[By Joanna Ong]

I have been to a few places before for facials, but was looking for something a little different this time because I felt my skin was going a little hay-wire after a recent ski trip in Niseko, Hokkaido. The slopes were great this year as the snow fell thick and heavy, but it wasn’t that great for my skin! My skin has always been on the dry side, and prolly the moisturizer I had wasn’t enough for the harsh weather and dehydrating effects of indoors heating. I was literally glued to the heater whenever I spotted one! Upon my bestie’s recommendation, I decided to give the medically affiliated SW1 Spa a go. Although they started biz late last year, I found out that the SW1 Spa is hardly a newbie to the scene. It is actually set-up and managed by the exact same team of beauty specialists (doctors, nurses and therapists) formerly running The Sloane Clinic, a premium chain of aesthetics clinics operating in Singapore/Malaysia since 2003. Currently re-branded as the SW1 Clinic, the move is to provide better and more comprehensive services, consolidated as one large medical hub offering medical aesthetics, aesthetics surgery in Singapore and medical spa services all under one roof.I was pleasantly surprised (and taken aback) that the vast selection of medically inspired, scientifically designed facials catering to differing skin genres to address all common skin woes are actually competitively priced around those done at a non-medical spa/ facial salon! But hey, I’m not going to complain about a good deal anytime soon, will you? (*chuckles)

The SW1’s signature Deep Red Facial which I did, is their most coveted deeply rejuvenating facial, an award winning bestseller that utilizes the clinic’s trademark 5-part therapy to help revitalize and reinvigorate the skin.

Ready for my deeply rejuvenating Deep Red Facial, let’s go!

The facial starts with gentle exfoliation with CHAI CRYSTAL HEALING oxygenating facial scrub with champagne extracts, enhanced with a soothing facial steam bath to melt away the dead skin cells on the surface while promoting healthy lymphatic flow of the skin.

Pre-facial prep— Double Cleansing with cleanser & makeup remover, followed by scrub with hot steam.

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It is then followed by one of the highlights of this treatment facial for me which is Ultrasonic Deep Cleansing. The ultrasonic technology uses vibrational sound waves to help remove aged surface skin cells and impurities, getting rid of pesky blackheads and whiteheads which clogged pores and increased the likelihood of acne breakout. There is a mild tingling sensation with a low buzzing sound, and I would say pain free especially if you compare this to manual extraction! (Which shouldn’t be done in the first place as extraction might lead to inflammation, infection and possible scarring).

Ultrasonic Deep Cleansing, a super effective pore purging procedure with minimal redness and NO downtime.

I later requested for a view of the blackheads and whiteheads which were purged from my pores cos initially I wasn’t too convinced that ultrasonic cleansing can be that effective (given the fact that it’s SO comfortable). I have to say I kind of regretted that and was rather embarrassed, and even more so now that I’m posting up a picture (You have been warned). But despite the embarrassment, my skin felt immensely clean and refreshed, unlike the red and throbbing sensation felt after painful manual extraction.

The unglamorous shot of the awful stuff that was purged out of my skin via Ultrasonic Deep Cleansing. YUCKS!

Next up was the’ Red’ of Deep Red Facial. This actually refers to LED Red, a medical breakthrough that engages low level energy lights as a form of effective photo rejuvenation therapy, encouraging cell turnover and collagen production for skin renewal. In addition, LED Red also boosts skin metabolism and encourages rapid healing to revitalized skin from inside out, giving you a healthy glow with younger looking skin of reduced pore size and better skin tone and color. This was ideal for my haywire skin as I had mentioned earlier, helping to reduce the irritation from the exposure to harsh environmental elements, as well as calm my sensitive skin. The therapist put on a pair of protective goggles for me during this treatment and you can definitely see why— it was kind of bright but no worries, you’ll grow accustomed to it after a minute or so. Rest assure that LED Red light is NOT what you get at tanning salons or during outdoors sunbathing, it won’t darken your complexion and doesn’t come with any burning sensation that hurt your eyes and skin. After 5 mins I felt rather relaxed and actually dozed off, perhaps was even dreaming of enjoying a spot of sun while holidaying in Maldives!

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Gentle skin rejuvenation with LED Red photomodulation, a completely pain-free 633nm red light therapy that reduces the signs of photo-damage and skin aging.

My skin was now ready for maximum absorption of skin nutrients that was going to help repair and nourish my tortured skin. After careful analysis, my trained therapist gave her suggestion and we made our choice based on what’s best for my skin’s current condition, and she proceeded with Sonophoresis, a transdermal delivery system that engages sonic wave technology to ensure optimum penetration with speedy delivery of the skin nutrients into the deep layers of the skin. As my skin was somewhat dehydrated from my ski trip, a hydrator containing pure hyaluronic acid was recommended, paired with Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant with superb anti-aging effects and will really help to brighten up my lackluster complexion.

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You get a choice of 2 carefully selected skin nutrients introduced via Sonophoresis, a transdermal route of delivery which penetrates 500 times more effectively than manual massage.

Lastly, a collagen mask was applied on my skin which further helped to rehydrate it. At the end of this 60 minutes facial, the only thing I wished was for it not to end. It was a blissful experience, yet it was effective in helping with my skin concerns. To me, I truly believe this facial had the perfect combination of treatment steps for me. It helped “un-dull” and revitalize my skin, without traumatizing it with painful manual extraction. I felt like a new woman with a “post-holiday” glow that I had bragging right to, don’t you think my skin is just radiant?

I was also recommended to try two products at home.

The first is the ROSE GINSENG ginseng infused brightening facial toner. This toner not only helps prepare the skin for absorption of your following products, but its all-natural blend of rose blossoms, ginseng extracts and optimal measures of alpha-hydroxy acids to refresh, recharge and restore stressed and sensitive skin. I have been using it for a little over 3 weeks, and have to say that it controls my excess oil and also reduced the redness of my skin.

The other product recommended was the CHAI PURE GOLD Youth Reset Serum. Safe to use even for those who are pregnant, or suffering from sensitive skin like me, this anti-aging hyaluronic acid serum is powered with pure 24 Karat Gold extracts and boosted with vitamin E to help improve skin’s elasticity and suppleness, to soothe, nourish and regenerate, fighting against skin’s fragility caused by environmental stressors such as pollution, change of seasons and travel. The pure 24K Gold combination notably decreases inflammation and improves circulation of skin, and is simply a godsend product to treat my type of irksome skin that’s dry on the surface but oily on the inside!

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The SW1 Spa founded by Dr. Low Chai Ling provides cutting edge facials and body skin treatments that deliver results using scientific methods and unique skin solutions; a step short of a visit to the doctor’s office, yet so much more than your traditional scrub and mask.

“Invest in your skin, it’s going to represent you for a very long time.”


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