There is a reason why I stopped going for facials, and part of it has to do with how beauty salons and therapists handle adverse reactions.
Coming from a pharmaceutical marketing background, I am assured of the efficacy and safety of medical aesthetics treatments. Aesthetic physicians are required to disclose worst case scenario side effects to every patient they treat – even if extremely rare –and are equipped to handle adverse reactions. This is not so much the case with some beauty salons and therapists, who in my experience tended to be dismissive of my discomfort during treatments, and post-treatment redness and breakouts. In one instance a breakout lasted for more than a week, and the therapist did not offer any remedy except for me to undergo and pay for another similar facial, just scheduled sooner than she would normally recommend.
So when I was invited for an organic facial at Aldha at 61 Emerald Hill, I was a little hesitant, but decided to go ahead with it as they would be using Bema Cosmetici skincare products for the facial, which I have been using in varying degrees with no adverse reaction.
The Emerald Hill Peranakan shop house is only a few minutes away on foot from Orchard Road – which could be a pain to get to if you are driving or taking a Grab there at peak hours. Even during peak hours, the fastest way to get there would be via train; you simply have to alight at the Somerset station, take the underground pass to the Emerald Hill exit, which even after you’ve hit the surface at the ground floor of Crate & Barrel, is sheltered most of the way.
I was told by Lynn, a therapist who has been working with Aldha for nearly 20 years (a sign of a trustworthy establishment) that she would assess my skin condition before deciding what to “prescribe” me. As her colleague Catherine was cleansing my skin, she decided that the moisturising facial would be suitable for me. According to her, although my skin has excellent tone and elasticity (thanks to the Rejuran treatment!), it appeared dehydrated and therefore prone to redness and sensitivity; and she was not far wrong.
What followed were layer upon layer of Bema Cosmetici products artfully applied to my face with medium pressure strokes. Catherine then went on to massage my neck and shoulders with long effleurage strokes, targeted at helping my lymph nodes eliminate waste as well as fatigue and tension in that area. After the massage, a thin layer of the Bema White Lightening Masque was applied onto my face. I was then left to nap – quite deeply – for the next 20 minutes. The facial was finished off with the application of the Nature Up BB Cream, which bagged the Best BB Cream title in the Cleo Beauty Hall of Fame Awards as well as the Harpers’ Bazaar Beauty Awards.
My skin certainly looked better when I left Aldha than when I arrived with blemishes on my forehead and chin lightening rather quickly over the next few days. More than that, knowing that I have sensitive skin, Lynn contacted me the next day asking me how I found the facial. Now if only all beauty salons are so sensitive and professional! As I write this blog, I learnt that their Bema Bio Blue Defence Facial has won the Best Organic Facial for the Harper’s Bazaar Spa Awards 2019, so I am certain of being in excellent hands if I choose to return.
A Bema Cosmetici facial costs $168 and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Please call 65382600 for reservations. www.aldha.com
All photos by Shah Rizal Baharudin