Beauty Talk: Pauline Ng, Founder of Porcelain, Beauty Brand And Face Spa
Anyone familiar with the local beauty industry would undoubtedly have heard of Porcelain, whether it's because of the spa Pauline Ng (who's also our 2017 Gen.T honouree) and her mother, Jenny Teng, co-founded together, or the elegantly packaged and effective skincare products Porcelain has developed over the years.
We speak to the 33-year-old entrepreneur about her journey with beauty and being a successful entrepreneur:
Tell us a little bit about your journey with Porcelain Skin Spa
Pauline Ng (PN) Porcelain’s beginnings were truly humble and memorable. I somehow stumbled into it when helping my mum re-start her business and I had just graduated from SMU. At the start, we set out pretty clear roles; she would jump on board as the Director of Aestheticians while I took care of business operations. One thing led to another, and fast forward, I fell in love with the skincare industry myself, inspired by my mother’s passion. I’ve never looked back since and it is the same passion that has kept me going the last 10 years.
By 2013, Porcelain became GST-registered and hit $1 million in revenue, and in the same year, we were named Best Luxury Spa in Asia at the World Luxury Spa Awards (and proudly keeping the title for seven years). We now have a team of over 50 people and opened our fourth store, Porcelain Origins, at Paragon. We’re really proud of it as it’s Singapore’s first smart spa (also our first concept store), and really embodies our vision of Porcelain becoming the birthplace of new, innovative concepts beyond just skincare.
From the start when we literally shared an Ikea desk and shelf, spending on things that mattered while paying ourselves peanuts, we’ve been very blessed to have been able to grow from that to what we are today, and still advocating the same values since Day 1: Transparency, delivering exceptional value and standards to clients, two-way communication, and the combination of craftsmanship with state-of-art technology for holistic skincare.
What’s your wellness philosophy?
PN We believe in correcting, not concealing. A lot of treatments and products are targeted at treating the symptoms instead of the root causes. For example, the fine lines that appear (symptom) arise from dehydration (root cause). The key is to reboot your skin back to the right pH balance of sebum and water levels. Once that happens, skin problems don’t occur/recur as frequently, and sensitivity is reduced. We believe that our skin is amazing at what it does—healing. Our job is simply to stimulate it to do its job better and faster with a combination of skincare and treatments to boost its natural abilities.
For my personal wellness, I listen to some music and read. Sometimes, I start my day slow, like taking my time to drink my breakfast coffee. I also try to eat lunches on my own at least once a week so I can just space out. These things don’t take much time, and you have to do them anyway, so it doesn’t really affect my productivity or work hours, but it keeps my mind clear and calm.
You recently launched a #FromWithin campaign. Could you tell us about the inspiration behind it?
PN From the beginning, Porcelain had three philosophies that guided every protocol. They are: firstly, no two skins are the same; secondly, skincare is a long-term commitment; and thirdly, good skin is clear and radiant from within.
#FromWithin is essentially our three philosophies embodied within a campaign so it’s simple enough to follow and understand: discovering what your skin is really like from within so that we could work to curate the skincare and treatment protocols that would help elicit healthy skin from within.
It's also a (word)play on Porcelain’s core strength—customization, bespoke, holistic skincare regimens and treatment plans to help clients regain healthy, radiant skin from within. Plus, confidence!
What are the six signature treatments that can be enjoyed with the Experience #FromWithin package?
PN These treatments have proven results and won multiple awards across the years. We currently have a suite of treatments available for all skin types and concerns, and these are the classics that withstood the test of time with our clients.
Our signature, award-winning bespoke facial is designed for severely congested and acne-prone skin. Suitable for all skin types, it involves a thorough skin assessment before an intensive extraction session to clear congested pores. Post-extraction, we concoct the perfect after-care treatment for your skin by combining custom-blended products with a selection of aesthetic equipment to aid your skin’s natural healing process.
This radiance reviver includes a gentle yet intensive hyperbaric oxygen therapy to cleanse and an oxygen hydro-peel to remove dead skin cells while loosening clogged impurities. This is followed by an infusion of vitaminized oxygen spray to improve cell regeneration, reviving even the dullest skin back to its radiant, glowing self.
Harnesses a unique patented, 448kHz long wave radio frequency using Spanish medical tech, Indiba™. This boosts cellular ionic movement, exchange and equilibrium, restoring the skin’s natural ionic equilibrium to improve overall skin health. The results are enhanced oxygen flow to skin tissues and increased cell metabolism, thus rejuvenating and improving skin elasticity. It also stimulates collagen and elastin production for instant and long-term anti-ageing effects. Overall facial contours are instantly boosted for a younger-looking ‘V’isage. Touted as the best line-reducing facial in Singapore, this treatment is suited for the prevention as well as correction of ageing skin.
A unique, relaxing treatment that combines oxygen therapy, Italian-made 2-in-1 diamond microdermabrasion and VinoTherapy for the ultimate age-reversing skin resurfacing. It includes a vitaminized hyperbaric oxygen skin infusion from a selection of our Deep Hydrating Lotion, ginseng reviving tonic or purifying witch hazel; Oxy-Diamante microdermabrasion; and OxygenPulse lymphatic drainage massage with the finest Italian florals to send you into the deepest slumber. It's finally topped off with our pH-balancing, Hydrocare – Bio-cellulose Mask, each infused with 30ml of concentrated skin serum. You'll awaken to instantly brighter, tauter, smoother skin and a more youthful looking visage.
Freeze time with the revolutionary Cryotherapy™ technology which uses extremely low temperatures to restore firmness, tone and radiance to dull, fatigued and saggy skin without any downtime. The facial is then finished off with a custom blended mask and a relaxing shoulder massage.
The Sun Rescue Facial entails a three-pronged approach of calm, repair and hydrate to provide restorative care. Soothe sun-damaged and/or dehydrated skin instantly with a combination of Oxygen- and Cryo-therapies to calm, stimulate repair, shorten recovery time and reduce skin sensitivity. Our tinted moisturizer with sunscreen is applied after the treatment to retain the facial’s effectiveness.
Do you have an all-time favourite treatment or product?
PN I love them all! We stand by not selling anything we wouldn’t use ourselves. Right now though, my favourite is a product we launched just last year, our Intensive – HA+ Hydrating Serum. It has four amazing complexes inside which help acne, dehydration, anti-ageing concerns and even hydrate sensitive skin. I personally love the ingredients in it as well, like wakame, elderflower, cucumber and aloe barbadensis extracts, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid and a probiotics shot for an additional anti-acne boost. The best part is it’s really lightweight and easily absorbed, which is perfect for our climate. Used together with our Balance – Sebum Control Essence, it helps my combination skin achieve a really good balance of oil and moisture.
What’s your personal skincare regime like?
PN I’m currently testing a lot of products right now as part of our R&D process, but my go-to regime to re-balance my skin will always include double cleansing.
I start the day with double cleansing, followed by my favourite Intensive – HA+ Hydrating Serum. I then mix two gel moisturizers: Soothe – Aloe Recovery Gel and Pure – Botanical Soothing Gel for my entire face, before using the Balance - Hydraclear Gel on my t-zone.
At night, I double cleanse and then tone with the Revive – Glycolic Toner. I rebalance my skin's PH with Balance – Sebum Control Essence and add a shot of hydration with my Intensive - HA+ Hydrating Serum. I then use the same two gel moisturisers and finish off with the Balance - Hydraclear Gel for pH control.
Once a week, or whenever my skin is feeling stressed, I’d do a gentle exfoliation with our Revive – Natural Skin Refiner and soothe/rehydrate with our Hydrocare - Bio-cellulose Mask.
I also try to slot in a facial treatment every week or every other week. Recently, I’ve also been testing an exciting new protocol that helps regain clearer skin while steering away from extractions (I am personally afraid of pain—although our Quintessential extractions facial is the very foundation of Porcelain!), and the results have been promising… it’s our latest Clarissential facial treatment, and it uses three powerful therapies—Vino-, IPL Light and Oxygen—to brighten and clarify skin, as well as boost cell regeneration!
The best piece of beauty advice you’ve ever received is…
PN Correct, not conceal!
What’s next for the brand?
PN For years, I have been asked to bring the Porcelain brand overseas. We have been approached to open in more markets such as Vietnam, China, and Malaysia. We’re definitely exploring setting up our first outlet overseas within this year or next. Our online product sales on porcelainskin.com/shop have also been incredibly positive with about 50 per cent of our sales coming from the rest of South East Asia – and that has given me the confidence to look overseas.
Vote Porcelain for the best beauty service in Best of Singapore 2020 below.