Have you ever wondered how a Men's Facial is like?
Check out Agent CW's Men's Facial at SONA Japanese Skin Studio!
Hi I'm Agent CW.
I'm working as a Business Development Manager in a Petrochemical Information Services company.
I go on business trips very often, jetsetting from one city to another for work. Beauty and facial routine are far from the first thing on my mind. However, the frequent flying and ageing in general are beginning to show on my skin in terms of lines and dryness. That's when I started to get a little more interested in facial care.
When I was in Korea for business, I picked up some interesting cleansers and use them on a regular basis.
2 years ago, I went for a facial, at the recommendation of a male friend. The extraction was however so painful, it scared me off facials altogether!
Still, I find facials fascinating as I did like getting my face thoroughly cleansed and nourished during the facial session.
When Agent G asked if I would like to go for a facial and promised that the extraction wouldn't be painful, I jumped at the opportunity!
Nestled within the Tanjong Pagar road of shophouses, SONA Japanese Skin Studio is not the easiest facial salon to find.
Agent G says that this is intentional as the owner Shiori wants to make sure that place is as private as possible for its customers.
I would however recommend first timers to refer to their website location to make sure that you have no problems finding the place!
Beyond its main entrance on the second floor, what greets you is a contemporary zen setting which is also spick and span, requiring all visitors to change out their shoes before entering their premises.
The therapist who attended to me was Emily, a pleasant young Japanese American lady who spoke fluent English.
She escorted me to a treatment room that looked like this.
Emily requested for me to lay down on the bed for the pre-cleansing skin analysis while she promptly excused herself to put on some soothing music.
For virgin facial goers, note that you don't have to take off anything for a facial.
Just lay down on the bed and let your facial therapist do the rest!
Once she pushed my hair back with the hair band, Emily began on the pre-treatment analysis.
She rubbed her fingers on a few areas on my forehead to help determine my skin condition. She mentioned that she will do this again after cleansing but doing so before cleansing gives her a good idea of my skin issues already.
Luckily for me, she mentioned that my skin is actually quite well maintained. *Phew*
It's a little dry near the forehead and a little oily near my nose. It is also a little sensitive especially near my cheek area. As you can see, my cheek area is slightly reddish.
Emily began asking about my facial routine to find out the reasons behind the dryness and sensitivity. Although facials can help improve skin condition, Emily mentions that homecare is very crucial to help skin condition improve in the long term. Therefore, she sees it as a responsibility to understand more about each customer's facial routine and help them improve in this aspect. This is something I appreciate as it is not always easy to know what I'm doing right or wrong at home.
For me, she identified the lack of sunscreen use and my Korean peel as possible reasons for my dryness and sensitivity. Time to rethink my facial products!
After the analysis, Emily also shared her treatment plan for me so that I know what I'm getting into!
Back to the facial, Emily began applying a cleanser to thoroughly clean my face.
Due to sensitivity of my skin, she chose to use a calming cleanser.
After cleaning away the cleanser, she took a second look at my facial condition to confirm her initial diagnosis.
Due to my skin sensitivity, Emily chose to use a gentle exfoliant as opposed to a harsher scrub to remove my dead skin cells.
A white gel was applied all over my face via a brush.
There was no pain, nothing.
Just pure relaxation as my face is being exfoliated.
This step is possibly the most intimidating step in the entire facial experience.
Will her extraction be as painful as I had experienced in the past?
I shared my concerns with Emily and she understandingly promised that she will be gentle.
"Men tend not to have a high threshold of pain (as opposed to the ladies)"
She kept her promise, making the entire process quite bearable. Emily mentioned that she personally doesn't go for painful extractions because she says that if the extractions is too painful, the therapist must already be harming your skin excessively. It is NOT necessary for all blackheads to be removed via extractions as some take time before they reach the surface. Exfoliating your skin gently over time will help the blackheads float up to the surface more easily. Forcefully removing the blackheads will only cause pores to open even more and encourage the growth of even more blackheads!
I felt the most sensation when she was performing extraction on my nose but still, the pain was OK and significantly below what I felt previously.
Emily would ask if I could take the pain every few minutes just to make sure that I'm comfortable.
I was much relieved when the process was done. She mentioned that I actually didn't have too much dead skin cells, which is probably a good thing!
Since the face is now thoroughly cleansed with blackheads extracted, the pores are now open and ripe for moisturizing and nourishment.
The next step is therefore application of masks!
She customized a few different masks to deal with skin issues at various parts of my face: hydration mask on my forehead to deal with the dryness, clay mask on my nose to deal with the oily skin and remaining blackheads and a multivitamin mask on my cheeks to reduce the sensitivity!
To make sure that the nutrients are absorbed deep into the epidermal layer, Emily used a radiofrequency machine and gently massaged my face with it in a circular motion.
There was no discomfort in this step, just pure relaxation!
She chose radiofrequency as it is gentle even for those of us with sensitive skin!
Next, she massaged various acupoints on the face to help increase blood circulation on the face!
After the mask was washed off, she followed up with an eye treatment targeted at reducing facial lines near the eyes.
I couldn't help but fall asleep during this brief eye massage + application of specialized eye treatment!
Time flew by and before I knew it, the treatment was completed.
It is not easy to see a difference via the photos but I can tell you that I emerged from the treatment room with my skin feeling supple and nourished.
You may even be able to see that the facial lines around my eyes were just slightly lesser and my pores tighter after the treatment (although yes, its not vey obvi0us from the photos).
Emily reminded me to keep working on my routine and come back for a routine "checkup" and maintenance to help delay the onset of aging.
I walked out of SONA Japanese Skin Studio with my face feeling moisturized and rejuvenated... thanks to Emily!
I am overall very satisfied with the facial here at SONA Japanese Skin Studio: Emily's explanations were thorough. The extractions done by Emily was gentle. There was no hardselling nor upselling. She tried her best to share about facial tips during the treatment. The experience was just very pleasant on the whole!
Even though a facial at SONA Japanese Skin Studio does thin out the wallet a little, I would have no qualms recommending it anyone looking for a high quality facial. You are after all leaving your face in the care of your facial therapist... it is probably more important to get a peace of mind rather than go through a torturous facial which probably damages your face more than it heals!
The only issue with SONA Japanese Skin Studio is probably its long appointment waiting list. As there are only 2 therapists at SONA Japanese Skin Studio (and because they are highly popular), making appointments on weekends or after office hours can be extremely challenging. Emily mentioned that weekend appointments has to be made 3 weeks in advance!