A good facial place can be hard to find. The right products, techniques, massage steps, and even whether extraction should or should not be included in a facial, all determines the outcome of your pampering session. Then there's the actual process — how spacious the cabin or room is, how peaceful your time is (loud, outside noises are such an unwelcome distraction) and whether or not it's a comfortable process. With two concern-specific facials using Babor skincare products on offer from Spa Esprit, the Buro team gave them a try. Here are the results:

Heavy Lifting Facial, $321 for 90 minutes
Touted as a workout for your skin, I'm always happy to try anything that promises a lifting and firming action. The facial begins with a Rich Vitalising Mask to improve skin metabolism, before an enzyme peel is applied so that the dry, flaky skin on the epidermis gets removed. Then my therapist moved on to light extraction. I love some extractions, as to me, a facial doesn't feel thorough unless my blackheads and whiteheads are removed. That said, I don't enjoy painful, aggravating and extensive extractions, so I think Spa Esprit has found the perfect balance. 

Post-extraction, the therapist applied a calming Rose Toning Lotion to soothe and balance my skin. Then my skin was prepped for the double masking to come with an extensive massage that uses a hyaluronic acid and marine collagen complex — a brilliant concept as the massaging action really helps these skin-plumping ingredients to penetrate deeply. The star of the facial for us — besides the relaxing massage, and neck and shoulder rub — was the innovative double masking. The first is a skin regenerating cream mask. The second is pretty spectacular. The sculpting Ultra Comfort Modelage Mask comes in the form of plaster compress strips that are deftly applied on the face one strip at a time. The mask hardens after around 15 minutes into a hard face cast — how very The Man in the Iron Mask. After the mask is throughly cleansed, a rich Collagen Booster Cream, and SCO sunscreen ( a must) was applied.

Results: I loved this facial, as it felt like a relaxing time out, without dragging on interminably. Once the cast mask was removed, my skin really felt like it was tightened and lifted. The products not only boost collagen and elastin fibres, so skin is plumped from the inside out, they also offer deep replenishment — a godsend for dry and dull skin like mine. A mark of a good facial for me is not just glowing, brightened and well-hydrated skin, but emerging from your cabin with a general sense of well-being, and I certainly did with this treatment.
4.5/5
Renée Batchelor, Beauty Editor 

Spa Esprit at Paragon

Star White Star Bright Facial, 75 minutes for $267.50
As far as facials go, the Star White Star Bright treatment is easily the most relaxing, as it doesn't involve extraction — good news for those who wish to attain a fresh complexion sans a world of pain. While I immerse myself into tranquility, my aesthetician proficiently administers a herbal-based cleanse that clears away makeup, grime and dead cells in addition to stimulating skin regeneration. Followed by a gentle exfoliating scrub, the highlight of the facial which I'm most excited about, the AHA-enzyme peel, is then applied. Chock-full of papaya and pineapple extracts, this is the complexion miracle worker that removes stubborn dead skin cells and pore-clogging impurities. Those with more sensitive skin may experience a faint stinging as the peel works its magic, but fret not; the sensation lasts only several seconds.

Upon removal, I'm immediately treated to a hydrating thermal spray and a 20 percent pure vitamin C serum to boost collagen levels and reduce environmental damage on the skin. Regular serum users will know vitamin C is ace when it comes to radiance-boosting, antioxidant and anti-ageing properties — it's literally the perfect multi-tasker. Going a step further, my skin is pampered with a facial massage that promotes rejuvenation and firmness before a finishing Comfort Cream Mask is applied to protect its cellular DNA. Now all aglow, a layer of sunscreen is finally patted on to prevent against UV damage and dark spot formation — the whole point of the facial after all.

Results: Touted to light up even the dullest complexion, the Star White Star Bright facial certainly lives up to its name. My first glance into a mirror revealed a fresher complexion and dare I say it, even a faint glow that looked as if I had a good night's rest instead of only 75 minutes under a pair of skilled hands. And if you've a frustrating case of hyperpigmentation, this is the perfect facial to sign up for because regular sessions will certainly see you flaunting clearer, radiant skin.
4/5
Angelyn Kwek, Writer

Special rates apply for first timers. Book your session at Spa Esprit here