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Late nights and exposure to city pollutants aren’t a good combination for our skin. Many city-dwellers suffer from tired and dull-looking skin, and even the most conscientious among us find that skincare products can only do so much to brighten our complexion. Thankfully, facials designed for skin brightening may help. Brightening facials typically use gentle but effective peels to remove dead skin cells, and also use products with an array of vitamins in them that can help brighten our skin instantly.

The Daily Vanity team has tried several brightening facials, but here are the five that we love and would like to share with you.

1. Antioxidant Brightening Facial at Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique

Antioxidants are essential for the skin as it helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and make skin look more radiant. That’s exactly what Geranium’s Antioxidant and Brightening Facial did for my skin.

What it is like: Like any regular facial, it starts by the cleansing of the skin from makeup. After that, a light extraction is done. If you’ve read our Best Extraction Facials article, you would know that Geranium is known for its painless extractions. The therapists are trained to remove the whiteheads and blackheads in the direction of the clogging, which is what makes it painless. However, note that slight discomfort is expected for stubborn, clogged pores, but it’s definitely very bearable.


After the extraction, the therapist then applied the Vitamin C serum that contained 15% pure, concentrated Vitamin C. This is much higher than most other Vitamin C products available in the market. As she was massaging it into my skin, there was a tingling sensation but I was told that this is normal as the Vitamin C was working to heal the skin from the extraction earlier. Pomegranate serum was then applied onto my skin. Pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties that will further aid the healing from the extraction. My skin was treated with a double mask that helped to cool the skin down.

How does it feel: It was very relaxing. As mentioned earlier, the extraction was painless and that was the first time I had slept through an extraction portion of a facial (or a facial in general). The therapist thoroughly and gently massaged the Vitamin C and Pomegranate serum into my skin.


Taken right after the facial

After the facial, I felt fresh and rejuvenated. Not only that, my skin felt clean, smooth and looked very radiant! The radiance from the antioxidant and brightening facial lasted for four to five days.

If you’re looking for great deals for brightening facials, Geranium has some amazing promotions. Click here to find out more!

Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique is located at 26 Horne Road, BH Building #01-01, which is just a three-minute walk from Lavender MRT.

2. Illuminate Facial at Porcelain Signatures

More than just a brightening facial, the Illuminate Facial uses a technology from Italy that is exclusive to Porcelain in Singapore, to deliver more benefits for the skin. It resurfaces skin so it’s smoother and offers anti-ageing benefits.

Vinotherapy at Porcelain

What is it like: The Illuminate Facial begins with the 2-in-1 Oxy-Diamond microdermabrasion, which uses an ultra-fine diamond tip to remove dead skin cells, leaving my skin feeling much smoother. This same ultra-fine diamond tip is used to infuse oxygen into my skin and provide nourishment.

Next, a thorough but gentle exfoliation is done through vinotherapy. Instead of using traditional acid peels, which can be very harsh on the skin, wine is used as a gentle peel while delivering antioxidant benefits to brighten skin and give a youthful glow.

After the removal of dead skin cells, my skin was ready to receive more goodness. According to one’s skin conditions and needs, a customised ingredient is chosen from a selection of the Deeply Hydrating Damascena Rose Lotion, Ginseng Reviving Tonic, or Purifying Witch Hazel. As my skin was dry, the Deeply Hydrating Damascena Rose Lotion was selected to deliver hydrating benefits to my skin. I was pleasantly surprised by its nice scent, which has a comforting effect on me. Hyperbaric oxygen infusion is used to penetrate these ingredients more deeply into my skin.

OxyPulse massage during the Illuminate Facial.

The most enjoyable part of the session has to be the OxyPulse Lymphatic Drainage Massage. This step is designed to get rid of toxins from the skin and it leaves my skin feeling lifted and taut. Finally, the session finishes off with the Hydrocare pH Balancing Bio-Cellulose Mask that is infused with concentrated serum to boost skin health further.

How does it feel: This isn’t the first facial I’ve done at Porcelain, but it is, hands down, my favourite. I love how my skin illuminated and felt baby-smooth after the session. Pores are unclogged without extraction, so there’s no redness or discomfort. I also like that the results persisted; I felt really good about my skin even in the next few days after the facial. I was confident enough to head out without foundation, and here’s a photo of it:

I would also recommend the new Porcelain Signatures outlet (7 Wallich Street #01-02, Tanjong Pagar Center) where I had my facial at, which is conveniently located next to Tanjong Pagar MRT Station, and has a luxurious interior without losing its cosy vibe.

Other locations include:

Porcelain Aesthetics
277 Orchard Road, Orchard Gateway #03-13, Singapore 238858

Porcelain, The Face Spa
15 Cantonment Road, Singapore 089739

3. Dr. Belter’s Shake It! Mask Facial Treatment at Annabelle Skin

Our body needs a detox once in a while, so does our skin. This facial treatment from German professional spa brand Dr. Belter nourishes skin that’s dehydrated and dull-looking.

What is it like: After cleansing, the Enzyme Cream Peeling is applied to help intensely exfoliate skin. Next the Shake it! Mask PeelOff is applied. This comes in a powder form that is activated only when it’s mixed with water and shaken. It helps with detoxification and combating the effects of pollution on skin. An ampoule is then applied, followed by another mask that’s designed for nourishing skin. Finally, an eye lotion and moisturiser are used to finish off the session.

How does it feel: It may be a two-hour session but it doesn’t feel as long as it really was, because of how much I enjoyed it. I love the scent of the products used, and am impressed by how much brighter and hydrated my skin feels immediately after the treatment.

Annabelle Skin is located at #02-42, The Adelphi.

4. SK-II Aura Lucency Facial at SK-II Boutique Spa

You’re probably already familiar with SK-II and its brightening products from the Cellumination range. This facial treatment uses its signature 55-step facial massage and triple-mask treatment to deliver a luxurious experience and effective results.

What is it like: It’s a sensorial experience that begins with the inhaling of scents from essential oils and a head massage. Skin is double cleansed, with the second cleansing done with a cleansing device. SK-II Skin Refining Treatment is first used to remove dead skin cells and soften clogging, before steaming is done to further prepare skin for extraction. After a thorough extraction that can be a little painful, especially on stubborn areas, the SK-II Whitening Source Toner is used to calm redness and soothe opened pores. The 55-step facial massage is then administered, followed by the application of masks, enhanced by the use of an ultrasound device.

How does it feel: This 105-minute facial feels very pampering and doesn’t just make my skin look more luminous, it also brightens up my mood. The massage was definitely the highlight of the session and you can be prepared to doze off during that part of the facial.

5. Natural Vitamin C and Papaya Enzyme Peel Facial at Auriga Spa

For a legit holiday experience, visit Auriga Spa, located within Capella Hotel at Sentosa. With wet facilities that you can use before and after your facial treatment, and luxurious and quiet suites, it’s definitely a relaxing experience for those who want to get away from city life.

auriga spa treatment room

What is it like: The therapist gets you relaxed at the start of the session by guiding you to breathe deeply into the scent of essential oil. The facial is kicked off with cleansing and exfoliating using carrot butter. Then, a vitamin C and papaya mask is applied to provide deep cleansing to the skin. The session finishes off with an anti-ageing collagen boost mask to help plump up skin.

How does it feel: I really felt relaxed throughout the session, especially with the scalp massage (done with a scalp serum), as well as face and shoulder massages. My skin looked radiant and less fatigue after the session and it continued to look better in the next few days after the facial. The wet facilities that consist of a steam room, ice fountain, cold shower, warm shower, and a vitality pool area are a huge bonus for those who really need a getaway.

Auriga Spa is located at 1 The Knolls, Capella Singapore, Sentosa Gateway.