Ahhh, extraction facials. You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them.
Let’s be honest: if extraction facials didn’t deal with our clogged pores so effectively, how many of us would voluntarily still sit through them?
For the sake of smoother, cleaner, brighter skin, we will!
We were also pleasantly surprised to find out that most of these extraction facials are also close to painless, as many of our reviewers with low pain tolerances found out.
1. Porcelain Spa
Reviewer: Kristen Juliet Soh
Jenny Teng’s expertise in facial techniques began in the 1990s when she ran a facial service straight from a HDB bomb shelter in Jurong, earning her repute and fame despite the unconventional location. In 2009, Pauline and Jenny Teng started Porcelain, and things only got better.
Just as Porcelain grew to become a popular chain of luxurious facial spas, Jenny’s famous extraction facial got upgraded to become the QuintessentialTM, an extraction treatment which can only be done by therapists who have personally undergone six months of training with Jenny, and which is one of the salon’s signatures.
Especially effective for those who suffer from congested and acne-prone skin, the Quintessential facial involves a thorough skin analysis, followed by an intensive and thorough extraction session to clear congested pores. Finally, an after-care procedure is in place to make sure your skin heals quickly.
While the Quintessential focuses on extraction, the spa takes into account the difference between every person’s skin, and tailors it to your skin’s condition and needs. Customers who sign up for a Quintessential facial treatment may not undergo the exact same process, depending on how different their skin is.
Unlike many other facial salons that promise instant gratification and results, Porcelain realises that good things come to those who wait. They don’t claim to perform miracles, but with time and commitment from both their clients and their therapists, they can give you the next closest thing: longer-lasting results.
I don’t usually suffer from seriously clogged pores nor acne until recently – my skin broke out, probably because of hormonal changes and work stress. The clogging problem was especially bad around my forehead, my left cheek, and my chin. My skin also looked dull, lifeless, and tired.
My therapist studied my skin and told me to brace myself for an intensive extraction ahead. She said that many of my pores were clogged and that extraction was going to be painful. I decided to trust them with this, as Porcelain therapists undergo a minimum of three months of intensive training, and a minimum of six in order to perform the signature Quintessential facial treatment.
The extraction technique involved using metal tools to poke and compress the clogged pore, in order to make sure that every single bit of gunk is removed – including those stubborn ones that are buried deep within.
Just as my therapist had warned, extraction was painful. But it was very gratifying to see all the gunk that she had removed cleaned off on a tissue.
When the extraction was completed, a custom-blended mask and LED therapy was done on my skin to help soothe it so that my skin could calm down and the pain was relieved.
Right after the facial, my complexion looked significantly brighter, but there were also tiny red spots all over my face (at the areas where extraction was done).
By the next morning, the spots started to scab, and it actually looked a little horrifying. I was advised not to wear any makeup for the next few days and not to pick at the scabs to allow my skin to heal naturally.
The therapist said that full healing would happen within three days to one week, depending on how quickly my skin could heal itself. To help it heal faster, I was advised to use hydrating masks regularly.
Besides scabbing, there were also tiny dots of pus appearing on a few areas over the next few days. These can be easily cleaned off with a cotton pad soaked in toner. I was told that the skin continues to purge the gunk that it has within, and surfaces as the skin begin to heal.
Sure enough, after five days, my skin began to clear up. The scabs fell off by themselves and dry spots started soothing. My skin looked smooth and bright, and all the clogging were evidently gone.
I would recommend this facial if you want a solution for clogged pores. However, note that you’ll need to have some tolerance for pain and the patience to wait for results to happen. Speak to the therapist to manage your expectations.
As the brand says, “We don’t promise instantaneous miracles, but over time and with commitment, clients see clearer, more radiant skin.” Good things come to those who wait, and great skin is one good thing that’s definitely worth being patient for.
- Porcelain, The Face Spa
15 Cantonment Road, Singapore 089739
Contact: +65 6227 9692
- Porcelain Signatures
7 Wallich Street #01-02, Tanjong Pagar Center, Singapore 078884
Contact: +65 6386 5388
2. Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique
Reviewer: Mandy Wong
Let me start off my review by saying: I absolutely detest extractions. They are my least favourite part of any facial, and I’m always looking for excuses to ask therapists to skip them. I don’t even mind “not getting my money’s worth” if it means saving myself that period of intense stress.
I have an extremely low pain tolerance, and extractions always make me feel extremely irritable. I don’t even get any satisfaction from feeling the gunk getting squeezed out from my pores, so for me, it’s just a process of pure pain and no pleasure.
I was told, however, that Geranium’s extractions were really painless. My curiosity was piqued, but I was also bracing myself. What may seem painless to others may still be more than painful enough for me.
After a personal consultation with my therapist, I was to go through the Sensi Treatment, which helped to calm down my easily irritated skin, and also to build up resistance against external aggressors that might damage the skin.
After my therapist cleansed my face with a soothing milk, she applied an enzyme peel on my face that not only gently dissolved dead skin cells, but also helped to soften up blackheads, whiteheads, and other clogged pores, so that the following extraction would be more painless.
My skin sometimes get a little red and tingly with enzyme peels, but I was happy to note that I felt nothing but a soothing coolness with the one my therapist used for me at Geranium.
Next came the moment of truth: would the extraction be painless enough for my already low pain threshold?
The simple answer is: yes, it was painless.
It was probably a combination of the softening enzyme peel done before the extraction, as well as the technique that the therapist used, but I felt next to nothing during the whole extraction process. The hardest pinch I felt never amounted to more than a very short twinge which was completely bearable.
I also enjoyed how my therapist applied cold compression patches, which are pre-chilled, on to my skin immediately after she was done extracting one area, and before she moved on to extracting the next area.
The cold compresses were soaked in an in-house blend of essential oils to calm the skin and promote healing, but they also really helped in soothing my nerves too.
I kid you not: I almost fell asleep during the extraction process.
It was definitely the first time I’ve ever come close to dozing off during an extraction, and no one can be more surprised at it than I was.
The extraction was followed by a very, very soothing facial massage, during which I actually did fall asleep. The treatment was then completed with a double mask that was left to sit on my face for 15 minutes.
Just because the extraction was painless doesn’t mean it wasn’t effective too. My skin felt clearer and brighter after the facial treatment, and I had no red marks.
My day was also made when I received comments that very evening after my facial that my skin looked “glowy”.
Would I go back to Geranium again? Absolutely. It’s not every day that I find a facial salon with extractions so painless that I am almost lulled to sleep but still emerge with results to show for it. “No pain, no gain” is a maxim that doesn’t apply here!
Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique
Address: No. 26 Horne Road, BH Building #01-01, Singapore 209062
Website: Geranium’s Facebook
Telephone: +65 6294 2581
- Mon-Fri: 11am to 9pm
- Sat, Sun: 10.30am to 7.30pm
- Public holidays: Closed
3. My Cozy Room Boutique Spa
Reviewer: Hwang Ji Ah
In the heart of Orchard lies My Cozy Room, an award-winning boutique spa dedicated to providing beauty treatments specially tailored to every skin type. They are tucked away in a quiet corner right behind Paragon, which is actually surprisingly perfect – the location is accessible while remaining away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD.
Stepping into the small yet cozy place, I marvelled at the Victorian-esque interior dotted with warmly lit candles. I was then broken out of my reverie by a therapist who sat me down to explain the treatment I would be trying out today: My Premium Pore Extraction Facial.
The therapist was friendly and clearly very knowledgeable. She proceeded to give me a thorough skin assessment, immediately pointing out some of my skin troubles without hesitation – blackheads, dry patches and some slight pigmentation.
Despite the coziness of the location, it’s evident that My Cozy Room has made waves in their beauty industry, with the number of awards and trophies that litter a table in the reception area. It served to make me feel more at ease, knowing that My Cozy Room has earned these signs of achievement from industry insiders!
She continued to give me a quick yet informative rundown of the BABOR products that would be utilised. Originated and made in Germany, I was told that the brand uses only natural plant-based ingredients of the highest quality. I could rest assured knowing that my skin was in good hands.
The treatment started off with deep cleansing, deep exfoliation, lotion, and steaming. My therapist explained to me that this would assist in removing dead skin cells and prepare the skin for more effective results. As the steaming began, I felt my pores begin to open – and I was ready for the extraction.
After the necessary skin prep, my therapist then proceeded to skillfully remove my blackheads and whiteheads with both a metal extracting tool and tweezers, which was interesting as most other facial salons usually focus only on one technique.
However, my therapist was switching between the techniques with precision and skill, and it was clear that she was very invested in the extraction process. Her professionalism really made the difference for me, and also made the extraction a gentle but thorough process.
You can really tell how much My Cozy Room emphasises on the thoroughness of their extraction from its length. The entire extraction took a whopping 40 minutes, which is a lot longer than the 10 to 15 minutes that most other facial salons allocate to the process.
The length also meant that extraction was done at a precise and steady pace, and the therapist could really take her time to examine my skin and face thoroughly for the tiniest blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. Despite the length, however, the extraction always remained gentle, and comparatively less painful than other facials I have gone for.
After the extraction was over, my therapist applied a skin tonic to disinfect, soothe, and reduce redness. A high frequency treatment was then done to further disinfect the pores and prevent acne from forming. This machine sounded scary at first, but I was surprised to find that it only left a pleasant tingling sensation all over my face and didn’t hurt at all.
I was then given an icy rose quartz crystal eye massage which interested me greatly; I had heard of the healing properties of crystals but have never actually tried it. It felt pleasantly cool on my eyelids and I was in bliss.
The 20-step treatment wrapped up with My Cozy Room’s special alginate mask that covered my eyes, nose, and lips for a complete facial rejuvenation. It consists of deep sea algae, which helps to flush out metabolic waste and also refine pores for an even, clearer complexion – sounds like an absolute treat!
I dozed off as I let the mask sit, letting the cooling sensation do its job in bringing down the temperature of the skin. The procedure was really that comfortable, and my skin has never felt more moisturised after the mask was done. The following shoulder and hand massage was a nice touch too, and I left the boutique feeling recharged and radiant.
Besides minimal pain, the extraction facial is also meant to leave you with minimal redness after the session. For me, the redness I experienced cropped up only a few hours after my facial, but then quickly subsided by the next day.
All in all, the facial ended with visible results – just after one session!
I used to have visible blackheads on my nose, but these were very much reduced after the facial, which also made my skin look clearer. I also had tangible bumps and blackheads along other areas of my face, but those had also been extracted away, leaving my skin feeling smoother and feeling better than before.
I highly recommend My Cozy Room’s Premium Pore Extraction Facial for all us brave women out there battling clogged pores and problematic acne.
4. Derma Lab Beauty & Wellness
Reviewer: Vivian Yeong
This was actually my very first facial ever, and I was frankly a little nervous as I wasn’t sure what to expect. It also didn’t help that my sensitive skin hadn’t been at its best since a few years ago.
Thankfully, the therapist at Derma Lab Beauty & Wellness was very patient with me and went out of her way to make sure that I was always comfortable throughout the entire facial. She helped me select an extraction facial suitable for my sensitive skin and carefully explained the steps so I wouldn’t be taken by surprise.
We started with double cleanse – first with milk, then with gel. My therapist pointed out to me that I had a lot of tiny bumps on my face, which was a sign that my pores were clogged.
She then asked me about my skincare routine (almost non-existent, besides washing my face and using masks), and my makeup products (primer and BB cream).
After listening to the description of my usual skincare habits, she kindly explained the reasons that could have led to the clogging of my pores, which included lack of double cleansing in my skincare routine, as well as my usage of BB cream that was too oily for my skin, which was already oily on its own.
The next step was peeling, which was done to exfoliate the dead skin cells, followed by a steamer to open up my pores. After these were done, we finally got to the crux of the facial: the extraction.
My therapist forewarned that this was the most powerful step in the entire facial, and that it would be even more painful for me because I had never done any extraction before, especially since a lot of my pores were clogged.
It did hurt a fair bit, but the pain was definitely bearable, despite my low pain tolerance. The extraction process took about 15 to 20 minutes.
My therapist even showed me the tissue paper on which was the dirt and gunk that had been extracted from my pores to let me see how serious my condition was, and it was indeed truly shocking to realize how clogged my pores had been all this time.
The following steps were very relaxing and were meant to close the pores while preventing bacteria from causing more acne in future.
A toner that was both anti-bacterial and anti-acne was applied, followed by a purifying concentrate. High frequency was then applied to my face (with a fair warning not to be too nervous by the faint electrical buzzing sound that the wand makes), but with no discomfort or pain at all.
The last step was an anti-bacterial mask. This was probably my favourite step, because I managed to take a quick snooze in a relaxing environment for about 15 minutes.
After the facial, my face did look visibly redder because of the extraction. It also felt a little painful and itchy, but nothing very uncomfortable. Upon closer inspection in the mirror, I could see that my pores were definitely clear.
However, for the first few days after the facial, the spots where I had the extraction done remained slightly red, but it was nothing I couldn’t cover with some light foundation.
I also took my therapist’s advice and swapped out my usual BB cream for some lightweight foundation. As a result, I actually saw a vast improvement in my skin. My pores were no longer clogged, and my skin had never looked this good before in years!
The red spots from the extraction were also completely gone after about five days, so there is no need to worry if you do experience the same thing.
I would definitely highly recommend this extraction facial to anyone who’s having problems with clogged pores, and is looking for a treatment suitable for sensitive skin.
Derma Lab Beauty & Wellness
Address: 101 Thomson Road, #02-08B United Square Shopping Mall, Singapore 307591
Telephone: +65 6226 3038
WhatsApp: +65 9089 4498
5. Le Facialle
Reviewer: Celine Chen
Novena Square 2 may seem like a regular mall, except for one thing. Their basement level houses an impressive number of health and beauty spas, one of which is the outstanding Le Facialle, at which I had the privilege to try out their extraction facial. I had a couple of blackheads that did not want to budge, so I was excited to finally get rid of them.
Upon entering, I was greeted with the quaint but luxurious design of the reception room, which immediately calmed my anxiety about the impending pain I was expecting from the extraction facial.
The friendly receptionist promptly introduced me to my therapist Joanne, explaining that she had 20 years of experience behind her, and that I would be in good hands for the rest of the session.
She began by removing my makeup and cleansing my skin with a gel that felt very pleasant and refreshing. Then, she proceeded to exfoliate my skin with a gel that contained little beads. Joanne advises using exfoliants with an even surface such as those that contain microbeads so as not to tear or cause trauma to the skin.
The next step was the warm steam, which was to soften the blackheads and make the extraction process easier, faster, and less painful. The feeling of the steam against the face was akin to being in a sauna, and while it occasionally felt slightly stuffy, it was nothing unbearable. All in the name of clear skin, am I right? Joanne also made sure to apply a balm on my lips before the next few steps.
Then came the part I dreaded – the extraction. To my complete and utter surprise, I barely felt anything throughout the process, save for the few blackheads that she really had to dig into. This is when she really squeezes all that gunk and dirt out that has been clogging our pores and causing those pesky pimples.
After wiping my face down, she slathered cooling serums to calm the skin down. She then used cold crystal balls to massage my face gently, and this was by far one of the most comfortable experiences I’ve had at a facial ever!
The coldness of the crystal balls coupled with the rhythmic circular massage made the slight, remaining discomfort from the previous extraction completely disappear. This went on for a minute or so, which was too short in my opinion.
The serums were then followed by a thick cooling mask, which she left on for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, she gave me a head, neck, and shoulder massage. The best was the head massage, which relieved all the pent-up stress and headaches that I’ve built up over the week. She then ended the session with applying sunscreen.
After the facial, I was offered fragrant tea at the reception, which I gratefully accepted. The warm drink and deep face cleanse really made me feel like a whole new person.
Since this was my first time here, Joanne took the time to prescribe me a customised skincare routine with some of the same products she’d used during the facial to upkeep the results for a longer time.
Immediately following the facial, the redness on my face, typical after any extraction, is limited to my nose area and in between my eyebrows where I had a few stubborn blackheads.
After about three to four days following the facial, the redness on my face had completely subsided and my skin is still gunk-free. Makeup glides on so much smoother and I have subtle radiance and glow, which I’m loving.
Even though I’ve been to a couple of extraction facials before, I can say that this was the best I’ve experienced so far! The ones I had previously been to never provided the same amount of care and attention to detail as Le Facialle did. I will definitely be back here on my own again!