Acne can be a lifelong pain that affects people of all ages. No matter how old you are, acne can develop and become a serious detriment to your lifestyle and confidence. Even the most glamorous model with flawless skin have at some point in their lives, battled with the familiar little red bumps.That is particularly the case for those of us living in Singapore. Being in Singapore's muggy, humid weather constantly cause a number to have regular breakouts, especially with “Maskne” making the rounds. All the lotions and potions tend to sweat off as well, and even go so far as to clog up our pores.
To find out what we can do to combat acne, you have to first understand what causes acne. It all starts in the hair follicles which contain the oil-secreting sebaceous glands. The glands’ function is to secrete oil to lubricate the hair, but when hair or skin dies the pores the oil oozes through are blocked. This creates an excess of oil in the pores which are forced to expand under the skin in the shape of a water balloon, which then leads to a breeding ground of bacteria especially Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria that eventually causes pimples to arise.
Extractions work to reduce acne insofar as it removes existing clogs e.g. whiteheads, blackheads that may eventually ripen to be pimples. Depending on the beautician's skill and your own skin sensitivity, however, there is a risk that extraction injures more than it heals. That is because extraction can very likely spread infection and ultimately worsen the acne. Extractions can also weaken pores, plus the collagen and elastin fibers supporting them, and lead to broken capillaries. Worse, the following can occur
Side effects are observed to be even more so for people with sensitive skin. You may observe your skin bruising and turning red more easily than other folks.
The many side effects from extractions are precisely why Japanese facial salon Face Plus By Yamano chooses not to go down that route. Instead of forcefully removing clogs, they focus on solving the root of the problem: overproduction of sebum or dead skin and they do so via a milder and completely natural solution that has now formed the backbone of many popular skincare products today: Essential Oils.
It is well known that essential oils, while not miracle workers, are capable of healing and soothe the body naturally in a variety of ways. Since ancient times, humans have been using herbs and plant oils in rituals or ointments to treat one's ailments. One of the oldest books written on plants and their healing properties, called the “Vedas” details various uses of over 700 plants and herbs can be used for medicinal purposes.
After much scientific research to back up this age-old wisdom in Japan, Face Plus By Yamano has been incorporating essential oils into its facials. Each essential oil has different medicinal purpose but here are the 5 essential oils that they incorporate in facials specificially targeted at skin purification and clearing skin congestion.
Tea tree oil has long been known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is one of the best essential oils for acne. It kills any bacteria that make the skin break out and helps your pimples dry out and gradually vanish. Although, it is a very powerful antiseptic, Face Plus by Yamano only uses it sparingly on affected spots.
Thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, research also suggests that it can be effectively used as an anti-acne treatment.
It acts as an astringent, causing your tissues to contract to help shrink pores, while also soothing your skin and relieving inflammation. This also prevent acne-causing bacteria from infecting your skin.
Witch hazel contains many compounds with potent anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants that help prevent widespread inflammation and neutralize free radicals. Applying witch hazel topically to sensitive skin can also be beneficial in the treatment of inflamed, irritated or broken skin. In fact, witch hazel has been shown to suppress erythema — a reddening of the skin caused by injury or irritation — by up to 27%.
For those with oily skin, you'd be glad to know that Face Plus by Yamano includes Rosemary oil in its blend. If you don't already know, Rosemary oil is excellent at managing sebum production, which means your pores will be clearer and your skin will be a lot less oily. It’s anti-inflammatory as well, so it treats redness from frequent breakouts and reduces puffiness without causing further irritation.
Another reason why pimples may flare up is because your skin is overly dry. Dry skin is vulnerable to getting irritated and flaring up into a full-on cluster of pimples as the skin overproduces oil to compensate for the dryness. Frankincense is known for being gentle on virtually every skin type, relieving sensitive dry skin and healing scars caused by popped pimples.
Full of antioxidants and skin-brightening Vitamin C, lemon oil can help clarify your skin and de-clog your pores so you don’t break out. It’s also good at speeding up skin healing, as it is a natural mild exfoliant that keeps wounds free of microbes.
Known to contain all natural antimicrobial properties, orange oil was found to prevent the proliferation of E. coli bacteria in a 2009 study published in the International Journal of Food and Science Technology. Other than killing bacteria, Sweet orange Oil has shown to have anti-inflammatory properties while nourishing dry, irritated and acne-prone skin.
Full of antioxidants, Sandalwood Oil helps to reduce appearance of dark circles and dark spots appearing on the skin and helps to fight the free radicals that cause age-related skin damage. As an antiseptic and astringent, it also helps to clean the pores and reduce inflammation from pimples. Skin cells are also found to contain olfactory receptors for sandalwood., which when activated appeared to promote skin cell growth.
The antiviral, antibacterial and anti fungal properties of rosewood oil treats cuts, burns and wounds, eliminating fine lines and banishing blemishes. For those on the road to recovery, it regenerates the skin and help to prevent future acne, blemishes, scars and pimples!
Want to know exactly how the essential oils are used in the zero-extraction essential oil facial? Read on for Agent LY's facial at Face Plus by Yamano.
Hi, I'm Agent LY.
I’m 28, and I am a Tax Accountant working in an accounting firm. A little background about my skin condition: I, like, most kids at that age, started breaking out in hormonal acne when I hit puberty. I only started visiting facial salons when I started working full-time as only then was I able to afford regular salon visits.
I enjoy every other soothing aspect of the facial, as I enjoy feeling luxe and like I’m treating myself to some self-care time. There I am minding my own business relaxing in the dim, cool room, until the extraction lamp suddenly looms in close, hovering inches above my face and shattering the serenity of my facial. I have many times in the past, gotten some very, er, shall we say – enthusiastic – beauticians, who seemed to think the rougher they treated my face, the more I was going to tip them. Too many a time I left a facial and developed even more acne over the next few days due to them really roughing up my sensitive skin.
The more extractions I tried, the more pimple outbreaks I had... even when I try home-based salons.~ Agent LY
After every extraction, my face would emerge even redder and more swollen than before I went in.
It got so bad that I actually resorted to putting on make-up right after the treatment. I know, I know one of the worst things I could do after a facial, I know better now, but I hated how my skin looked so bad after a facial.
When I talked to an old schoolmate of mine, she persuaded me to try Face Plus By Yamano @ Orchard Central. She had been to Face Plus By Yamano for a while now and I myself could see how much her skin had improved in the past year. But my face is so sensitive... can Face Plus By Yamano help me?
Nothing beats trying it out for myself. From the first moment I stepped into Yamano, I was impressed. Firstly, the location is so near the MRT, it is very convenient to get here. The salon itself was adorably cosy and comfortable, especially in the treatment room. It was spacious, not cluttered (which adds to the calming effect) and soooo relaxing. I had Chrissy as my main therapist, but everyone here in general was very helpful and caring. They really catered to my needs, asking if I was feeling okay/thirsty/cold, etc. Super attentive. There was zero hardselling on any promotions, packages or products, so the entire process was just relaxing and comfortable.
In fact, I enjoyed the experience so much that I fell asleep during the process... this was how relaxing and comfortable it is. Guess what, my face did not turn red after the facial AT ALL.
Most importantly though, I saw results. As the experience was good, I started coming here monthly to get my facial done. From a dull face full of acne and pimples, my face has since been transformed to the bright and supple, relatively clear face in just a few months.
I would be lying if I tell you that I don't have any more pimples but really, it has improved SO much. Now, my pimples come only around the time of my menstrual period but is much much clearer than before. The huge improvement got many of my friends asking where I got my facial done. Some even took up my recommendation and are now customers of Face Plus by Yamano!
The facial I usually come for is the Essential Oil Facial. If you're keen to find out what facial I usually do, read on below:
It is clear right from the first moment I step into the salon that Yamano is very attentive to all the details. On top of making sure that the room is clean and that robes are provided for me to change into, they even provide a bolster during the facial session for my leg! Knowing that some of us have low blood pressure and may be dizzy when we sit back up after the facial, they place my legs on top of the bolster to improve blood circulation.
The Japanese is really different in their level of attentiveness.
The first thing she does after I got changed is to cleanse my face. First, she used their own range of medical aesthetics cleanser called the MD Cleansing Lotion. It removes all impurities on the skin surface such as sunblock, dirt, dust, pollution, etc. so that we could start the treatment with a clean canvas for the skin to absorb the nutrients better.
Next, Chrissy uses warm cotton pads which were prepped in advance to remove the cleansing lotion, before moving on the second round of cleansing, the Doronko Clay White mask.
WARM cotton pads, you know?
If you don't yet know, the Doronko Clay White mask is the product that made Yamano famous in Japan. The mask is so powerful, it can absorb and draw out the impurities. What was really cool was that she actually applied this on to my shoulders first, then my face.
So, I got an extra area of my body cleansed as well!
After letting it dry it was time to clean it off with a sponge.
After cleansing the face, Chrissy observed an improvement in my skin near the nose. Yay! It didn't have too many bumps or impurities this time so she recommended me to apply their premium mask treatment to brighten my overall skin tone and lighten the acne marks.
Just because Face Plus by Yamano doesn't have extractions doesn't mean that they don't do anything to exfoliate the skin. In fact, they put a lot of emphasis on that to clean the skin in a more gentle manner.
After steaming my skin for a bit to help soften the epidermis,
Chrissy applied a small cup of white solution (Refreshener) that helped to disinfect my face.
This Refreshener contains Lavender, which will help to cleanse the skin, and further soften the dead skin cells on the face.
With the pores open and face disinfected, it is now time to remove whiteheads and blackheads gently with the more painless and trauma-free suctioning.
Might not look like much at a glance, but if you look closely that tube was full of skin gunk!
Good riddance, I say!
Next is my favourite part of the facial: the Essential Oils massage.
This segment begins with a soothing meditative moment of breathing in the aroma of the Decongestant Oil; I was told it contained Lemon, Sweet Orange & Sandalwood.
I was informed that each oil had its individual healing properties; Lemon was brightening; Sweet Orange improved muscular tension, dull skin and photosensitivity; Sandalwood was good for tackling acne.
Next, the same oil was used to massage my face.
Chrissy performed a Lymphatic Drainage Massage to stimulate and flush the toxin build up in my face from the lymphatic system and help improve the blood circulation around my face.
The massage focuses on various acupressure point to help me relax and improve absorption of the essential oil into the face.
Beyond the face, she also makes sure that my decollete is well taken care of.
With the essential oil complete and my face already displaying a brightened complexion, Chrissy now applies a Premium mask to seal all the goodness within.
She does so by first applying a thin layer of clear solution containing 5% vitamin C and isoflavonoid, concentrating on my jawline, which was my highlighted problem area, then slowly spread it out towards the other parts of my face.
She then layered on another mask over the first one, a Yellow Molten Mixture containing Edelweiss extract, Bearberry extract & Vit P.
Again with these ingredients; Edelweiss has an anti-oxidant effect, and is able to eradicate free radicals and soothes the skin; Bearberry gives a whitening effect, improves skin dullness and pigmentation; Vit P helps prevent wrinkles, sagginess and keeping the skin youthful.
After the second layer, she put Cling Wrap to look in all the goodness of the premium mask (the 2 layers mentioned above), and left it on for about 20 mins.
While my face was baking under the wrap, she gave me a head massage.
After 20 mins, it was time to remove the mask!
Again, sponging off the residue of the premium mask.
Followed by an amaaaaazing hot towel to do a final clean.
And 2 types of after-care cream. The first: The Yamano Kohako Perfect Lotion,
And the second, the Serum Milk.
I've been to many many facial salons in Singapore. Some at major shopping malls and other smaller home-based salons.
And I can tell you, Face Plus By Yamano is seriously the best I've experienced thus far.
Service is amazing here.. not just for first time customers but also for existing customers too. Every visit is consistently great, like what I experienced just now. Most importantly, the therapist really knows my skin and actually take the initiative to follow up. Chrissy for example assesses my skin condition before and after every session then advises how best to treat my skin concerns. She is so attentive that even during the Circuit Breaker period, she will whatsapp me to check if my skin is doing okay and what I can do at home on my own to keep it at its best.
This level of attentiveness and skill motivates me to continue coming back and look after my skin and possibly why my skin has improved so much.
Thank you Yamano and Chrissy for taking such good care of my skin and making me feel more confident about myself