Gentle touch

We test the effectiveness of the hottest oxygen facials out there on the market

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 August, 2013, 6:52pm

The treatment: This hydrating and revitalising facial (HK$1,280) from Sense of Touch infuses the skin with oxygen, vitamins and antioxidants. Collagen amino peptides and hyaluronic acid also increase circulation and reduce the signs of ageing. The treatment is suitable for all skin types, including those with acne or rosacea.

The review: Hong Kong's only spa with private treatment villas, the newly opened Sense of Touch in Tseung Kwan O offers a Balinese-style retreat in the midst of the urban jungle.

Although we could hear the pounding of nearby construction during our treatment, it was hard not to feel swept away. Our 75-minute treatment kicked off with a cleansing, facial massage and enzyme peel - all with Elemis products - followed by steam and extractions.

The main attraction began with cool oxygen sprayed with an airbrush-like machine, followed by a targeted spray designed to drive the ingredients deeper into the skin. After a nourishing mask and head massage, our skin felt firmer and plumper, and fine lines were reduced. We looked more awake - making this a suitable treatment before a big event or any time you're feeling, or looking, a little tired. Tama Lung

3983 0406,


The treatment: This 75-minute facial (HK$2,500 on weekdays, HK$2,700 on weekends) at the Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA infuses the face and neck with oxygen and collagen through a machine that delivers pressurised oxygen directly onto the skin. Besides leaving the skin feeling firm, it revives and replenishes skin cells, leaving the face radiant and hydrated.

The review: After cleaning our skin, the therapist examined it under an ultraviolet light that revealed dark patches - either dead skin cells or sensitivity. To prepare for the treatment, she used an exfoliating gel, gently rubbing off the dead skin, and applied a hydrating toner.

A collagen serum was applied, then the therapist used the machine to give short, concentrated blasts of oxygen onto the skin. It wasn't very relaxing, but felt refreshing as she carefully worked all over the face and neck.

Next, she did more exfoliation, going over our face again with the machine. Then she applied a hydrating mask to the face and gave an invigorating neck and shoulder massage. After the mask was removed and a hydrating cream applied, our skin felt refreshed and hydrated for the rest of the day. Bernice Chan

2263 2040,


The treatment: Bliss Spa's signature 75-minute facial (HK$1,295) includes a customised peel, hydrating enzyme pack and extraction followed by an oxygen wrap and oxygen spray infused with vitamin C serum to tighten, brighten and revitalise the skin. The treatment includes access to the spa's other facilities, including the vitality pool upstairs.

The review: Our facial was scheduled in the early morning, so we skipped breakfast. Our day was brightened by the impressive view of West Kowloon from our treatment room, located on the 72nd floor of W Hong Kong. The facial began with a refreshingly scented peel that left our skin soft and smooth, followed by a warm oxygen wrap that prepped the skin for extraction.

The extraction process was painful at times, but the therapist paced it nicely, and we noticed clogged pores and blackheads reduced significantly after the treatment. This was followed by Bliss's one-of-a-kind Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask that felt like oxygen bubbling on our skin. Our favourite part came at the end, the vitamin C-infused oxygen spray.

The cool steam reduced any redness from the extractions and left our skin feeling tight. Vivian Chen

3717 2797,


The treatment: This 90-minute facial (HK$1,990) at the InterContinental's I-Spa is designed for dull, fatigued skin prone to pigmentation. The treatment uses semi-precious amethyst to stimulate the skin and restore its radiance and health. As with the spa's other Signature High Performance Facials, the treatment includes a skin analysis, cleansing and exfoliation, and an extraction process - if appropriate - to go with the treatment mask, massage and final moisturising step.

The review: The modestly sized changing room at I-Spa may not have the same wow factor newer spas possess, but the luxury of the treatment itself is unmistakable.

The facial was one of the most effective and long-lasting treatments we've had. The extraction was suspiciously gentle - until we realised that our pores stayed clear for at least a week afterwards. The chilled treatment mask may not be something we'd suggest for cooler temperatures, but the refreshing mask is ideal for summer. Best of all, our skin was the most radiant we've seen in a while. Pores were smaller and elasticity was much improved; our skin felt hydrated and refreshed. Jacqueline Tsang

2721 1211,