If you haven’t already tried it for yourself, you probably know someone who has. Yes, we’re talking about body cupping, that fascinating traditional Chinese medicinal technique where cups are applied to various parts of the body to provide pain relief and even to promote healing. Fascinating but, if we’re going to be honest, a little scary?
You can imagine how much we were on tenterhooks when we heard about this opportunity for us to try out cupping – but on our faces! We’ve been through body cupping before, and while it certainly seemed to do what it was meant to, we can’t imagine going through the same procedure on an area so sensitive and delicate as our faces!
We were more assured when we heard that the procedure was to be done by the Refresh Group, with more than 10 years of history in Singapore and over 19 outlets islandwide! Plus, we did our homework and found out that they only use FDA-approved equipment and clinically-approved treatments to provide effective, good quality treatments for their consumers (their reasonable prices don’t hurt either).
We sat down with Refresh and found out more about this weird and wonderful new facial technique.
Facial cupping uses much smaller cups (and no heat!)
When we first said cupping, you probably immediately recalled how body cupping is traditionally done. There’s a scary candle involved, huge cups, and red circles all over the skin afterwards.
Rest assured though, facial cupping uses a completely different cup from body cupping, which is much smaller in size. It also uses a machine to exert its vacuum-like effect rather than by heat, which should definitely allay some of your fears about the process.
It follows the similar TCM principles as body cupping
Just like body cupping, what facial cupping aims to do is to detoxify the skin and improve blood circulation. Its beneficial effects include skin lifting, smoothing of wrinkles, removal of blackheads, and minimising of pores!
Sounds like a dream come true, right?
It doesn’t leave marks the way body cupping does
We know that this is the crux of the matter right here. While many of us might be able to shrug off having circular marks on our legs or shoulders after a body cupping session, we’re fairly sure nobody wants those on their face.
We were curious and had to ask Refresh how they are able to claim that no marks would be left on the face by facial cupping. After application, the facial cups are gently massaged on the skin to provide a more diffused lifting and invigorating effect.
The massaging action here makes all the difference. With body cupping, the cups are not moved, so the skin underneath gets sucked into the vacuum of the cup and it stays there. With facial cupping, because the cups are constantly being moved around, there is no one portion of your face that is stressed long enough to leave behind marks after your session.
If you happen to have sensitive skin or severe acne, however, do inform your therapist before the session. They will be able to help you reduce the suction power of the cups!
How often should you be doing it?
The effects of facial cupping can be almost immediate, according to Refresh, so you may become a facial cupping convert after your first session.
If you do, make sure you give your skin at least seven to ten days between each facial cupping treatment!
Facial cupping also serves as a complement to your regular facials, rather than a replacement. You can choose other facial treatments at Refresh that you can hop into immediately after your cupping session, such as their 75-minute Facial Detox.
We went down to try it for ourselves!
After hearing so much about facial cupping, you can’t possibly blame us for feeling an overwhelming curiosity to experience it and see how it feels like. We got our editor Juliet to go down and review the cupping experience.
Here’s what she had to say about it:
My impression of “cupping” is associated with the painful TCM process, usually done around the back, leaving behind marks that take days – sometimes, weeks – to heal. Thankfully, the cupping facial at Refresh was nothing like this.
While the cups that were used on my face looked very much like what you’ll see at a TCM clinic (but smaller), the suction process wasn’t painful at all. It felt like gentle pinches around my entire face area, with a lifting effect around my facial contours.
After a few minutes of cupping, I could feel a warm sensation around the entire area that was treated on. The therapist told me that this was normal because cupping helps encourage blood circulation and detoxification.
After cupping just one side of my face, I could see a significant lift and my skin felt tauter too. The warmth subsided quickly as the therapist applied two masks for me, one after the other, when the cupping was over. She said that this “double-masking” technique ensured that my skin was soothed and nourished.
After the facial was over, I could see some red marks on my face; they looked like the tiny red dots that you usually see after a gua sha session. I was told that it would subside within days so I’m not too bothered by it, especially since they aren’t really obvious and could be easily covered up when I apply a layer of foundation.
You won’t regret trying it for yourself
Because facial cupping requires highly trained therapists, Refresh only offers the treatment at two outlets:
Refresh Day Spa
Address: 68 Orchard Road, #03-47/48, Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839 (nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut)
Refresh Bodyworks White Sands
Address: 1 Pasir Ris Central Street 3, #01-13, White Sands, 518457 (nearest MRT: Pasir Ris)
Scan the QR code below to find out more or click the link to their site here!