Extraction facials are sometime seen as a pain – quite literally. Many of us shy away from them because it goes against what our mum taught us: Never pop your zits!
What our mums didn’t tell us is actually that we can pop our zits and squeeze out blackheads, but only if we know exactly how to do it. This is something the estheticians who specialise in extraction facials are trained to do.
Why is extraction good for our skin?
Clogged pores are a fact of life that most of us have to live with, even those who are conscientious with exfoliation. Removing whiteheads and blackheads not only prevent the appearance of pimples (which is the inflammation of blackheads), the absence these blemishes also give skin a smooth texture and clear look. When these gunk, which fills and stretch pores, is removed, your pores will also effectively appear visibly smaller.
While stubborn clogging can require more effort to remove and can be irritating to the skin, a good extraction shouldn’t be unbearable. You should also not leave the facial cabin with skin that’s very red, or worse, scarred.
Whether you have acne-prone, clogged skin or just looking for extraction facials to help with regular maintenance, we have short-listed some of the top facial salons in Singapore that are well-known for extraction services. To make sure they really live up to their names, the Daily Vanity team has also visited the salons personally and tried out the facial treatments for ourselves to tell you how we feel about them.
1. Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique
Reviewer: Kristen Juliet Soh
Tucked away at quiet corner in Lavender (but just a three-minute walk to the Lavender MRT station), Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique has a cosy, welcoming ambience that quickly sets me in a relaxed mood. Geranium is well known for their extraction facials, and make sure all their estheticians are professionally trained in extraction techniques to provide the best experience for all their clients.
My esthetician, Angela, is knowledgeable and was able to quickly assess my skin’s condition through observation and asking me a few questions. She determined that the Oxygen Treatment will work well for my complexion, and recommended their signature Face Gua Sha technique to help with detoxification and skin tightening.
How is extraction done at Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique?
“We’ll start the extraction now!” Angela announced after she prepped my skin for it (including using a gommage, which exfoliates my skin gently).
I waited for the extraction to happen while Angela worked her fingers around my nose area. “Was it going to happen soon?” I wondered. I wanted to know exactly when she was going to start with extraction so I can brace myself for it.
And then I realise that she has already started. The movements were so brisk and gentle, the process was absolutely painless. The only time there was some discomfort was when she was working on a particularly stubborn clogged pore around my forehead. This pore has been clogged for months and refused to go away no matter how regularly I exfoliated my skin at home.
But the discomfort subsided quickly. In fact, the extraction was so comfortable, I almost fell asleep.
Overall review of Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique
The Face Gua Sha technique was one of the highlights for me during the facial too. Using essential oil and a facial massage tool, Angela gently massaged my face in an upward movement. She handed the mirror to me after she was done with one side of my face and I noticed that it looked toner, with more defined jawline, and my laugh lines appeared less obvious. Angela told me that this effect can last for about ten days.
I left Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique with significantly smoother skin – the clogged pores that I observed before the facial around my chin and nose were completely cleared out. My skin that looked tired before the facial looked radiant and energetic, and I was very pleased with my experience.
Because I have relatively good skin with little problems, I usually don’t see huge differences at facials. However, Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique delivered a visible change that I was very pleased with – the radiance and smoothness lasted days after the facial. I would definitely recommend Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique anyone who’s looking for a good extraction facial.
Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique is located at 26 Horne Road, BH Building #01-01 (near Lavender MRT station). Call 6294-2581 for appointments or visit their Facebook page for more information.
2. Indulgence Beauty
Reviewer: Grace Ang
Helmed by Anna Chye, who has 17 years of experience as an esthetician and principal trainer, Indulgence Beauty uses products from MD Dermatics because its products saved Anna’s skin. Anna used to have troubled, acne-prone skin and only MD Dermatics products worked for her, which is why she swears by it and recommends it for her clients.
The facial salon, located conveniently at Tanjong Pagar, is also known for manual extraction (using hand only, and no metal extractors) because they believe it is the best way to perform extraction without leaving scars or redness.
After going observing my skin using an analysis equipment, Anna determined the general condition of my skin and identified the areas she should pay more attention to. Besides helping her to decide the treatment most suited for me, Anna also made use of the information to give me useful skincare tips according to my routine, which I’m thankful for because I don’t always get relevant advice from all the estheticians I’ve visited.
How is extraction done at Indulgence Beauty?
After exfoliation, Anna steamed my face for about 10 to 15 minutes to “open up” the pores for ease of extraction. Using only a piece of tissue paper and her fingers, Anna meticulously worked around my clogged pores and gently extracted every gunk she could find.
She doesn’t believe in using metal extractors, but used a surgical needle to poke the surface of the skin for stubborn blackheads to be removed more easily. She explained that this step breaks the surface of the skin slightly so that the blackhead that is forced out will have a specific outlet and not expand the pores unnecessarily.
For very stubborn blackheads, Anna only extracted them after she applied the Oxyjet, a jet stream that is used on skin to thoroughly deep cleanse it so that stubborn blackheads can be softened.
I’m surprised that the pain I experienced was very minimal, despite how badly clogged my skin was when I walked into Indulgence Beauty. While there was some redness right after extraction, the application of a soothing toner and the use of the Oxyjet calmed down the redness significantly.
Overall review of Indulgence Beauty
Anna did a very thorough job with the extraction but it wasn’t very painful and didn’t leave my skin bloody or red, which I sometimes get at facials. I needed minimal after-care and my skin looked visibly clearer after the facial.
I like the result of the facial at Indulgence Beauty and am looking to go back again, especially because I would probably need a few more sessions if I want to significantly improve the condition of my skin. Since my first session already made a visible difference, I’m sure I’m going to benefit even more from future sessions.
Indulgence Beauty is located at 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #02-34. Call 6225-8980 for appointments, or visit their website for more information.
3. Elements Wellness Group
Reviewer: Kristen Juliet Soh
Elements Wellness Group is probably best known for their experience and skills in massages, but the company, which owns a chain of spas around Singapore, is also a forerunner in the facial therapy arena.
How is extraction done at Elements Wellness
My skin was carefully inspected by my therapist so she can understand exactly what are the troubled areas and skin concerns. Extraction at Elements Wellness isn’t the same for every customer – techniques are applied based on the needs of each customer’s skin.
My therapist told me that because my pore size is small, the clogging in my pores lead to tiny bumps on my skin that may not be so visible, but can be felt. I agreed with her; I have been noticing tiny bumps, especially around the contours of my face when I run my fingers across my skin.
Then, she got down to work. Performing extraction only on areas that are ready for it, she pressed down on each area firmly, and made sure that I was absolutely comfortable with the entire process.
It certainly wasn’t the most painless extraction I’ve experienced, but it definitely was one of the most thorough. Right after the facial, my skin felt so much smoother – most of the bumps were gone – and there was minimal redness.
Overall review of Elements Wellness
The entire facial was done using high-tech machines and superior techniques. For instance, the Diamond Peel machine was used to perform microdermabrasion on my skin before extraction begins. This provides a mechanical exfoliation effect to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells from my skin’s surface, as well as stimulate collagen production.
After the skilful extraction, the therapist used a high frequency machine, which helps destroy bacteria on skin, calms skin down, while improving its moisture balance. This step lowers the chance of inflammation and redness.
Another highlight for me was the massages. I enjoyed the face massage and a 20-minute relaxation massage (on my shoulders, neck, and head), which were a real treat, especially on a tiring work day.
But most of all, I was impressed by how knowledgeable my therapist was in giving me advice to better care for my specific skin concerns. I took heed of the recommendations that she has given and changed up my skincare routine accordingly. My skin didn’t just become noticeably better after the session, but continued to look radiant and smooth because of my new skincare routine. The results definitely spoke for itself.
Visit one of the spas under Elements Wellness Group at the following locations:
- Elements Centrepoint: #02-28, The Centrepoint (Tel: 67378488)
- Elements ION: #B1-30, ION Orchard (67383788)
- Spa Symphony: #B2-50, [email protected] (66368878)
- Spa Infinity: #02-486, Suntec City Mall Tower 2 (67380069)
The Customised Treatment Facial by Elements Wellness is available at only SGD68 for first-time customers (UP: SGD342.40). Find out more here.
4. My Cozy Room Boutique Spa
Reviewer: Hannah Haw
Conveniently located within a five- to ten-minute walk from either Orchard or Somerset MRT Station, My Cozy Room is one of the few facial salons in Singapore that specialises in treating acne and acne-prone skin, using thorough extraction methods.
I was introduced to my therapist, who evaluated my skin condition and recommended the Best Detoxifying Facial, which she said would help me with my recent breakout.
How is extraction done at My Cozy Room?
An enzyme mask is applied on my skin to gently exfoliate it. Then, a steamer was set on my face for a few minutes to “open up” the pores on my face. These two steps prepped my skin for the extraction that was to follow, so that it can be more thorough and pain can be minimal.
I have to point out that I have been avoiding facials for years, precisely because I dread the extraction procedure. Surprisingly, the extraction was less painful than other facials that I’ve been to.
But while many other reviewers have commented on how painless their extraction experiences at My Cozy Room were, it wasn’t totally painless for me. This could be because I had too much congestion in my pores when I visited My Cozy Room, which extended the extraction process and made it less bearable towards the end.
However, my therapist took extreme care and attention in providing a complete extraction for me because of my congestion problem. She did not rush through the procedure but instead, helped to properly target each of the problem areas on my face. After the extraction, she applied a soothing and hydrating mask on my face to reduce any redness and irritation.
Overall review of My Cozy Room
My skin felt smoother and plumper immediately after the facial treatment. I was also happy to see that my skin was visibly brighter and more moisturised. There was a bit of redness after the facial, and it took three days to completely subside. You have to bear in mind, though, that I have sensitive skin that’s very prone to redness.
Nonetheless, my overall experience with My Cozy Room is positive. A week after the facial, it was very obvious to me that my skin condition had improved. My face is much smoother than before and has fewer pimples and less visible scars. I also liked that the staff are courteous and make an effort to give every customer a wonderful experience.
A case in point: My facial is supposed to last for two hours, but it took longer than stated because my therapist went the extra mile to make sure she was able to help me see positive results from the treatment. This shows that My Cozy Room places their customers as a priority, even if it requires more time and effort.
My Cozy Room Boutique Spa is located at 56A Cairnhill Road (a short walk from Paragon Shopping Centre). Call 6732-0030 for appointments, or visit their website for more information.
5. SG Face
Reviewer: Mandy Wong
For those of you who frequent Holland Village, it may still come as a surprise to you to find out that a well-frequented facial salon is located in the heart of the area. SG Face can be found on the 3rd floor of Holland Road Shopping Centre, the same building as Cold Storage and Guardian.
SG Face might be easy to miss for first-timers: they’re located around the corner from the escalator, so you need to traverse a somewhat quiet corridor before spotting their shopfront. Don’t be fooled by the small-looking shopfront, however! A sizeable back area with a locker room and five therapy rooms is hidden from view.
The salon ensures that only the most natural products that are of the best quality are used, usually from highly respected spa brands such as Babor, Jurlique, and Decleor. SG Face is renowned for their anti-acne facial, but their treatments are also suitable with sensitive skin.
How is extraction done at SG Face?
Before we began, SG Face therapists did a thorough skin assessment for me and told me that while my skin was dry on the surface, it was prone to oiliness coming from within. They recommended the sensitive skin treatment for me, and said that only products with ingredients suitable for my skin type would be used.
After the usual cleansing and steaming processes came the extraction part. This is usually my least favourite part of any facial treatment, as I have a low pain tolerance. However, I’m happy to say that SG Face passed the test for me. They used a special lotion that softens up blackheads, making them easier and less painful to extract.
Extraction was done skillfully but not harshly. My facial therapist used either a metal tool, or her own sanitized hands, depending on the blackhead that she was attempting to extract. I felt that, more so than any other facial salon, I could feel every bit of the gunk being extracted during SG Face’s procedure.
Overall review of SG Face
While there were certain red spots on more stubborn clogged pores, which the facial therapist assured me would subside within a day or two, my post-facial complexion certainly looked much milder than most facial salons.
My skin felt smoother and healthier, and I even got comments that night about how my pores looked noticeably smaller! I was very pleased with the results of the facial and would certainly recommend SG Face if you’re looking for a facial salon with an extraction process that’s efficient but not overly harsh on the skin.
SG Face – Beauty and Make-up Specialist is located at #03-42, 211 Holland Avenue, Holland Road Shopping Centre, which is just a three-minute walk from the MRT station. Call 6763-9466 or 8468-1680 for appointments and visit their website for more information.
6. D’skin Prestige
Reviewer: Mandy Wong
D’skin Prestige gives off a posh but comfortable vibe that makes me feel welcomed immediately. Using a skin analysis machine, my skin was profiled by the therapist by measurement of the hydration, pH and sebum levels of my skin. Using the information derived, my therapist was able to pick out the ideal type of facial for me.
How is extraction done at D’skin?
To prep my skin for extraction, a peeling gel was applied to exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface of my skin. Then, my face was steamed for about five minutes. I was glad that the steaming wasn’t uncomfortable. Usually, I find that I have to turn my face away to gasp for air during the steaming process, but D’skin’s was very bearable.
D’skin is known to have specially trained therapists for extraction – in other words, therapists who haven’t been trained will only be administering non-extraction facials. Extraction is done by hand by a therapist who wears finger cots for hygiene. Metal tools are not usually used, unless for easing out more stubborn blackheads, before the therapist squeezes it out by hand.
My pain threshold is pretty low, and while it wasn’t completely pain-free for me, it was a lot less uncomfortable than I had expected. I also appreciated that my extraction therapist checked in with me to make sure I was comfortable because I told her I was afraid of pain from extraction.
Overall review of D’skin
Each therapist has a specialisation and takes charge of different parts of the facial. Like I said before, extraction can only be done by specific trained therapists, and in my session, I had another therapist who helped tweeze my brows in shape. She’s very meticulous and also frequently checked with me to make sure she was trimming them into a shape that I wanted.
The facial was relaxing, and at one point, I even fell asleep.
At the end of my session, I noticed that my problem areas looked better when I scrutinise my skin up close. I liked that it didn’t leave any significant redness and nobody could tell I just had a facial that day. I notice a significant improvement in the texture of my skin. When I run my hand over my face during makeup application, my skin feels smoother. Areas that used to be clogged, and therefore, bumpy in texture, have also smoothened out.
Reviewer: Samantha Chua
Nestled along the rows of cafés in Upper Thomson lies Ecorganics – an organic beauty spa and hair salon run by husband-and-wife team, Crystalz and Eric.
In their dedication to being green and belief in the prowess of Mother Nature, Ecorganics provides quality services using natural and organic products to its customers.
What struck me as I stepped into the facial salon was how cosy the interior was with its open space and woody furniture. This helped to put me in a relaxing mood as I had my consultation with Crystalz on my usual skincare routine and lifestyle habits.
How is extraction done at Ecorganics?
Upon assessing my facial needs (dreaded clogged pores), Crystalz explained that the treatment would involve using a gentle extraction technique – one that did not require the sharp end of the extraction tool. She shared that it is not advisable to use an extraction tool because the esthetician typically can’t see the direction in which the sebum plug is lodged in our skin. As such, poking and prodding the skin excessively could result in broken capillaries on people with sensitive skin, and can result in formation of scars.
Instead, Ecorganics uses only the loop of the extraction tool and fingers to carefully apply gentle pressure on either side of blackheads. In recognising that the skin is the largest and smartest organ in terms of regenerating itself, Ecorganics adopts a holistic approach in allowing the skin to heal itself.
Sure enough, pain was minimal and definitely bearable, and the extraction left hardly any redness on my skin.
Overall review of Ecorganics
The entire experience – from when I step into the room and was greeted with a refreshing citrus scent in the air, to the use of essential oils during the facial – leaves me feeling more rejuvenated than when I stepped into the salon.
The facial begins with a basic cleanse, scrub, and extraction, followed by a facial massage. Crystalz shared that she was trying something new and had specially concocted a bespoke aromatherapeutic facial using essential oils. This harmonious blend included lavender, tea tree, cypress and jojoba oil – all of which pleasantly surprised me when Crystalz gave me a waft before applying it to my face. This was a highlight at the facial for me, because it doesn’t just delight me sensorially, it also benefits my skin. The good news is that this new facial treatment will be available to all at Ecorganics from January 2017, so you can look forward to it.
I left the pampering session feeling rejuvenated and fresh, and a matte, healthy glow on my skin. I will recommend it to those who are believe in organic skincare solutions, have sensitive skin, or are afraid of painful extractions.
Ecorganics is located at 1 Thomson Ridge. Call 6556-4787 for appointments, or visit their website for more information.