3 skin treatments that actually work

3 skin treatments that actually work

Skin wins

Text: Amelia Chia Angelyn Kwek Renée Batchelor

The Buro teams puts our faces on the line, as we try facials and lasers that truly improve the quality of skin

When it comes to treating our skin, we all want different things. For some of us, the brief is a relaxing time off where we can be pampered with masking and massages and emerge with glowing skin. For others, a quick and efficient solution to a skin problem — be it oiliness or scarring — is what we're after. The Buro team tried out three, different treatments and here are our recommendations.

The Wellness Clinic

Enlighten Gold, from $650 per sesssion
The Wellness Clinic, #04-01 Wheelock Place, 6732-0812

As time goes by, the signs of ageing on your skin become more obvious, but sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where you need extra help. O love lasers and machines, not because I'm a sucker for pain, but because I feel that it is one way you can truly treat the tone, texture and even the tightness of our skin. The Wellness Clinic's Enlighten Gold uses the revolutionary Cutera Enlighten Laser system. Without going into too much technical detail, it has two wavelengths and both picosecond and nanosecond pulse durations. What this translates into? Energy from the laser beam is delivered into skin for a much shorter time, so each treatment is faster, safer and less painful for patients. 

My main skin concerns are acne scarring and overall dullness, but this is great for women in their 30s and 40s who are experiencing a host of typical issues like skin laxity, fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps improve dull, discoloured skin, unwanted freckles and age and sun spots, so skin looks more even-toned and radiant. This treatment also helps in pore reduction and the treatment of acne scars. Basically it's a cure-all for overall ageing.

After more than 20 minutes with numbing cream on, I was zapped by the clinic's Dr Ram Nath, and found the whole experience almost painless. Expect the usual rubber band flicking sensation and slight warmth that is completely bearable — it was over in a blink of an eye.  The treatment has no downtime, although you might experience some slight redness. Furthermore, each session is quick — expect to be in and out in under 45 minutes. Dr Ram explained how the the machine has a Micro Lens Array gold attachment that allows for superior surface coverage and deeper penetration of the skin. By boosting collagen production and therefore skin elasticity at a greater depth, the result is a lifting and tightening of the skin, without injuring the skin's dermal and epidermal layers.

After one session, we saw improvements to the overall tone and texture of the skin, as well as a slight lightening of our acne scars. It also helped to calm our existing acne so that it did not flare up further. However, if you want more visible results, you should go for two to three sessions and then do regular maintenance thereafter. — Renée Batchelor, Beauty Editor

Annabelle Skin

Dr. Belter Cosmetic Aventurine Stress Release Hydroboost Treatment, $238 for 90 minutes
Annabelle Skin, #02-42 The Adelphi, 6336-8975

As far as facials go, I've always enjoyed seeking out hole-in-the-wall type places that offer a service far beyond my expectations. Smaller outfits generally have a tried and tested reason for selecting the products they use, and a great philosophy behind it that they've made the premise of their facial studio. Annabelle Skin at The Adelphi, which brings in Dr. Belter Cosmetic products, is one of those hidden gems.  Brought in by founder Shirley Mok three years ago, the German skincare brand is inspired by the diversity of nature, and all its formulations consist of above 95 percent natural ingredients. Its textures are soft and lightweight, and the products mostly leave behind a beautiful scent.

My skin concerns generally circle around general dullness and dryness, and I was excited to try their new Aventurine Stress Release Hydroboost Treatment, which features Dr. Belter Cosmetic's new BioClassica line. The new range, with 10 products in total, is developed with an organic and vegan focus, and comprises patented active ingredients like vegan silk-proteins, Glucolift Complex, and hyaluronic acid to boost hydration levels and smoothen the complexion.

I was ushered into one of their four cosy treatment rooms, where I changed into a batik-style robe, and sunk into the comforts of my treatment bed — soothing and warm, while neither too soft nor firm. My therapist Elaine began by double cleansing my skin with BioClassica's velvety cream cleanser and fresh blossomy tensum, before applying an enzyme cream peel. As the peel worked its magic on my skin's impurities, Elaine began a short silk scarf massage (employing a sideways motion all over my face) — which I'm told promotes effective penetration of ingredients into the skin.

As I slowly started to fall into slumber from her rhythmic motions, Elaine applied an ampoule infused with silk proteins to brighten and promote an even skin tone, and a hydroboost mask for added moisture and protection from cellular stress and free radicals. Her brilliant fingers worked her way on my skin in a languid face and shoulder massage, employing Aventurine (a precious natural mineral) massage wands to activate acupressure points. This aids in toning facial muscles and enhances lymphatic flow to detox and boost energy.

A final nourishing mask, a quick cleanse, and a 15-minute snooze later, I woke to velvety-soft, glowing skin that stayed with me for the next 48 hours. This is the ideal pick-me-up before a party, or if you need a layer of radiance to combat long hours in the office. — Amelia Chia, Deputy Editor

Novu Medical Aesthetics

Novu Medical Aesthetic Clinic Glazo Peel Laser and CR-Celluweave, from $108
Islandwide locations, 6100-1234

If you thought aesthetic treatments were long, drawn-out processes that take up half a day, you’ll be glad to know there’s now a super speedy option to great skin. Enter Novu Medical Aesthetic Clinic, specially conceptualised as an ‘in-and-out’ alternative for ladies who are pressed for time (and gents who surreptitiously desire a face treatment or two). Heading in for a trial, I expected an almost austere environment but was pleasantly surprised at the sleekly curated space. Yes, it’s still minimalist, though clever use of colours, lighting and sound creates a welcoming, relaxing ambience. There’s even an automated system for returning customers that allocates you a queue number after you’ve booked a session, which leaves you some free time to run some quick errands before you pop back in to get your treatment.

With a specialty in lasers, the clinic’s extensive roster includes face-lifts, skin rejuvenations, facial scar reductions, pore and wrinkle busters — pretty much all the works. And to know which treatment, or a combination of them, is your cup of tea; you first have a thorough consultation service with the doctor who will tailor a treatment course to tackle your skin issues. I got the Glazo Peel Laser and CR-Celluweave combo, the first to deeply exfoliate my pores and eradicate dead skin and built-up sebum using an in-house formulated carbon mask made with superfruit kakadu plum extract, and the latter to stimulate collagen and tighten skin and muscle tone after. And if you’re having second thoughts about getting consecutive lasers in one sitting, fret not as the doc will talk you through every step while administering the treatments.

After an initial squawk of surprise — sudden loud noises get to me, okay — I settled down and let the lasers work their magic. You’ll constantly hear a staticky crackling and whiff a faint charring with the Glazo Peel as that’s the sound and smell of the laser hitting the carbon mask to literally whip it off your face, along with all the dirt and oils. You might also feel a slight pinpricking if you’ve sensitive skin, but just holler if you wish to tone down the laser’s intensity. Immediately followed up by the CR-Celluweave, which emits a soothing warmth going across my face akin to a heated face massage, I emerged from the clinic in a little under an hour for both treatments, making this the fastest and most efficient procedure I’ve ever had — with fairly visible results too that come with practically no downtime and a non-invasive tag. So if you ever need to pencil in a quickie skin rescue before a big event, I'd say Novu is the perfect go-to. — Angelyn Kwek, Beauty Writer