Tried-and-tested: The best (and latest) facials to try in the Klang Valley for 2022
Relax and rejuvenate
Things have pretty much gone back to normal, to the relief of many. Some are back in the office, five days a week. Some have gone on holidays, near and/or far. Some have indulged in late night catch-ups with loved ones. However, for the skin, things may not look as rosy. Lack of sleep and hydration, constant exposure to the sun, and the usual maskne problems remain. But it's nothing a good ol' facial can't solve. Ahead, we've tried and tested some of the best (and latest) facial treatments available in the Klang Valley to target your biggest beauty problems, from acne to dullness to dehydration and beyond. Find our full reviews below:
AsterSpring's Volcanic Cool Treatment (66 minutes), RM328
"Coming back from an island holiday, AsterSpring's new Volcanic Cool Treatment seemed like just the facial I needed to soothe and hydrate my skin after long hours under the sun. In addition, as someone who constantly struggles with sensitive skin and redness, the treatment is designed to reduce said redness and inflammation while detoxifying the skin. True to its name, AsterSpring's new Volcanic Cool Treatment was, in a word, cooling. The main highlight of the treatment that sets itself apart is the use of Basalt Magma Volcanic Stones from Peru. Formed at a temperature as high as approximately 1,200 ºC and with a generous content of magnesium and iron, these stones are kept cool until the exact moment of use during the treatment.
"So when do these stones come into play? After the usual cleanse and extraction, these volcanic stones are used with a combination of skilful massage techniques and the efficient skincare products that AsterSpring uses. When asked if this was similar to guasha, my facial therapist responded that it was completely different since the stone's shape is more rounded and the massage technique is less intense. Add that with the cooling sensation and the result is a soothing, calming and anti-swelling effect. In fact, it especially soothed the areas where she had done extractions on. I have to say I was instantly addicted to the facial massage with the volcanic stones—I really didn't want her to stop.
"Towards the end of the treatment, hydration is boosted with three whopping layers of masques! First, a Clinical Colloidal Oatmeal Masque with the use of oatmeal and aloe vera to relieve skin irritation and strengthen the skin barrier. Then, a Colloidal Masque, which is to restore dehydrated and premature ageing skin with hyaluronic acid, botanical phytonutrients and Vitamins A and C. The last layer is a Botanical Cooling Masque, which delivers intense hydration and moisturisation with seaweed from the European Atlantic Coast.
"While the treatment is great for those with sensitive skin, AsterSpring does not recommend it for those with severe acne. On the other hand, it's a great restorative option for your monthly facials. My skin looked absolutely glowing by the end of my facial. It’s been a week and a half since my treatment and my skin texture is still super smooth and I've seen an apparent reduction in redness around my cheeks (oh, blast those natural Pikachu cheeks). I can't wait for my next visit where I'll be selecting this treatment again. Trust me when I say I'm addicted to the facial massage with the volcanic stones." — Rachel Au, Managing Editor
AsterSpring’s Volcanic Cool Therapy is now available in Malaysia at all AsterSpring and AsterSpring Signature centres.
Neal’s Yard Remedies' Oxylift Carat Facial, RM428
“It’s been a little over a year since I had my last facial, which pre-covid me would be horrified about as I used to frequent face spas at least once in two months. But with the high chance of catching the coronavirus anywhere, anytime these days, one can never be too careful. With Raya coming really soon though, I decided to go ahead and get expert help at organic beauty brand Neal’s Yard Remedies, with some of the skin concerns I had been experiencing recently: dull, patchy and dehydrated skin.
“That turned out to be a great idea because my therapist, Anny Wong, from The Gardens Mall outlet pointed out how dry my skin was when we consulted and showed me that my foundation was patchy on certain parts of my face due to the uneven skin texture. Thus, the Oxylift Carat Facial was recommended. It’s a rejuvenating facial that focuses on firming, improving blood circulation and refreshing the overall complexion with two key highlights that set it apart: one is the usage of an oxygen jet device for better product penetration and two, a face and upper body lymphatic massage using a ReFa Carat beauty roller.
“The treatment started with makeup removal using one of my favourites from the brand, the Wild Rose Beauty Balm. This amazing treat removes makeup instantly and feels luxurious when massaged into your skin. This step was followed by a deep cleanse using the Rejuvenating Frankincense Face Wash and later, an exfoliation using the Rehydrating Rose Facial Polish to slough off dead skin cells that have accumulated on my skin. Next, as I settle more and more into the comfortable spa bed, Anny takes out a cold mist humidifier and turns it on for three minutes to hydrate and soothe my skin, and prep it for the extraction process that followed.
“Thankfully, the pore-declogging process wasn’t as painful as I thought. Then, came time for the high-pressure oxygen jet—this is a refreshing part of the treatment as the Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner is sprayed directly onto the skin. Fair warning: it is a cold sensation that suddenly wakes you up from the deep state of relaxation you’re in at that point, but nothing too uncomfortable.
“The pièce de résistance of the entire facial came during the last 30 minutes of the treatment where Anny used the aforementioned beauty tool to massage my chest and shoulders to get rid of knots, and then my face to stimulate better circulation, reduce water retention and define its shape. It was really hard for me to stay awake at that point. The treatment then ended with the application of a mask, toner, essence, moisturiser and sunblock. I saw a noticeable improvement in my skin post-facial—less puffiness, glowing skin, and overall, I felt very relaxed. I definitely recommend you make time to visit right before Raya!” — Sarah Hani Jamil, Editor
Book your 105 minute appointment at The Gardens Mall or Bangsar Village outlets here.
Elemis' Biotec Pro-Glow Smooth Facial, RM450
"It has been a hot minute since I last got a facial so my skin is struggling, to say the least. Fortunately, the Elemis Biotec Facial was launched at just the right time. I am already a longtime fan of Elemis, so reviewing their Biotec Facial seemed like the perfect opportunity for me.
"The special thing about the Biotec Facial is how bespoke it is—upon arriving at the brand's Gardens Mall branch, I was ushered to a device that scanned my face and revealed my target concerns: dehydration, discolouration, and acne. From there, I also explained my ongoing skin sensitivities to my therapist, who then recommended the best treatment plan for me. In the end, I was set to undergo the brand's Ultrasonic Peel and Galvanic treatment.
"The treatment rooms are very comfortable and aesthetically designed, though I will admit that the ambience was lacking at times—that said, it's difficult to soundproof a major shopping mall on a Saturday when families are out and about, so I wasn't too bothered overall. Further, it was difficult to be distracted by the noise as I was very nicely tucked in under a heated blanket.
"Full disclosure: I was fully asleep for quite a lot of the facial, so this review is based on what I can actually remember... oops.
"I do recall that, at the very beginning of the facial, I was treated to a face massage with the brand's Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm. For those in need of a full 'relax and reset', this is for you—this massage doubles as an immersive aromatherapeutic experience, soothing your stresses through the power of smell and touch. At some other point, there was also a hand and head massage that targeted my acupressure points and rendered me a melted puddle of bliss... which immediately sent me into a state of slumber. Again, I may not remember much in the way of details, but I can confirm that it was thoroughly enjoyable.
"The first of the targeted treatments was a little more difficult to sleep through (fortunately, for this review!). The Ultrasonic Peel is designed to resurface and deep clean the face for a smoother finish, and while it does sound painful, I can confirm that it is not in the slightest. Now, the devices are a little disorienting, producing a strange, high-pitched noise as it glides across your skin, but I'd say it was definitely effective—immediately after the treatment, I noticed that my skin looked brighter and more even.
"Additionally, the Galvanic treatment, designed for dramatic skin-softening through immediate and intensive hydration, was exactly what my dehydrated combination skin needed. In fact, according to my therapist, my skin was so thirsty that the mask had actually absorbed into my skin immediately upon application, prompting her to top up on the layers. Unfortunately, this part of the facial was much less of a challenge to sleep through than the peel so I can't tell you what else happened after that, but I can tell you that I woke up to very plump and hydrated skin when the facial was over!
"Overall, the immediate improvement in my complexion was apparent, and though there was a little redness post-facial, it had completely resolved within the next couple of days. For anyone interested, I'd say it's definitely worth a try!"
Book an appointment at Elemis Gardens (+6016-327 8321) or Elemis 1Utama (+6010-201 8321).
AsterSpring's Energy Firming Therapy (85 minutes), RM568
"Consistency is key. Being in my early 30s, I'm not exaggerating when I say I do feel the effects of turning a year older, each year. But I believe the regular workouts help keep my limbs from rusting (okay, that one is me being dramatic) while applying sunscreen and following a meticulous skincare routine protects and rejuvenates my skin. But it's a fact that our natural collagen production declines by one per cent each year as we age. The skincare products help but getting an extra boost is always welcomed. Aster Spring's new Energy Firming Therapy aims to kickstart the collagen factory in our skin and erase visible fine lines and wrinkles. I'll spare you the details of my excruciating extraction, which comes with all facials there anyway.
"There are two key points to this treatment: fancy, high-tech machines. The first is LPG Endermologie®, a medical-grade machine using award-winning anti-ageing technology from France. It's used around the eye area to help reduce crow feet, fine lines and wrinkles, as well as boost collagen and hyaluronic acid production. The initial sensation is akin to ants biting your skin, but by the time the therapist moved on to my other eye area, it was barely noticeable. Next is the use of LDM (a patented ultrasound machine from Germany), which focuses on the lower half of your face, increasing blood circulation; boosting cell oxygen level and lymphatic energy flow. Last but not least, it stimulates fibroblast in the dermis layer, thereby enhancing the absorption of the Marine Collagen Sheets. It's a lot of science-y words, but the gist is that these two machines work in synergy to boost collagen production, on top of enabling better absorption of collagen-rich ingredients.
"To conclude the facial, I was given two cooling hydration-boosting masks. One is the Tri-Action Eye Mask to help reduce puffiness, lighten dark circles and firm up the eye areas; the other is the Hydra Soothing Bio Cellulose Mask with extracts of green caviar, ginkgo Biloba and wasabi to enhance radiance, suppleness and volume further. By the end of the facial, I came out with super soft, dewy skin that so much so, putting back on my KF94 mask felt like a sin. The treatment targets to reduce wrinkles and fine lines by 46 per cent, "rapid re-plumping" of the skin and, best of all, deliver a long-lasting firming effect. I've yet to have apparent wrinkles, so I can't comment on that but knowing it's at least preventative is a relief. And seeing the areas jaw firmer and a reduced appearance of those pesky eye bags is a win for me. And of course, extraction aside, the aromatherapy facial massage—previously only offered at the Signature centres, the 'AsterSpring Signature pre and post touch' ritual is now available for this treatment experience at all centres—always feels incredible." — Rachel Au, Managing Editor
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