Deskside

This High-Tech Beauty Treatment Is More Accessible Than You Think

It's cheap, easy, and (best of all) so very effective.

By: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Alec Kugler

Two things. Beauty is big business, like billions and billions of dollars big business. Also, beauty is a hard business. There’s so much out there that it’s hard to cut through the noise. Yes, each one of us might own a half dozen mascaras, but in order to stand out as a brand, you really have to do something special. Which is one reason why Skin Laundry is—can’t believe we’re about to say this—a beauty ~unicorn~. “There’s no one doing what we’re doing,” founder Yen Reis told us when we visited her at a Washington Square Park apartment she uses when she’s in New York. And that, friends, is a phrase not many others in the industry can say with confidence. (Spoiler alert: Reis is confident.)

For the uninitiated, this is what Skin Laundry is doing that no one else is: From their 17 locations and counting, they offer a 15-minute laser facial. It sounds simple—and, to an extent, it is. But in 15 minutes, and for only $65 (the price drops if you buy a package), you get a serious deep clean and crazy-good results. Oh, and there’s no downtime. Reis has managed to make lasers accessible and taken away the scary, red-and-peeling-face stigma. And it’s true, no one else is doing it. We’ve said it a million times, but it’s true: we wish we thought of that.

 

The ingenious idea that led to Skin Laundry:

“The idea for Skin Laundry actually came from Asia. When I was living in Singapore, I had hormonal acne after having my third son, and I was experimenting with lasers. When I moved to the U.S., I couldn’t find a similar treatment, and that’s essentially what Skin Laundry is today—a mild laser and light facial I created. The reason why I created Skin Laundry is a) there’s no one here that does it, but b) I also realized that I wanted to make it more accessible and affordable, because those are the two things that I didn’t like about it living in Asia. I didn’t like that it was expensive and that I had to go to a derm’s office to do it. It had to be fast; it had to have zero downtime; it had to be affordable and easy to access. These days, with three kids and a business to run, you never really have time to do much else, right?”

 

Why Skin Laundry stands out in a crowded beauty industry:

“There’s no one doing what we’re doing. There’s this big beauty space, but no one has ever done lasers well and made it accessible or created a beauty brand around it. It’s very challenging, but if you can get it done, you can carve yourself an individual sector in the beauty space, which is so rare these days. It’s such a competitive space. Five thousand products get released every month, apparently. The fact that Skin Laundry actually has zero competitors is really such an amazing position to be in. But if you’re carving out your own space and you’re the first to market something, the market looks at you and they don’t understand what you’re doing. You really have to prove everything all the time. That’s why educating the public on the use of lasers and the effectiveness of lasers [is so important]. I’m really happy now that a lot of beauty bloggers and magazines and editors are talking about lasers, and they’re spreading the word that it is beneficial—you just have to use it right. That’s exactly Skin Laundry’s philosophy: mild laser facials on a regular basis maintains healthy, beautiful skin.”

 

How to use Skin Laundry to get your best possible skin (and how her customers gave her her catchphrase):

“Our regular customers are coming between two to three times a month. It depends on their skin, to be honest. We always encourage people with more problematic skin at the beginning—because were reversing these damages and really fixing their skin—to come in a bit more regularly. Those customers may come twice a week. After that, youll know exactly what the treatment does for your skin, and then its up to you how you want to maintain it.

“After every treatment, your skin is always going to feel cleaner, clearer, brighter, and tighter. Thats not something that I coined, its actually something that my customers keep telling me. Thats why we all say it now.”

 

How the laser facial actually works:

“We use a YAG laser and then an IPL laser. We don’t administer it at a level where it actually traumatizes skin. It’s not red, not raw. They do three things very, very well: they help break down pigmentation; they help stimulate collagen; and they rejuvenate skin. If you’re getting that on a regular basis, even at small doses, it’s very beneficial to your skin no matter what. We’ve done over 500,000 of these treatments, and we understand what this treatment does on all different skin types. It helps with every skin type and skin problem. Hormonal acne was my problem, and it has actually really helped. I cant definitively say it works on everybody and it fixes everybody’s skin, but for the last four years, from our experience, it does. For me personally, in terms of investment into the business, time, building a business like this, I would never have set it up if I knew that it didn’t work. You can’t sell a lie. You sell something that you believe works.”

How the Skin Laundry products help maintain the facial *glow*:

“I believe that beautiful skin stems from clean skin, so we offer a range of cleansers for all different skin types. Then it trickles down to your daily essentials: eye cream, moisturizer with SPF, night moisturizer, serums, and night treatments. If there’s one thing that I can’t live without, it’s our Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask. It’s like drinking a big glass of water for your skin. Our antibacterial silver ion-infused pillowcase is also really a smart solution. Moving forward, I’d like to make products that work and that can fit into everyones lifestyle.”

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