To cater to the time-strapped individual, more skincare labels and spas are now offering express facials that take 30 minutes or less.
Their customers? Busy working adults and stay-at-home mothers who want fast treatments they can squeeze into their hectic schedules.
Labels such as local skincare brand Skin Inc and spas Freia Aesthetics and La Source Spa added quick-fix facials to their menus last year.
Other spas say that demand for such treatments has gone up by up to 20 per cent in the past year.
These facials typically cost about half the price of full-length treatments and are completed in half the time.
Regular facials usually take 60 to 90 minutes and cost as much as $600.
While the shortened versions are less luxurious on the pampering scale compared with a regular facial, some include a pared-down massage or light therapy, such as variable pulsed light which treats a range of skin issues including pigmentation.
Most, however, involve only cleansing, exfoliation, application of serums and moisturisers.
The demand for such services is so great that Ms Lily Kew, founder of Kew Organics, opened a new facial bar in her Clarke Quay Central mall outlet offering only 20-minute treatments.
For $55, customers get a cleanse, organic peel, skincare serum and oil-free sunscreen.
Named the Sugar K Organic Peel Bar, it has been "well received" since it opened in November last year, with the number of customers increasing by about 15 per cent every month, says the 46-year-old.
"There are too many busy individuals looking for quick and affordable solutions for their skin.
Good facials are also not cheap. I saw the need and so Sugar K was born," says the mother of one, who plans to open a similar concept at her other outlet in Everton Park.
At La Source Spa in Scotts Road, a 30-minute facial - including a cleanse, scrub, mask and scalp massage for $108 - was added to the menu in October last year.
Manager Yumi Van Thorale, who is in her 40s, says the service was introduced due to demand and it is "very popular with working professionals who come at lunch time and with jet-setters who come for a quick hydrating treatment before heading to the airport".
At Freia Aesthetics in Wisma Atria, founder and spa director Serene Seah, 41, says the label included a 30-minute facial for $58 on its menu when it opened in April last year.
The demand for these express facials went up by 10 per cent in the past year, prompting the spa to plan to introduce two more short facial treatments this year.
"These facials tend to be popular with busy working professionals who desire a... refreshing facial, but need to return to the office in an hour," says Ms Seah, adding that most of the customers who take up the service are women in their early 20s, who might have just started working.
"They don't want to spend as much and they have shorter lunch breaks than older working professionals. It is really about saving time and maximising that hour-long lunch break.
"The luxury of having a 90-minute facial treatment is simply not feasible these days."
Other brands such as Skin Inc, known for its personalised serums, started offering 20- and 30-minute facials, for $45 and $65 respectively, in September last year to cater to busy urbanites who "want it all", says the chain's founder Sabrina Tan.
She says: "It is literally a pit stop for the skin for time-starved urbanites, modern males and millennials who want results without the fuss."
Other standalone spas such asDamai Spa at Grand Hyatt Singapore and chains such as Jet Concepts, Spa Esprit and Adonis Beauty Studio have also seen up to a 20 per cent increase in demand for their quick-fix facials in the past two years.
Their customers run the gamut from busy professionals with offices nearby tomothers with young children tothose who are attending an event right after work.
Fans of the quick facial agree that such sessions are easier to fit into busy schedules. Ophthalmologist Ho Ching Lin, who is in her 40s, heads to La Source Spa for an express facial once a month.
"It is difficult to spare an hour as my schedule is really tight. The shorter treatment fits my needs," says the mother of one.
She feels she does not need a full facial, but wants to cleanse her skin and feel refreshed, especially before social events.
"I usually go after work or before a social event. I also travel often and the quick facial is a great pick-me-up for my skin before and after I fly."
Entrepreneur Carol Butel, 56, who tried an express facial at Damai Spa for the first time recently, likes the treatment for its convenience.
She is likely to return for another session.
"I like the professional service and that the facial does not take long. It is efficient yet gets the job done."
This article was first published on March 30, 2017.
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