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The Solution To Troubled Skin

News & Events

Maskne Facials You Can Try For Clearer, Happier Skin

Posted on Wednesday, 07 Oct 2020

While wearing a mask has proven to be an important behaviour to minimise our chances of contracting the virus, it has also led to an unpleasant side effect: maskne. That’s one of the reasons why we sought out and rounded up some of the best maskne facials in Singapore that will help soothe and repair our blotchy, irritated skin. But first things first, let’s dive in to what maskne is all about.

Dubbed by creative netizens on the social media realm, maskne is essentially a portmanteau made up of the terms ‘mask’ and ‘acne’, which medically is known as acne mechanica. This skin condition has of course recently affected many of us due to the prolonged wear of protective face mask, invariably causing friction-related irritation around the mouth, near the ears where the edges of the mask sit, and in the areas around the nose.

Just like how a combination of heat, friction, and sweat getting trapped between skin and fabric is a recipe for breakouts on the back, chest or thighs, experts explain that the occlusive, heat-trapping face mask – combined with a humid environment from breathing, talking, and sweating – is bringing about an increased moisture-rich environment for bacteria and organisms to proliferate. This in turn leads to pores getting clogged and the skin on the lower half of your face to flare up, becoming dry, itchy, raw and eventually plagued by acne.

To improve the condition of maskne, nothing beats a monthly visit to your professional facialist for a deep-cleansing facial to get the gunk out of your pores and give skin a clean slate. It really makes sense when you think about it – after all, the goal is to provide decongested skin a turnaround, stave off bacteria, and keep maskne at bay, so what better way to achieve all of these than with the best maskne facials?

But we’re not talking about your regular skin-drying facial therapies for acne-prone skin here though. No, the ones that caught our attention are the high-performing, multi-functional facial treatments that not only send maskne packing, but also quench skin’s thirst, even out skin tone, and repair UV-induced damage among others.

Because of temporary closure of non-essential businesses and eventual laziness, I have not gone for a facial in more than six months – disgusting, I know. Instead, I’ve learned to live with my skin that’s become rough in texture, ridden with uneven skin tone as well as closed comedones all over and the monthly hormonal zit.

Upon learning that Bioskin has more than 20 years of knowledge and experience – the one-stop beauty and wellness centre was established in 1996 by its founder and CEO Mathilda Koh and has since expanded to six outlets island-wide – in dealing with troubled skin, I was more than elated to finally be able to let a professional send all the unwanted dirt, bacteria, and breakouts packing.

While Bioskin also offers a wide range of premium hair, scalp, body, and slimming treatments, the salon’s suite of facial treatments remains popular among its customers as skilled consultants and therapists employ cutting-edge technology and in-house skincare products to treat various skin problems.

One of Bioskin’s newest must-try facials is the Skin Purifying Facial Treatment, a 90-minute deep-cleansing facial that relies on the power of salicylic acid – that’s a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) if you’re unaware – instead of pimple extraction to purportedly unclog pores, reduce acne, and prevent future breakouts.

After I arrived at Bioskin’s flagship salon at The Centrepoint where I’ll be trying the Skin Purifying Facial Treatment, I was ushered into a consultation room to get my skin checked by a Bioskin beauty consultant using a skin analyzer machine.

Within a few minutes, I received news about my combination skin: the good news is that I don’t have to worry too much about wrinkles and lines. The bad news? My skin is very lacking in moisture, to the point where it is starting to overcompensate by overproducing sebum. There are also a number of acne on the lower part of my face and near my nose which needs to be taken care of. Yikes…

Having identified the key concerns of my skin, my therapist Evangeline then swiftly showed me the way to the locker room to keep my belongings (I was even handed a plastic pouch to store my face mask safely) before we adjourned to the treatment room just down the hallway.

Once I’m all changed and settled in, Evangeline proceeded to begin the treatment by removing my light makeup and cleansing my face. Then, she performed a quick skin check for the second time to make sure that my skin doesn’t have any open wound or infection that may be aggravated by scrubbing or the use of BHA.

After that, Evangeline followed with a gentle exfoliator that contained pineapple enzymes to loosen up trapped dirt and dead skin cells. Next, it was time for a five-minute hot steaming to open up pores and while my skin was steamed, Evangeline applied a treatment cream and lip balm to prep my skin for a second round of exfoliation.

Using a water peeling device (dubbed a ‘scrubber’ by Bioskin therapists), she carefully hovered the device all over my face in an outward direction to “scrape” away blackheads and dulling dead skin cells.

As she was scraping my face, Evangeline continued to keep my skin damp by dabbing it with a wet cotton pad so that the water peeling device can glide on my skin smoothly. This step lasted about five minutes. Then, she ran a high frequency facial device all over my face to take down pimple-causing bacteria.

Up next is the derma peel step, which was essentially the application of two different concentrations of salicylic acid to treat acne: 2% for the entire face, whilst a 15% salicylic acid concentration was used only as a spot treatment.

The salicylic acid solutions were left on my skin for a few minutes and while waiting, Evangeline explained to me that it’s Bioskin’s policy to exclude extraction in all its facials due to the negative side effects that extraction brings – enlarge pores and scarring, among others.

With the use of Bioskin’s technology and BHA-containing products, the salon now boasts a much gentler method that penetrates deep into the skin to target acne and relieve skin congestion with little to no scarring or trauma to the skin. That makes Bioskin a popular choice among those whose skin isn’t agreeable to extraction methods.

The salicylic acid solutions didn’t take long to take effect; in fact, I felt a slight stinging sensation within seconds of Evangeline applying it onto my skin. The 15% concentration was especially prickly but to my surprise, the feeling quickly dissipated in less than a minute so it didn’t bother me that much. When the time was up, Evangeline swiftly wiped the solutions off my skin before customising a suitable mask for my skin.

For that day, I got to try an oxygen powder mask to bump up my skin’s hydration level while improving my uneven skin tone.

As the mask had to be left on for 20 minutes, Evangeline proceeded to give me a shoulder massage using food-grade virgin coconut oil (which instantly reminded me of nasi lemak) and even shared with me that the shoulder massage is something of a Bioskin signature – unlike other salons where the facialist will step out and leave the customer in the room after the mask is applied, the Bioskin therapist is trained to accompany the customer in every step of the way.

To do so, all facials come with a shoulder massage that lasts just as long as the mask duration. Personally, I found the shoulder massage to be so relaxing that I had to engage every fibre of my being to resist dozing off since I had to take note of the treatment steps.

After cleaning off the mask, it was then time for a cold steam to calm down my post-facial skin, which was also my cue that the facial treatment was almost nearing the end. I was given a final treat in the form of a quick scalp massage using a scalp tonic before Evangeline applied all the necessary aftercare on my skin.

Before leaving, I was ushered to the consultation room once again to do a post-facial skin check. This time, my pores and skin tone had shown visible improvement thanks to the combination of salicylic acid and oxygen powder mask. My moisture-sebum level also improved slightly compared to before the treatment.

Overall, I like that the Skin Purifying Facial Treatment is such a gentle treatment despite being a deep-cleansing facial. Being a mild treatment (when compared to an extraction facial) however, it does mean that you may not be able to see significant changes to your acne right after your session.

As a person who enjoys the result of a good pimple extraction (clean, smooth skin), I have to admit that I was slightly taken aback initially after my treatment had ended – the slight stinging sensation caused by the BHA solutions were child’s play for me compared to the pain inflicted by the traditional extraction method.

By just looking in the mirror, I could tell that some of the pimples were starting to come to a head after they’ve been exposed to the salicylic acid solution – that’s good news for me as I’ve been dealing with blind pimples recently that are just painful lumps and can’t be squeezed out at all.

When I quizzed my therapist Evangeline about this, she assured me that the results I want (clean, smooth skin) will be seen in a few days to a week as the salicylic acid takes time to work its magic.

She also reminded me to continue moisturising my face and protect with sunscreen even when I’m working from home, skip all salicylic acid-based products, and most importantly, to not pick on the zits as this may slow down the skin healing process.

All in all, Bioskin’s Skin Purifying Facial Treatment is arguably one of the most relaxing deep-cleansing facials I’ve ever tried in my life. As it’s designed to target blemishes and pore size without any extraction needed, the treatment certainly is a good choice for those who do not prefer any painful squeezing and picking of their faces but still want the powerful clean effect of a deep-cleansing facial.

As published on Daily Vanity