I've always thought facials were a waste of money, especially when you can DIY at home, but laser facials?
With the advancements in technology, I don't believe that there isn't a solution for skincare problems today. Although I've known of lasers since a decade ago, the technology back then was still fairly new, and so costs were extremely exorbitant as well. Thankfully, with lasers becoming more common today, costs have become a lot more affordable and anyone with skincare issues no longer need to spend an arm or a leg before they can seek treatment.
Most facial treatments go like this: cleanse --> exfoliate --> extraction --> mask --> toner --> serum --> moisturiser.
You can easily replicate that at home. In fact, for the cost of your 10-session facial package, you can buy the products outside yourself which costs you lesser and will last much longer!
My personal philosophy is: if I can DIY and it isn't too much effort, I'd rather save the money and do it myself. So I've not been spending on facial treatments outside at all. But laser facials are an exception because I obviously don't have a machine, nor the controlled precision that the doctors' hands have. So I decided to try it out and headed to Astique Clinic as I've been seeing it on many local influencers' feed. Since these beauty bloggers technically rely on their looks for a living, I doubted that they'll put their face at risk with an untrusted clinic.
For the longest time, laser treatments were only allowed to be administered by doctors, but in recent years, more aestheticians (who have never been trained medically) are now offering it. Frankly speaking, I'm too conscious of my face to leave it in the hands of aestheticians from Malaysia / China / Taiwan, regardless of how experienced they are.
I'll only trust a qualified doctor to administer a laser on me.
In addition to the package that I took up, I also did Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing, which is essentially a controlled and extremely precise burn of the uppermost epidermis. The downtime is estimated to be a few days or up till a week, as there will be redness and slight peeling at the treated area while the new skin emerges. This was the most painful laser of all, as I could literally feel my skin being "burnt" away. Thanks to Dr. Ng's skilled hands, though, my skin wasn't too red and I was able to still head out for my activities as per normal.
Because of these lasers and the high chances of burns if they're not applied correctly, I wouldn't entrust my face to anyone who isn't a doctor!
I visited Astique Clinic and was assigned to Dr. Ng Hong Yi. What I appreciated was that instead of immediately jumping to conclusions, he spent time listening to what part of my skin was troubling me before diagnosing the problem and suggesting a suitable treatment to resolve it.
I stalked his online profile and found out that he was previously Chief Medical Officer for another regional aesthetic clinic group - no prizes for guessing which! It seemed like my face would be in safe hands.
I took up their Radiance Ex package at Dr. Ng's recommendation, which consists of 4 treatments. Here's my review!
Microdermabrasion OR Chemical Peel
I went with the chemical peel as this is something that is incredibly hard to replicate at home. The strength (concentration) and time the chemical is left to sit on your face is vital to achieve good results, but my sensitive skin always becomes red and raw on the two instances I tried it.
This inhibits tyrosinase, which is a critical enzyme in the melanin production process. As biology students would know, inhibiting this enzyme would then prevent the reaction from proceeding, so that's how the chemical peel helps to lighten blemishes and resistant pigmentation.
I could feel a tingling sensation while the chemical peel was on my skin, but it wasn't painful at all, and thankfully my skin didn't become red after!
Medlite C6 Laser Skin Rejuvenation
This laser uses light energy to stimulate natural collagen growth which helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The laser also penetrates age spots and other pigmentation, breaking them apart and was perfect in helping with my irregular acne scars!
Dr. Ng prescribed this as a key laser as it can effectively reduce and eliminate severe acne, and I'm hoping this puts an end to my breakouts once and for all. The laser works by targeting porphyrin (the compound produced by P.acnes bacteria responsible for pimples) and leads to the formation of free radicals, which ultimately eliminate the P.acnes bacteria. The procedure was quite painless.
For those with severe acne, one treatment every 2 weeks would be best, but since my acne condition has been largely kept in check since I started on my organic skincare regime 7 years ago (previous blog post), Dr. Ng told me once a month would suffice.
I liked that he didn't try to up-sell me on the treatments!
PPx Pore-Cleansing ACNE Treatment
This is my favourite machine! It combines a gentle vacuum with broadband light to help to eliminate acne bacteria and pigmentation. You'll feel a sucking sensation as the machine "sucks" up the impurities and "zaps" them with the light to kill them for good! My skin felt really clean after this treatment!
Cooltouch CT3 Laser
I did a search online and it is stated that this Cooltouch CT3 laser "has been the Gold Standard for non-ablative laser skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction, acne and scar treatment for over 5 years. It has been voted by physicians and aestheticians as the best non-ablative laser" for such skin conditions.
The best part is that this targets acne at the root of the problem, as it shrinks the sebaceous gland to decrease sebum production. As less oil is then produced by your skin, it is less likely to get inflamed, thus reducing future acne breakouts. I barely felt a thing while this was being administered.
How much are laser treatments?
Their Radiance Package costs only $599 for 20 treatments, and you can mix-and-match the three lasers I described above. Furthermore, the lasers are administered by their doctors and not just any aesthetician, so under $30 per laser treatment is honestly quite worth it! I prefer this over ordinary (non-laser) facial treatments anytime.
So are laser treatments worth it?
I definitely think so! Between normal facial treatments and that for lasers, I think the money is much better spent on lasers since you can't replicate them at home.
Although it is still too early to tell, but I do see that my acne scars have been fading and I no longer need to apply such a thick layer of concealer over them anymore. Dr. Ng has also been very helpful throughout this time - he even administered the laser on my arm (I've had bad scars left from recent insect bites) to help the marks fade faster.
I still have a few sessions left on my package so I'm hoping that the results will be more obvious in time for my wedding, and that the lasers will help reduce the oiliness of my skin too. Fingers crossed!
Astique | The Aesthetic Clinic
My friend recently tried their Dual Yellow Brightening Laser and was raving about it to me, so I'm hoping to try that out soon too! Will review on that if I do.
What do you guys think of laser facials? Have you tried it out?