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Beauty

Dissecting The Medical Facial

For your best face forward

There is absolutely no dearth of facial options in Singapore. Finding the one that works for you, is a different matter altogether, of course. While spa and beauty facial salons tend to be the first places you think of when you want to get your face cleaned and pampered by a professional, there’s one more option you can actually consider — a facial at the dermatologist.

What Is A Medical Facial?

The biggest difference between a medical facial and its counterpart in a spa or beauty salon is that it’s performed in a doctor’s office using medical-grade products and tools. For example, while a 30% glycolic peel is the strongest you’ll find in a beauty salon, similar to something you can purchase off-the-shelves, you can a glycolic peel up to 70% strength in a doctor’s office.

Of course, you’ll be under the care of a physician, so the medical facial will be custom tailored to your skin’s needs. Depending on your ailments, or skin conditions you want improved, the steps will be very similar to that in a spa or beauty salon, which includes cleansing, exfoliating, extractions, and moisturising, but on a more intense level.

For instance, the facial may include other components like, dermaplaning, which uses a surgical knife to remove the top layer of skin, or microcurrent, ultrasound, and radio waves for firming and lifting the skin.

When Should You Get A Medical Facial?

Medical facials can complement some non-invasive treatments to help prepare your skin, and improve results.

People who suffer from severe acne, taking Accutane or have chronic rosacea should avoid facials and consult their dermatologist for facials, if any at all — instead of going to a spa or beauty salon. In these instances, a medical professional is far more qualified to assess your skin, compared to an esthetician, no matter how many years she’s been in the business.

Yes, the facial may be half off, but the last thing you want to get on sale is your face!

Dr Melvin Tan, Founder & Medical Director of Epion Clinic mirrors this sentiment, “You would go to a skin clinic for a facial if you were seeking to address a particular skin issue for example acne, rosacea, dry skin or ageing skin. Clinical facials are usually designed by doctors to address specific skin problems. The ingredients used are stronger, such as prescription strength peels, and they often involve a machine based component. For instance, in my clinic, Hydrafacial MD, ultrasonic scrubbing, bipolar radiofrequency, infrared light, and LED light therapy make up part of our clinical facials.

In my practice I also like combining our clinical facials with laser treatments. In this way, the skin looks and feels great immediately as a result of the facial component working at the surface, and continues to improve as the laser kicks in gradually over the next few weeks. The laser also allows us to correct an array of skin conditions where you have to delve slightly deeper such as pigmentation, large pores, broken capillaries and skin laxity.”

Why Choose a Beauty Salon Instead?

Contrary to the soothing music, dimly lit vibes of a spa or beauty salon treatment rooms, your medical facial will literally be the opposite. You’ll be in a medical environment — bright, stark and clean, and possibly the only thing relaxing about the environment is that it’s probably spotless and as germ-free as it can get.

Lim Ker Han, Director of Estetica says, “If you are looking for a pampering treat or monthly maintenance to hydrate or unclog your pores, facials at a trusted beauty salon will definitely help you achieve healthy glowing skin. We have clients who are also referred to us by aesthetic clinics and they visit us religiously for facials.

Lim adds, “If you’re looking to do more invasive procedures such as Botox, Fillers and Cosmetic surgery, then all those need to be done by a trusted (and certified) medical practitioner. However, if you’re looking for non-invasive alternatives such as IPL, LED or microdermabrasion, then the difference in efficacy between treatments offered at certified aesthetic clinics and trusted beauty salons are quite marginal. In fact, established beauty salons are usually better able to upgrade our machines and treatments to keep up with technology as we are usually more fluid and more plugged into manufacturing innovations.”

Whether you choose to go with a doctor, or keep it zen with the spa music at a beauty salon, we say go forth and get rid of those blackheads.

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