Getting a professional facial treatment is one of the safest and most effective ways to improve your skin, without relying on invasive procedures. With a wide range of treatments available, we understand that it can be difficult to choose the right facial for you.
Here’s our advice on how you can select the right type of facial package that best suits your needs.
1) Knowing your skin type and skin condition
Because everyone's skin is different, understanding the state of your skin is the first step to choosing the most appropriate treatment for you. Before you get started, don't confuse "skin type" with "skin condition".
- Skin type is based on genetics and determines how your skin looks and feels throughout the course of your life.
- Meanwhile, skin condition is how your skin is behaving at the current point in your life and can vary from time to time, being influenced by factors both external (i.e. weather, pollution, incompatible skincare products, etc.) and internal (i.e. stress, sleeping patterns, diet, etc.).
There are four basic skin types - normal, dry, oily and combination.
Skin condition however, covers a multitude of issues, including the following:
Triggered by lack of moisture, dehydrated skin can look dull and flaky - feeling itchy and tight - while simultaneously being oily and dry. To test if your skin is dehydrated, do a simple pinch test by pinching the skin on the back of your hand. Dehydrated skin will remain in a pinched shape for a while before slowly easing back, while well-hydrated skin should revert to its original state straight away.
Brought about by an accumulation of dead skin cells, congested skin has large pores and blackheads, and looks thick and dull.
A common condition caused by a wide variety of factors, dull skin can be generalised as looking “grey” and lacking a certain “glow”. Factors include dehydration, congested pores, lack of sleep, use of wrong skincare products, the natural ageing process, etc.
Resulting from overactive oil glands in the skin, this is a chronic and inflammatory disease that gives rise to whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules.
Many factors can promote wrinkles, the main ones are a person’s lifestyle (i.e. smoking, diet, stress), heredity conditions and sun exposure. Wrinkles can be categorised into two types – fine surface lines produced by sunlight, and deep creases formed by repeated muscle contractions from facial expressions.
After identifying your skin type and condition, you can pinpoint the key areas that you want a facial to address. To achieve optimal results, it’s best to consult with a professional facial therapist, who can provide you with a more comprehensive picture of all the available solutions. Get the most out of your consultation by discussing these points with your therapist:
- Your long-term skin goal(s)
- General diet and lifestyle, and if you are taking any medications, supplements or vitamins
- Current skincare regime, including the products you’re using
- Allergies to any ingredients (feel free to ask your therapist about active ingredients used in their facials)
- Sensitivity to any procedures (i.e. exfoliation, UV light, etc.)
2) Understanding common facial treatments in the market
Next, let's delve into the various facials available. A classic facial typically includes cleansing, exfoliating, extractions, application of masks and moisturising – but this basic service has since evolved and proliferated into a mind-boggling array of different procedures. To make things a little easier, we have deciphered the common processes that are listed in facial treatments:
Targeted at congested skin, this involves the squeezing of congested pores (pimples, blackheads, etc.) by an aesthetician, and may present a slight level of discomfort.
Targeted at dull skin, selected vitamins are usually administered to produce a nourishing and brightening effect. Often, it also features a vigorous facial massage to stimulate lymph drainage.
Targeted at dry and dehydrated skin, ingredients like hyaluronic acid are regularly used to introduce moisture back into the skin. Hydration also helps protect against the occurrence of fine lines and wrinkles.
Targeted at dull skin, as well as people looking for pore management and anti-ageing effects, these facials typically incorporate glycolic, lactic and enzyme peels to remove layers of dead skin. A more advanced technique is microdermabrasion, where a pressurised jet is used to burnish the skin with micronized crystals to dislodge dead cells.
Targeted at acne-prone skin, this usually entails cleansers with salicylic acid, clay masks and lactic acid peels. Some aesthetics clinics are also touting the benefits of LED facials, where specific wavelengths in the LED spectrum are employed to calm breakouts and inflammation.
For people with acne-prone skin, it is important to note that the lotions, scrubs and massages applied in many facials may cause breakouts or result in scarring. Do check with the aesthetician before your facial.
Firming and contouring
Targeted at sagging skin, a device that generates micro-currents is used to temporarily tighten facial muscles to provide an overall lift. Some treatments may also include massaging techniques to contour the face.
Targeted at very specific or more severe problems, a more in-depth analysis of the skin is normally conducted. Thereafter, the treatments are usually more intense – incorporating higher concentrations of more potent chemicals, as well as more heavy-duty equipment.
For some people, facials are a great way to relax. To them, the relaxing aspects of a facial are just as important as visible results. If you enjoy relaxing facials, look out for facials which feature gentle cleansings and mask applications, as well as soothing massage techniques.
Targeted at busy individuals looking for a quick fix, these treatments usually last for 30 minutes or less. Despite the shorter time and condensed services, demand for express facials in Singapore have been increasing over the years as customers find them fast, affordable and still relatively effective.
3) Setting expectations
Remember that for all the benefits of a facial, it is not a miraculous “one-time cure-all”. Choose a facial package that you can comfortably commit to on a long-term basis. Avoid darting from clinic to clinic, or falling prey to gimmicky fad treatments.
The effects of even the best facials can fade after a week. Excellent, long-lasting results will only come about with regular facial treatments and proper follow-up care from a trusted aesthetics professional.
One more note is the common misconception that the longer a mask stays on the face, the better the outcome. On the contrary, leaving a mask (especially sheet masks) on for too long can result in your face’s moisture being sucked back into mask. Masks should never be left on long enough to dry out, and a general rule is 10-15 minutes for “clarifying” masks, and 20 minutes for “hydrating” masks.
4) When purchasing a facial package
Taking care of your skin is not just about vanity, but also an important aspect of health. Having clear, glowing skin will go a long way in making you look and feel good.
Nevertheless, don’t feel compelled to sign up for the first facial package you see. Commit to a clinic only if it is highly-reputed, has many favourable customer testimonials, and provides conscientious good post-treatment service. The clinic should also offer the latest innovations, particularly in non-invasive treatments.
Also, it’s generally more worthwhile to buy a long-term facial package – not only because diligent skincare is a long-term investment – but also because most clinics usually offer better rates for multiple sessions.
Speak with your facial consultant. They should do an analysis of your skin type and condition, then factor in your lifestyle and work schedule, before making a recommendation on a suitable facial package that will provide you the best value and results.
Choosing a facial package (over a single treatment) has these benefits:
- Economies of scale: Spending less for each treatment then you would normally would if you purchase the treatment on a one off basis.
- Consistency: Your consultant will be familiar with your skin history and its receptivity to treatments, then make minor adjustments to improve following treatments
- Complementary treatments: Certain complementary treatments are reserved for clients who purchase packages (this varies for different aesthetics clinics)
- Rewards: Signing up as a member when purchasing a package may help you to accumulate rewards instantly (this varies for different aesthetics clinics)
Things to note:
- Terms and conditions: Be sure to read these when signing up for a facial package
- Validity period: Schedule your package appointments ahead, so you can utilise your sessions within their validity period
- Deliverables: Check on the deliverables contained in your package, so you are clear on what is included (and what is not)
Feel free to ask questions and clarify any doubts you may have before signing up for a facial package. This will ensure a smooth, fuss-free experience throughout all your treatments.