Humidity, pollution, the endless gusts of hot subway wind. New York's dog days of summer don't just mess with your sanity - they take a serious toll on your skin. According to expert esthetician Andrew Stephen Kelly, the sweltering season can "cause sebum (the skin's natural oil) production to rapidly increase, creating congestion and breakouts." But you didn't need him to tell you that; we're sure you have a mirror. Throw in one too many margaritas, plane rides, tanning sessions, and late nights, and your face is probably reflecting everything you did this summer, but not in the good way your Instagram does. Luckily, there's a treatment for that.
At NYC's high-end Paul Labrecque Salon & Spa, where I was put under Kelly’s care, you can quite literally cool down your skin while undoing a multitude of your summer sins. The secret? Their uber luxe Ice Facial, which utilizes the crème de la crème of French skincare products by Biologique Recherche, along with a pair of soothing and sculpting Cryo-Sticks you might actually try to stick in your purse on the way out.
I can't say I didn't think of trying to after my recent trip to the spa's outpost at the swanky members' only Core: Club, when I tried the buzzed-about Ice Facial for myself. Considering how sweaty (and admittedly hungover) I was when I arrived, I couldn't have needed it more.
The 60-minute, $190 facial is hyper personalized, so after cleansing and massaging my face, Kelly gave my pores a professional once-over in order to asses my problem areas and incorporate a custom cocktail of Biologique Recherche serums into the treatment. He plucked one of the jewel-tone bottles lining his laboratory and mixed some of Biologique Recherche’s Amniotique serum into the VIP02 Masque, a cult-favorite oxygenating, regenerating, and anti-pollution mask which serves as one of the Ice Facial’s mainstays.
Once that was painted on (via brush, because only plebeians use their fingers to apply products) from forehead to cleavage (hey, your décolletage also gets a lot of airtime in the summer), I was treated to the main event: the “ice” part of the Ice Facial, which is, in fact, mostly comprised of algae.
View this post on InstagramNeed a cool down from this summer heat and humidity? The heat can cause sebum production to rapidly increase cresting congestion and breakouts on the surface of your skin. @paullabrecquesalon the signature Ice Facial utilizing @biologique_recherche_usa Cold Mask and Cryo Sticks on top of a custom masque blend of VIPO2 and Biomagic in t-zone is perfect to give your skin a cryogenic effect from the hot sweaty summer days. Made from freshly transplanted green algae on a clay transport the Cold Mask smells like the ocean and is instantly cold when applied. Brings down redness, sensitivity, tightens the pores and helps to absorb more of the masques underneath was well giving your skin the nutrients it needs. I also mix serums into the masques for an added boost - here I added Amniotique for a soothing boost of intense hydration all over. Finishing off with the Cryo Sticks feels so good, not only do you get the cold sensation from the liquid inside but you can sculpt and mold the face as well as encourage more lymphatic drainage. These are my favorite manual tools to use at home and during my facial treatments, especially now when you can seem to be a the heat. Come see me for your custom Ice Facial @paullabrecquesalon @thecoreclub to get your summer glow back...and NO sweat doesn’t count 😉. You can also shop the Cryo Sticks in-shop or online to further your results at home. Go watch my demo video in my stories to see how! #skinbyask _ #paullabrecquesalon #thecoreclub #icefacial #summerskin #glowingskin #cryotherapy #coldmask #masquevipo2
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Kelly placed some gauze over the VIP02 Masque, which in itself felt like a layer of silk on my skin, and proceeded to apply the holy grail: Biologique Recherche's Algae Cold Mask. Yes, it looks like chunky guacamole, but the fresh-from-nature formula is rich in Micronized Laminaria and Diatom Algae (good stuff, in layman's terms). It smells like the ocean and cools like a dive into salt water. Looking like a multi-layered nacho dip has never felt better.
After the Cold Mask hardened a bit into a rubbery solid, it was time for the Cryo-Sticks - two stainless steel tools designed to stay chill and shaped to fit the contours of the face. Kelly, whose quick hands can definitely lead him to a second career as a magician in Las Vegas, rolled and pressed them over my skin, soothing with the cold and sculpting by encouraging lymphatic drainage (i.e. pushing out all the toxins - ahem, last night's tequila shots - which were bloating my face and hiding my perfect cheekbones).
A quick peel of the gauze, cool wipe-down, and finishing serum later, I felt like a new woman. Or, more accurately, one who just emerged from a thousand year nap in a cryochamber. My skin texture had instantly improved, my complexion was brighter, and, thanks to all the cold, my cheeks felt tighter and my eyes, more awake. As for the Cryo-Sticks? Turns out you really can bring them home (as long as you pay for them). When I walked back into the thick Midtown air, I couldn't help but wonder, "Humidity who?"
If you choose just one way to say sayonara to summer, this should be it.