Stories Vol. 4 Danuta Mieloch of Rescue Spa

I started visiting Rescue Spa in 2008 when I was just 20. It was Danuta Mieloch, the owner and founder, who gave me my first ever facial. I still remember the transformative feeling I had when I walked through the doors of their first and former location in Philadelphia. It was shortly after that, I was introduced to the now cult product of P50 by a girlfriend who also saw Danuta. A total game changer for my skin. Just like the feeling you get when you listened to a singer before she ‘made it big,’ I pride myself on receiving my first educational facial from the true master herself. Now, Danuta sees celebrities and editors on the daily at her just opened, chic New York spa and the orignal posh, Philadelphia location.

Danuta’s approach to life is much like her approach to skin care. She promotes rituals, repetition, and creating good habits. Danuta is a wealth of knowledge and doesn’t mind sharing what she has learned while performing thousands of facials. She shares with us her path to founding Rescue Spa, how she feels beautiful in her own skin, and the women she looks at for empowerment.

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What was your very first introduction into skincare?

“My passion for skin care started as a child. I would mix little potions and masques at home in Poland, setting up a mini {laboratory}. We used ingredients we had around like Brewer’s Yeast, strawberries, and herbs. Growing up there was one creme and it was Nivea and it was used for everything.”

What led you to study in Paris.

“I studied to be an esthetician in Poland. There we train among doctors and nurses for three years after high school. When I was 25, I moved to the US and settled in New York. my experience there led me to train with Biologique-Recherche in Paris.”

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Often we are limited by what we can and can not do, but if we open ourselves up to knowing, we can achieve anything.

What approaches do french girls take to skin care versus american gals?

“The French like to do everything simple, less contrived. The hair is very ‘I woke up like this’. I tend to fall in between that French way and the American approach. When in Paris, the pharmacys have great products. Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre is great for everyone. I also love the multivitamins they carry that dissolve in water.”

Congrats on your beautiful new space in New York! When did you know you were ready to pull the trigger on such an ambitious location?

“New York has always been a part of me, the energy, I just love it. I was looking around for properties and spaces, but not so seriously. I had gone to see Deepak Chopra speak and I was at ABC Cocina when I saw a ‘for rent by owner’. I called the landlord, and he explained it needed a lot of renovation. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the place! I figured out how I could pull it off and the rest was history. Often we are limited by what we can and can not do, but if we open ourselves up to knowing, we can achieve anything. Overcoming these challenges has become second nature to me.”

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What thrills you the most the most with growing your brand?

“The most thrilling thing is being able to offer employment to women who are passionate about skincare. Some of these young women are unsure of their direction. Maybe they started off cleaning houses, and now they can grow to be an assistant spa manager. It’s amazing to see them evolve to buying homes and having children. I really enjoy being able to educate, and I take the same approach to my clients. I have done thousands of facials. Touching so many people and so many skin types with their own different challenges. I’m glad I can provide the best products and equipment at our spas. I always share what I have learned.”

It seems as if you are always present at the Rittenhouse location. How do you carve out the time for self care during a busy week?

“Rituals and repetition set me on the right path, and I have the same approach to skin care. I have developed good habits like meditating in the morning, yoga, having a wholesome and mindful diet. My diet is nothing specific. I stick to eating clean, but often I change things around for a bit of variety. You can listen to your body and skin and see how it’s reacting. I would say to never abandon where you came from. I am Polish, and my ancestors knew how to eat. Fermented foods, whole grains, and local clean food. If you create good rituals, you can replace a bad behavior with a good one. Instead of having that 3rd glass of wine, make a cup of tea. If you don’t feel like working out, put your shoes on, take slow steps.”

You are the US ambassador for luxury brand Biologique Recherche. I’m a tried and true super fan of the cult classic P50 (believe the hype). The world of skincare and beauty can be so overwhelming for many of us. How do you find the hero products with so many choices out there? And how do you stay on top of new advances and trends.

“I believe in gathering information from the right sources. We also have to remember to start with the apex, and not too much at once. Less is more. Often we are overwhelmed with big ideas. I often see clients who are spending money on expensive creams, looking for a miracle, but they often forget to lay the groundwork. To create the best routine for your skin and yourself, you need to be consistent. Invest in a milky cleanser. The skin on our face is exposed to all of the elements, cold air, dry air, make up. We need to remove all of that each night. My mother used to say ‘if you don’t cleanse your skin at night, you are 7 days older’. I attend a lot of industry seminars, I read a lot, I do research. My approach never changes, and I stick to the same set of rules. Our skin likes a little change every 3-4 months, but the steps need to remain the same. Don’t underestimate the benefits of an amazing facial and facial massage. On a medical level, our muscles in the face are attached to the skin. They need to be stimulated, just like our bodies need a good workout. Oxygenation is important. Our muscles deteriorate without movement, and without circulation.”

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You always look incredibly chic in the office, how do you curate a functional wardrobe that fits into the spa environment?

“I stick to basics and keep my wardrobe paired down. I have a lot of black, beige, neutral colors, white. I love a pair of fabulous shoes! A beautiful pair of pointy toe shoes can completely change your outfit. I try to include one or two pieces of trends, and keep the rest classic. I have gone through many trends, but jeans with a black tee shirt, beautiful shoes, with a nice jacket always looks pulled together. I invest in good pieces, and I’ll splurge on shoes and bags.

What makes you feel most beautiful in your own skin (besides P50)?

“The beauty, it’s part of us. If we just tell ourselves every morning how lucky we are and being grateful, that shows the best. Yoga is helpful to switch the chatter off. We make our own story, we can change our story to a positive one if we are having a bad day. It comes from within, this beauty.”

What keeps you energized outside of Rescue Spa?

“Yoga, rituals, travel, growth and education, meeting new people. It’s on of the reasons for the location in New York. it helps with my personal development.”

You are packing for a last minute flight to Paris, and you can only bring 5 skincare/ beauty products. What are they?

“A milky cleaner, p50, a serum, moisturizer, foundation with sunscreen - never skip the steps. I try to detox everyday. I go to sleep grateful and remember that today was a good day.I face the day with a positive attitude. You can train your brain to withstand hardship. I love to travel, go to Paris, visit home in Poland. I speak to my mother who is 84.”

Would you say your mother is your inspiration?

“My mother is so strong and independent, so focused on helping others and sharing. Polish women were emancipated long ago. I have many Polish female idols like Marie Curie who has 2 nobel prizes. Helena rubinstein who sailed to Australia.”

Alana Oates