanser (but left my eye makeup on!) and covered my lids with a pair of those funny, plastic goggles people wear in tanning beds. The first part of the treatment involves running a Yag laser over the skin—but although I had totally psyched myself out about the potential pain factor, it just felt like a series of tiny pinpricks. There was also a funny burning smell, which, the tech mentioned offhandedly, was the smell of my blackheads and dirty pores being vaporized by the laser energy. It’s totally worth mentioning that the dirtier your pores are, the more you will feel the zap of the device, but it doesn’t actually hurt.
Next, the skin is treated with IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, which I now know is a really bright red flashing light you can see through your closed eyes and your plastic tanning bed goggles, and is used to help even the skin tone and kill acne-causing bacteria. The whole procedure is then repeated a second time. And that’s it! At the end, you are handed a mirror to see your results.
Immediately post-treatment my skin was slightly red, but that flushing was gone by the time I walked out the door five minutes later. It seemed that my pores really were smaller and cleaner, even if the effect was subtle. There was no downtime afterward, although my technician cautioned that I might experience some photosensitivity and applied their in-house brand of sunscreen just in case.
In the days that followed, I actually saw a slight increase in breakouts, which, the company explained, was the effect of the skin purging any buildup. The ten-minute treatment is gentle enough to do every other day and, with repeated visits, there are also longer-term benefits. You may see changes in the size of your pores, redness, acne scarring, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation over time.
It is worth noting that the treatment is not for everyone, including (and most notably) those who are pregnant, use prescription face treatments such as Accutane or Retin-A, or who have darker skin tones (due to an increased risk of hyperpigmentation).
I, for one, have already booked my next five appointments.
Skin Laundry New York
3 West 16th Street
Three treatments, $ 150; for information: skinlaundry.com
The post Skin Laundry Lands in NYC: One Vogue Editor Test Drives the 10-Minute Laser Facial appeared first on Vogue.
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Before you roll your eyes, hear me out on why I’m convinced this facial treatment is worth every penny.
Over the years, my bathroom has become a black hole of skincare products. I’ve tested just about every cleanser, moisturizer and mask in hopes of achieving a flawless complexion. In general, I know that my face will always look brighter and feel much smoother after sticking to a strict routine for two weeks or so. But the stress of a two-hour commute, not enough sleep and eating greasy foods like French fries end up reversing some results.
What Is It?
Founder Yen Reis came up with the concept for Skin Laundry’s non-invasive laser and light therapy while living in Asia. She saw firsthand how advanced technology worked effectively to target pimples, acne scars and sun-damaged skin. But she couldn’t wrap her head around the astronomical costs of these treatments. “Doctors simply charge that much because they can,” Reis told HuffPost Style.
When she moved to the United States, Reis saw an opportunity to introduce a treatment that was much more affordable and required less downtime. “Laser is more effective as it allows for deeper penetration into the skin to reduce inflammation, as well as gently vaporize surface dirts, makeup and dead skin cells,” she explained. “We have taken the traditional higher settings of the laser and IPL (intense pulsed light) and reduced it so you are still getting the benefits. However, we are not traumatizing or effectively hurting you skin. Not many creams or superficial treatments can compare to the benefits of this technology in such a gentle manner.”
Safety is a priority for Skin Laundry as it is, after all, a medical business. While the vibe of their clinics has a low-key, Cali feel, I was impressed by the preliminary health evaluation check and well-trained registered nurses who administered the facial treatment.
How It Worked
The medical staff minimized the intimidation factor by explaining each step thoroughly to a laser novice like myself. I simply laid on a table, wore safety goggles and moved my head from left to right as instructed during the process.
I won’t lie: The first laser pulse did get my heart racing. But it was quick, virtually painless (felt like getting pinched) and there was a slight burning odor. A gel was applied to my face before getting the IPL and then cool compresses were used to reduce minor swelling.
Before even looking in the mirror, I could feel a difference in my skin. The laser facial helped to clear my clogged pores and give my complexion a dewy glow. I’m pretty sure that R.N. deep-cleaned a decade’s worth of dirt that drugstore facial washes just can’t accomplish.
To get the full Skin Laundry experience, I followed up my treatment at home with the brand’s signature skincare line. The star product in my opinion is the cream cleanser. Free of irritating soaps and sulfates, it cleanses without leaving skin stripped of natural oils. Plus, the fresh scent is absolutely soothing.
While I may not splurge on 10-minute laser facials more than three times a month, I think it makes more sense to invest $ 100 in weekly treatments with lasting effects as opposed to, say, spending double that for one hair salon visit without lasting results.