We’ve all been there. You’ve been taking care of yourself for the weeks leading up to an important function, dinner, or public speaking event, just so you could look your very best without having to rely too much on makeup. You also just have to get a breakout on your face during this crucial juncture.
Or perhaps you find yourself having struggled for years with a seemingly perpetual acne situation, which refuses to calm down for good despite your best efforts.
Nobody wants this for themselves, so we’ve scoured facial salons around Singapore to find some of the best treatments to kill bacteria, soothe acne, and prevent it from recurring.
1. Spa Infinity by Elements Wellness Group
Reviewer: Cassandra Ooi
When I arrived at Spa Infinity by Elements Wellness, I was pleasantly surprised by the ambience there. The marble flooring, the gentle lighting and the relaxing lounge (very relaxing) naturally makes you loosen up. I had the chance to try their spa facilities (such as the steam shower, sauna, and jacuzzi) before my facial treatment and it deserves nothing less than a huge two thumbs up!
The staff led me to the entrance of room housing their spa facilities, which was reminiscent of a Japanese onsen. The simple yet sophisticated vanity area was spacious and comfortable, which made touching up my makeup after my session an enjoyable and luxurious experience.
I loved how the facilities were nicely compacted within the space. My particular favourite was the steam bath, as the machine was surprisingly user-friendly. The staff explained that the bath was meant to relieve tension in your body and I really did feel that my body was more relaxed after the experience, especially on the shoulders.
We moved on to the facial, which was an acne-focused treatment. My therapist was really patient when explaining to me about my skin’s condition. She really went down to the nitty-gritties on the type of products I should be using, the ingredients I should look out for in my skincare, and what after-care regime I should be doing after the facial. I really liked that the therapists at Elements Wellness were focused not just on the treatment, but also on their clients’ maintenance skincare regimes.
We started with the extraction of pimples and blackheads, which was surprisingly not painful at all! As I am someone with a really low tolerance for pain, I was more than pleased with the experience.
She applied a milk cleanser and a series of serums to prep my skin for the white clay mask. Even before the mask, I was already happy to see that my skin looked significantly cleaner and brighter. When the mask was applied, I was greeted by a refreshing citrus smell. There was a very pleasant cooling sensation on my skin, and I was struggling very hard to stay awake.
After the session, I could see obvious effects on my skin. My skin looked cleaner and my pores looked smaller. There was also a matte glow on my face, which was frequently commented upon by my friends even a few days after the session. My acne and red spots were also greatly reduced. The best part? When my mum said, “Did you do something to your face? Why is it so clean and smooth recently?”
Spa Infinity by Elements Wellness Group
Special! Customised Treatment Facial trial at only SGD 68 for new customers (usual price worth SGD 342.40). Find out more here!
Website: Elements Wellness
- 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)
2. SG Face
Reviewer: Ng Lay Peng
SG Face is tucked away on the 3rd floor of Holland Village Shopping Center, and once I stepped inside, I could immediately feel that cosy, home-like atmosphere from the friendliness of the staff and the down-to-earth decor. I found out later that only the best quality skincare products from Europe would be used during the facial, so I really felt like I was being given the best of both worlds!
While I am not particularly acne-prone, I use make-up on a daily basis and have not gone for any professional facial treatments in almost two years! The lack of care coupled with stress from work meant that I was experiencing a lot of clogged pores, blackheads and even oil seeds on my face.
The therapist at SG Face started with a thorough cleansing, and was very patient and thorough in removing my very waterproof mascara, taking over 15 minutes to do so! She then examined my skin condition to determine the kind of treatment I’d be most suitable for.
My outer skin layer was dry and dehydrated, but I had a lot of oil production in the deeper parts of my skin. The therapist recommended Babor’s Clarifying Algae Enzyme Facial. The deep-sea green, blue-green and brown algae are supposed to help supply intensive moisture to the skin, as well as help purify and detox the skin with the green-clay mask.
After steaming my face, my therapist applied a blackhead softening lotion onto my skin to make the extraction process easier and more painless. I have to really commend the extraction process in this facial. Yes, you’ve read this right! I surprised even myself when I found that I enjoyed the extraction so much.
The therapist was quick but thorough, and there was minimal pain even for sensitive areas of my face. This was followed by a cooling machine used to massage an ampoule treatment into my skin to help heal and close up the pores.
While the extraction was relatively painless, the coolness of the roller on my skin was still a very welcome sensation that eventually lulled me to sleep. I remained comfortably asleep all throughout the duration of the mask that followed!
After the facial, I shared with Michelle, manager of SG Face, that my skin felt a little too tight, and she promptly helped me to apply moisturiser onto my skin. She also warned that, as I have not done facials in a while, my skin may be a little sensitive to the treatment.
When I looked into the mirror, however, the first thing I noticed was how my skin looked calm and soothed, without any visible redness or swelling from the extraction. This was my first time ever experiencing such immediate results after a facial! My skin was also noticeably clearer and brighter.
In addition to the treatment itself, I really enjoyed and appreciated the skillful massages from my therapist during the session – she managed to hit all the right spots, leaving me relaxed and super happy. I also have to commend them for being so accommodating, acquiescing happily to my multiple requests to adjust the height of the bed just so that I could be at a comfortable angle.
While my skin was a little dry for the next week or so, I did not suffer from any pimple outbreaks which can be a common occurrence for me after facials, and my skin was noticeably healthier, less clogged, and my makeup glided on more smoothly as well!
Website: SG Face
Address: #03-42, 211 Holland Avenue, Holland Road Shopping Center, Singapore 278967 (nearest MRT: Holland Village)
Telephone: +65 6763 9466, +65 8468 1680
3. MD Dermatics Indulgence Beauty
Reviewer: Mandy Wong
Indulgence Beauty is located in one of those cosy nooks within the CBD area, located conveniently just few minutes walk away from Tanjong Pagar MRT. I was due to go for the LHE Radiancy Facial Treatment, which uses LHE (Light and Heat Energy) to even out skintone and reduce acne.
The whole purpose behind LHE is to rejuvenate the deeper layers of skin which can only be reached by light energy. The Facial Skincare Device used for the treatment will emit gentle pulses of light and heat that stimulates repair of the deeper skin layer, which not only rejuvenates collagen production, but also treats acne at the same time with its antibacterial production.
The facial treatment starts with a gentle double cleansing of the face with the MD Dermatics C-cleanse, which is suitable for all skin types but especially oily skin.
A gentle scrub is done to exfoliate the skin: the oldest and outermost dead skin cells on my face was gently removed through this process, so as to allow newer skin to emerge, encourage the skin cell renewal process, and also to prevent my pores from clogging.
After that, my face was bathed in a warm steam so soften the skin, and also open the pores which will enable an easier and more painless extraction process later! My therapist Rachel then proceeded to do the extraction by hand, occasionally using a surgical needle to ease out some stubborn clogs.
After the facial extraction was done, Rachel applied some soothing splash toner on my face to prepare my skin for the facial treatment. The device was generally painless, but it definitely felt warm whenever the light flashed.
The mixture of red and green light in the treatment helps to kill bacteria, reduce acne spots, and has anti-ageing properties too. According to Rachel, the LHE Radiancy Facial treatment is a comprehensive skin rejuvenating treatment that has been proven to be safe for all skin types.
Besides improving acne, the LHE helps to simulate growth of collagen, and also to even out and replenish the dermis layer. This allows the skin texture and tone to improve, fading fine lines and wrinkles. I was told to expect brighter skin tone, visible reduction of pore size, and also firmer skin after the treatment!
Next came a masque which was customised for me by Rachel based on my couperose skin condition. Due to a rich concentration of algae extracts, the masque was meant to be super hydrating for my skin. It was also packed with vitamins A, B, and E from violet extracts and oats.
This masque was also not made of clay, but instead had a more comfortable, gel-like texture. Over time, it solidified into a soft, rubbery sheet that was easily removed without leaving behind residues.
The mask felt cooling on the skin, as if it was your own personal air-conditioner was blowing cool air on your face. It is also said to be suitable for sensitive skin.
After taking a 25 minute nap with the mask on, the mask was removed and a very relaxing shoulder massage followed. Rachel put on toner, moisturiser, and sunblock on my face, and the facial was completed.
My skin felt calmer and less irritated after the session. I also felt that my makeup glided on more smoothly after that, and my skin felt more supple and hydrated overall.
Facials at Indulgence are done at a relaxed pace, so carve out ample time from your schedule so you can take it easy, head over, and have a good day for pampering.
MD Dermatics Indulgence Beauty
Website: Indulgence Beauty
Address: Blk 1, Tanjong Pagar Plaza, #02-34, Singapore 082001 (nearest MRT: Tanjong Pagar)
Telephone: +65 6225 8980
4. Face Shower Bar by Irén
Reviewer: Grace Ang
Face Shower Bar is the first “dry bar of facials” in Singapore that offers fast, customised, affordable facials for busy women who have little time to maintain a healthy skincare routine. They billed itself as the new facial bar that give you the clearest skin of your life in 30 min flat.
I found out that Face Shower Bar was opened by Ikeda Spa, a very reputable spa brand, and furthermore, I had never heard of a ‘facial dry bar’ before, so I was very excited to see what was in it for me.
Face Shower Bar, opened by Ikeda Spa, is located at CityLink Mall, only about 5 minutes’ walk away from City Hall MRT towards Marina Square exit. It’s just a few units down from Sushi Express, and trust me when I say that you won’t miss it!
Being the first facial dry bar in Singapore, they advocate a fuss-free experience, so customers are attended to on a first come first serve basis. This means you don’t have to worry about planning your facials ahead, simply walk in whenever you feel like you need a quick pick-me-up!
When you get there, the first thing you should do is get a queue number at their ticket kiosks. After that, you can either proceed to the dressing table to remove your makeup in preparation for your facial, or simply kick back and relax in their lounge area.
Face Shower Bar’s signature facial is called the Quick Shower Facial and it includes a customised exfoliation process using hydra-dermabrasion (which is usually an expensive add-on in other facial places). Face Shower Bar is offering this facial at a great price of SGD48 for first-timers (usual price SGD90)! You can also opt for other add-ons like their Quick Shower Boosters, which includes the latest trending modelling mask to RF V Contour Lift, with prices ranging from SGD40 to SDG70.
Using an iPad, I answered 10 questions which were similar to what a dermatologist would ask during an in-person visit. In fact, they were written with help by an expert real dermatologist.
The questions allowed my beauty advisor Elaine to make very specific customisations to my facial to address my skin concerns. Elaine then gave me a quick rundown on the steps that I’d be undergoing and why this was suitable for my skin concerns.
Elaine used the hydra-dermabrasion machine on my face, along with a set of three patented skin solutions called DermaSOS. Each solution have different functions:
- DermaSoften-1: It first dissolves impurities and soften dead skin cells with a gentle vortex liquid wash.
- DermaOpen-2: It then opens up the pores and unclog blackheads with painless suction.
- DermaSoothe-3: Soothes irritated skin and revives dry, dehydrated patches with a cocktail of calming solution through vortex infusion.
My skin was first cleansed, just to make sure that all the makeup residue on my face had been removed. She then followed with a really soothing lymphatic face massage which I enjoyed a lot.
Next, the hydra-dermabrasion machine was used to thoroughly cleanse and exfoliate the skin. It also removes dead skin and blackheads too! Do not be alarmed if your skin looks red at first; the redness subsides very quickly with the help of a soothing lotion which is later massaged into the skin.
The fourth and optional step was the Quick Shower Boosters. I have combination skin, and clusters of acne that are still active, so I opted for the Charcoal Modelling Mask for its purifying and balancing effects.
“I always tell my clients this isn’t a quick fix”, Elaine warned me. “We’re giving your skin a really deep, professional clean. We’re getting rid of makeup residue, dirt buildup from pollution, dead-skin cells, and letting your skin rejuvenate at a much faster level, but it’s not a one time thing.”
As she explained it, one treatment is basically like washing a week’s worth of buildup. It will make your skin look better, but it won’t be a permanent solution.
“You can’t go to the gym once and expect to be skinny in one session,” she said. “This is the same thing.”
The Quick Facial Shower facials are gentle enough that you could do it as frequently as every other day. At SGD48, you could do four sessions of the Quick Shower Facial for the price of one regular facial too! I was so excited to know that busy, working adults had an option like this now in Singapore.
Busy, working adults looking for a quick “perk-me-up” will definitely be pleased at how seamless and efficient the service is at Face Shower Bar. They work efficiently, and without compromising on the quality of the facial experience.
For returning customers, you only need your mobile number to access your facial and skin improvement track records via tablets in stores or on their website. This will greatly assist in speeding up the facial process, so you can really just pop in and out to get a once-over!
After the treatment, my skin looked and felt good enough for me to head back to work. It was not too red, and I noticed that it had a nice glow to it. One thing’s for sure, it was totally painless and I did not experience any downtime. Moreover, Face Shower Bar gave me a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep while getting my facial done.
For a relatively short 45 minutes affair, my skin was feeling much smoother and cleaner after the treatment. I would definitely be willing to sacrifice my lunch break for this quickie facial once a month!
Face Shower Bar by Irén
Website: Face Shower Bar
Address: One Raffles Link B1-17A Citylink Mall, Singapore 039393
Email: [email protected]
5. Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique
Reviewer: Sarah Quek
Located conveniently near Lavender MRT station, Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique offers a wide variety of facials for troubled skin. Geranium is renowned for their excellent customer service and praiseworthy treatments to all their customers.
Because they’re well known for having pain-free but very effective treatments, I was particularly excited for my appointment. The boutique has also been frequently patronised by bloggers and writers over the years, so I wanted to know whether they lived up to the hype as well!
Interior-wise, Geranium adopts a simple and minimalist design which is visually pleasing and cozy. Their rooms are spacious and luxurious enough to make their customers feel home-like comfort, and pampered at the same time.
Upon my entrance, I was greeted by the founder, Grace, and my facial therapist, Jeslyn. They conducted a thorough assessment of my skin and concluded that my skin type is combination to oily. Grace commented that my skin was actually not as troubled as other skin types.
However, she did note that my T-Zone produced a lot of sebum and there was also numerous blackheads in that region. To combat these issues, Grace decided that I would need Geranium’s Sebum Control treatment to target these problem areas on my face.
First, Jeslyn exfoliated my face with an exfoliating serum containing salicylic acid, Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). Unlike normal exfoliating cleansers, this one did not require scrubbing as the chemicals were strong enough to dissolve the top layer of dead skin cells.
As my cheeks were rather dry, Jeslyn was careful to avoid leaving the serum on that area for too long. Jeslyn then applied a soothing gel made of essential oils like lavender to neutralise the acids from the previous step, and to prevent burns and irritation. This was important in order to thoroughly remove any residue from the exfoliating serum.
After which came the exciting part – the extraction! While extractions are typically nerve-wrecking for faint-hearted customers like myself, Jeslyn was actually very gentle. She was also thorough and managed to remove some very stubborn blackheads on my nose, forehead, and temples.
I’m pleased to say that I felt only minimal discomfort throughout the whole process. After a good 20 minutes clearing my clogged pores, Jeslyn then put a Cold Compress Mask infused with essential oils on my face to soothe my skin. I was surprised that even with no steaming before the extraction, my face still felt hydrated by the end of it!
Jeslyn went on to apply a cooling foam mask to my face and gave me a comfortable shoulder massage using more essential oils. This was my first time trying out a foam mask and I was very intrigued by it. Jeslyn explained that foam masks could deliver their ingredients into the skin better than other types of masks, and they would not dehydrate the skin either.
The foam mask produced a pleasant, soothing sensation on my face, while the massage by Jeslyn was effective in undoing all the “knots” in my shoulders. Finally, the foam mask was washed off and Jeslyn applied some moisturiser to ensure my skin was adequately hydrated so that it’d appear supple and bright.
When I looked into the mirror immediately after the treatment, I could already see the difference in my skin. It looked brighter and “cleaner” with less blackheads and texture, and it didn’t even have any visible redness! I left the boutique feeling refreshed and confident with my bare face.
I was very pleased with the results, especially since I did not feel much discomfort during the extraction process unlike other facial treatments. Later, my parents even commented on how much healthier my skin looked.
Geranium certainly lived up to their reputation with customer service, excelling tremendously in that area. Before my facial, Jeslyn kindly showed me around the boutique and patiently explained to me about the key ingredients used in their productions. Grace also chatted with me to find out more about my lifestyle in order to decide on the treatment that best suited my habits and routine, and to avoid those that had the potential to break me out.
I would definitely give Geranium an A+ for their effective treatment and outstanding customer service!
Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique
Website: Geranium Skin & Hair Boutique
- 26 Horne Road, #01-01 BH Building, Singapore 209062 (nearest MRT: Lavender)
- 11 Cavan Road, #01-05 Cavan Suites, Singapore 209848 (nearest MRT: Lavender)
Telephone: +65 6294 2581
6. Le Facialle
Reviewer: Mandy Wong
It’s always a treat to walk into Le Facialle, with its posh décor and friendly staff. Today, there was an additional sense of anticipation as I was about to try out one of their bestselling facials, the Targeted Acne Skin Treatment. While sipping on complimentary warm green tea, I discussed about the sort of treatment that my skin would be most suitable for with the manager of Le Facialle, Eve Liu.
Le Facialle rooms are cosy, warm, and always exudes an atmosphere of luxuriant comfort despite its relatively small size. My treatment began with double deep cleansing to remove makeup and other impurities, before Mika applied a dead-skin exfoliation peel. The peel had a moderately fine grit, which did its job in sloughing off dead skin cells without being too rough on my face.
As I had just done two facials the week before, complete with extraction, my therapist decided to reduce the intensity for my treatment. She only extracted the congested pores along my jawline, which is typically my problem area.
Extraction is the part in a facial which I detest the most because my pain tolerance is not high, but I actually rather enjoyed the process at my therapist’s expert hands. Any squeezing was done very quickly, so the pain only came in very, very short bursts, rather than being frustratingly prolonged if the facial therapist isn’t speedy.
Usually, a high-frequency machine would be used after the extraction, which would help in eliminating the bacteria that causes acne. However, as I hadn’t done a lot of extraction and I didn’t happen to have a lot of acne at the time, we decided to skip this process as my therapist did not want to tax my skin with steps that it did not need.
After a soothing, anti-redness and anti-bacterial treatment serum applied with glass rods, my facialist then applied a stress balance ampoule treatment which was meant to reverse the effects that everyday stress would have on my skin. After that, a Pure Balance Anti-Oil Treatment and soother mask was applied, along with a collagen-infused eye mask.
I thoroughly enjoyed my treatment at Le Facialle, and never once felt frustrated or in too much pain. Though there were eye and face massages along the way, my therapist always used a very gentle but firm pressure, so I never felt that there was too much friction on my skin, or that she was tugging at it. I would certainly go back of my own volition, outside of work!
Eve later shared with me that the acne treatment usually takes at least 3 to 4 sessions in order to see a significant improvement. The sessions are recommended to have an interval of 1 month in between, but for customers with more severe acne conditions, treatments should be done every 2 weeks instead.
Website: Le Facialle
Address: 10 Sinaran Drive, Square 2 #B1-101/104, Singapore 307506 (nearest MRT: Novena)
Telephone: +65 6732 3839