FROM procedures to freeze away fats to light-emitting contraptions to lift, lighten and regenerate skin, it seems like we're at the mercy of machines when it comes to looking good.
But rather than resorting to the latest technological innovations in amping up their spa menus, beauty specialists are instead playing up their expertise in manual procedures.
For example, a new face and body treatment by French beauty giant Clarins is aptly named Art of Touch, and banks on its history in developing unique massage techniques.
"It is totally manual and we only use our finest plant-based products for the treatment," says Clarins' spa trainer, Sylvia Lim. "With our unique tools, our hands, we can create a personalised treatment which a machine is not able to provide."
The three-step session begins with a calming ritual whereby the therapist places her hands on key areas of the face and body to soothe and create a sense of serenity.
Next, she uses her palms and thumbs to apply pressure on energy lines, using a method inspired by shiatsu techniques.
Using specialised strokes to "sculpt" the face, followed by a series of movements with thumbs, palms, forearms and elbows to release deep energies, the treatment helps relieve tension and drain away toxins and water retention.
The biggest draw of a more traditional, hands-on treatment lies in its ability to be customised completely to one's needs.
In fact, the intensity of pressure can be adjusted down to the millimetre for maximum accuracy to pin-point, say, a tight knot or blocked lymph node.
"Traditional manual methods of massage and traditional healing philosophies focus on the stimulation given to nerve endings and pressure points of each specific body," explains director of Damai Spa at Grand Hyatt Singapore, Karu Nanithi.