Call us masochistic but there is a group of us who believe strongly in the phrase:
No Pain, No Gain
Especially because we saw a huge transformation on our face after going for a series of painful facials!
It doesn't however mean that if you experience pain, you will definitely gain though. We have also made our fair share of mistakes in our youth, trusting the big salons of the past with our skin only to come home with more and redder acne that just doesn't go away.
Having experienced some of the best and the worst, we've come up with a list of the most painful BUT effective facials so you can weigh out the pros and cons and see if you're willing to bite the bullet and go for it.
Top of the list for the MOST painful facial we've experienced is the Small Face Correction Facia. Honestly, the level of pain is dependent on the therapist you choose and your feedback to the therapist.
The facial relies on the therapist exerting much of their body weight and strength to exercise and mould the facial muscle to drain water and toxins from your lymphatic system. This helps to exercise your facial muscle for a more symmetrical V-shaped face.
For some like Agent MF who has a condition called TMJ, it even helps alleviate problems of teeth grinding, headaches and migraine.
Even though this facial looks painful (and it is), you can actually ask the therapist to control the pressure to reduce the pain a little.
Following closely behind on the pain scale is Extractions. This is Singaporean ladies' favourite type of facial as your facial professional will help you remove the whitehead, blackheads and oil seeds beneath with minimal damage to the skin.
The pros are obvious. If you manage to get a skilled facial therapist like Apple, you stand a chance to transform your skin altogether like what this student did.
To get better however, you must tolerate the pinching, poking and prodding that can be really painful.
Witchhazel Facial Acne by Apple Queen Beauty @ International Plaza
Certain areas e.g. forehead is not so but when they do so on areas close to the lips and the nose is when you really have to hold back your tears.
Some therapists however take a few more steps to reduce the pain. The Bund Beauty @ Bishan Park for example applies oil before the extraction whereas Geranium Skin Boutique applies enzyme exfoliation before the extraction to make the extraction easier.
You probably have to give them a go to see which salon / therapists suit your pain threshold and comprehensiveness of extraction best!
For those who've recovered from acne, the next noninvasive facial worth investing in is very possibly Microneedling.
Microneedling is a procedure that uses needles to puncture the skin. When your skin is injured, your body will send more collagen, oxygen and nutrients in an attempt to repair the skin. This results in more radiant skin and also fading of your acne scars as the skin attempts to repair itself. According to a 2008 study, skin treated with four microneedling sessions spaced one month apart produced up to a 400% increase in collagen and elastin six months after completing treatment!
That is why Grace from Geranium Skin Boutique shared that Microneedling is actually their most popular facial service. The typical facial can help to eliminate and control acne but it is microneedling that reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Agent G herself witnessed huge changes in her skin after trying Microneedling at The Bund Beauty @ Bishan Park.
Her pores not only became smaller, the texture of her skin improved by leaps and bounds, something that is simply not achievable via good homecare. For those who are curious, the process works like this; the therapist will apply serum onto the skin and then use a pen of needles to penetrate the skin. This creates the micro-injuries that accelerate skin rejuvenation. Depending on the machine that your salon uses, the therapist can choose to penetrate your skin at different depths e.g. 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.7mm, 1mm and so on. As you can imagine, the deeper the needles go, the more you can feel the pain. It also means the treatment is more effective, the deeper it goes as the serum can be delivered to deeper layers of the skin. Similarly to extractions, the sensitive areas of the skin e.g. near the mouth and nose are also where you'll feel more of the pain. From Agent G's experience though, the pain lessens over time so you can actually start low and gradually move deeper as you get used to the sensation.
Do however note that Winnie from The Bund Beauty shared that this treatment should only be done after the face is no longer facing acne problems. That is because the microneedles can actually aggravate pimples and exacerbate the problem. That is why new customers at The Bund Beauty are not allowed to go for microneedling; she would have to check your skin suitability after her first basic facial with you.
Averse to pain but wish to see a similar effect to microneedling? Herbal or Chemical Peel is the next best option for smoother skin. Chemical / herbal peels is a procedure where chemical solutions are used to exfoliate and encourage the skin to peel off. This enables the skin to regrow for a smoother radiant glow. Unlike microneedling which may aggravate acne, chemical / herbal peels actually helps to treat acne, pigmentation and also minimize fine wrinkles around the eye due to sun damage.
This is a preferred solution used by Japanese salons who prefer less invasive ways of improving skin appearance. Instead of using chemical peels though, the Japanese came up with advanced herbal formulae that uses natural active plant stem cells that encourages natural peeling days after the facial. The first time we saw it done was at Allumer Japanese Facial Salon. There is this very cute Japanese facial therapist who got married to a local Singaporean. She had flawless skin back in Japan but got really bad acne after moving to Singapore. It was only after going for Beaute Revive Stem Cell Facial, the premium Herbal Peel in Japan, that got her skin all healed.
The process is not painful the way you feel needles on the skin like microneedling. However, the active ingredients itself include some "nano-needles" that actually gets deposited onto the face during the facial.
Her face may look okay but Tomomi shared that this step can actually be painful as the nano-needles in the herbs creates a certain itchy discomfort on the skin. The way it works is similar: the nano-needles create micro-injuries on the skin, allowing the plant stem cell ingredients to penetrate into deeper layers of the skin.
After 3-5 treatments of this, many ladies have seen their acne reduced and wrinkles become less obvious!
Having seen Tomomi transform over her first few months of joining Allumer Japanese Facial Salon deeply convinced us of the transformational powers of this herbal peel.
For those looking for a herbal peel which is something less aggravating, you can consider the herbal peel from Organics Beauty. Agent G herself has gone for it (way before microneedling) and liked how it did actually rejuvenated her skin!
Have you tried any of the above treatments? Share your experiences with us!