I was invited to the Mary Chia outlet at Tampines Hub to try out their newest PDRN needle-less skin renewal therapy. It might sound downright bizarre, but this is my first experience with a facial treatment. Throughout the years, my extent of knowledge on facials is limited to the ubiquitous facial wash and exfoliation masks. Plus, who isn’t a sceptic when it comes to beauty treatments that claim instantaneous results?
Mary Chia Beauty and Slimming Specialist is a service that has been running for approximately 40 years. Upon arrival, the almost hipster sight in front of me was miles away from what I had expected a Mary Chia Beauty Salon to look like. Sleek, taupe coloured wood structures tower in front of me. I could see no doors or windows from where I stood. A glossy, round reception table with a swivel stool to match sat under a pink neon sign that said ‘Enhancing Beauty’.
The newly rebranded Mary Chia aims to empower women and encourage them to embrace their unique individual beauty. They’ve removed their brand ambassadors and upgraded the look of their outlets to make the ambience more casual and inviting for the customers. Their new focus is on developing and investing in more effective treatments and products that produce results over a shorter duration. Mary Chia’s attention is now aimed at customised treatments for each individual, understanding that each person has unique skin and body concerns.
I met up with Joan and April, who showed me around the outlet. There are a total of five Mary Chia outlets islandwide—Jurong Point, NEX, Parkway Parade, Goldhill Centre and Our Tampines Hub. Both the Jurong Point and Tampines Hub outlets have a similar, modern aesthetic. There are both couple and individual rooms for slimming and beauty services and a sauna and shower room for a post-treatment rinse. The customer’s privacy is very much respected with all the rooms concealed by a swivel door patented in the same taupe wooden panelling. The interiors of the rooms are covered in palm leaf wallpaper with a different neon light quote on each wall.
April, the outlet manager, explains the new treatments they are offering. Developed in Korea, the treatment contains a PDRN formula—a protein that’s known for its high-performance DNA skin repair. They use salmon DNA to formulate the PDRN essence because of how alike their DNA makeup is. According to April, this allows the skin to better absorb the nutrients and multi-peptides that our skin might require to regenerate.
Three different types of facial therapy use the PDRN formula—PDRN Skin Renewal, PDRN Ultra Eyelift and the Idebenone Skin Radiance. Each of these treatments addresses different skin concerns and contain skin-brightening, anti-ageing, and skin renewal properties. I would be trying out the skin renewal therapy; it protects the skin against UV damage, controls melanin generation and brightens dull and tired skin. Each treatment lasts approximately 30 minutes.
I’m led to one of the rooms for my facial therapy. April gives me a towel and tells me to undress in preparation for the facial. She then puts a thick blanket over me while I lie down to ensure that I’m comfortable and that I remain warm throughout the treatment.
She starts the treatment with the signature ‘Mary Chia’ touch. After cleansing my face, April gently pats it with a warm towel to open up my pores. The fragrance of orange peel was such an inviting start to the facial. She massages the oil from my neck up and begins to remove my dead skin with a gentle exfoliant. Then, she proceeds to pluck my eyebrows, saying that the treatment would absorb better on clear, smooth skin. Usually, there’ll be an additional extraction process, but for my visit, we opted out of it.
Since it was my first facial, she wanted to observe how quickly my skin would absorb the treatment. Just by handling my skin for such a short period, she could already tell that it was severely dehydrated. Depending on the type of skin you have, Mary Chia will adjust the treatment accordingly. April then shows me a tiny bottle containing the product and informs me that we’d be using the entire content.
The treatment is needleless and non-invasive, but April uses a syringe to extract the contents from the bottle for accuracy. She informs me that both the glass bottle and the method of extraction preserve the enzymes better without excessively exposing it to the elements.
She slowly drips the product on half my face and uses a dermoelectroporation (DEP) tool to massage it in. The DEP tool is an FDA-approved technology from Italy. It reduces the healing process that you’ll need after injection-based treatments without compromising on efficacy. The device stimulates the opening of the skin’s existing water-based channels, allowing the product to penetrate deep into the skin’s layers without damaging the surface.
Gently placing the DEP tool on my face, I could feel tiny vibrations on the surface of my skin. She starts by using the lowest setting to ensure that my skin would be able to tolerate the strength of the tool. I can feel my skin slowly absorbing the essence and quite efficiently as well, seeing that my skin was quite dehydrated.
April completed the therapy cycle by doing a double-masking. She instructed me not to open my eyes, and I lay there and let the refreshing mint mask drown my face. After the first mask layer, she placed a thin “net” over it before subjecting my face with another mask layer. I then spent the next ten to fifteen minutes, slipping in and out of slumber. Once the mask layers were wiped off, I felt incredibly refreshed, and my skin felt instantly smoother than before.
Looking at my skin in a small handheld mirror, I notice that my skin had become evener. It emitted a slight glow as if I had put on a dusting of highlighting powder. Even my eyebags were less pronounced. It works better than any charcoal face mask I’d ever tried!
I walked out of Mary Chia a lot more confident with my skin. It was a thoroughly relaxing and painless experience. Besides, knowing that each session that you return for is catered to what your skin needs is comforting because it’s a reassurance that they look after each individual’s needs. It saves you a lot of time wondering what your skin might be missing after all that you put it through daily.
The products used are also skin-friendly, with no parabens, alcohol, colourants and allergens; perfect for those who have sensitive skin. If you’ve yet to try a facial treatment because you’re a sceptic like I was, then this is an experience I would highly recommend.
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