A Spa with a Leg Up
By Joan Scobey
If you’re an avid museumgoer, one of the pleasures at the end of a demanding day is a massage. A foot massage. Not a beautifying pedicure but the serious working of muscles and soft tissues from your toes to your knees.
Recently in Philadelphia, one of the country’s great art cities, I spent a triple-threat day at the newly opened Barnes Foundation, the just reopened Rodin Museum and the great Philadelphia Museum of Art. They are all within half a mile of eacho ther, but that, plus the interior gallery-hopping, felt like a marathon. It was a cry for foot therapy and pointed me toward one of the most interesting, and best regarded, day spas in downtown Philadelphia: Rescue Rittenhouse Spa.
What distinguishes Rescue is that it marries some services typical of a dermatologist with the pampering of a world-class spa: Diagnosis of your skin and an analysis of how your lifestyle affects it, plus a customized skin regimen.
At the center of Rescue is Danuta Mieloch, who came to Philadelphia after a dozen years in skin care, including as a nurse with dermatologists. Her scientifi cbackground leads her to seek new techniques that incorporate ancient remedies and specialized skin therapies such as micro-current facials, micro-dermabrasion, IPL Fotofacial, LED, Refirme, and eMatrix (more of that later).
Danuta’sapproach is refreshingly direct: “Skin care is very simple: You need to clean well, exfoliate, hydrate and protect skin from the sun,” she says. “But for me, taking care of our skin also reflects how we feel about ourselves. When wome take care of their skin, they feel better and dress better.”
The spa is on the second floor of a city center office building. The main room is large and bright, with a polished wooden floor, crisp white walls, a row of contemporary hanging one-bulb light fixtures; a single sparkling chandelier over an all-business desk. On one side is a single chair for brow work; on the other, a long wooden table with white wood upholstered chairs that could have been in a dining room but were actually three manicure stations. Overall, the 4,000-square-foot spa features six treatment rooms, steam rooms and a rejuvenating tea bar.
At one end of the main room was the pedicure alcove, with a smart dove gray sofa and a low tile counter with two sinks and above it, a higher counter covered with one long vinyl cushion. It looked like a modern version of an old-fashioned shoeshine setup.
I chose the hour-long Revitalizing Foot Treatment ($55), billed as an anti-aging treatment, with a hydrating masque and massage. After changing into a robe, I climbed up to my pedicure perch. Ana Maria Garcia put on rubber gloves and, as she worked, explained each step.
*Clean the sink with a disinfectant. (Impressive.)
*Soak my feet in mineral-salted water, then place them on a foot pad and cover them with a towel.
*Clip and file nails, massage cuticle cream around nails and push them back. (“Never cut them.”)
*Buff nails and spread cuticle oil around them.
*File heels and calluses.
*Cover shanks of legs with a sugar scrub to exfoliate and hydrate.
*Spread a mineral masque on top of the scrub, and wrap each foot with a hot towel for 5 minutes.
*Wash off masque and scrub.
*Spray antiseptic on feet. (Very impressive.)
*Work an algae-mint gel into legs to soothe muscles.
*Massage a cream of aloe, shea butter and olive oil into feet.
*Cover feet and legs with a hot towel.
*Polish toe nails. (Ana Maria recommended Zoya for long lasting.)
Critique: This treatment was far beyond a pedicure, and I give it highest marks for the treatment itself (a foot facial + massage) and for the impressive hygiene.
Rescue offers body treatments, classic massages and the other beautifying activities of a world-class spa, but it’s the extraordinary range of facials that are at its heart. The website (http://www.rescuerittenhousespa.com)even has a tutorial in the Rescue Facial Massage Regimen and a guide to Rescue@ All Ages (@20, @30, @40, @50, and @60).
Classic Rescue Facial ($100). After skin analysis, cleanse and purify with gentle extraction process, balance and tone with a blend of customizedskin care products, and renew and revitalize with unique “manual lift” facial massage technique.
Zoom Groom Facial ($75). A 30-minute treatment from the Classic Rescue Facial.
Bio-Lift Facial ($150), the signature anti-aging facialtreatment that combines custom-blended serums and botanicals with the advanced technology of non-invasive electrical current to reduce the appearance of wrinkles,puffiness, droopy eyelids and sun damage, and restore vitality and contour to the skin.
Microdermabrasion Facial ($150). Exfoliates with micro-crystal technology to smooth and polish the skin while a restorative masque stimulates cell renewal and regeneration.
High Performance Facial ($200). One long session combines microdermabrasion, a topical peel, and cutting-edge non-invasive current together with custom-blended products and stimulating massage technique to revitalize the skin.
Oxygenating Facial ($150). A rejuvenating and balancing treatment combines micro-exfoliation, oxygenation, and a light Alpha Beta Peel followed by intense hydration with a cool blast of hyperbaric oxygen as intensive, highly active biological serums refresh and revive the skin.
Energylift Facial ($250). Exclusive to Rescue, this treatment incorporates dual modalities– radio frequency and electric current– for long lasting firmness, tightening, and lifting of dul land stressed skin.
Manual Lift Facial ($150). A customized reconstructive treatment to manually lift and regenerate skin’s texture using Biologique Recherche lymphatic drainage techniques that softens fine lines and unifies the complexion for a more even skin tone.
Skin Refinements ($75). The polishing power of micro-crystals smoothes and refines the complexion.
Teen Facial ($70). Combines eep cleansing, a gentle extraction process and soothing massage to restore balance to the special needs of adolescent skin.
Back Facial ($90).Clears unsightly blemishes and redness from your neck.
VelaShape II (Upon Consultation). VelaShape, cleared by the FDA, contours shapes and slims the body by improving cellulite and reducing circumference in as few as four treatment sessions.
Manual Lift Body Treatment ($150). This treatment exfoliates, refines, revitalizes, tones, and firms the entire body using lactic acid, amino acids, algae powder, and silk extract.
Slimming & Detoxifying Wrap ($100). Natural sea mud packed with minerals and anti-oxidants purifies skin and boosts circulation.
Hydrating Wrap ($100). A moisturizing and rejuvenating treatment with custom-blended anti-aging creams and serums.
Salt or Sugar Buff ($65). Pure sugar or salt crystals exfoliate and hydrate in a smoothing body buff.
Buff & Bronze ($90). A salt or sugar buff paired with hand-applied bronzer for sun-kissed skin without the sunburn.
Just Bronze ($75). To get the most even glow, be sure to exfoliate beforehand.
Classic Swedish Massage (60 min $100 / 90 min $135). Long flowing strokes encourage relaxation, lymphatic drainage and detoxification.
Classic Deep Tissue Massage (60 min $125 / 90 min $160). Deep into the layers of soft tissue provides relief to sore, tired and tense muscles.
Harmony Essence Massage (60 min $110 / 90 min $135). This all-encompassing treatment includes a foot rub, softening salt scrub and a therapeutic massage with plant essences.
Hot Stone Massage (60 min $120 / 90 min $160).The warmth of these therapeutic stones relieve tension and restore your body back to balance.
Hot Spot Massage (30 min $65). A 30-minute treatment for the specific area that is causing discomfort, stiff neck, sore shoulders or lower back pain.
Pre-Natal Massage (60 min $100). A gentle, soothing style for the particular needs of expectant mothers.
Two-by-Two Massage (Prices per person as listed). All our treatments can be performed simultaneously in the same room.
Classic 30 Min Manicure ($25). This classic nail treatment shapes, buffs, and glosses nails
Classic 30 Min Pedicure ($40). This classic nail treatment shapes, buffs, and glosses nails.
Ultimate Rescue Manicure ($45). Our signature nail experience: A soak, an exfoliating scrub, a relaxing and moisturizing massage and a fresh coat of polish.
Ultimate Rescue Pedicure ($60). Our signature nail experience: A soak, an exfoliating scrub, a relaxing and moisturizing massage and a fresh coat of polish.
Revitalizing Foot Treatment ($55). An anti-aging treatment,with a hydrating masque and soothing massage, soak, scrub, buff, trim, andpolish.
Revitalizing Hand Treatment ($40). An anti-agingtreatment, with a hydrating masque and soothing massage, soak, scrub, buff,trim, and polish.
Masque ($40). A hydrating and refining masqueto keep skin soft and moisturized all year round.
RenewalPeel ($40). Gentle but potent Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids in atopical solution help diminish fine lines, bring skin into balance and improvetexture and tone.
“Man”icure ($35). Cleanse and massage, then trimand buff nails.
Men’s Foot Remedy ($50). A relaxing soak,moisturizing massage and nail trimming.
Gentleman’s Facial ($100). A masculine versionof the classic Rescue facial focuses on deep cleansing with special attentionpaid to ingrown hairs.
Sports Massage ($115). An intensive deeptissue treatment.
LED ($150). Seven specific wavelengths ofvisible light stimulate the skin activity as well as the reduction of finelines, from yellow that tones muscles to red that stimulates collagen.
eMatrix ($500). A unique combination of ablationand skin resurfacing for wrinkle reduction, skin tightening and lifting.
Refirme ($400). A skin tightening procedure, viawrinkle reduction, targeting jowl and neck laxity, sagginess under the eyes,saggy brow lines, and nasolabial folds.
IPL Foto Facial ($300). The combined energies of light andbi-polar radio frequency reduces sebaceous gland activity, destroys activeacne. and targets Rosacea (redness), spider veins, age spots, uneven skin toneand sun damaged skin.
Various techniques include Waxing, Threading, Light Based Hair Removal and Permanent Hair Removal. See website for completedescriptions and prices.
Applications,lessons, tinting and shaping, even a bridal preview. All details and prices onthe website.
Rescue Rittenhouse Spa, 255 South 17th Street, SecondFloor, Philadelphia, PA 19103, 215-772-2766, www.rescuerittenhousespa.com