Hello everyone – welcome back to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be documenting my experience of undergoing aesthetic treatment at Lux Aesthetic Clinic.
I’ve been battling skin problems for years, but have never taken steps to address them, instead relying on tailored clothing to cover up my physical blemishes. I think that stemmed from societal’s perception of masculinity – men getting aesthetic treatment is rarely talked about, which is ironic as men often experience more severe aesthetic concerns (e.g acne). That changed when I watched Kane Lim of Bling Empire (I’m honestly a big fan of the reality show, as trashy as it gets sometimes) open up about his insecurities and seek out aesthetic treatments to improve his self-esteem. I then realised that I too have the same insecurities – I avoid the beach, swimming, or any shirtless activities in general because I’m too self-conscious of how my skin looked.
After researching online, I chanced upon Dr. Kellyn Shiau of Lux Aesthetic Clinic, which is located on the second floor of The Cathay. More specifically, I came across a Tatler feature on Dr. Shiau, which showcased her wardrobe essentials – very Bling Empire. In fact, she has appeared in numerous articles, including one which named Dr. Shiau as one of the most good-looking aesthetic doctors in Singapore. However, she’s not all style and no substance. A quick background check revealed that she graduated from NUS Yong Loo Lin medical school (fun fact – I almost applied there), and cut her teeth at the esteemed Raffles Medical group before striking out with her own clinic.
Lux Aesthetic Clinic – Consultation
Like a regular medical appointment, the procedure started off with a doctor’s consultation.
I sat down with Dr. Shiau and relayed my skin concerns to her. Though I have many areas of concern, I conveyed that my back acne and its resulting marks were my foremost worry, due to the large area that’s affected. As aforementioned, my back blemishes have prevented me from feeling confident enough to go shirtless at the pool/beach/etc, and I felt it was time to start addressing those issues before the scarring and marks become even more permanent.
At first, I wanted to go for a chemical peel to remove dead skin and lighten marks. However, Dr. Shiau advised that a chemical peel may be too harsh on my sensitive skin (I have a history of eczema flareups), and instead suggested a combination of Q-switch laser and Hydrafacial treatments. The Q-switch laser is a non-ablative procedure (meaning it does not harm the surface of the skin, thus requiring little to no downtime – perfect for people with sensitive/eczema skin like me) that helps to control ongoing acne breakouts as well as lighten pigmentation marks, while the Hydrafacial exfoliates and moisturises the skin post-laser. I liked that Dr. Shiau was recommending me treatment options specific to my personal skin condition, and went along with her suggestions.
Lux Aesthetic Clinic – Treatment
Lasers are considered a medical procedure and should be performed by a MOH-certified doctor – if you’re receiving laser treatments from pushy “therapists” in spas, you’re probably in the wrong place.
At Lux Aesthetic Clinic, Dr. Shiau operates and delivers all laser treatments personally. That’s important, as lasers require a trained and experienced hand. I was also made to wear a pair of metal protective goggles that made me look like a mad scientist, and was told that was to prevent any accidental eye exposure to the laser treatment.
And that’s important, as Q-switch laser works by emitting short intense light beams, which when absorbed into the skin help fragment pigmentation marks (in fact, it’s also used to remove tattoos). It also kills P.Acne bacteria (aka the bacteria on your skin that causes breakouts), shrinks oil glands to help prevent future breakouts, and boosts the skin’s collagen level to aid healthy skin regrowth.
The procedure itself was near painless, with a subtle prickly feeling that was generally tolerable. It did sting more on areas where I had significant hair, but overall I would say the Q-switch laser procedure was more than bearable. In fact, it hurts even less than IPL treatment, which is already less painful than an ant’s bite.
The entire procedure took about 10-15 minutes, and I felt comfortable and safe in Dr. Shiau’s hands throughout. She also had assistants beside her the entire time to serve as extra pairs of hands and eyes. With the Q-Switch laser procedure done, it was time to move on to the Hydrafacial.
It’s important to note that the Hydrafacial isn’t your typical spa facial, but a patented skin treatment (utilising a proprietary machine) which is only available in medical clinics and dermatology offices. It helps cleanse, exfoliate, extract, and deliver hydrating serums to the skin, and is commonly used for both the face and the back.
There are generally three steps to a Hydrafacial. The first is to cleanse and exfoliate. This is done via the delivery of a cleansing serum, while a spiralling tip (the blue part of the handheld device in the picture above) washes away dead skin cells.
The second step is peeling and extraction. A glycolic and salicylic acid solution loosens impurities and debris that are lodged in the pores (akin to chemical peels, but gentler). Thereafter, vacuum suction – using the same handheld device – removes said loosened impurities and debris, thus unclogging the pores and further preventing future breakouts.
The last step of the Hydrafacial hydrates and protects the skin. Now that the pores are unclogged, the device delivers peptides & antioxidants for instant hydration and protection. The skin is often dry after laser treatments, so this is important for moisturising the skin post-laser.
As the Hydrafacial is not a medical procedure, it is performed by the clinic’s aestheticians instead. However, I had no complaints – in fact, I’m quite impressed by the instant results. MOH guidelines (clause 5.5, page 11 to be exact) prevent me from posting clear before/after photos in this article, but if you compare the photos from the first step and the last step, you can see a clear difference in skin tone.
And as the icing on the cake, a whitening mask is applied to maximise the effects of the Hydrafacial.
Conclusion – so Lux Aesthetic Clinic “shiok” or not?
Definitely so. I was initially worried that Dr. Shiau would come across as too posh (given her high-profile media features), but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she is actually very down-to-earth. We had a short conversation during the Q-switch treatment, and when asked why she decided to specialise as an aesthetic doctor, she replied that she found aesthetic medical work eminently satisfying as she’s helping others (including me) increase their self-esteem and enhance their confidence. She said: “I’ve seen patients who came in hating their skin and body, and leave in love with themselves.” She also shared that the path of an aesthetic doctor is not an easy one, as there’s no specialisation available in the public healthcare system. “I had to seek out experienced doctors in other clinics to practice under, read up on the latest trends and technologies, and take the leap of faith to set up my own clinic – it’s not as glamourous as people assume it to be,” she said.
After covering local brands and personalities for over 5 years now, I can sense when someone’s passionate about their craft, and Dr. Shiau definitely falls under that category. If you have skin concerns that you would like to resolve, I would highly recommend paying Dr. Shiau of Lux Aesthetic Clinic a visit. For first-time customers, you can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOKLUX” in-store to enjoy a free consultation with Dr. Shiau, which would allow her to analyse your skin condition and recommend suitable treatments. There’s absolutely no obligation however – unlike pushy spas, Lux Aesthetic Clinic is a clinic, so you don’t have to worry about being badgered by unrelenting hardselling.
A session of Hydrafacial + Q-Switch laser on the upper back price costs $580 per session, with 5 sessions priced at $2800 and 10 sessions priced at $5500 (excluding GST).
Lux Aesthetic Clinic’s Location: 2 Handy Rd, #02-09 The Cathay, Singapore 229233
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P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.