RENOWNED ESTHETICIAN, SKINCARE GENIUS AND CREATOR OF AWARD-WINNING RESCUE SPA
If you haven’t heard of Danuta, let me fill you in on some snippets of this magnanimous skincare guru. First off, I must say that it is an immense honor to be speaking with such an accomplished and irreverent female skincare expert. This interview is a definite feather in my cap and a true highlight for Lost in Skination. The inspirational Danuta was born in Poland where she studied nursing with various dermatologists and gained much first-hand knowledge about skin conditions and disorders. She then moved to Paris and furthered her education and training in the field under the watchful guidance of Dr. Allouche of Biologique Recherche.
Today she is the brains, beauty, and braun behind the world famous Rescue Spa in New York City. Both her motivation to continuously strive for bespoke skincare solutions that are innovative and non-invasive, as well as her triumphant successes (namely, the highly sought-after and trademarked ‘Bio-Lift Facial’) in the skincare milieu are direct byproducts of her inherent belief that “beautiful skin is a matter of choice, not chance”.
the phone rings…
---> So Danuta, tell me, what is your #1, don’t-leave- home-without-it product, besides sunscreen of course?
DM: I have one lipstick and a sample of Regenera II by Valmont - it’s the richest moisturizer out there, and it’s made with beeswax so it is great for anything chapped - lips, dry hands... It is my TLC on the go.
---> What do you believe delivers the most benefits: layering multiple serums at once? Or alternating them on different days?
DM: I do both. It depends on purpose of serum and on type of serum. I love the idea of alternating between your very active serums: vitamin C, retinol or really active antioxidants. I don’t want to use them every night as they are very potent. Every other day or so is best because I don’t want to bombard my skin with too much. In terms of layering multiple serums, I use many Biologique Recherche serums in the morning to get that glowing complexion.
---> Do you practice ‘skin fasting’?
DM: After intensive treatments like retinol, or acids, or things like that, I always back off and use a basic cream like Regenera II by Valmont only or like a simple rich moisturizer that I slather on and don’t do anything else. It’s almost like that old idea of putting Vaseline all over your face and nothing else.
---> What would you recommend to someone who knows nothing about skincare but wants to get started and is on a budget?
DM: Prevention is the key and prioritize good lifestyle habits: no sun damage, no smoking, and remove your make-up at night!
If you are really on a budget make it simple. Invest in a good milky cleanser, double cleanse and moisturize. The most important thing is really a proper cleansing. Double cleansing in the evening is my religion. If you think about women’s, especially younger women... we layer serums, sunscreens, make-up, then we reapply make-up, mixed with the oil of our own skin, the pollution, the grime of the day, it all accumulates in the skin...
First cleanse: you remove the sunscreen... I like to use washcloth - it is the most important skincare item you can have in your medicine cabinet.
Second cleanse: Think about how you need to brush your teeth for 5 minutes, you do need to cleanse your skin for at least 3 to 5 minutes. Massage the cleanser (milky cleanser Lait UV from BR). You’re removing that buildup and then your skin feels so moist, fresh, it’s the most important thing before your invest in expensive toners, serums or creams. Clean skin.
My mom used to say if you don’t cleanse your skin at night you will age by 7 days that kind of thing got stuck in my head. Because you know all that dirt, the makeup, the sunscreen, if left on your skin can create a damaging effect. It’s bad for you.
---> Rose hip oil YAY or NEY and why?
DM: Rose hip is a potent oil, it contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids. The source of the oil is important and it is only good for short periods of time. And you should not be using oil non-stop on your skin. When the oil gets rancid it can actually hurt your skin. And it happens for most oils. Oils are sensitive to sunlight, to heat. When you put it on the morning and you go out in the sun, then you put sunscreen, I’m not sure how it will react in the sun. Use them with massage, and then wash it off. Don’t mix oils with other products because it becomes too much for the skin. It’s not a good idea to become your own chemist on the body.
---> With all the new technologies out there, what’s your favorite skin treatment right now?
DM: I’ve been using electric current forever - for 40 something years, even in Poland. Right now there are so many different technologies that are good for tightening, softening lines, firming, for facial contours, boosting collagen production.
I combine different modalities: micro dermabrasion, electric current, radio frequency, and ionic oxygen. I love the machines. I also love to use my hands to give a good massage. I have the holistic approach with a high technology approach as well.
---> NU face or ZIIP beauty? Good results?
DM: My thing is that you get a facial, you follow a good skincare regimen, and by using electrical current or LED light at home, you are maintaining the results of the facial. This will prepare you for something more intense in a treatment room.
---> How do you deal with an unexpected pimple?
DM: A pimple means there is some inflammation. First thing is you always ice it. Don’t touch it and don’t overdo it with the products... we tend to put 20 different things on it (benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid...) but choose only one. Calamine lotion is a good one... you probably have it in your medicine cabinet... it will help dry it out and it costs $2.
---> What are the products/ingredients every woman should have in her skincare routine?
Proper cleanser is the must.
Sunscreen is non-negotiable.
A good Lactic acid like P50 from BR - it is a multitasking product that exfoliates and rehydrates the skin, and preps it before the serums.
Multi-vitamin serum with peptides which are proteins amino acids. Our skin needs proteins to regenerate.
A great moisturizer.
Retinol occasionally yes, but it cannot be too potent. The vitamin A helps to regenerate new healthy skin, it’s good for acne, it’s good for wrinkles but I recommend using it for 18 months and then taking a break and going back to it. And definitely don’t use retinol if you are pregnant!
Then, masking and massaging if you like to do this at home.
---> Any skin secret weapons that you swear by that you haven’t shared so far?
DM: Love yourself and the skin you are in. When you stand in front of the mirror you need to fully accept your skin. I believe in sending a positive energy to yourself, this sets you up for success. It is a placebo effect. Your own energy is really important. So many women have negative thoughts in their minds, they see some dark circles or they have some pink spots and they need to tell themselves that they will sleep and tomorrow is going to be better. You have to deal with psychology a lot. I am in my 50s and I love the age I am in, I’m looking forward to what’s next... I see beautiful women who are even older who carry themselves beautifully - this is inspiring. I think it’s so important to stay positive, to stay inspired, your mood, your habits, all this shows.
---> You are fascinating female entrepreneur, what’s your life motto?
DM: First thing is to lead by example. It’s like being on a plane and having to place the oxygen mask on yourself before placing it on your child; you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Everyone has bad days. When I have a bad day, I fake it and I try really hard to cheer myself up and be better. Taking care of ourselves is not a luxury - it’s a necessity.
Second is enjoying the small things... gratitude. Really small things like the aroma of your morning coffee. Enjoy the routine... my skincare ritual is a part of my meditation because it is your time. I honestly get the best ideas when I am blow drying my hair and putting on my potions...
—> FZ: Are you planning to open another spa?
DM: No. I would love to find that elixir of youth. Progress is the really thing that makes us excited. And for that I started studying and learning about the ingredients and the effects of those. That’s where my growth is... All of us do one type of job, and this is my next step. I am always involved in everything - how I can help women take care of themselves.
—> FZ: Like would you start your own skincare line?
DM: Skincare line yes maybe... it will have to be spectacular. I don’t know. Since I was a little child, I dreamt about potions, lotions, and vials. It is in me... I’m one of those lucky ones... I love what I do, it’s hard work but it’s a passion.
—> FZ: The last text message you sent says…
DM: To my CEO asking what’s the next step. Not to be overwhelmed by the big picture but take these small steps. And the things will flourish. So we have to keep moving forward and making the progress ever single day, when we wake up in the morning.