Do Facial Machines Really Work Or Am I Just Paying For a Bougie Experience

Published on Oct 28, 2020

In this day and age, especially with the convenience of hundreds of beauty-related articles online, more and more women are starting to get skin conscious from a younger age. With that comes the usual suspects; loading up on hyped up skincare products; investing in a proper skincare routine; makeup products with better ingredients; and even various oft-overlooked facial procedures.

Now with facials there comes a whole slew of other questions and decisions to contend with: What kind of facial is suitable for my skin? What price range of facial should I splurge for? Should I try that really exotic sounding procedure that really should give me baby bottom smooth skin for the price I’m paying? Facial machines… what’s that all about?

Now I’m not here to contend with you the results of the ever traumatising-to-look-at Vampire Facial procedure, with its equally traumatising-to-pay price tag that comes along with it. We simply do not have the time nor the word count. Instead, we’re going to tackle the similarly multi-faceted world of the Facial Machine.

So get your sheet masks and your green teas ready, we’re about to dive into this fascinating world of beauty machinery.

Do Facial Machines Work?


Right off the bat, we have to address the fact that there are just so many kinds of different machines and products available out there in the beauty industry, be it a more affordable and user-friendly home device, or a more powerful and designed-for-professional-use only device. Here’s a couple of the more common ones that you are likely to come across especially in your local beauty salons:

Laser Skin Resurfacing


Laser Skin Resurfacing targets many common skin problems, such as sunspots, age spots, wrinkles, acne scars, wrinkles, and lines. It’s such an effective industry that there have been many new developments in the laser world for procedures and machines that target different specific concerns, although the exact method/procedure should only be determined during the consult with your beautician as to which suits your skin needs best.

The Laser Facials are extremely versatile, with some, the Laser Genesis procedure, even being dubbed “lunchtime cosmetics” as you can be in-and-out in 15 mins with no downtime. Those are good for collagen production for wrinkle therapy, and helping in diffusing rosacea. For the big guns, you have the Fraxel Laser therapy, made popular by one Kim Kardashian, which is known to be a powerhouse in a complete overall rejuvenation in one’s complexion. Although there is some downtime of a few days, during which you might look like you’ve suffered a minor sunburn, the results are apparently so good you look 10 years younger!

Microcurrent Facials


Now these facials uses a low-grade electric current to tighten up your facial muscles so they appear more firm and lifted, giving it the nickname “the non-invasive facelift”. This facial method is extremely effective, with proper medical history backing up the usage of these microcurrents in facials. Best part is, it’s virtually painless, and results are visible immediately after.

Facials can last around 80 mins, and results in plumper looking skin, contoured cheekbones, and defined jawlines. It also helps de-puff the face as it doubles as a lymphatic drainage massage. It is so popular there are even home-devices available for the consumer to use at home, however they won’t always have the same efficacy and “strength” as a salon-grade machine.

Oxygen Therapy Facial


Probably one of the more out-there treatments on this list is the Oxygen Therapy Facial.  Essentially, you’re looking at a machine that’s used to spray highly concentrated oxygen molecules right onto your skin. It’s designed to nourish your skin and promote collagen growth, cell renewal, and radiance in the skin, with no painful side effects.

Loads of celebrities such as Victoria Beckham, Justin Timberlake, and Olivia Coleman have claimed to favour this type of therapy, and swear by it, even travelling with their own oxygen machines! It’s said the most common immediate results are absolutely glowing, radiant skin, which can last up to 6 days. Do note, unlike some of the other therapies listed on here, there is no medical proof to back it up as effective in the long term. But if you’ve got a couple hundred extra spending money on the side, and a fancy (post-Phase 2) event to attend, why not give it a shot?

Cryotherapy Facial


Now if your skin concern is more about anti-aging, then Cryotherapy might be the one for you. A 45 mins session blasting cold vapour directly at your epidermis is meant to boost cell rejuvenation, collagen production, and plump the face. As one of the more technically advanced methods, with the potential for things to go very wrong if handled by the wrong person, there are no at-home versions of this treatment, so your best bet to give it a shot is at a licensed beauty salon.

LED Light Therapy Facial


Of all the above-mentioned items, the LED Light Therapy facial tends to be the one most commonly bought as a home device for personal use. With either handheld LED devices or full face masks (as made popular by celebs such as Nina Dobrev) most users tend to experience the LED Light Therapy Facial machines from the comfort of their own home.

The common benefits of LED Light Therapy facials include treating acne, reducing inflammation, and promoting anti-aging results. As most of the other facials though, it doesn’t come at a cheap price, which is where the home devices edge out the salon benefits, as LED Light Therapy is only most effective with prolonged and repeated usage. Of course, the home devices aren’t nearly as powerful as the machines found in salons.

1. Facial Machines Can Only Enhance, Not Cure


Despite the fantastical treatments discussed in the previous section, the main thing to remember with Facial Machines is that they should be focused on as a cure-all for your skin issues, rather a way to supplement other skincare procedures like product application. Basically, if the foundation of your skin health isn’t there, the rest might be a waste of money. If you attempt to start using machine treatments over congested, inflammed and irritated skin, there is a high chance all you will do is aggravate the situation and make it harder to heal.

Clog Pores [sic] does not advice [sic] to use the machine at first because it needs to be clean[ed] well completely, de-inflamed [sic] the pores, and it needs to be sterilized.After a few cleanings, you can only see [a] big difference with the booster or amp or sheet mask of the moisturizing series and the import with the instrument [sic].- Apple Queen Beauty

2. Facial Machines Help Product Absorption


As previously mentioned, the top benefit of a facial machine is to enhance product absorption so the serums and essences are more effective and worth the money. For this kind of treatment the microcurrent facial machines are the most commonly used. Think brands like Foreo and Refa for your convenient household versions of these machines. This method of facial will help the product really penetrate the skin and stimulate skin cell turnover rate too.

3. Facial Machines: What Skin Types Best Suit?


Oh to be young again, with plump, youthful, collagen-laden skin! For everyone else unable to escape the cruel grasp of age and time, these facial machines can at least attempt to slow down an visible signs of aging. For the young’uns, the cheaper household versions of the facial machines should be enough to do the trick, since the power of these machines are lesser. For the rest of us, it’s salon time for all. The salon-grade machines are stronger and is necessary to really work into dry, aged skin. Unless you’ve been magically blessed with genetically perfect skin, anyone with skin concerns of all kinds (dry, ageing, acne prone, uneven skin tone, etc) should definitely try out a facial machine therapy at least once in their life!

If you'd like to see how the facial experience went down for one of our Agents, read on!

Agent CW's Facial Machine-Free Skin Boosting Facial


Hi, I'm Agent CW. If you keep up with Beauty Undercover's articles, you might've seen the article on my first extraction facial at Apple Queen Beauty. My skin has improved significantly from two rounds of extractions, so I decided to go back for more.

Apple recommended a Skin Boosting Facial instead of the Signature Extraction Facial since most of my congestion was gone. Now, she could work on helping my skin recover and glow.

Here's how my skin looked before the facial:

My Skin Before Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

Much better than before, but there's certainly some leftover bumps and dark spots. I wasn't worried because my skin has been recovering well with the help of Apple's facials.

My Face After Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

Step 1: Cleansing


As usual, the facial process started with cleansing so that Apple could diagnose my skin condition accurately.

Face Cleansing at Apple Queen Beauty

I wasn't wearing any makeup so Apple only had to do a 1-step cleanse. 

Face Cleansing at Apple Queen Beauty

After wiping the cleanser off, it was time for the painful but effective extractions.

Step 2: Extracting


Not gonna lie, I was quite worried about this step because if you read my previous article, you know that I hate this step because it hurts. But I know it's worth it since my skin improves significantly after it.

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

Incoming close-up extraction videos... Skip to Step 3 if you're queasy!

Apple thoroughly cleared the congestion in my forehead...

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

...and eyebrows,...

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

...and my temple area.

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

If you don't remember how much was extracted on my first visit, here's a refresher:

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

That's all the gunk from my skin. Gross to look at, but I'm happy it's no longer on my face.

This session, the time taken was significantly reduced. The extraction process only took 30 minutes compared to the previous 1 hour!

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

A big difference in just two facials, right?

Step 3: Serum


To cool and calm my skin, a cold serum was applied to my face.

Serum Application After Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

I always love this step because it's like applying an ice pack to warm skin!

After that, Apple applied a sheet mask for added moisture and nutrients.

Serum Application at Apple Queen Beauty

Step 4: Rubber Mask 


10 minutes later, the sheet mask came off and the rubber mask went on.

Soothing Rubber Mask Application During Acne Facial Treatment at Apple Queen Beauty

It contained Chamomile to help reduce redness and inflammation. The scent was pleasant and I love that you can actually see the flowers in the mask.

Soothing Rubber Mask Application During Acne Facial Treatment at Apple Queen Beauty

After 15 minutes, it was removed.

Soothing Rubber Mask Application During Acne Facial Treatment at Apple Queen Beauty

How satisfying!

Apple finished off with a skin-boosting serum and some aloe vera.

Soothing Rubber Mask Application During Acne Facial Treatment at Apple Queen Beauty

After The Facial


Here's how my skin looked post-facial:

My Skin Post-Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

Still red and slightly swollen from extractions, but you can see that the weird bumpiness and darkness have reduced greatly. How exciting!

Since my skin could still use some help, I went back to Apple about a month later for my fourth facial.

Skin Boosting Facial Using A Facial Machine


Here's how my skin looked after the 3rd facial:

My Skin After 3 Session of Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

Much better, right?

My Skin After 3 Session of Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

All the weird texturisation was gone and it made me so happy that I could touch my face without feeling any bumps!

My Skin After 3 Session of Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

Now, I just had to continue with proper cleansing to prevent congestion and hydrate my skin to help fade the dark spots.

Step 1: Cleansing


The facial started off with cleansing again.

Face Cleansing at Apple Queen Beauty
Face Cleansing at Apple Queen Beauty

Step 2: Extracting


Then, it was time for extractions.

I still had some clogged pores that are unavoidable due to sweat, the environment, and sebum production. However, the process was much quicker and less painful than before. 

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

Apple did use a needle for one or two bumps.

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

Ready to see how much was extracted?

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

Way fewer extractions! You can also see that they're much smaller because they weren't trapped in the deeper layers of my skin.

And of course, she followed up with a quick eyebrow shaping session!

Extraction at Apple Queen Beauty

Step 3: Serum, Sheet Mask & Massage Using Facial Machine


Apple then followed up with the same serum and sheet mask as before, but this time, she used a machine to increase absorption.

Machine To Enhance Absorption at Apple Queen Beauty

In circular motions, Apple massaged the serum into my skin.

Machine To Enhance Absorption at Apple Queen Beauty

This felt really cooling and relaxing.

Step 4: Hard Mask


Lastly, she applied to Chamomile mask to my skin.

Soothing Chamomile Mask at Apple Queen Beauty

It was left to sit on my skin for 15 minutes.

Soothing Chamomile Mask at Apple Queen Beauty

Time for the reveal!

Soothing Chamomile Mask at Apple Queen Beauty

... Not quite.

Apple still had to wipe off the residue, apply toner, and aloe vera on my skin.

After The Facial


Here's how my skin looked post-facial:

My Skin After Facial at Apple Queen Beauty
My Skin After Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

And two months later, here's how my skin looks:

My Skin Two Months After Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

So happy that my skin is back to being clear!

My Skin Two Months After Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

The bumpiness, uneven texture, dark spots, and scarring are almost completely gone.

My Skin Two Months After Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

No more spots around the temples of my face too!

Final Thoughts


Once again, I'm impressed but not surprised by how effective Apple's facials are. Check out the improved texture of my skin:

My Skin Two Months After Facial at Apple Queen Beauty
My Skin Two Months After Facial at Apple Queen Beauty

Now that Apple has restored my skin to its peak health and appearance, I know I won't take clear skin for granted again. It's a good lesson to encourage me to take better care of my face.

Booking your next facial soon? Share your experience on BU.sg!

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