A Beauty Addict Diary: A Review Of Porcelain’s CO2 Skin Renewal Facial And Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum
It's two weeks from the wedding of the year and my bridesmaid duties, so it's perfect that I'm headed for a facial at Porcelain tomorrow. I've been asked to keep a diary as I'm trying a new treatment (CO2 Skin Renewal) and a best-selling product (Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum).
I’m looking at a mirror, ready to note what needs to be improved: My skin is generally fuss-free but while it doesn’t feel dehydrated, I know it’s parched, thanks to constant air-conditioning. I also have growing concerns over signs of aging with increasingly noticeable lines on the forehead, loss of skin elasticity, eye bags, uneven skin tone… I did say I was ready to critique, wasn’t I?
Day 1 Afternoon
I’m at the chic Porcelain Origins spa boutique at Paragon, and I’m just done with the CO2 Skin Renewal Facial, a new carbon dioxide treatment that officially launches in January next year. I was skeptical when they told me that it takes 60 minutes, is non-invasive yet there are immediate results and no downtime. But they proved me wrong. Here’s what went down:
1st step: The Heat
They prepared me thoroughly for the intensity of the burning sensation during the carboxy mask application, so when I had to go through it, it didn’t feel that bad.
A bit of background: When activated, the mask releases a concentration of carbon dioxide to the skin; which is about 30-40 per cent more intensive than what’s available on the market right now. When that high oxygenation exchange happens, skin repair is stimulated and collagen is produced.
The chemical reaction for each section: face, eyes, and neck took about five seconds. And because I was prepped so well, it was uncomfortable but bearable. (When I saw the results, I decided that the discomfort is forgettable.)
2nd step: The Cold
To further plump and hydrate skin, it’s followed by CyroProbe, a cryotherapy infusion of a mask, which chills down the skin to -15 degrees. It sounds cold, but it didn’t feel so as the mask (a concoction of Porcelain-formulated products packed with antioxidants and skin-conditioning extracts, such as their in-house products like Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum and Deep Hydrating Lotion) was rhythmically massaged into the skin. It’s so soothing; I took a little nap.
3rd step: The Mask and Massage
The final step is the Hydrocare Bio Cellulose Mask to pump more moisture into the skin and to clarify the complexion. At the same time, I was given a head and shoulder massage.
Such results are impressive for a one hour facial: My skin is rejuvenated: my skin tone has evened out, the puffiness of my eye bags has been reduced and my complexion is plumper.
There was truly no downtime—no redness or irritation. I head to a family dinner with bare skin except for shaped brows, but my mom is surprised that I'm not wearing any makeup. My skin texture feels smoother and my complexion is glowing, sans highlighter.
And mom is also ready to book herself in for the same facial.
Day 1 Night
In my post-treatment glow, it was the best time to start on the Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum. The great thing about speaking to a skin consultant and using their in-house product is that they understand the product thoroughly. I loved how Porcelain works in tandem with the products I already love—we talked about my daily and weekly skincare routine and how the serum can fit in. Porcelain's senior trainer Rachel Lin recommended that I start with a week of intensive use, and then cut it down by half for the following week.
The Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum is ideal for all skin types, even for those with eczema and sensitive skin. The hero ingredient here is hyaluronic acid which is already produced naturally by our bodies but decreases with age. When used in this serum, in a cocktail of antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, and K), and probiotics, it delivers intensive hydration, repairs and soothes.
I’ve added the serum to both my morning and night routine. After cleansing my face, I apply two vials—after my toner and before my cream.
I’m a little surprised as I apply the first vial and discover that it is a lot of product, more than what I normally use. I drop it on my face then massage it in as Rachel has instructed. Hyaluronic acid is moisture-binding and gel-like so the texture of the serum is aqueous, and I’m sliding the product across my face. I’m trying to pull off all my face massage techniques, but surprisingly it doesn’t take too long for the product to be absorbed. Less than a minute later, I press my hands against my cheek and I feel a suction against my palms. That means that I can stop, and apply my second vial which also gets absorbed quickly.
My skin still looks good, and I contemplate going out foundation-free (which is what all the girls at Porcelain do). And I take the leap.
I’m getting the hang of my usual skincare routine taking a little longer than usual. I may be a beauty addict, but I like my skincare fuss-free and quick (thanks to two young children). It’s an additional three to five minutes but I see it as an essential skin booster that gives me an instantly dewy complexion. I’ve also noticed that my T-zone doesn’t get oily at the end of the day.
I have a pet peeve. I don’t see the point with piling on or overloading the skin with too many products, leaving me with a greasy face and then finally having my skincare just smear onto my pillow.
That was a concern, considering the amount of the Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum I’m slathering on. But then I realised that after the suction feeling, it takes three seconds to completely dry up, leaving a shine-free finish that makes it easy to apply makeup over or head straight to bed.
(Related: Biohack Your Way To Beauty And Health Using Your DNA And Stem Cells At These Wellness Retreats Around The World)
This stuff is potent. It’s been a week of consistent and intensive use, and I have not needed my highlighter for a glow.
I do my weekly routine: a gentle face scrub, followed by a purification mask, before lathering the serum on. It feels great, my pores are cleared, and my skin isn’t irritated at all. I’ve also reduced it to one vial of serum, as suggested by Rachel.
Here’s what I didn’t expect: My neck looks better. After massaging the weightless serum on my face, I apply the leftover on my décolletage. The Intensive HA+ Hydrating Serum has six hydrating ingredients and aloe vera, elderflower, cucumber and wakame extracts to boost collagen and elastin structure, so the lines on my neck are lightened.
It’s T-2 to the wedding! Despite the busy, late nights in preparation for the celebration (I take my bridesmaid duties seriously), my skin looks great! A win.
It's the day of my friend's wedding. Having worked in fashion for over a decade, I’m glad to be able to call some of the most talented hair and makeup experts in the industry my good friends, and they’re getting me ready.
And enough about how I feel about my skin; I want to hear from my beauty confidante, Larry Yeo. “How is my skin?” I ask. “Your skin is always been good,” he casually replies without really noticing. Note to self: Keep these friends! Later as he was putting foundation on me, he pauses, “Yeah, your skin got better.”
His affirmation is what I needed to hear. I wasn’t imagining things!
What's a true test of nourished skin? The morning after an insane party.
It's when I get almost zero sleep (I slept at 5 AM), and oh, I went to sleep barefaced (just way too tired). But my complexion still looks pretty luminous.
But I'm not going to take this for granted. Excuse me while I go pile on some serum.