My Facial Experience At AsterSpring Centres Singapore

The entrance of AsterSprings and the lovely staff

Having just travelled by air for more than 18 hours can cause havoc on the skin. Think the recycled air, lack of sleep, change of time zones and dehydration and being sat in middle seats most of the journey, less the ability to move and drink fluids, this was my case. It was time to sort my skin out after trying to recover from a bad case of jetlag and some unwanted hormonal breakouts. So I booked myself at AsterSpring Clementi for some much needed revamp. Before the facial, I filled out a rather extensive questionnaire plus I had my face analysed throughly. Some of the questions were as specific to my eating habits in regards to caffeine and alcohol. As I am familiar with the effects of certain foods and drinks on the skin when people come in for makeup, I was aware and understood the reasoning behind the questions. The therapist was trying to offer me the best suited facial for the needs of my skin as we talked about my answers. So, what were my needs and concerns? It is no suprise, I was dehydrated, have minor pigmentation and at the time had quite a bit of breakouts in the lower chin and around my mouth. Another super interesting fact was the spot positions, better explained to me in the Traditional Chinese Medicine method. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the spots on your face do not pop up randomly. The positioning of breakouts in the face is meaningful because in TCM different areas of the face relate to certain organs. The face is like a mirror of the body and mind (much like in Reflexology). My areas of TCM correlation are all in the lower intestine, colon and kidneys. I was in fact showing signs of dry skin and in need of a face detox, which is also how I felt on the inside. What I had done is called Face Mapping a procedure which divides the face into fourteen distinct zones and provides an objective view of the skin’s condition.

My therapist recommended I had an Intense Dermal Clear Facial a treatment that lasts about 80 minutes. For this treatment, a medical-grade facial machine is used (without any down time) and it involves ultrasound waves and high-impulse modes, combined with oxygen serum to stimulate skin cells. The Intense Dermal Clear Facial helps brighten the complexion and improve skin texture for glowing results. We started with deep cleansing followed by a lot of steam. I was also made aware that major extractions were necessary to clear all my blemishes out. At the end of the treatment I was given a double cooling multivitamin masque and an oxygen serum to further nourish my face after the extractions. I also had a lovely post pressure point head/ shoulder massage. During the session, I dozed off nicely and had a super relaxing time. My face for the next few days was a bit beaten, and I knew this was the course. A week later I was clear and glowing, as you will see through my before and after pictures. All the products used were Dermalogica and as I am a faithful follower of this fabulous skincare brand, I know it is good. Astersprings Centres are located islandwide in Singapore and this makeup pro highly endorses their service and facility!

(Left) before the facial, blemishes around the chin area, SO relaxed after the facial photo in the upper corner and lower corner photo is a week later, with makeup on and a super clear complexion. None of these photos are retouched!

MGM Las Vegas Grand Spa and Health Club

I’ve been on a USA tour and of course, a spa was on my to-do list.  Lucky for me, the spa visit came at the end of the journey in the city of Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Spa and Health Club.   This was a special treat not only for myself but for my sister, for months we had anticipated some time for girlie pampering. 

For those not familiar with the MGM hotel in Las Vegas, it is HUGE, crowded, busy and goes on for miles with shops and restaurants.  As we made our way through the masses, I was not sure what to expect, the pictures on the website do not reflect the level of quiet and comfort – a major surprise to us.  This is a full service spa, complete with sauna, steam room, jacuzzi, full showers with towels, hair dryers, straighteners, clean hair brushes, refreshments, granola bars, locker room, slippers, plus a waiting room with sofas to fully relax after your treatment.

I opted for the Classic European facial which is 50 minutes it includes cleansing, exfoliation, mask, steam, extraction, moisturizers, and massage. After the consultation, my therapist suggested I try the diamond peel as an add-on, truth is my face had a few very noticeable deep pimples.

After the steam and cleansing de rigueur, my hands and feet were treated to a massage, followed by moisture under a warm wrap (bliss). Following the first part of the facial, I was told there would be a ton of extractions. A clay mask using an enzyme product was applied to help clear my skin and peel off the layer that needed to be “buffed”. Being a regular facial person I was well aware it needed to be done in order to help my skin shed unwanted dead cells/ pimples and blackheads. Phew. Yes, it may sound like a lot but this was done quite swiftly plus a shoulder massage would come at the very end. The diamond peel was not harsh at all, although I did feel the buffing effect happening.

The experience was so relaxing and chilled I nearly forgot I was in Vegas. The staff, bed side manners and service were stellar. After my facial, I chilled outside in the lounge, had cold green tea and a lovely 1-1 with my sister. My face today is peeling, no surprises as this sort of reminds me of the glycolic medical facial I had in Singapore, but at least I know in a few days my face will be as smooth as silk and radiant. If you are ever in Las Vegas, I totally recommend this spa! The products that were used on my face were all by Skinceuticals.

Medical Facials And Why They Matter

I wanted to share my latest finding in the world of skincare, a Medical Peel Treatment I had at SkinLab the Medical Spa at Wheelock Place. The last two months have been full of work, stress and my new circuit training routine outdoors. What does this translate to? Battered skin. Yes even this makeup artist suffers from the occasional blemish and lots of open pores (especially living in humid Singapore).

When I arrived at SkinLab the Medical Spa, a good analysis and chat about my skin ensued – always a good sign of a good spa! My makeup was removed, face cleansed and my therapist walked me through the entire process step by step, she also warned me about how it might feel (she was very honest). I never had any form of peel before so this was a first. The truth is, my skin really was ripe for it, I had spots all over, hadn’t gone to a facial in about two months. Some friendly advice, NEVER plan a peel or a facial the day before a major event or if you know you’ll be wearing makeup, give yourself at least one week after your treatment. Going to get this facial was a planned event, I knew ahead of time I was going to take a break from makeup to let my skin breathe and recover.

After the skin is cleansed, a pre-peel solution micropoint facial massage with ampoules follows. Immediately after the glycolic peel is painted onto the skin, like a mask. It is left on for 1 minute and then cleansed off. While it is a mildly uncomfortable procedure, you will feel a prickling sensation, this goes by fast. My therapist used rose water and an iced compress to soothe irritation and itching. What is happening in a peel is literally sloughing off the surface dead skin cells. The facial lasted for about 90 minutes total, after the peel an anti-acne facial mask is applied followed by a head, neck and shoulder massage. Bliss, I feel asleep for at least 20 minutes, it was so soothing.

Now comes the truth as well – your face will be sensitive the first day and more than likely you will break out for a few days, that is exactly what happened to me. I was well aware of it though, it always happens when I get facials, it is part of the process. After 2-3 days I noticed some skin flaking as the treatment makes the dead cells slough off (I used loads of rose water toner and exfoliated too). The plus side? My skin feels brighter and smooth this was about five days after, and I love it.

Would I recommend it? YES. Would I do it again? MOST DEFINITELY. The benefits? From encouraging new cell regeneration and help improve skin tone, peels aid in reducing mild acne scars and fine lines and can help unclog pores, resulting in less breakouts.

Mandara Spa Phuket, Thailand

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As promised here is a review of my visit to Mandara Spa in Phuket. This slice of tranquility is located at the Phuket JW Marriott hotel surrounded by lush nature and exotic flowers. It is a full service spa offering facials, body and face treatments, massages, the works. The skincare brand of choice is Elemis and of course, as soon as I read that I was sold.

I enjoy a good session of steam like birds love freedom. While on this subject the main difference between steam and a sauna is the heat is moist in a steam while sauna is dry heat in a wood paneled room. One of the reasons why I love steam is that it does so much for the outer skin by way of opening the pores, releasing dirt, toxins and chemicals clogged inside not to forget, not to forget it feels so relaxing!

At Mandara I chose a Thai herbal steam which gives you half an hour in a totally private area with a shower outside, you go as you please. What Thai herbs are we talking about? The steam offered a scent mix of Plai (Thai ginger), Kafir Lime, Acacia leaves, Menthol, Camphor, and Myrtle Grass. I stayed as long as I could, trying to soak in and keep moving about while loving the mixture of herbal scents.

As soon as the steam finished, next on the agenda was a Honey Milk bath soak in a huge outdoor stone tub (see photo), again in your own privacy surrounded by nature and QUIET. The water was hot and the bath was super relaxing – my skin felt really silky afterwards. I definitely liked the steam better and maybe on a next visit would try a body wrap which is also a detoxifying body treatment.

Would I go back again to Mandara? Absolutely. Staff, attention to detail, service, products and the opportunity to completely tune out? Yes please.

Hope you enjoy the images!

Gua-sha for your back and face

In the constant search for new and off the beaten path beauty treatments, I ventured to 21 Academy for a little Gua-Sha for my face and back.

Gua-sha is an ancient Chinese therapy that involves scraping the skin to promote blood circulation and remove toxins.  In English, Gua Sha basically means, to scrape away fever.  Herbs are rubbed on the back area or acupoints to stimulate blood circulation in the body. Then the skin will be scraped using a jade or horn blade from top to bottom according to the direction of blood flow.  The facial version is a lot more gentle. My therapist was very good, using circular motion massages.  BTW this is not a clearing or exfoliating facial, it is very non-invasive more geared to reduce wrinkles, fight puffiness and improve the skin’s overall condition. Price was reasonable, bed manners and space were nice. The best part was near the end of my treatment, I could hear the Lion dance drums/ gongs fast approaching, so Chinese Singaporean in the heart of Ang Mo Kio!

I enjoyed the back Gua-sha more than the face treatment. The truth is, I am more used to steam, clearing out pores and tightening products/ facials. The massage in the Gua-sha facial is divine and so is the back treatment. Afterwards, I felt energized and very relaxed.