I’ve tried just about every bizarre wellness and beauty trend you can imagine, and the products that I’ve found to be actually effective are few and very far between. There was a treatment that promised to “freeze” the fat from my thighs (shockingly, it did not work), a brief dalliance with skin care products derived from actual colostrum, and a particularly painful laser treatment that delivered underwhelming results. You name it, I’ve probably done it – and written about it in some depth. So when I stumbled upon Skin Laundry‘s laser innovation that actually does fulfill its promise to get me one step closer to total beautification, I had to share it with you.
I first learned about the clinic when the company reached out to me over email, promising my skin would be glowing! Youthful! Radiant! Judging by the effusive use of adjectives, the 15-minute treatment would turn me into Candice Swanepoel.
According to the founder, Yen Reis, Skin Laundry’s signature “laser and light” facial “deep cleans the skin leaving it clearer, tighter, and brighter,” – more adjectives – “with no downtime, using a proprietary two-step system.” The treatment combines a very gentle laser and IPL (Intense Pulsed Light), which Reis told me will yield both immediate benefits and even better results with regular, long-term use. “While one treatment will deep clean, brighten and tighten your skin, regular treatments will produce more dramatic, long-term results, such as the reduction of sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles; the clearing of acne; the prevention of future breakouts; and the stimulation of collagen and elastin production.”
There’s a reason why I was particularly skeptical about these claims: Several months before I learned about Skin Laundry, I happened to try Fraxel, an intense laser treatment that celebrities allegedly swear by. However, for weeks afterwards, my skin was dry and flakey, and for several days after the treatment my face was red, swollen, and sore. So you can understand why I’m haven’t always been a huge advocate of laser treatments, even those that promise zero downtime and no pain. Regardless, I took a gamble and booked my first session at one of Skin Laundry’s clinics in Flatiron, New York. Locations are popping up all over the U.S. and internationally (they opened in London this week), so you don’t have to be on the East Coast to make a booking.
The clinic itself is modern and bright, with all the cool personality of an East Coast beauty salon and the professionalism and service of a high-end dermatologist’s office. I signed in using an iPad at the front counter, and was directed to take my makeup off at a mirrored station on one side of the room filled with Skin Laundry’s own products and makeup remover. Without having to wait, I was whisked into a room by a young woman in a medical white coat. She instructed me to lie on the bed while she adjusted the laser and handed me some goggles.
Bracing myself for the worst, the technician started the first part of the treatment; the laser. “You may notice a tiny breakout in the next day or so, but then it actually helps your skin clear up,” she told me. I kept expecting to feel pain (I’ve been burned before, literally), but the laser’s warm sensation was actually very mild, and kind of relaxing.
Next, my face was covered in a clear gel, which was not particularly cute but important for the second, equally painless part of the procedure began; light therapy. This step involves a bright red light being pointed at your face for several minutes and is supposed to help build collagen and smooth out wrinkles, particularly with continued use.
The whole thing was over in 10 minutes. Expecting at least a little redness, I peeked into the mirror in the reception area. No redness, no swelling! Just glowing, radiant skin, exactly like I was promised. So although it’s perfectly safe to put makeup on straight after the treatment, I celebrated with the #nomakeupselfie above, and left the concealer in my handbag.
Since that first day, I’ve been back four more times, and have made Skin Laundry a regular part of my beauty routine. Your first time is free, and then treatments cost about $45 if you buy in bulk – which is probably a good idea, because you’re definitely going to want to return.