Rescue Spa is a little bit of Paris in New York. Here you can buy French cult skincare line Biologique Recherche, thanks to founder and esthetician Danuta Mieloch. Danuta trained at Biologique Recherche in Paris, and she’s one of the few authorized BR brand ambassadors in the United States. (You can join the waiting list to book a consultation with Danuta herself and get a classic glow up BR facial.) The mystique of BR products and treatments got a boost, no doubt, when celebrities like Catherine Deneuve, Nureyev, and Brigitte Bardot, started showing up at the flagship location on the Champs-Élysées. It’s still the holy grail for skin care and devotees flock there from around the world.
At the spa’s locations in New York and Philadelphia — the website informs they are a “luxury wellness retreat” — there are various brands of high-end skincare products and cosmetics, face and body treatments are available, and it’s fun browsing the assortment of curated items like Cire Trudon candles that you can buy for yourself (file it under self-care) or gift to others, so you don’t have to make the midtown trek to Berdorf Goodman.
The spa is an unofficial hub for skincare fiends who like their naked skin flawless certainement — very French indeed. The last time I was there, Iman walked in. Naomi Campbell, Emma Stone, and neighborhood actors and models pop in. So does Colin Farrell who gets regular mani-pedis.
On a bright spring day, I strolled over to the Manhattan location, a few blocks north of the Farmer’s Market action in Union Square and met with Danuta at Rescue Spa. I’d seen her lifestyle videos on YouTube. She takes you into her home or her 43-acre farm near Philadelphia and shares her health and skincare rituals. In person, entrepreneur Danuta is equally warm, informative, and open about her life. Yes, she’s got the outer glow, but she radiates an inner glow too. We sat in the lounge area on a comfy gray velvet sofa, and she talked about the journey from her childhood in Bialystok to life as a beauty and wellness guru.
A few places you’d recommend for first time visitors in Poland?
First time visitors will most likely fly into Warsaw or Krakow. These cities could not be more different since Warsaw was completely devastated during World War II and rebuilt. Krakow still has more of its original historical sites as it used to be the capital (and cultural mecca) of our country. Some of my favorite places in Warsaw are the Hotel Bristol –- it’s like going back in time with an old world feel and glamour. Rozana is my favorite restaurant in Warsaw with by far, the best Polish food and authentic experience. There are many amazing cultural sites but among my favorites are the Warsaw Uprising Museum and Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews. These two museums are visual reminders of the great tragedy that occurred in our country which I feel is important that we never forget.
Favorite vacation city?
Paris remains my most favorite and most frequently visited.
Best spa or get-away?
I always try to visit the Ambassade de la Beaute – Biologique Recherche Paris. For a more earthy experience, I love the Nomade Hotel in Tulum, Mexico where I can practice yoga and walk along the beach.
Favorite restaurant or café for meeting a friend or client?
My New York City location is happily surrounded by many of my favorite restaurants like abcV, Craft, and Union Square Cafe. And in Philadelphia, I often go to Parc located on historic Rittenhouse Square.
Aside from my passport and phone, I always have Regenera II from Valmont with me as it’s amazing for dehydrated skin – on the face or lips. I also try to keep my wardrobe simple by only packing black and white essentials and super comfortable shoes because wherever I go, I like to walk there if possible. I also keep my Rescue Me Moisturizing Hand sanitizer with me at all times.
Do you use alternative treatments?
I’m open to all kinds of alternative treatments. Growing up in Poland, I am used to using cupping and herbal remedies as a cure for common ailments. I believe in the ancient traditions of alternating hot and cold water– I always finish my shower with a shot of cold water. And I’ve always loved infrared saunas – in fact, I love them so much that I put one in my Philadelphia spa.
What’s in your carry-on bag?
My skincare essentials in travel sizes. A great book, my favorite cashmere scarf from White + Warren, Slip silk eye mask and a big bottle of water because hydration is critical. And these days, staying safe is so important so I always wear my Silver Lining’s collection gloves and reusable face mask.
What do you collect?
I’ve been fascinated with all things beauty since I was a child. Instead of playing with traditional toys, I played with apothecary chest and jars and to this day, I collect old perfume, cosmetic, and beauty vessels. I especially love the Art Deco period — glass jars from this time are just stunning.
Top 3 skin care products that you can’t live without?
For me, narrowing it down to just 3 products is a bit difficult. Non-negotiable are a great exfoliator, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen. I like to use Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, Valmont Prime Regenera II, and Institut Esthederm sunscreen.
Anything else we should know about you?
My journey to the US started 30+ years ago with a one-way ticket on one of the last Pan Am flights. With only $20 in my pocket and big dreams, I feel so fortunate that I love what I do. And my greatest honor is sharing my knowledge and passion with my clients and my fellow estheticians over the years.