Is this the best facial in town?
Pick of the crop
It's hard to impress a beauty editor and I'm hard-pressed to figure out why I haven't gone for a Porcelain facial before this, having been in the industry for over 10 years. After all Porcelain is one of the fastest-growing facial chains in Singapore and has gotten rave reviews from its clients. Porcelain co-founder and managing director Pauline Ng also made our list of 24 creatives last year.
Well I certainly made up for lost time, when I finally got the chance to try not one, but a suite of three Porcelain facials in the span on three days. The idea is that this intensive regimen will kickstart your skin reboot. I was in for an unexpected surprise (and not in the twist from The Good Place kind of way) with a result that far exceeded my expectations. Having suffered from persistent acne breakouts for at least half of 2017, it had become rather frustrating trying to find a solution, with my skin continuing to break out in the same areas month after month, despite trying lasers, peels and anti-acne products. It turns out that a good extraction was what I needed, in order to remove the pesky p.acnes bacteria that had literally taken residence under my skin.
My facial experience began at Porcelain Signatures, the swanky new outlet that opened in late 2016 in the Tanjong Pagar area, with the skin discovery. This is a machine diagnosis to determine everything from hydration levels to the amount of crow's feet and pigmentation lurking beneath the skin surface. The diagnosis will also give you a 'skin age' so you can begin your potential descent into a mid-life crisis even earlier (just kidding). The first facial I tried was the OxyRevive, a two-step treatment that is designed to enhance the skin's radiance. It began with intensive hyperbaric oxygen therapy and an oxygen hydropeel to remove dead skin cells followed by a pure infusion of vitaminised oxygen to revive the complexion. It is also the ideal facial to prepare the skin for extractions. I then moved on immediately to the heavy stuff, with spa's most well-known and meticulous facial, the Quintessential. A bespoke facial, this is an extraction-rich procedure designed for severely congested and acne-prone skin. According to my therapist my congestion levels were not that high, but that still meant a thorough and systematic process that lasted one and a half hours. Although slightly painful at times, I was impressed by her skill. Each therapist is personally trained by Ng's mother Jenny Teng, who founded the spa, to ensure they are using the right angle, technique and pressure in order to reduce scarring. Her attention to every last pore, pimple and spot was a lengthy but necessary process. Importantly, after this intensive session, Porcelain employs the perfect after-care blend of products and equipment to ensure that the skin heals well.
Two days later I was back for Sun Rescue facial, that uses oxygen and cryo therapy, to soothe skin and stimulate repair, building on the work accomplished by the previous extractions for a 360º approach to good skin. Although Porcelain's therapists were quick to warn me that some of the extractions might result in mild scabbing — which it did in some cases — I was told not to pick at it, and they healed well with little scarring. Overall I was very impressed by the skilful technique, the extensive extractions and the way my skin took to the three facials. My acne has not recurred even after three weeks, the scars are flattened and fading, and my pores are more refined giving my skin a much better texture and radiance. I would definitely recommend this Quintessential facial in particular, if your congested skin is in dire need of extractions. With the ultimate goal to help all of its clients go foundation-free, this pricey but hardworking Porcelain facial is worth the splurge.