As Singapore moves into Phase 2 of the Circuit Breaker measures for COVID-19, some of us are torn. Businesses have been reopening their doors in a big way with hair salons and facial spas rolling out new promotions. On the other hand, COVID-19 is still far from eradicated, and it still feels like best practice to stay home, even if your skin and tresses are suffering from the lack of professional attention (and an at-home haircut isn't the best idea).
Here's some good news: Facial have been stepping up their safety measures to keep customers and staff safe. We spoke to our favourite facial salons in Singapore to find out what precautions they're taking.
Malls and individual stores are carrying out contact tracing as part of Singapore's nationwide strategy to identify people who have come into contact with possible Covid carriers. This helps to make sure that there is minimal risk of viruses having infiltrated your favourite beauty establishment. You should know the drill by now - Use your phone's camera function to quickly scan a storefront's QR code to check in, and do your part in this national health effort. Certain establishments might also require your identity card for more detailed contact tracing, so remember to bring this along. Hand sanitisers will necessarily also be placed at the reception area for you to help yourself to.
Also, all entrants to a beauty outlet will necessarily get their temperatures read contactlessly using forehead thermometers/ thermal scanners, so you can rest assured everybody inside is fever-free and less likely to be carrying Covid germs. And staff are subject to even more regular checks so that any rise in temperature will be immediately detectable.
Our staff are required to take their temperature twice a day to maintain a safe environment.- Face Plus by Yamano @ Orchard Central
Facial therapists have always had masks on, even pre-pandemic. But now, to prevent people breathing into each other's uncovered miens (or vice versa), clients will need to have their faces covered as well, except for specific treatments where your nose and chin (and the areas in between) need attention, such as facials or tooth-whitening procedures. Worried that wearing masks creates its own set of beauty problems? Check out our article on mask mistakes to avoid.
Masks stay on for therapists at Face Plus by Yamano @ Orchard Central
On top of the consultation and questions about your skin type and facial history, facial salons will also give out health and travel declaration forms to make sure customers have not been to high-risk areas or currently exhibit any COVID symptoms, and reserve the right to exclude customers who have.
(Just don't do this with your pen while filling your form in)
With so many people thronging to get professional attention for their beauty issues after the Circuit Breaker Closures, many establishments should be properly packed out ...except they aren't.
Caps have been imposed on customer numbers at any one time so that safe distancing measures can be mantained, and necessary cleanup can be done.
We have spaced out our appointments and cut down our number of beds from 2 to 1 for safe distancing purposes. We understand that this makes it difficult for customers - The Bund Beauty @ Bishan Park in Ang Mo Kio
Hair salons might not face the exact same issue because the stylists' hands are less likely to come in contact with your eyes, nose and mouth. During a facial, however, your therapist's fingers and accompanying equipment are much more likely to. Accordingly, facial salons are making sure their staff's hands are thoroughly washed and sanitised in between treatments, and disinfecting their equipment after every use. Certain salons go even further, disinfecting their tools every hour or so, irrespective of whether they have come into contact with anyone's face during that time.
Our equipment is disinfected every hour and we use the autoclave to sterilise all brushes and spatulas after every use.- Face Plus by Yamano @ Orchard Central
As you can't wear a face mask during the facial process, it might feel stressful wondering if the air is virus free. Accordingly, facial salons use essential oils with cleansing properties and disinfectants together with diffusers and steamers to assist in keeping the air sterile, as well as smelling super fresh to help you relax through your pampering time.
Lemon or easy air essential oil is added to our air freshener machine to keep the air clean. We also use Dettol and steamers to disinfect the rooms.Apple Queen Beauty @ International Plaza Tanjong Pagar
Facial salons have reduced the number of staff on duty to limit the number of people present in the salon at any one time - certain places, like Hair Illustrated have divided their workers into different teams, with only one team in the salon at each time. Plus, instead of a different person being in charge of each step of your treatment, one facial therapist will attend to you from start to finish.
Unfortunately, many facial salons are unable to provide reading material, drinks or testers. This is to reduce the transmission of germs via the passing round of high-touch items between customers.
We're unable to provide drinks and blankets as per intstruction from the government, so it would be best if you brought a drink and your jacket with you.- Allumer Japanese Beauty Salon @ Outram Park Bukit Pasoh Rd
Specialists like these have been tasked to remove blankets from the premises.
To make sure nothing touches you unless absolutely necessary, some facial salons have transitioned to hands-off skin analyses during consultations. Meanwhile, those things that do touch you might also be modified - beds might be covered with polyethelene sheets for easy cleaning, or one-use disposable covers - so that what comes into contact with you is less likely to have come into contact with someone else.
To reduce your time at the salon, Indulgence Beauty even offers a complimentary online virtual consultation so that they can better advise you on your skin condition, even before you actually head down!
Cafes, restaurants and facial salons alike are urging customers to use contactless payment methods like PayNow, flashpay or E-wallets to reduce contact with a piece of equipment that someone else will then come along and handle.
Facial salons especially will have their various contactless payment modes set up and ready for use at the counters.
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