Qi Mantra at Wheelock Place

With the new year comes new challenges, and in my case, the challenge was to face my fears. That is, my fear of facials. My skin experienced a bad case of break out after my very first facial ages ago. Although my skin did recover, the mental scars stayed for a long time. Let’s just say I would never be the first one to raise my hand to try out the new facial in town after that incident.

But with the firm resolution to take better care of my skin this year, I decided to test-drive the new O2 Bubble facial on the second day of 2014 – just so I won’t chicken out later. Ninety minutes later, it turns out that I might just be the newest convert lauding the benefits of a good facial treatment.


The interior of Qi Mantra at Wheelock Place

Well, like everyone else, I hope to look young forever. What I have learnt from our beauty writer is that the trick to youthfulness is to keep your skin bright and your complexion even.

When I think of Qi Mantra, I think of knot-busting, ahh-inducing massages but apparently, the spa also has a comprehensive facial menu. The new O2 Bubble facial will deep cleanse, renew and hydrate your skin for a brighter complexion along with an even skintone and less obvious fine lines. There’s no better way to kick start the new year.

The stars of the treatment are what the spa calls Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF) and an effervescent oxygen mask that work together to stimulate cell growth and renewal for more radiant and even complexion so the O2 Bubble facial is great for all skin types. EGF is said to speed up the skin’s healing process and provide anti-aging benefits, while the regenerative properties of oxygen promises to hydrate, diminish fine lines and add an instant glow.

All Qi Mantra facials start with a skin analysis to ensure that everything used is suited for your skin – the spa only uses 100 percent organic products. Double cleansing, exfoliation, steaming and extraction will follow before EGF is applied and the grand finale will be the bubbly oxygen mask.

For an extra boost, you can choose the add-on Variable Pulsed Light (VPL) treatment at extra cost of $160. VPL is essentially pulses of light that are delivered to your skin to stimulate collagen production from within. The idea is that this will slow down ageing and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.



One of the Qi Mantra treatment rooms – this one is at the Raffles City outlet

The VPL treatment was a little like being part of a photo shoot in a professional studio. The therapist applied a layer of cooling gel before covering my peepers with an eye mask. When the pulses of light were applied to my skin, there were flashes of blinding light and a slightly hot sensation, but nothing too uncomfortable.

The EGF, which has a light serum-like consistency, was then smoothed onto my face, but the highlight for me had to be the oxygen mask. When they said bubbling, they meant bubbling. I was transported back to my childhood when my favourite cereal was Rice Krispies with its catchy slogan Snap, Crackle, Pop – because that was actually how the mask felt on my skin. This tingly sensation was refreshing, and really felt as if oxygen was being introduced to my skin cells. Plus, this was the point of the treatment when the therapist applied massaged my head, neck and shoulders. Needless to say, I was so relaxed I fell asleep.

Right after the O2 Bubble facial, I met my friend for dinner and she commented that my skin looked more radiant. I dismissed it as lip service since she knew I was going for the treatment but the next day, my colleagues did mention that I looked brighter. This was a compliment that I almost never receive because my complexion is fair to begin with.

In fact, a week later, even after a late night, I did notice that my skin still had a certain glow – normally my skin would appear sallow if I only had a few hours of sleep.

Plus, the therapist was super gentle during the extraction process and there was no redness – and breakouts – after the facial. I guess this is one facial I will be going back for!

Total Score: 22/25

Qi Mantra O2 Bubble facial is priced at $194 for 90 minutes. The Variable Pulsed Light add-on is priced at $160. First time Qi Mantra facial customers can enjoy the O2 Bubble facial at $68 till February 28, 2014. For more information, go to www.qimantra.com.