Blow dry bars revolutionized the salon experience by allowing clients to receive professional styling without the prerequisite haircut or coloring service. Now, two new, single-service skin clinics are aiming to do the same thing for your complexion.
Skin Laundry—which opened two Los Angeles outposts this month, with a future location coming soon to Newport Beach, Calif.—allows men, women and even acne-prone teenagers to experience the powerful effects of a YAG laser (a laser used for skin tightening) and IPL treatment (intense pulsed light used to reduce signs of skin aging) without the wait-list of a derm office or hefty price tag of an aesthetician.
“We’re changing the culture of facials,” says co-founder and Medical Director Elson Lai, M.D., an opthalmologist who was inspired to create the space after realizing YAG’s powerful (and instant) rejuvenating results. “The idea is to make getting great skin affordable, accessible, and fast,” Lai says. During each 15-minute session, which costs just $75 with monthly membership options, patients are invited to relax on a custom-designed Tempurpedic chair while a registered nurse cleanses and preps his or her complexion. (“This is a medical grade treatment,” Lai says. “It’s important to me to have professional nurses handling the equipment.”)
Next, protective goggles are worn, and the laser—set to a universally tolerable level—is quickly zapped across the face to stimulate collagen production, tighten skin and detoxify pores. Afterwards, an IPL is beamed around the skin’s surface to calm and polish. “If the YAG is the workhorse in terms of plumping, IPL is the show pony working to buff and smooth texture,” Lai explains. Clients are then invited to touch up their makeup at a communal-but-surfer-chic vanity and walk right out the door. “It’s a quick treatment, with cumulative effects,” Lai says. “The more you do, the faster your skin improves.”
Meanwhile, on the east coast, clients with problem skin and acne, or even just the occasional stress-related blemish, can visit the Clear Clinic in New York City, a treatment center created by board certified dermatologist Eric S. Schweiger, M.D. Here, patients in need of an anti-inflammatory shot are able to walk in and receive a low-concentration steroid (similar to cortisone) from a derm in order to reduce flare-ups within 24 to 48 hours. In a city with many dermatologists holding celebrity status and weeks-long wait lists, it’s a welcome prospect.
For more consistent breakouts, a Clear Club Membership (from $300 a month and up) will buy you access to a physician assistant—the derm equivalent of a personal trainer—to act as your skin coach, a prescription topical skincare regimen, home delivery of any oral medications, plus a 30-minute IPL session.
With Los Angeles and New York City paving the way, it could be just a matter of time before the rest of the nation catches on to the fast skin treatment trend.
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