Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a good facial to get you glowing. Whether it’s the classic cleanse, exfoliate, massage and mask, or includes exotic elements such as oxygen therapy or special ampoules, a good therapist will customise your facial to meet your needs.
We’ve also thrown in a few reviews of treatments that are not strictly facials, but rather high-tech procedures to address specific issues such as acne and ageing. There has to be something here that’s perfect for you!
Who reviewed it: Harriet “My Second Facial Ever” Empey
Where we went: The Body Firm
Where it is: 468 River Valley Road, at the Delta Road end, opposite Valley Point Shopping Centre
What we got: Deep Cleansing facial with additional collagen eye treatment.
Who needs it: Those with problem skin that is a bit sluggish and needs detoxifying. After five years in Singapore, my skin has become quite dry and although I’m in my late thirties, I still get hormonal pimples.
Technique used: A unique massage technique stimulates circulation to promote deep cleansing and healing.
Why we love it: My skin felt really refreshed after the facial thanks to a combination of a short, relaxing massage, cleansing, a clay peel, exfoliation and extraction. This was followed by a fabulous 10-minute face massage with aloe vera gel, and then a 15-minute deep-cleansing face mask and collagen eye treatment to lighten dark circles and refresh tired eyes. While the face mask worked its magic, an upper back, shoulder, neck and décolleté massage with lavender oil rid me of my knots. Two days later and my skin looks a lot clearer than before.
Nitty-gritty: Parking is available right outside the door – literally. And a bus stop served by six bus routes is less than 10 metres away.
Cost: $99 plus $54 for the eye treatment.
Tel: 6838 0331
Who reviewed it: Rebecca “Never Enough Time” Bisset
Where she went: Spa @ Loewen Gardens
Where it is: 75E Loewen Gardens, Tanglin Village (Also at 11 Unity Street, #02-17 Robertson Walk, 6737 8512)
What she got: Decléor Customised facial with essential oils to strengthen skin and treat sensitive skin.
Who needs it: Thin or delicate skin will be hydrated in a gentle and nourishing way; also good for combination skin: an oily T-zone with dry forehead, cheeks and neck.
Products used: The Delicate skin range, including Rose D’Orient by Decléor. The triple-action Gel Cream Mask for dry skin increases radiance and has anti-wrinkle and firming properties.
Why we love it: Separate products are used for different types of skin and selected on an individual basis, and the treatment includes a good cleansing, exfoliation, extraction and a wonderful massage. It also includes a neck, shoulder, eye and hand mask to treat areas that we often neglect in our beauty regimens. The texture of the products is so fine, and they smell so good! Therapist Grace is known for her magical hands, and a treatment by her scores a 10/10 for total relaxation. Afterwards your skin looks hydrated but not greasy.
Nitty-gritty: The free parking at Loewen Gardens is a huge plus for drivers, but the new branch at Robertson Walk is more convenient for some.
Cost: $90 for an hour, the perfect length of time: any longer and I start feeling guilty.
Tel: 6471 1922
Who reviewed it: Michelle “Holding Back the Years” O’Connell
Where it is: 26 Horne Road, #01-01 BH Building
Who needs it: Those with dehydrated skin and fine lines around the eyes and mouth, and anyone who enjoys the feeling of squeaky clean, fresh glowing skin.
Products used: Henry Tianun. The double-cleanse starts with rose cleansing oil, and then a bilberry and mint cleansing gel. The gentle rosewood scrub lifts the dead skin, and then a refreshing cold compress is applied to instantly make your skin feel tighter.
Why we love it: The gentle extraction did not feel painful at all, and the fresh clean skin feeling appeals to me very much, especially in this climate! The O2 spray machine looks intimidating but actually was a pleasant feeling and the fine lines around my mouth and eyes seemed much less prominent. And the shoulder, neck scalp massage was a wonderful relaxing 20 minutes whilst the mask was on.
Nitty-gritty: Ask for Debbie; she is knowledgeable and quietly talks you through each step, but allows you peace to relax. She does an incredible facial massage, and her shoulder massage soothed out knots in my tired shoulders.
Cost: $196 and well worth it.
Tel: 6225 5672
MUM’S THE WORD
Who reviewed it: Beate “Rather Pregnant” Baldry
Where she went: Sylvia’s Secrets
Where it is: 559 Bukit Timah Road, #03-1A King’s Arcade (Also at 100 Turf Club Road, #01-02C Horsecity, 6465 5338)
What she got: Hydradermie Double Ionisation – their star facial treatment
Who needs it: Anyone – as the treatment is customised to your skin’s individual needs, this facial suits all skin types and your particular skin concerns can be catered for. Being pregnant, my skin has gone through the pigmentation gamut, is dehydrated and fine lines are also threatening, so I’m in need of some magic.
Products and technology used: For pigmentation, Guinot’s lightening serum gel with Vitamin C and Clariskin, to reduce the synthesis of melanin and for dehydration and fine lines; Guinot’s hydrating serum for cellular renewal, firming and toning.
The star here is the hydradermie machine – its double ionisation and galvanic currents allow the products to deeply penetrate the skin, delivering key active ingredients to correct problem areas.
Why we love it: This facial felt very comprehensive with the use of a combination of cleansers, fruit acid exfoliators, light serum gels, massage techniques, steaming, extraction and the hydradermie machine – leaving my skin feeling hydrated, cleansed and radiant. A completely relaxing experience complete with an adept head and shoulder massage from Letitia’s skillful hands – so good, in fact, that I’m tempted to go back for the prenatal massage.
Nitty-gritty: This is a great facial overhaul that would be perfect before a special occasion; I was assured it wouldn’t cause breakouts, thanks to its antibacterial oxygen micro-circulation boost. So far, so good!
Cost: $200 for 105 minutes
Tel: 6469 0833
Who reviewed it: Monica “Too Frugal for a Monthly Facial” Pitrelli
Where she went: Visage
Where it is: 402 Orchard Road, #02-12/14 Delfi Orchard
What she got: Balancing Facial with ampoule
Who needs it: Those with combination skin troubles who, like me, are caught in an endless cycle of using oil-stripping astringents to prevent spots followed by heavy moisturisers to prevent wrinkles. It’s like a maddening, never-ending yo-yo diet for the face.
Products used: A combination of Rosa Graf (German), Anesi (French) and Germain de Capuccini (Spanish).
Why we love it: The T-zone is treated separately – no super-hydrating products here, thanks – so each part gets the right care. Fans of extraction, this one is for you! Those in need of a little R&R can expect an unbelievably relaxing experience – in fact, I fell asleep three times. It was like a facial, massage and therapy session all rolled into one 120-minute treatment.
Nitty-gritty: Ask for Yvonne – she’ll chat to put you at ease, then quieten down while you drift into another world during the massage sessions. The Orchard location is perfect for a little pre-facial shopping, and there’s underground parking for a quick exit – facials don’t always leave you looking pretty, you know.
Cost: $138 (which even this penny-pincher will swing for, for a full mind-body experience).
Tel: 6733 0933
Who reviewed it: Yusrina “Traditional 3-Step Beauty Regime” Yusoff
Where she went: Aesthetic Works Medical Associates
Where it is: 80 Marine Parade Road, #05-17 Parkway Parade
What we got: Silkpeel Dermalinfusion and RevLite Laser Skin Rejuvenation
Who needs it: Both treatments are suitable for anyone from teenagers with serious acne skin condition to those with ageing skin. My treatment was customised for my recurring mild acne. It’s especially good for treating blemishes and acne scars caused by squeezing.
The technology: Silkpeel uses medical grade diamond treatment heads with a medicated solution, which can be customised for skin with acne, hyperpigmentation or fine lines. RevLite Laser uses PhotoAcoustic Therapy Pulse (PTP) technology, which is used to reduce wrinkles, remove hair and reduce acne scars; it is suitable for all types of skin.
Why we love it: After facial cleansing and a quick but relaxing face massage, the real deal began. The Silkpeel was not exactly comfortable; it felt like sandpaper exfoliating the skin. But it was worth it for a smoother and blackhead-free skin. The result was instant and with a couple more treatments, my skin would probably be as smooth as a baby’s. The laser bleached the facial hair, making my skin appear flawless.
Nitty-gritty: Level 5 is not connected to the rest of the levels. Take the lift or escalator up to Level 4, then take another escalator located near a hair salon. Aesthetics Works is situated behind other stores so don’t panic if you can’t find it. It’s best not to wear makeup, so that Dr Sim can better assess your skin.
Cost: $180 for Silkpeel and $350 for RevLite Laser (before GST).
Tel: 6493 3678
Who reviewed it: Verne “Give Me Technology” Maree
Where she went: Mendis Aesthetics
Where it is: 333A Orchard Road, #04-17 Mandarin Gallery
What she got: Exilis treatment
Who needs it: Anyone with ageing skin who could do with some serious skin tightening and the reduction of fatty deposits, especially in the jaw area, but also around the eyes.
Technology used: Exilis is a relatively new aesthetic device that uses sophisticated thermal energy – both radiofrequency and ultrasound – to bring about positive changes to your appearance, reducing wrinkles and remodelling skin. Apart from firming up lax skin, it works to shrink fat cells by increasing the metabolic rate within them. It’s fairly quick and completely painless; like a warm and comforting facial massage.
Why we love it: Because Dr Mendis is an artist – literally, he paints, too! – who carefully examines your face from an aesthetic standpoint, takes the time to find out what previous treatments you may have had, and has a full arsenal of high-tech technology to call upon, complemented by a line of pure and natural Swiss-made skin products that feel fantastic and work magic: the Ageless Series Regenerative Serum and the super-matte SPF25 Sunblock get a big thumbs-up.
Nitty-gritty: Parking in Orchard is easy, especially if you go first thing in the morning as I like to do; otherwise public transport is the way to go, and Somerset is the nearest MRT station. To be beautiful both inside and out, grab a salad at Jones the Grocer, a few shops along from Mendis Aesthetics.
Cost: Until the end of 2011, $1,500 for two sessions; thereafter, $1,000 per session. Ideally, four sessions within a month are recommended.
Tel: 6235 1728
Who reviewed it: Katie “Nearing the Big Four-Oh” Roberts
Where she went: Privé Clinic
Where it is: One Raffles Place #05-04A
What she got: Scarlett Radio Frequency
Who needs it: Those for whom youthful skin is but a distant memory, as fine lines, sun damage, pigmentation marks and nasolabial folds start to show.
Products used: Privé uses its own skin products, specially developed by dermatologists to complement its treatments.
Why we love it: This is not a pampering experience, but a cosmetic procedure that delivers tighter skin and smaller pores, evens out pigmentation and reduces fine wrinkles. Do follow the post-treatment cautions to ensure optimal results.
Nitty-gritty: After a computerised skin analysis, a topical anaesthetic is applied and left for an hour to take effect. Dr Toh then conducts the 20-minute procedure. I felt some discomfort as the micro-needle penetrated the skin. After the application of a soothing cream, I had some redness and felt some residual numbness that subsided overnight. Best done in the late afternoon, when you can go straight home. I’m told that the full lifting effect is evident after two weeks; results can last from 12 to 18 months. Three treatments done one month apart are recommended.
The entrance to the carpark at One Raffles Place is between the Malacca Centre and Bank of Singapore.
Cost: $2,000 per session
Tel: 6535 8684
Who reviewed it: Louise “Time to Bring Out the Big Guns” Rubin
Where she went: The Wellness Clinic
Where it is: #03-07/08 Camden Medical Centre, 1 Orchard Boulevard
What she got: Facial Rejuvenation (three-stage treatment)
Who needs it: Those who feel like they’ve reached the end of the line with at-home products that smell pretty but don’t seem to make much difference, or with beauty treatments that plump up our skin for mere minutes.
Products used: Medical-grade treatments as well as a bespoke range of facial products for purchase to continue skin care at home.
Why we love it: This is no touchy-feely beauty session with aromatherapy oils, silky massage and dimmed lights. When the practitioner is a medical doctor (Dr Nath is UK-trained), it’s a different ball game. Think visible results, expensive machines and fluorescent lights – all the better to see you with, my dear.
Nitty-gritty: Dubbed by some a “lunch-break procedure”, my consultation and three-stage treatment took less than an hour. And who wants to linger? Microdermabrasion smoothed out my epidermis, while an Elite laser coaxed deeper skin structures to produce more collagen. Finally, a fruit acid peel was applied, to be washed off that night before bed. For three days afterwards, you’ll look like an irresponsible sunbather who napped at midday by the pool, but a very gentle peeling will reveal baby-soft and paler-hued skin below.
Cost: $650 (the likely cost of my failed lotions and potions!)