REVIEW: IRÉN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash

Hello everyone!

You might have heard of the infamous multi-step skincare regimen popularised by South Korea but let’s be honest – who has the time for that? More often than not, I would find myself even dragging my feet to the washroom after a long day at work to shower because I am just that dead beat, let alone going through a thousand and one steps to prep my face for bedtime. Thankfully, a local beauty brand, IRÉN, heard my silent cries for help and decided once and for all to put a stop to these unnecessarily superfluous routines and created products which bring back the joy of skincare.

IRÉN… er, who?

Founded by local entrepreneur, Eric Tan (also the founder of Singapore’s first traditional Japanese onsen spa), IRÉN was conceived out of his love for his wife (hence the name IRÉN because that’s Irene – his wife’s name – in Hungarian – awww 😍) who had been struggling with breakouts and eczema. When the many non-comedogenic products she had tried proved to be futile in calming down her skin, the loving husband decided to delve into the arcane world of skincare in search of a solution which led to his partnership with a skincare researcher from A*STAR. Together with the researcher, he formulated a serum without harmful chemical, synthetic fragrances, and BPA for his wife. From there, they developed seven concoctions and started IRÉN with the aim of providing busy women like his wife a straightforward solution to common skin ailments, backed by scientific facts and research.

Launched in December 2017, the serums come in 7 formulations for wrinkles and deep lines, acne and oily skin, dehydrated skin, sensitivity, pigmentation and uneven skin tones, sagging skin, and clogged pores. Shown here are just 3 types of serum to be used with the Skin Vaporizer, a device that nano-sizes the serum to swiftly and efficiently feed the nutrient-deprived skin. If time permits, I will do a more in-dept review on this.

Launched in December 2017, the serums come in 7 formulations for wrinkles and deep lines, acne and oily skin, dehydrated skin, sensitivity, pigmentation and uneven skin tones, sagging skin, and clogged pores. Shown here are just 3 types of serum to be used with the Skin Vaporizer, a device that nano-sizes the serum to swiftly and efficiently feed the nutrient-deprived skin. If time permits, I will do a more in-dept review on this.

More than a year after their signature serums made public appearance, IRÉN comes up with yet another innovative product – a cleanser in the form of powder.

Introducing: Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash

IRÉN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash (S$35 each)

IRÉN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash (S$35 each)

Made in Japan, the Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash is a gentle daily powder wash with triple cleansing action to remove dirt, sebum and old keratin, and is suitable for all skin types. Vegan and cruelty-free, it contains Japanese Rice Bran, a natural ingredient with soothing enzymes and antioxidant properties which effectively resurface and gently exfoliate the skin to reveal a healthy glow and smoother complexion. On top of that, it also has Sorbitol and Hyaluronic Acid to help retain moisture whilst skin is thoroughly cleansed. This is in contrast to other brands of powder wash which tend to contain talc (which causes irritation and dryness to sensitive and inflamed skin), SLS/SLES (which gives cleansers the foamy, bubbly consistency but at the same time, removes the skin of its natural oils and trigger skin irritation), non-fatty alcohol (or drying alcohols which may harm the skin’s protective surface and worsen oily skin), and fragrance.

Truth be told, I had never heard of powder cleansers until the launch last month so naturally, I was very intrigued and bewildered by it, to say the least. Isn’t powder a lot harder to work with? Won’t powder scatter and cause a mess (and this is the main reason I avoid loose powder foundation like the plague)? Like, who actually asked for cleansers, in powder form? Is this another marketing gimmick? I was sceptical. That was, until I tried and tested the powder wash myself.

As it turned out, it was actually pretty easy to use!

WATCH: Live demonstration by a staff from IREN. Notice just how much powder is needed for the wash?

The bottle is also designed to dispense just the amount required (about 1 teaspoon) for each wash, hence minimising wastage (no more oh sh*t! moments). Once the powder is poured onto the palm (and the fine-grained texture feels sooooo soft like icing sugar 😍), slowly mix it with some water and lather into a creamy foam. Then, gently massage it onto the face for 15 seconds before rinsing it with warm water.

WATCH: If you’re terrible at remembering how much 1 teaspoon of powder is, fret not! Just dispense the powder from the bottle only once.

But how effective is this powder wash in removing makeup?

WATCH: Swiped Colourpop Lippie Stix (in Fab Five) once on my hand. Let’s see how much it is removed at the end of the wash!

The (disappointing, I must say) result after a pretty rigorous wash

The (disappointing, I must say) result after a pretty rigorous wash

My verdict?

From this little experiment, it is safe to say that the Super Gentle Daily Powder Wash is only great as an everyday cleanser that is best used on bare face so do remember to take your makeup off completely before arriving at this step!

That said, apart from the skin benefits of this powder wash, it has other major advantages too which jet setters can relate to – you won’t have to check in your cleanser (yay to washing up on long-haul flights!) and you won’t feel like you’re piggybacking Snorlax with something so lightweight in your hand-carry baggage. Be careful not to repackage it in a way that would raise suspicions, though. You definitely don’t want to be wrongfully detained like this lady here.

What are your thoughts on this product? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll! 😊

Thanks for reading!

IRÉN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder is now available at Face Shower Bar by IRÉN, on IRÉN SKIN and SHOPEE.

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Centrum® Women: The All-In-One Multivitamin Specially Designed for Us!

Hello everyone!

Many people would agree that turning 21 is the biggest milestone in life. After all, it’s the age of majority in Singapore, our gateway to adulthood as we finally meet all age requirements at the cinemas, polling station and not forgetting – if you’re a Singaporean – for receiving the annual GST voucher (this was the greatest deal to me, man! But being born in November meant that I’d only usually be eligible for anything in the following year 😒).

*cough* You know, I know

*cough* You know, I know (source)

Sadly, life also starts going downhill from then on. From the increasing prominence of  dark circles and saggy jowls to declining energy levels and metabolic rate, my body has been inevitably experiencing a multitude of degenerative changes as I inch towards my 30s. Even without looking at the mirror, I can already feel age creeping up on me as I squint my eyes more often than not to get a better view of things (crow’s feet very soon?) and notice how brittle my nails have become.

Granted, we can’t play God and stop the ageing process, but we certainly can slow it down by eating a healthy, balanced diet that promises all the essential vitamins and nutrients we need. But seriously though, who has the time (and money) for that? The last thing I want to do after a hard day’s work is to fret about what should be on my plate instead of indulging in the food I love (which more often than not are practically void of any nutritional value 🙊 *cough* bubble tea and fried chicken *cough*). And honestly, I don’t know how some people do it but damn, it takes an insane amount of discipline to resist all the temptations in a food haven like Singapore!

That's not to say that I condone unhealthy lifestyle habits but there are times when we need to give ourselves a pat on the back, y'know? Like today, I wrestled with my dog just so that I could brush his teeth. Surely I deserved a bowl of laksa as reward?

That’s not to say that I condone unhealthy lifestyle habits but there are times when we need to give ourselves a pat on the back, y’know? Like today, I wrestled with my dog just so that I could brush his teeth. Surely I deserved a bowl of laksa as reward?

And while doing so, how do we ensure that we still meet our nutritional needs? That’s when multivitamins like Centrum® come into play!

Centrum for Women

Centrum for Women

A household name to even the least health-conscious Singaporeans *raises hand* (I mean, they’re not lauded as the world’s number 1 multivitamin brand for nothing!), Centrum® may have been around for as long as I can remember but it was only recently that I started taking the multivitamins (all the HPB infographics have definitely gotten to me). Unlike many other brands I’ve seen, Centrum® does not seem to take a one-size-fits-all approach – they have multivitamins catered to the various needs of each gender and age group (i.e. kids, teens, adults, elderly) specifically. Therefore, if you’re pushing 30 like me, Centrum® Women would be the ideal choice.

NEWSFLASH

Dear 90’s kids, you are old. 

What is Centrum® Women all about, though?

Simply put, it is the complete multivitamin (A-Z!) that helps fill the specific nutrition gaps of women below 50 (hit the golden age? Here’s something else for you!).

Double the protection layer! Child-resistant caps and a protective seal which was a pain to peel in its entirety 😅

Double the protection layer! Child-resistant caps and a protective seal which was a pain to peel in its entirety 😅

Since men and women have different body compositions and nutritional needs, it would be ludicrous if we shared the same dietary supplement.

Since men and women have different body compositions and nutritional needs, it would be ludicrous if we shared the same dietary supplement.

So what’s in it for us? Based on the latest findings in nutritional science, Centrum® for Women has more Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D, as well as over 20 other important nutrients* to support optimal health for modern women from the inside out. Besides fostering a healthy immune system and maintaining bone strength, the multivitamin is also made up of the essentials that keep our eyes (great for OLs who need to spend hours in front of the computer screen), nails (hear ye, manicure addicts!), skin and hair functioning strong. Never seem to get adequate rest no matter how early you hit the sack? Perhaps the B vitamins (e.g. Vitamins B6, B12, and Folic Acid) and iron present in each tablet would be the answer to your tiredness and fatigue!

TL;DR in colour for you (you’re welcome!)

Let’s not forget the fact that women in my generation would also be in their childbearing years now. Getting enough of Folic Acid can greatly reduce the chances of neurological birth defects too!

*be sure to check if you are allergic to any of these vitamins or minerals
The so-called "ingredients"..

The so-called “ingredients”.. Sorry for the terrible lighting. Click here for the full list!

The other side of the packaging

The other side of the packaging

Each bottle contains 60 tablets which would essentially last you 2 months. And don’t you hate it when you miss your dosing schedule? Well, this hardly happens to me with Centrum® Women because there isn’t a strict regimen to follow per se. Pop one tablet a day with (optimally) or after any meal (but I usually take it with breakfast or lunch because kiasu) and you’re good!

If only these are grape flavoured!

If only these are grape flavoured!

Having only been on Centrum® Women for a month thus far, it is still too early to tell if it has improved my overall health (I’m not really in poor health to begin with lah.. I think.. hahaha hope I’m not jinxing myself). But one thing I know for sure is that my energy level has restored quite a bit. I guess that’s a good sign, eh? 😁

If you’re fortunate enough not to feel the effects of ageing yet (yet hor!), it won’t hurt starting on some of these multivitamins because it’s never too early to power up your life! So watcha waitin’ for?! Visit your nearest Watsons, Guardian or Unity Pharmacy outlet now!

Thanks for reading!

This post was done in collaboration with CENTRUM SINGAPORE.

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AGNES at The Clifford Clinic: Avada Kedavra, Recurrent Acne!

Hello everyone!

There are plenty of myths and old wives’ tales surrounding our skin that I can turn a blind eye to. But what really grinds my gears is the false notion that people suffering from acne will eventually grow out of the condition. While it may be so for some lucky souls, this belief usually does not hold true for the more severe cases. A good case in point would be yours truly, who even at the ripe age of 29, is still battling with cystic and nodular acne, sometimes worse than what I had in my adolescent years.

I know, I know… This is the umpteenth post about my acne and you’re probably sick of reading about my acne encounters already. Plus, haven’t I already found the cure to my skin woes? Don’t get me wrong – the oral prescription and Q-switch treatment worked like a charm and helped my skin revert to the flawless state in my prepubescent days. No kidding, my confidence peaked and I was able to go anywhere without putting on any makeup and still looked great. However, with it comes an undesirable price that no one would be willing to pay – extreme brittleness and dryness in hair (caused by the medication), leading to thinning and baldness.

Nice skin but hair was so dry!

Nice skin but hair was so dry!

At first, I didn’t think much of it because bruh, what’s a little hair loss compared to years of terrible skin, right? That was, until I realised that my part had become way wider than normal and I was also leaving traces of my hair everywhere I went (think strands of hair strewn all over the canteen table, work desk, shared spaces, etc – how embarrassing 😞). I was convinced that I was going to be prematurely bald at that rate so I stopped taking the oral medication completely. Within two weeks of the cessation, BAM! The zits came back, this time populating a more extensive area of my face 😭

Bumpy face 2 weeks after stopping oral medication

Bumpy face 2 weeks after stopping oral medication

Bumpy forehead (and my thinning hair)

Bumpy forehead (and my thinning hair)

Dr Ee was naturally shocked to see the state of my face when I turned up for my appointment. He brought up the suggestion of undergoing AGNES but I was hesitant because I remembered stumbling upon an online article (he totally knew which) that refuted the efficacy of the treatment (especially the claim that it would make the skin permanently dry – which I honestly would very much prefer to having unrelenting breakouts). Dr Gerard Ee was quick to denounce the credibility of such sources with solid medical facts (that only very few oil glands are destroyed in proportion to the millions of oil glands located throughout the entire face) and make me feel that I was in good hands. So, I agreed to undergo AGNES right there and then 🙊

Zee AGNES equipment

Zee AGNES equipment

But due to the rigorous nature of the treatment, I was advised to embark on it during the school holiday so that I wouldn’t have to deal with rude stares and comments from people I met. I was so glad I heeded his advice because I wasn’t expecting the treatment to be so potent 😱

Cleansing the face again

Cleansing the face again

Topical anaesthetic cream was administered to my face about 20 minutes prior to the treatment. After the slight numbing took effect, I was led into the treatment room where an aesthetician would cleanse and scale my skin. This step involved full-face drainage with the much-dreaded extraction which – I swear to God – wasn’t as excruciating as what I had experienced before (though it still hurt despite the anaesthetic cream). This could possibly also be due to the fact that most of my zits were “ripe” and hence didn’t require the extractor to go too deep into the skin.

Extract those gunk!

Extract those gunk!

 

Once those nasty gunk were out of the way, the same aesthetician applied a clear, light-blue, semi-cooling gel (or electrode gel) on my face before sticking an adhesive rubber pad (called ground plate or neutral electrode) on my back to enable monopolar radio-frequency current to penetrate the tissue through a tiny microscopic needle that would later be inserted into my skin follicle and sebaceous glands. The needle insertion was performed solely by Dr Ee under microscopic guidance to allow highly accurate targeting of overzealous glands without thermal injury to the skin. Upon each insertion, he would step on a foot switch to emit a pulse of electric current to destroy the identified problematic sebaceous glands.

All ready to be AGNES'd!

All ready to be AGNES’d!

Some discomfort was definitely felt with each zap (it intensified on the not-so-fleshy parts like the forehead) and I was pretty sure that if I were any less tolerant to pain, I would have been reduced to tears at the end of the treatment. Throughout the whole process, Dr Ee and his assistant (the aesthetician) tried to keep me calm by making small talks, and it also helped that familiar instrumental music was playing in the background to distract myself in between conversations.

Ahhhh ouch!

Ahhhh ouch!

The sacrifices I make for clear skin...

The sacrifices I make for clear skin…

My face was noticeably much redder and bumpier than before at the end of the treatment. The little dried blot clots all over my acne-prone areas caused by the continual poking had undoubtedly left me feeling so self-conscious that I wouldn’t go anywhere outside my house without a surgical mask for the next few days.

Immediately after the first session of AGNES

Immediately after the first session of AGNES

Day 2 (before the follow-up appointment) - affected areas had dried up quite a bit. I did not put on any face cream here

Day 2 (before the follow-up appointment)Day 2 (before the follow-up appointment) – affected areas had dried up quite a bit. I did not put on any face cream here

(Day 2, pre-appointment condition) The other side

(Day 2, pre-appointment condition) The other side

The hair follicles would be filled with exudate and debris after the treatment so it was imperative for me to return to the clinic the following day to remove them lest they become a source of infection. The post-care treatment includes melting the treated areas (using a bipolar device to deliver a suitable amount of heat to the skin) to facilitate the extraction of sebum and debris. At the same time, it would also prevent scar formation. The follow-up treatment was wholly administered by the aesthetician since it was minimally invasive (save for the extraction process) and it lasted no more than 15 minutes.

Applying electrode gel

Applying electrode gel

With electrode gel on

With electrode gel on

Melting treated area for easier extraction

Melting treated area for easier extraction

Merry-go-round on the face

Merry-go-round on the face

Cleaning up the gel

Cleaning up the gel

Face became slightly redder

Face became slightly redder

Extraction

Extraction

Thankfully, those concerned spots (which were now scabs) gradually diminished in size and became less conspicuous over time before finally disappearing without a trace after close to two weeks. During this recovery period (which may vary from one individual to another), I had to stay away from the sun and make-up – something which everyone knew I could never imagine being without.

Day 3. Zits turning into scabs!

Day 3. Zits turning into scabs!

Day 3. YES I could totally feel them healing

Day 3. YES I could totally feel them healing

AGNES certainly brought some inconveniences (imagine having to deal with curious glances and explain repeatedly that you are not ill to those who think otherwise just because you’re wearing a face mask), so much so that it had made me wonder for a split second if I had made a mistake in agreeing to go ahead with the treatment. But seeing how my face has cleared up and remained largely spotless until now (with most of my hair still intact), I think the trouble I had gone through was worthwhile.

Day 5. SO MUCH BETTER!

Day 5. SO MUCH BETTER!

(Sorry for the blur quality) Almost entirely gone on Day 8!

(Sorry for the blur quality) Almost entirely gone on Day 8!

Could already put on some light makeup by Day 11!

Could already put on some light makeup by Day 11!

Of course, it is still too early to tell if this treatment is a hundred percent effective (but I must say progress has been rather promising so far). I’ll continue to monitor my condition and keep you guys posted if anything crops up.

Would you consider AGNES for your persistent acne after reading this review? Share your thoughts or experience with me (if you have undergone this treatment) in the comments below! 😊 If you are not ready for AGNES yet, be sure to check out the other acne treatments offered by The Clifford Clinic here as well !

Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic · 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) · Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) · For more information about AGNES, do visit Their website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Addressing Your Mane Concerns: Signature Herbal Scalp Treatment at Luxe Scalp Specialist

Hello everyone!

READ TILL THE END FOR A SPECIAL OFFER!

Far from being my crowning glory, my hair had been the bane of my existence – it was visibly thin, frizzy and brittle (hence, much to my dismay, most hair tutorials don’t work for me). Sadly, these problems seemed to have gotten worse with age, to the extent that I could never run my fingers through my hair without losing gobs of them (which was why I had stopped brushing and combing my hair as often to prevent more breakage). Every look in the mirror gnawed away at my self-esteem as I noticed my ever-widening bald spot creeping forward from the crown of my head. At the rate my hair was disappearing, it wouldn’t be long before the bald patches could peek through whichever parting I would be wearing. Soon, my search history once filled with queries on acne was now permeated by worrying questions about premature baldness.

In a stroke of luck, an invitation from Luxe Scalp Specialist to try their scalp treatment showed up in my inbox (do I have guardian angels watching over me?!) and boy, never was I so quick in agreeing to a collaboration. Thank you for coming to my rescue 😭

Luxe Scalp Specialist who?

Founded in 2012, Luxe Scalp Specialist provides top-notch yet budget-friendly personalised scalp care treatments using modernised herbal formulation and trichological techniques while observing and practising high standard of professional conduct and ethical behaviour (no hard sell!). Their herbal treatment is 100% pure, contains no parabens and preservatives, and is validated by Mr Riff Lim, a trichologist certified by the International Association of Trichologists (IAT).

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines 1)

The company follows the L.U.X.E. principle, where services are luxurious and of optimal quality; unique with the use of a one-of-a-kind blend of the finest Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs (they are the only company that uses this formulation!) to combat hair problems such as oily scalp, thinning hair, dandruff and greying hair; experiential as every treatment includes their signature acupressure scalp massage that aids in blood circulation, and a reliever neck massage that is meant to relax the neck’s muscle; and effective, as vouched by their customers who had seen improvements in their conditions after just three treatments.

The Treatment: Signature Herbal Mask with Collagen Deep Moisturising Mask

My visit at their Tampines 1 outlet commenced with a scalp analysis for the specialist (quite frankly, she probably didn’t need it to know that my scalp was in a terrible shape) to better understand my scalp condition. The close-up scan revealed that, despite the dry texture of my hair, my scalp was actually oily and weak to boot, which explained the excessive hair fall I had been experiencing. This was further aggravated by the length of my hair which had kinda been adding to the pressure on my already vulnerable-scalp. With scalp as feeble as mine, the solution wouldn’t be as simple as just chopping off my hair – regaining its health would require professional help which Luxe Scalp is certainly equipped to give.

Those white stuff are oil scales, which were literally ALL OVER my scalp 😭

Those white stuff are oil scales, which were literally ALL OVER my scalp 😭

My poor scalp trying to keep my hair intact :(

My poor scalp trying to keep my hair intact 😦

More grease on my scalp

More grease on my scalp

Once the analysis was completed, the specialist ushered me to my seat where I would receive the Signature Herbal Mask treatment. This 2-hour herbal treatment is specially concocted with premium herbs handpicked from the Himalayan hills and then carefully brewed to allow thorough extraction of their essence and nutrients. It aims to reduce hair loss and dandruff, stimulate hair growth, boost blood circulation, prevent premature greying of hair, control oil production and soothe redness and scalp irritation.

My specialist began with a duo comb massage to improve blood circulation to my scalp. The whole brushing process was smooth and painless despite her swift movements – amazingly, the combs never once got stuck on any tangle!

Tea and caramelised biscuits (my favourite munchie!) were already served when I went to my seat

Tea and caramelised biscuits (my favourite munchie!) were already served when I went to my seat

Duo comb massage

Duo comb massage

She then proceeded to spritz some ginger-infused tonic on my scalp to stimulate the pores, and applied herbal mask (which had an awakening scent of Ginseng which lingered on my hair for the next two days) all over the top of my head before covering it with cling wrap. This was followed by a 30-minute micro-steaming session to allow for greater absorption of the herbal essences into the scalp.

GInger-infused tonic application

GInger-infused tonic application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Herbal mask application

Cling-wrapping

Cling-wrapping

30-minute micro-steaming session

30-minute micro-steaming session

After the beeper sounded for the therapist to move the steamer away, I was led to the washing basin for a deep-cleanse hair bath which lasted for no more than 10 minutes. Being the meticulous person she was, the therapist repeatedly ensured that I was comfortable with the water temperature (I could choose between cold or warm) before rinsing my hair. With her trained dainty fingers easing and relaxing every part of my scalp during the wash, I couldn’t help but drift off into a nap!

Rinse away!

Rinse away!

Deep-cleanse hair bath

Deep-cleanse hair bath

Back at my seat with my hair still wet from the wash, the therapist applied the Luxe Scalp Tonic on my scalp to intensify hair growth. My treatment in particular also came with collagen deep moisturising mask (which is actually ideal for dry and aging scalp) to help strengthen and repair my hair structure, moisturise the scalp and relieve itch, improve hair density and vitality, as well as form a protective barrier against external pollution. To ensure freshness and avoid contamination, the treatment masks are packed in individual sachets and they will be further heated up upon customers’ arrival to facilitate the penetration of the herbal essence into the scalp and help stimulate healthier hair roots.

Collagen deep moisturising mask

Collagen deep moisturising mask

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

Collagen deep moisturising mask application

The treatment at last concluded (*gasp* it’s been two hours already?!) with an invigorating scalp and shoulder acupressure massage that focused on boosting blood circulation for hair growth.

Sifting my hair through my fingers, what felt like dry rough hay-like strands were now noticeably softer and more manageable. Of course, no miracles were achieved in that one session, and my bald spot was still largely visible. But fast forward about a month, those once-barren patches are starting to show signs of growth! WOOHOO! The future of my hair is finally looking optimistic 😭

Adding the finishing touches. Frizz, be gone!

Adding the finishing touches. Frizz, be gone!

Have you tried the treatments offered by Luxe Scalp Specialist? If not, would you entrust your scalp to them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

S P E C I A L L Y  F O R  M Y  R E A D E R S
Quote “FionaXLuxeScalp” to enjoy Signature Herbal Mask with Collagen Deep Moisturising Mask (worth S$326) at only S$25!

Thanks for reading!

Luxe Scalp Specialist (Tampines Outlet) · Tampines 1, 10 Tampines Central 1 #04-29 Singapore 529536 · Tel: 65551065
Luxe Scalp Specialist (Novena Outlet) · Square 2, Sinaran Dr #02-61 Singapore 307506 · Tel: 67020777
For more information, please visit their website, Facebook page or on Instagram
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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[WEDDING SCOOP] Be Camera-Ready! – Small Face Care for Groom & Bride at Facia Ginza Singapore

WEDDING SCOOP is a brand new series dedicated to my wedding preparation. In this series, you will find reviews of products and services (ads will be disclosed at the end of the posts) that I have used leading up to the actual day. Hopefully, these will come in handy for any prospective wedding couples ❤️
—♥—♥—♥—♥—
P/S: If you own a business and would like to be part of this special day, feel free to drop me a message via askme@fionaseah.com

Hello everyone!

Since the proposal nearly two years ago, fiancé and I have been busy with our wedding preparation (but I must say most, if not all, of the credit goes to him as he has been more hands-on while I’m just hoping for the bare minimum and shirking as many responsibilities as possible) amidst our hectic schedules and the stress was gradually showing on our (his) faces. Apart from the more visible eye bags, we had also noticed our faces becoming more bloated presumably from poor eating habits. Fiancé was the worst hit as existing health issues have prevented him from engaging in strenuous exercises so the other feasible way for him to shed some weight was to watch his diet – which we as foodies often struggle with. Furthermore, having born with a round face meant that any additional weight gained would cause the him to look swollen so whenever we take wefies, he would strategically conceal himself behind me 😒

Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be able to employ this tactic during the pre-wedding photography shoot and, even more so, on the actual day (🤪🤣) because we would be constantly on the move. I could sense his desperation to look his best for this once-in-a-lifetime occasion; hence when Facia Ginza Singapore approached me for a wedding collaboration, I asked if I could pass the opportunity to him. They sorta rejected that idea and had instead extended the invitation to him so that we could both enjoy the treatment together! How thoughtful of them 😍

Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore

Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore

Relatively new on our shores, Facia Ginza Singapore is an award-winning facial salon with two prior outlets in Tokyo and Taipei, serving as a private sanctuary where women (and now men too if accompanied by a female patron!) can unwind from the daily grind. It provides an authentic Japanese ambience while combining original and highly-effective beauty techniques originating from Ginza, Tokyo. Located at Soho 1 within same complex of The Central (Clarke Quay), Facia Ginza Singapore is convenient and peacefully quiet as visits are by appointment only. Hence, the level is only accessible via the lift with the salon’s acknowledgement.

The techniques of their signature massage – Small Face Care – were developed by the founding team and a group of Japanese orthopaedic doctors. Unlike the Korean Golki therapy which focuses solely on “bone-setting” massages, the Japanese equivalent stimulates the bones through muscles to improve blood circulation and encourage the discharge of waste substance from our skin. Non-invasive with immediate results, the treatment brings about significant changes to the face including a desirable v-shape visage, facial symmetry, radiance, reduced sagging, eye strain reduction and an improved complexion, as well as relief from stiff shoulders and neck – all noticeable in just one session! The benefits of the Small Face Care resonated between us (our videography shoot was just a month away!) and it being the first facial treatment for fiancé, he was absolutely thrilled about it!

After a couple of back-and-forth emails to settle on a date (slots on most days were fully booked), we finally agreed on one which all of us could commit to. The publicity team had wanted to assign their Japanese master therapist (Tomomi Kosho) to me but she was off that day so we were attended by therapists Vivian (fiancé’s) and Andrea (mine) instead – both of whom were equally competent to perform the massage.

Room with strong Japanese ambience (Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore)

Room with strong Japanese ambience (Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore)

Once at the salon, we were offered the Premium Face Care which includes the Small Face Care and a choice of one clinical-grade facial treatment (Moisturising Care, Whitening Care or Pore Cleansing Care). We decided to go with a different treatment so that we could do a more extensive review on the therapy; hence fiancé opted for Pore Cleansing Care while I selected Moisturising Care.

Small Face Care

Upon entering a room that could accommodate two patrons (essentially a couple room), fiancé and I placed our belongings on a ledge near the window and changed out of our clothes into the provided towel wrap (with buttons sewn on) before sliding onto the plastic-covered bed.

Room for two. Also the room we were allotted to (Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore)

Room for two. Also the room we were allotted to (Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore)

Plastic-covered bed (Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore)

Plastic-covered bed (Courtesy of Facia Ginza Singapore)

Boxes to store our belongings. Facia Ginza also provides hairbands and hair ties

Boxes to store our belongings. Facia Ginza also provides hairbands and hair ties

The provided towel wrap

The provided towel wrap

The therapists entered the room and did an analysis of our faces with us and highlighted the areas which they would be concentrating on during the treatment. Bringing my attention to my higher left cheekbone to illustrate my facial asymmetry, my therapist took the effort to explain that it could be due to the fact that I have been consistently sleeping on one side of the face (which is very true 🤣), and gave me a rough idea of what I would expect to see at the end of the session.

She began with a décolleté massage (which fiancé thoroughly indulged in) that focused on the shoulders and neck, and proceeded with a muscle sketch using a hot towel. Then, as a quick way to measure the size of our head, we were told to rest our palms on the back of our head and intertwine the fingers of both hands. Our fingers merely met at the tips!

I didn't know my face could be stretched so much XD

I didn’t know my face could be stretched so much XD

Shoulder massage!

Shoulder massage!

Fiancé indulging in his massage

Fiancé indulging in his massage

Remembering our "old" faces before the Small Face Care treatment

Remembering our “old” faces before the Small Face Care treatment

Shifting their attention to the skull and face muscles, they worked to loosen our muscles and make bone adjustments for the next 15 minutes or so. Having experienced the Golki Therapy prior to this, I knew I had to put up with a certain degree of pain during the facial massage. But the initial presses (against the head, back of the head, forehead and cheekbones) were surprisingly bearable although it felt like the therapist had practically exerted her mighty strength with every thump on my face.

Head - Pain scale: 1/10

Head – Pain scale: 1/10

Was he sleeping already? Oh gawd.

Was he sleeping already? Oh gawd.

Back of neck - Pain scale: 4/10

Back of neck – Pain scale: 4/10

Cheekbones - Pain scale: 3/10

Cheekbones – Pain scale: 3/10

Still a 3/10 surprisingly.

Still a 3/10 surprisingly.

My relief, however, abruptly turned to distress when she moved on to my jaw in the final (thank God!) phase of the massage. Somehow it hurt so much – unexpectedly – that tears started streaming down my puckered face uncontrollably and she had to pause for a while to soothe my face like a baby to ease some of the pain 😂 Gosh, how embarrassing! Fiancé, on the other hand, cleverly distracted himself from the agony by repeatedly cracking his knuckles and clenching his teeth.

?!?! This sicko doesn't seem to be in pain at all LOL I'm impressed! I had always thought I was the one with high pain threshold!

?!?! This sicko doesn’t seem to be in pain at all LOL I’m impressed! I had always thought I was the one with high pain threshold!

The most dreadful part - the jaw! Pain scale: 11/10!!!

The most dreadful part – the jaw! Pain scale: 11/10!!!

At the end of the massage, we positioned our palms at the back of our head again the same way as before and were pleasantly surprised (especially so for fiancé – he was literally dumbfounded by the results!) at how far our fingers could go past the other hand! No rocket science is required to conclude that our faces had shrunk in size 😍 The effectiveness totally won the initially-sceptical fiancé over and he couldn’t stop raving about his smaller, lifted face for the next couple of days! (My poor ears though..)

Double Cleansing

Following the Small Face Care, the therapists cleansed our face with 2 different types of Wove Style cleansing product. As someone with extremely acne-prone skin, it kinda worried me when the therapist kneaded my face after doing so on my scalp because it could potentially transfer dirt or sebum over and cause new pimples to erupt on my face. But this rigorous step certainly robbed the bacteria of the chance to breed and gave me a peace of mind.

Still recovering from tears

Still recovering from tears

The start of double cleansing

The start of double cleansing

Those white pads my therapist was using to wipe my face felt so comfortably warm!

Those white pads my therapist was using to wipe my face felt so comfortably warm!

Another round of cleansing

Another round of cleansing

So soothing!

So soothing!

Soaking up all the water

Soaking up all the water

Wove Style products available for sale at the reception

Wove Style products available for sale at the reception

Wove Style is a skincare brand developed in Tokyo by WOVE Clinic – one that specialises in anti-aging treatments – which offers a professional line of clinical-grade products produced with the latest technology to deliver GFs (Growth Factors) and other vital nutrients while focusing on cell-activation to achieve fundamentally-improved skin. Most of the products or machines utilised at Facia Ginza are by Wove Style, and they can also be purchased at the cashier for home use if you are satisfied with how your skin feels after the treatment. But be sure to plan your shopping list well because Facial Ginza is currently the only facial salon in Singapore to distribute Wove Style products – you won’t want to make another unnecessary trip there (or spend S$8 on local delivery if you buy it off their online store) just to get that one bottle of Special Essence you missed out on the first time ’round 😉

Facial Steaming and Ultrasonic Cleaning

With fiancé’s face now clean and free of dirt, impurities would less likely be able to get into his pores during the 3 to 5-minute session of facial steaming. Facial steaming further loosens dirt and contaminants that are clogging pores and is a great option for people with blackheads (his biggest concern), and acne-prone skin. While fiancé was getting his face steamed, his therapist performed a gentler version of extraction on his wet skin with an ultrasonic cleanser (that little handheld device with a spatula).

Putting on those strips to aid in the removal of his awful blackheads

Putting on those strips to aid in the removal of his awful blackheads

Ultrasonic cleaning while his face was being steamed (not sure if you can see clearly but there's steam coming down from that machine on top of him)

Ultrasonic cleaning while his face was being steamed (not sure if you can see clearly but there’s steam coming down from that machine on top of him)

Close-up of the man, because there's too many of mine

Close-up of the man, because there’s too many of mine

The junk collected from his face. Actually, it's not that bad considering this was his FIRST facial treatment lol

The junk collected from his face. Actually, it’s not that bad considering this was his FIRST facial treatment lol

Only Ultrasonic Cleaning for me

Only Ultrasonic Cleaning for me

Since I had opted for another treatment, I was only offered ultrasonic cleaning at this stage. Therefore, if you’re not sure which face treatment to choose for your Premium Care Treatment, I suggest taking up the Pore Cleansing one because it seems to deliver greater value for the same expenditure with that extra step. Otherwise, if you’re not that gian png (always on the lookout for better deals), go for the one that you think can meet your needs!

Moisturising Care and Pore Cleansing

The Moisturising Care and Pore Cleansing treatments were both carried out via an Electroporation Machine. Developed by dermatology specialists in Japan, electroporation is an innovative process that enables key nutrients and substance to penetrate deeper into our skin as compared to regular treatments that are delivered using supersonic wave and Iontophoresis (the process of transdermal drug delivery by use of a voltage gradient on the skin).

Do you see the blackhead coming out of his nose? His nose was a HAVEN for blackheads

Do you see the blackhead coming out of his nose? His nose was a HAVEN for blackheads

Don't know why I'm sulking here but I was definitely relieved that the kneading was finally over lol

Don’t know why I’m sulking here but I was definitely relieved that the kneading was finally over lol

Electroporation causes little to no pain and is a highly effective treatment (20 to 60 times more effective than Iontophoresis) with an ultrasonic probe vibrating at 25,000 Hz per second to turn the cleaning solution the therapists had applied on our faces into a fine spray to remove pore-clogging dirt. The machine comes with handpieces of different tips designed for each treatment. In my case, it was a revolving flat round tip attached to a rectangular hand grip while the one fiancé’s therapist used looked like a two-pin plug attached to a large pen.

Face Mask

Once the aforementioned treatments were completed, our therapists coated our faces with a layer of Custard Pro Mask using a brush before covering it with a fabric sheet. At this juncture, our therapists would leave the room, giving fiancé the long-awaited opportunity to drift off to sleep when he should be awake to mentally document the whole experience with me 😠 According to the time stamps of my photos (we were instructed to close our eyes), the masking session lasted for about 10 minutes.

Applying the mask

Applying the mask

On his face too

On his face too

Putting on the fabric gauze

Putting on the fabric gauze

Lotion & Moisturiser

Our therapists returned to remove the mask, and apply lotion and moisturiser on our faces. As a finishing touch (literally), we were treated to a final round of massage on the shoulders and the back of our necks before we were left alone in the room again to get changed. Tea and snacks were already served on the table when we reached the reception area. There was even a vanity table for ladies to do their makeup or fix their hair before leaving the salon. Talk about after-service hospitality! 😁

Wiping the mask off my face

Wiping the mask off my face

Applying moisturiser/lotion

Applying moisturiser/lotion

I think he was already deep asleep at this point

I think he was already deep asleep at this point

Last round of massage!

Last round of massage!

MY FACE IS GLOWING

MY FACE IS GLOWING

Fiancé's hair was somehow given a new look too hahaha

Fiancé’s hair was somehow given a new look too hahaha

Vanity table

Vanity table

Despite the pain felt during the Small Face Care therapy (which to him was just a short segment of the whole treatment), fiancé enjoyed his Premium Face Care treatment very much and looks forward to his next appointment (that’s right) with Facia Ginza Singapore even though he will have to pay this time. In general, I thought this was much less painful than Golki therapy because the number of kneads into each area were relatively fewer, yet equally, if not more, effective. We did feel a lingering ache in our jaws the next day, but it was too mild to cause any hindrance in our daily routine so we ignored it most of the time.

My before and after! Sharper chin, more defined forehead (Courtesy of Facia Ginza)

My before and after! Sharper chin, more defined forehead (Courtesy of Facia Ginza)

His before and after! More defined jawline, and a complimentary hair makeover XD

His before and after! More defined jawline, and a complimentary hair makeover XD

The result of all those magic that was done on his face - NO MORE BLACKHEAD. I was so amazed! His nose was SPOTLESS for the first time

The result of all those magic that was done on his face – NO MORE BLACKHEAD. I was so amazed! His nose was SPOTLESS for the first time

Of course, one session isn’t going to yield a long-term effect. To maintain the current size of our faces, we were encouraged to do the treatment once a week for the first four to six sessions for optimal results, and once a month subsequently to maintain the effects of the treatment. All in all, the Premium Face Care prepared us well for our videography shoot. Not only did it make our faces look smaller and ease the tension on our shoulders and faces through a very relaxing and invigorating massage, it also helped us achieve a more flawless complexion that ensured we would look marvellous on-screen. That’s killing multiple birds with one stone! ☺

If you are still on the fence about giving Facia Ginza Singapore a shot before your big day, hopefully a special promotion of S$188 NETT (U.P. S$248+) for the first trial AND a free hand pack when you quote “fionaseah.com” (or my name) would push you off the edge!

Would you be keen to prep your skin at Facia Ginza Singapore with your other half? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

Facia Ginza is located at The Central Soho 1 6 Eu Tong Sen Street #09-20 SINGAPORE 059817. Nearest MRT is Clarke Quay (NE5). For more information, visit their website or like them on Facebook.
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask + Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Hello skincare fanatics!

Unless you have gone on a social media diet, you would definitely have been at the mercy of Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm and seen numerous videos of people prancing around with a pink (or blue) jar or letting out an orgasmic sigh as they slid some pink mousse-like paste down their cheeks. Well, if you didn’t manage to sit through the advertisements to find out what the rage was all about, wonder no more as this review will take you through the exact same products that had sent so many people into a state of euphoria.

*squeals* I'M SO EXCITED!

*squeals* I’M SO EXCITED!

Ohh hey there!

Ohh hey there!

It's the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

It’s the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

Founded by Australian twin sisters and supermoms Emily and Sarah Hamilton – who were also the creators of beauty box subscription company, Bellabox – in April 2017, Sand&Sky was born out of the realisation that there was a gap in the market for luxurious yet affordable and effective face masks, as well as their desire to showcase the efficacy of the botanical ingredients (ethically) obtained from their motherland in skincare.

So, gathering their market intelligence on consumer behaviour and experience in collating beauty products for Bellabox members, the Hamilton sisters formulated a millennial pink (😱) clay mask that contains 50% Kaolin clay (Kaolin tops the ingredient list as shown here and it is a considerable amount as compared to the 10-15% in many clay products) sourced from remote pockets of Southern and Western Australia to remove toxins and impurities from the skin, and organic liquorice to diminish the appearance of skin discolouration. Apart from organic aloe and pomegranate to tighten pores, soothe, and stimulate collagen production, this much-revered formula also includes a combination of kakadu plum and mangosteen to create a defence shield that would leave skin clear and glowing.

Porefining Face Mask

Mini brush

Mini brush

Enclosed in the box together with the pink jar (note that it’s no longer blue) of clay mask is a handy flat brush (high quality with soft bristles 😍) which I feel is a really thoughtful gesture on Sand&Sky’s part to maintain the sterility of the product during application. On top of that, it also helps ensure even coverage fast and prevents wastage while keeping our hands clean.

Everything inside the box

Everything inside the box

Protective seal

Protective seal

Protective cover

Protective cover

The product

The product

Cool when first applied, the mask – which had a subtle musty and earthy smell – became warmer as it settled on my towel-dried skin. There was some tingling sensation (but no discomfort or itchiness whatsoever) and gradually, areas where pores were most visible turned red slightly beneath the mask. Perhaps because the fan was blowing in my direction, it kinda expedited the drying time so the mask took less than 5 minutes to solidify completely.

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face - check out my Instagram for the video!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face – scroll all the way to the end for the video!

When it's still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

When it’s still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

TAKE NOTE 📌
Clay masks are known to dry out when exposed to humidity or a drastic change in temperature. Therefore, refrain from storing the clay mask in the bathroom as this will cause it to dry faster. Instead, keep it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Should your clay mask harden prematurely in the jar, add a few drops of serum or water (about half of the amount of clay left in the jar) to rehydrate it.
Almost there..

Almost there..

100% dried up!

100% dried up!

Ahhhh so smooth

Ahhhh so smooth

Still, it was left on for the suggested 10 minutes before I removed it with a damp cloth in an upward motion. Just to sidetrack a bit, I cringe every time I see reviewers drag their skin down with their cloth as if having a droopy and saggy face is a worthy trade-off for a brighter complexion. As far as possible, we want our skin to be both firm and youthful, so never do that! Alternatively, if you have no cloth available at your disposal (and don’t worry, it doesn’t stain), you can easily wash it off – again, in upward motion – with warm water, which was what I eventually did when I realised that the wiped-off product on my cloth kept transferring back onto my face (the product liquifies instantly when comes in contact with water), repeatedly forming white casts with every wipe 😑

Try'na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

Try’na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

But it keeps coming back >_>

But it keeps coming back >_>

So I washed it off!

So I washed it off!

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 2 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 2 times per week

My verdict? The Porefining Face Mask delivered what it promised – a tightened, rejuvenated and shine-free complexion without harmful chemicals and the unnecessarily excessive use of preservatives, which ultimately make it suitable for sensitive skin like mine (even so, doing a patch test on your inner elbow is advisable), and safe to use in pregnancy. The results were even more prominent on my 60-year-old mother (unfortunately, no pictorial evidence as I had experimented on her out of boredom and didn’t expect it to work so well) who was absolutely amazed to see her fine lines smoothed out, wrinkles softened and an overall improvement in her complexion after use. Her skin felt silky to the touch too so for the first few minutes she couldn’t keep her hands off her face!

R E F R E S H E D

R E F R E S H E D

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores tightened

Pores tightened

I must, however, add that this is not a cure for acne (but can be used alongside your regular skincare products). In fact, in the process of detoxification and purging, little poppable bumps – like in my case – may surface on congested areas a few days later. But they never grew beyond their initial minuscule size and they disappeared entirely once gratifyingly popped 😂

Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Exfoliating scrub

Exfoliating scrub

Since the tremendous success of the face mask, Sand&Sky has followed up with a second product that would complement the erratic schedule of career-oriented women: an exfoliating scrub that doubles as a flash mask which can be applied in-shower. It is also more nourishing than the original mask, making it an ideal option for those with extremely dry skin.

Likewise, the Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment also contains Australian Pink Clay to draw toxins, pollution and impurities from deep within the skin. But because it has more water content, it appears translucent to reveal the physical exfoliating particles when spread out on the skin. Apart from that, it has, among many other ingredients, low amount (less than 10%) of AHAs from Australian finger lime to promote cell turnover, collagen production and the absorption of moisture into the skin, bamboo stem extract to restore elasticity and suppleness to the skin, as well as rosehip seed oil for face rejuvenation and its anti-aging benefits. For the complete list of ingredients, click here.

The back of the tube

The back of the tube

Protective seal

Protective seal

The product

The product

To use, gently massage the exfoliating scrub into cleansed, moist skin (avoid eye area) in circular motion for about 30 seconds to allow the granules to remove dead skin cells. Then, leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. And there you have it – radiant, sensationally soft and smooth skin in just half the time needed earlier! Plus, it also allows for better and more effective absorption of any serums and moisturisers that come after.

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

However, it wasn’t until I looked in the mirror the next morning that I saw the full extent of the effect. My face seemed like it was given a new lease of life as it appeared to be more refreshed and clear, and the newly smooth canvas made it really easy to apply my foundation. Moreover, the experience provided by the scrub was quite different from that of the clay mask. Besides the coarse texture and the fact that I had to get my hands “dirty”, the warm and tingling sensation felt when using the mask was noticeably absent this time.

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores exfoliated

Pores exfoliated

Smooooooth

Smooooooth

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 1 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 3 times per week

With the key ingredient Australian Pink Clay present in the clay mask and exfoliating scrub, one may ask if it is necessary to purchase both. In all honesty, it depends on the intent for using the products. I would say the primary function of the clay mask is to purify and tighten enlarged pores and reverse dull skin while the scrub is mainly to exfoliate and eliminate those nasties responsible for clogged pores. Personally, I would pick the scrub over the mask out of convenience, and also because I don’t like to be rushed into finishing the clay mask before it dries out. But both products work best together so ideally, you should get the Perfect Skin Bundle (save 15%!). Bear in mind, though, that they should not be used on the same day because too much good stuff may irritate the already-delicate skin 😝

Furthermore, getting the honourable nod from PETA also meant that Sand&Sky does not test on animals, nor does it contain any animal components or by-product. Thus, if you’re a firm believer that no animals should suffer for our vanity, this reason should propel you to support this brand!

What do you think about this brand? Have you tried any of them? If not, do you intend to? Let me know what you think in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading and stay gorgeous! 😘

Sand & Sky is now available on their website (with free delivery on all orders), ZALORA and Beauty Bay.
Products were supplied by Sand & Sky in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Small Face Care at Yakson, the House of Golki Therapy Masters

Hello everyone!

The ‘kiasu‘ mentality ingrained in the Asian culture has led us to believe that bigger is always better. But when it comes to the size of our face, we tend to favour smaller visages which, unless blessed with this desirable face shape by birth, is only be attainable with plastic surgery, right? Well, newsflash – thanks to a breakthrough discovery by Yakson House, reducing the size of your face can now simply be achieved with a massage!

Yakson Singapore

Yakson Singapore

The first of its kind in Singapore, Yakson (literally meaning “mother’s hand”) is a Korean aesthetics brand that provides a unique range of natural and non-invasive aesthetic treatments with zero downtime. Established in 1979 with over 120 outlets worldwide currently, Yakson is also the coiner of the now-ubiquitous K-buzzword Golki therapy.

Golki therapy…?

Golki therapy, or bone therapy, is a method of remodelling the face and body through unique bone massage techniques to realign the bone structure (which shifts with age, bad posture and misuse) to its original, symmetrical shape. It is based on the guidelines set forth by Julius Wolff (i.e. Wolff’s law), an orthopaedic surgeon in Germany in the 19th century, who theorised that repetitive dynamic (rather than static) loads on the bone trigger remodelling (to adapt to the stress). Moreover, the facial massage promotes blood and oxygen flow, which in the long term increases collagen production and therefore lending a youthful glow.

S P E C I A O F F E R
New customers enjoy 1-for-1 a la carte session with free consultation at all three outlets in Singapore!

This technique, however, may not be the most ideal for those looking to achieve immediate and drastic results because a minimum of 20 consecutive once-weekly sessions of the treatment is recommended for it to reach its maximum potential. That said, a slight lifting effect may still be observed in the face after a single session. As a way of measuring efficacy of the Golki therapy programmes, a plaster mask of the face is made on the first, 10th and 20th lesson of the treatment so that clients will be able to compare and see the measurable changes in their facial structure. But this service wasn’t necessary for me since my experiential treatment only lasted for one session.

Plaster mask of one of Yakson's customers (source)

Plaster mask of one of Yakson’s customers (source)

Additionally, those with low pain tolerance may also not be accustomed to the intense pressure applied to the face (at least for the first few sessions). But as the saying goes, “No pain no gain”, and if you ever decide to bite the bullet, you can rest assured that your face will be in good hands as the therapists performing the Golki therapy are native Koreans who have undergone extensive training by the founder himself at the Yakson headquarters in Seoul before they are certified to practise in Singapore.

Inside Yakson Singapore

As a testament to Yakson’s popularity, they are often fully booked across all three outlets here so fixing an appointment with them (especially on closer dates) can be a challenging process. For this reason, the House maintains a rather strict policy on punctuality in order to fulfil all scheduled appointments and ensure customer satisfaction. In case of late arrival after the 10-minute grace period (it almost happened to me because of slow traffic along the expressway 😫), the duration of the treatment would be shortened to fit into the remaining appointment time.

To prevent no-shows, a reminder SMS will also be sent one day prior to the treatment to which the customer has to reply to confirm her (sorry guys, treatments offered in Singapore are currently catered only to females only) attendance by 6pm; otherwise the appointment will automatically be cancelled. The message was condensed to 160 characters on my Conversations screen (Samsung users will understand) and had left out the do-reply instruction (which was right at the end), so I didn’t know I had to respond until a second reminder came in a few hours later 😆

With the only slot available on a weekday morning at their Harbourfront Centre outlet (the farthest from my place of residence) then, I had to drag my nocturnal self out of bed. But at the same time, I took comfort from the fact that I would likely be able to repay some of my sleep debt during the 1.5-hour treatment. Boy, how wrong I was!

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Upon arrival at Yakson, I was ushered into a treatment room where I changed out of my outfit into the massage attire (which was quite frankly pointless because I had to be naked for the body massage anyway). Rather than having a designated area for storage like the other outlets, I noticed every room at the Harbourfront Centre outlet is installed with an electronic locker. Taking centre stage in the room was a thermal massage bed which had a clear plastic covering and was heated to a comfortable temperature enough to keep the chills away throughout the session.

Treatment room

Treatment room

Sandals

Sandals

Massage attire

Massage attire

Treatment: Small Face Care

Aimed at streamlining the face for a more proportionate profile, the Small Face Care treatment promises better-defined features that will complement any hairstyle. The effects are long-term and permanent with the proper lifestyle changes and if weight is maintained (an additional course of treatment may be necessary with sudden weight changes of more than 4 kg).

Back massage

Back massage

The treatment began with a quick question from the masseuse: “Do you want [to concentrate on the] front or back?” to which I hastily answered, “back” because it had a larger surface area to work on because I wanted to ease the strain from the long hours of sitting in front of the computer. With her expert hands, she massaged my upper back, arms and scalp to relieve any tension before getting me to flip over to remove my makeup.

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Foundation removal and cleansing

Foundation removal and cleansing

Cleansing

Cleansing

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

End of part 1!

End of part 1!

Once that was done, another lady speaking Korean-accented English – presumably the Golki therapist – took over her place and administered the next round of massage on my rib area and shoulders, working towards the collarbone (i.e. the most sensitive part of my body – was on the brink of laughter so I had to tell her to move on 😫) and both sides of my neck before proceeding to the highlight of this treatment – Golki therapy for a slimmer face.

Therapist takes over - upper frontal body massage

Therapist takes over – upper frontal body massage

I had to turn my head in this manner on both sides

I had to turn my head in this manner on both sides

Working her magic on the temples

Working her magic on the temples

Squeeze those Pikachu cheeks!

Squeeze those Pikachu cheeks!

Upward prodding

Upward prodding

Double chin, be gone!

Double chin, be gone!

My very flexible cheeks, haha

My very flexible cheeks, haha

Skilfully and carefully, the therapist vigorously kneaded into my bare skin, going back and forth five to seven times (and you know it wasn’t exactly enjoyable when I was conscious enough to count in my head, hoping to arrive at the magic number at which she would get on to the next area 😂) predominantly along my jawline and cheeks, eliciting a sense of soreness and prompting me to clench my teeth. But amidst all the upward kneading, squeezing and prodding, I could actually feel my facial structure shifting like the Earth’s tectonic plates and paving the way for a more chiseled-looking appearance (without the need for a contour kit!).

Pre-mask. My (more) prominent jawline!

Pre-mask. My (more) prominent jawline!

The other side

The other side

Following that, a soothing sand-coloured mask (made from natural and herbal ingredients) was applied on my face and left on for a couple of minutes to cool the skin. The whole treatment then ended with a few more finishing kneads (shorter and less painful this time), and cheeks still flushed from the exertion of the massage. Despite the discomfort (and the subsequent aching sensation in my cheekbones) the treatment had brought on, it was surprising to note the tightening effect it had on my skin, and how refreshed and supple my face felt after just one session.

Mask time! The mask looks like baby food

Mask time! The mask looks like baby food 😋

Letting the mask set (without flash)

Letting the mask set (without flash)

LOL looks like my foundation colour

LOL looks like my foundation colour

Finishing touches

Finishing touches

The end! How I wish there's Golki therapy for the eyes as well to make my teeny weeny Asian eyes appear bigger and brighter

The end! How I wish there’s Golki therapy for the eyes as well to make my teeny weeny Asian eyes appear bigger and brighter 😁

But a word of caution: even though the products used in the treatments are suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin, as a former acne sufferer, I must warn that the constant rubbing from Golki treatment would be too harsh on moderately to severely blemished skin and may aggravate the condition. Alternatively, you may want to consider trying the skin treatments offered by Yakson.

Smaller face… or your money back!

To further boost your confidence about the treatment, money-back guarantee is also offered to customers (between 20 and 60 years old) who do not see any improvement in their facial structure. On top of that, Yakson is particularly transparent about their prices; they are fixed with no hidden costs and are made publicly available on their website (though prices reflected are before GST) to obliterate any ambiguity, thus giving customers a piece of mind knowing that there aren’t so-called preferential rates and they won’t be subjected to hard-sell tactics.

Tea is served

Tea is served

Yakson cares! Let them know how you felt about the treatment.

Yakson cares! Let them know how you felt about the treatment.

What are your thoughts about this all-new non-surgical way to achieve a slimmer face? Will you be keen to try it? Let me know what you think in the comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Yakson Singapore is located at Harbourfront Centre (1 Maritime Square Harbourfront Centre #02-17 Singapore 099253), The Star Vista (1 Vista Exchange Green #B1-24 Singapore 138617) and Wheelock Place (501 Orchard Road Wheelock Place #05-12A Singapore 238880). For more information, visit their website or like them on Facebook.
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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