I’ve been a fan of Skin Laundry for a while now and silently praying to the beauty gods that it would launch here. Well, they were listening because the L.A. brand has just opened a counter and treatment room in Liberty, London. I stumbled across Skin Laundry, like most great under-the-radar beauty brands, on Instagram and promptly booked myself in for a facial while I was in L.A. last year. The West Hollywood clinic is a stone’s throw from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and—fun fact—Kim Kardashian West was in labour with Saint, while I was being lasered across the street. The concept is both simple and brilliant. They offer just one 15-minute treatment in all the locations across the globe (they are in L.A., NY, Hong Kong and now London). The 15-Minute Laser and Light Facial deep cleanses, tightens and brightens your skin and leaves you with that telltale Hollywood glow we could all do with in dreary Britain. Keep scrolling to find out what the facial entails and how to get your first treatment free!
Essentially Skin Laundry is a launderette for your face, a way for the time-poor to give their skin a reboot. You can book online or in-person at the counter and the first facial is free to everyone. Yen Reis, the founder, and her team are confident in the treatment they offer and the immediate results you’ll see, that they know you’ll be back (just like I was).
I signed in via the iPad on the counter and was then whisked upstairs to the treatment room, a clean white space with shelves of Skin Laundry’s bold turquoise products lining the walls and a large picture of two very happy looking Californian women (with impeccable skin) staring down at me from the wall. I was handed a face wipe to remove all my makeup before I settled down on the treatment bed. My therapist, also called Amy, placed blackout goggles over my eyes to protect them from the light emitted during the second phase of the treatment. She then offered to use the laser on the back of my hand so I would know how it felt, but since I’d had the treatment before I skipped that part. Essentially the laser feels like very tiny elastic bands being pinged across my face, no worse than eyebrow threading. Reis explained that this part of the facial works deep down in the dermis to tackle pigmentation, vaporise dirt and trigger collagen production. It also works wonders for acne, in fact, Reis discovered laser and light when she was searching for something to tackle her hormonal acne when she was in her twenties.
The second part of the facial is the light phase, this device emits a bright pulsed light and while the flashes of light can make you jump you won’t feel a thing, promise. The light targets the upper layer of the epidermis to brighten the skin, eradicating dullness and leaving you looking radiant. What’s great is that, during your first treatment, the therapist talks you through everything they are doing so you’re not completely in the dark, blackout goggles aside.
So how come it’s so painless? Reis created the treatment with the laser and light on the lowest settings so there is no pain. It also means there is no downtime and most people are suitable to try it (there are a few contraindications that you can check out here). It’s incredibly safe, Skin Laundry has been running for four years with numerous clinics serving women every 15 minutes.
The facial works as effectively as a stronger laser and light treatment would, but just takes a few more goes to reach the same result. Reis told me that most people book in for a couple of treatments a month to start with, especially if there are areas of pigmentation or acne they want to clear up, then once their skin is where they want it to be they drop back to a maintenance schedule of one treatment every month. What’s great is that you can buy packages of three, five or 10 treatments and the more you buy in bulk, the cheaper the sessions work out. If you buy 10 in one go, it works out at £40 per facial. Reis believes all women should have access to great treatments and products that aren’t extortionately priced, the Skin Laundry products start from £8. While the treatment is Skin Laundry’s hero offering, the Hydrating Radiance Facial Treatment Mask (£8) is its trusty sidekick and they recommend using the sheet mask in the evening after your treatment to give you skin an extra hydrating boost.
After the treatment had finished my therapist told me I could apply makeup straight away, but aside from a little concealer on a couple of annoying hormonal spots (that I’m hoping will succumb to the laser), and a slick of mascara I really didn’t need to apply much else.
With Skin Laundry we’re moving one step closer to the American approach to skincare, fast treatments that make a real difference. Now if only we could get an affordable dermatologist on every high street…