Beam Me Up!

Writer Elle Kwan | January 11, 2016

If the words ‘shockwave puncture’ and ‘carboxy injections’ get you excited, we’ll assume you are already au fait with the newest in-demand high-tech spa treatments. If not, read on and discover exactly what the buzz is about.

It’s been about 20 years since Botox became the lunchtime beauty fix du jour, and how things have moved on (well  except foreheads obviously, which thanks to Botox, hardly move at all.) High-tech healing is one of the spa world’s hottest trends with new options coming into the market every day. Expect to find a full range of LED-light treatments, needle-free injections and pulsing electronic currents to treat every beauty concern, from redness and pigmentation, to cellulite, wrinkles and sagging skin. At Singapore’s Qi Spa, even massage gets aggressive, with a gun-like device that bombards skin to blast away stress.

Spas like Sense of Touch offer a mix of traditional treatments and aesthetic beauty technology. Clients like the “mix ‘n match” approach, says founder Anna Treier, so that they might opt first for a therapist-based facial followed by a machine assisted slimming treatment. “Others will have a traditional massage and a high-tech Hydra Facial,” she says.

Hotel spas are turning up the dials on high-tech treatments too. There are plenty popping up globally at The Peninsula’s spas. Both the Hong Kong and Tokyo locations offer the intensive but non-invasive Ultimate Aesthetic Facial Treatment – a 100-minute session during which an Exilis Elite machine directs ultrasonic waves and heats the skin to 40 degrees Celsius to tighten and redefine the skin’s texture. And in April, the Beverly Hills property launched a new non-invasive lifting treatment, the Bio-Ultimate Lifting Facial. It uses microcurrent technology to increase elasticity using tiny electronic currents that pass through the skin to reactivate and repair at cellular level.

Spas, but not as we know it…    

While spas might have once been viewed as havens of peace and tranquillity, in many today a mood mix CD competes with the beep and whir of gadgets. Treatments can sound terrifying – from Carboxy Therapy, where minute needles administer carbon dioxide below the skin, to Coolscupting, where flesh is rolled, gathered and then almost frozen. Yet many high-tech treatments promise an instantly visible result, with effects lasting from at least a month to a couple of years. And while some might be pricey, they are a snip compared to most invasive cosmetic surgeries, and offer little-to-no downtime. “Our guests are looking for quick results without having to resort to anything as drastic as surgery or injections,” says Amber Loose, The Peninsula’s Director of Spas at Beverly Hills.

From heady highs in the 1990s, Botox, Juvéderm and the rest also appear to have had a two-way effect on spa trends, encouraging us to trust in quick, easy fixes on one hand while simultaneously scaring us away to new technological possibilities on the other. At the Karma Kandera resort in Bali, spa manager Dewi Jackson says the safety element plays a big part in which treatments her clients choose. For each new technology introduced, detailed explanations are often requested, but Jackson is seeing a real adoption to them in recent years. Many choose newer, less invasive options, she says, because they feel safer around them.

Our guests are looking for quick results without having to resort to anything as drastic as surgery or injections
~ Amber Loose