In our increasingly time-starved lives, when it comes to facial treatments in Singapore we tend to look for something that is effective and convenient with lasting benefits. This month, we review facials from salons around town that we believe tick all the boxes.
Image Skincare Wrinkle Lift Facial
Aside from a host of other anti-ageing and hair-removal treatments, GloAesthetics also offers a facial with a difference. Its key element is a chemical peel from the Image skincare line from California, containing all-natural and organic ingredients suspended in a base of soothing aloe vera.
As the range of peels caters for a wide range of conditions, from acne through to wrinkles, blemishes and uneven skin pigmentation, your facial will be customised to whatever your skin needs most. Potent Acne Lift Peel, for example, has an effective blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids, plus anti-inflammatory agents to treat and heal acne, while the Lactic Kojic Peel contains a blend of lactic acid and kojic acid, which target uneven pigmentation, treat rosacea and lighten the skin.
Each peel in the range contains a host of other active ingredients, such as:
– Anti-oxidising Vitamin C and green tea
– A blend of exfoliating fruit enzymes
– Hyaluronic acid for hydration
– Skin-lightening bearberry
– Skin-revitalising polypeptides
– Anti-inflammatory meadowsweet, comfrey and chamomile
I’m having the Wrinkle Lift Peel: equal amounts of exfoliating glycolic acid and collagen-synthesising retinol, both at 40-percent strength for a powerful effect. It’s said to be good for ageing, wrinkles, rough complexion, uneven skin tone, smoker’s skin, oiliness and so on.
After a thorough cleaning with a “peel prep” toner, Patricia paints on the citrus-scented peel with a brush. (I’m glad she includes my neck in the treatment; I’ve seen too many 30-year-old faces above 70-year-old necks.)
The solution is left on for anything from two to a maximum of eight minutes, depending on skin reaction. A little fan is used to cool my face, but it’s hardly necessary – the sensation is no more than a slight tingle.
Then comes a lovely Vitamin C mask to calm the skin and speed up recovery. As I happen to have a Vitamin C serum at home, Patricia advises me to use that nightly for the next week, rather than anything containing strong active ingredients such as peptides, and as this is a retinol (Vitamin A) based treatment, I’m advised to avoid the sun for at least a week, or use a high-SPF sun block.
The treatment lasts a mere 20 minutes, and I’m in and out of GloAesthetics within half an hour with all questions answered. That leaves me ample time for a super-healthy bowl of yong tau foo at the Novena Square 2 food court, conveniently located below Novena Medical Centre.
There’s no downtime at all, and you can have this peel as often as once a month. Because of the ultra-soothing gel base, any flaking should be very minimal – and so it was.
Cost: $115 + GST is the trial price for first-timers; this is 40 percent off the usual price. Packages are available after that.
GloAesthetics, #09-30 Novena Medical Centre, 10 Sinaran Drive, 6397 7012
SPA AT LOEWEN GARDENS
Oxy Face Lifting Treatment
Once described as being like a “facelift minus the surgery”, the Oxy Face Lifting Treatment is the latest addition to the series of Karin Herzog facials offered at the Spa at Loewen Gardens.
Each one uses oxygen-infused products by Karin Herzog (both Kate Middleton and Victoria Beckham are said to be big fans), and caters to different skin types and conditions – for example, those in need of a boost of hydration or an acne treatment.
The new lifting treatment begins with a cleansing ritual: Karin Herzog Professional Cleansing Cream is used to remove makeup, including mascara, followed by a double cleanse with cleansing milk and a toner from the range.
Next comes an exfoliation with a serum catered to your skin type, using a soft facial brush – you’ll experience a warm, comfortable sensation on the skin as the serum is left on for five to 10 minutes.
Following that, nourishing facial oil will be massaged in and left for four to five minutes. Then you’ll be ready for the quick extraction process. It finishes off with a relaxing, 20-minute facial massage using more tailored products for your skin type. The result? A luminous complexion that is silky-soft to the touch.
Cost: $220 for 100 minutes.
Spa at Loewen Gardens, 75e Loewen Road, Tanglin Village, 6471 1922
VISAGE THE SALON
In a city that’s sleek and modern and where most treatment rooms look the same, going to Visage for a facial feels a bit like going on holiday to an Indonesian resort. The lighting is gentle, while the antique-looking wooden cupboards and batik wraps create a relaxing “island-life” atmosphere.
The treatment begins with a deep cleansing and toning ritual, followed by an extraction. It was a little hard to get my power nap in this process – Chris, my therapist, leaves “no stone unturned”. (I can’t think of a more suitable idiom, but you know what I mean.) This is after an extensive but soft exfoliation. I’d also opted to have my eyebrows waxed and tinted, and she paid just as much attention to this as my facial and was very detailed – down to the last hair. After that, once she started to put the mask on, I was gone to the world.
I was slowly bought back to the present with a wonderful shoulder, neck and upper back massage, and after that a refreshing cup of tea, which set me up for the drive home.
Most facials are relaxing and your skin feels nice afterwards, but two days after the facial, my face and neck still feel so smooth and hydrated – and there’s not a blocked pore in sight! Visage has always been praised for its Brazilians and other waxing services, but now I think it’s safe to say we can consider the Balancing Facial one of its “must-try” treatments too.
Cost: $150 for 120 minutes.
Visage The Salon, #02-11 Delfi Orchard, 6733 0933
Filorga Cryolift Facial
A treatment to try if you suffer from a dull and tired complexion is the new Cryolift facial; it has a lot of medical research behind it, and combines the high performance of products by skincare brand Filorga with the stimulating effect of cryotherapy (the use of extreme cold during a treatment).
Despite the fact that your skin gets blasted with cold air (at minus 18 degrees Celsius) there is actually no discomfort. In fact, the process serves to open the skin’s blood vessels, boost microcirculation and pump cells full of oxygen, right to the deepest dermal layers. You’ll be left with dramatically more toned and radiant skin that is firmer to the touch.
If you’d like to continue the regime at home, the salon has a full range of professional Filorga products in house, too.
Cost: $300 for 90 minutes (first trial price).
Sylvia’s Secrets, 100 Turf Club Road, Horsecity, 6465 5338 and 559 Bukit Timah Road, #03-01A Kings Arcade, 6469 0833
DIY FACIAL AND SKINCARE TIPS FROM THE EXPERTS
Patricia Sia, GloAesthetics, says: “Be sure to use products designed for your skin type. For example, a Vitamin C range is often good for someone from 25 to 30 years of age; after 40, look for a formulation containing peptides to encourage skin-cell turnover, which naturally slows down with age.”
Amanda Ong, Spa at Loewen Gardens, says: “Incorporate aromatic stimuli and deep breathing techniques into your regime. This releases serotonin and helps with relaxation (as well as taking a few creases off your face). Put two or more drops of facial oil into the palm of your left hand, then rub clockwise with the flat palm of your right hand. Then, cup your hands together over your nose and mouth and inhale deeply.”
Chris from Visage The Salon says: “After washing your face, gently rub ice over it. This helps to diminish the size of pores by constricting the blood vessels underneath and stimulating circulation.”
Sylvia Haughey, Sylvia’s Secrets, says: “Every day, apply your cleanser or creams using lymphatic drainage movements. I’ve always believed that this technique helps to keep the face toned and radiant while reducing any fluid retention. To begin, start massaging from the chin up and along the right jawline towards the earlobe. Work up one side of the face up to the forehead, and then do the same for the other side of the face. Repeat the whole motion gently several times.”