Who doesn’t love a good facial? It’s like a good scrub for your dry, cracked heels, reborn with a smooth, baby skin. It renews and regenerates cells; your face becomes a better canvas for your makeup or a great filter to your #iwokeuplikethis selfie. But the thing about going to facial is… it’s a love-hate relationship that I’ve been involved in for too long. Trying to squeeze 90 to 120 minutes on a weekday is tough, especially when the clinic closes even before I shut my office Mac down. Doing it on a weekend means less going-out with those red spots on the face — and frankly, I’d rather use the time to catch up with friends for brunch.
Over the years, what I found most efficient is, ironically, to do my facials regularly to (eventually) spend less time at the clinic. Start with tackling your main problems or concerns (acne scars, freckles — go conquer them!). It takes time of course (special treatments will require you to have consultation, longer treatment period and downtime) but once you’re done with that, go on a regular maintenance, reset your skin each month. Remember: less gunk = less time and force used during extraction = less red marks. Think of it as cleaning your house regularly — the more often you do it, the less time you spend on each clean.
Lucky for me, I don’t have any major concerns on my face. (Or at least not yet, not until the day I decide that I hate freckles). I grew up with puberty acne and it cleared up as I grew older and started to abide by regular skincare. In my 30s now, what concerns me most these days are clogged pores, as well as black and whiteheads that would make itself visible, thriving lusciously amidst my foundation and loose powder.
These days, a quick lunchtime facial fix is enough to last me a good month — and I’ve found the Hydro-Therapeutics Treatment (also known as HTT, S$198 for 60 mins) at IDS Aesthetics is most efficient for a few reasons. For starters, they are located at Robinsons The Heeren, very convenient to drop by for a mid-day siesta too I’d say. Secondly, no doctors are on-site (doctors are stationed at IDS Clinic at Novena Specialist Center for more specialised cases and treatments, while here caters to mostly non-invasive treatments), which means less waiting time and appointments are mostly on time. Third reason, they have 8 rooms and the last appointment is 8pm. Leave the office at 7:15pm and you’d still be on time for that appointment. And lastly, the treatment is super gentle and last only 60 minutes or even less, depending on the gunks you’ve brought along with you of course.
The HTT works hard in the deep cleansing department. Your regular, at-home cleanser can only help you as much, but accumulated dirt, product built-up and clogged sebum are out of their league, especially for me who wears makeup about five times a week.
The treatment, to be honest, is pretty straight-forward. But it’s the efficiency of the treatment and efficacy of their skincare range, especially their well-known Facial Scrub, that got me hooked. It starts with a double cleansing, where they will remove your makeup. Once your skin is clean on the surface, it’s time to go beneath the skin.
There are three methods of cleansing employed to remove the unwanted landmines here. The first is the HydroD water dermabrasion that helps to clean the pores. Imagine a head shaver, with a smooth, flat metal-head. It vibrates at different “rhythms” for different usage, and in this case, to free your pores of all blockage. I’ve had a bad experience with the same machine somewhere, because of poor handling, it becomes super painful. But I’d say that this is practically painless, save for a few stubborn or sensitive areas.
Once that’s done, we move on to ultrasonic cleansing. It’s a machine that gently gets rid of all the dead skin cells, while using a multi-mineral solution as a lubricant. This is super gentle and quite therapeutic to be honest. Its suction force is set at 2, with 10 being the highest. I could definitely do 3 or 4, but the therapist told me that this is the standard strength, so as not to damage the skin.
We are still halfway through the treatment, but the cleansing is coming to a finale with the extraction. Like what I mentioned earlier, with regular facial, less gunk = less time and force used during extraction = less red marks.
Once you get that dirt out, your skin is at its most optimum level of absorption and we’re taking advantage of that by doing an ultrasonic penetration of vitamin C to reach its deepest layer of skin, using the same metal-plate head at a different “rhythm”.
Now, the last 15 minutes is your last chance to take a quick nap as the therapist leaves a whitening mask on my face. Depending on your skin condition, the therapist will decide which mask would suit you best; there is also a soothing or anti-acne mask.
Before heading out, moisturiser and sunscreen are applied on my skin, and honestly, I didn’t really need makeup at this point. I confidently walked out of the clinic and passed the beauty counters at Robinsons with no fear.
My skin instantly looks brighter and feels hydrated. No redness, zero downtime. I just need to look awake to face my colleagues after that quick nap. The coffee after the treatment really helped with the latter. It was one of the most gentle and time-efficient facials I’ve ever had, hence, super easy to fit into anyone’s busy schedule. You don’t need a mind-blowing state-of-the-art facial for good skin every single time. What you need is to weave in regular facials into your lifestyle and great skin will eventually follow suit.