I tried Korean Doublo HIFU with Chanel Injection and Aqua Peel in Singapore

Did you know that HIFU and NCTF FillMed Injection can be done together for total skin tightening and rejuvenation effect? Zhenia from Eunogo shares her experience and review. 

Earlier this month, Cheongdam Korean Skin Management in Singapore launched its Skin Awakening Program, which combines three popular Korean treatments in one visit: Aqua Peel face cleansing, NCTF FillMed Microneedling (otherwise known as Chanel Injection in Korea), and Doublo HIFU for skin lifting and tightening. When I first heard about the Skin Awakening Program at Cheongdam, I couldn't believe my luck. I had seen Joy’s video of her NCTF FillMed procedure a few months back and had been wanting to try it for some time. The combination with Doublo HIFU though, was what really encouraged me to take the plunge. I had seen the video of Eunogo’s concierge manager, Jun, getting the Doublo lifting laser in Seoul, and I knew she really liked her results. This was my chance to finally try these Korean beauty staple procedures for myself.

 

THE MEDISPA

Cheongdam Korean Skin Management is the first MediSpa to bring Korean skin management concept and technology to Singapore. English, Malay and Chinese-speaking staff are available at the spa. They have three outlet locations: Tanjong Pagar, Novena, and their newest addition, Paya Lebar. The Tanjong Pagar outlet is their first branch, which is located in a trendy Korean enclave packed with colorful shophouses. It is surrounded by Instagrammable cafes and Korean restaurants. The Novena outlet is located inside a mall and is more spacious than the one in Tanjong Pagar. The most recently-opened Paya Lebar location is also located in a mall and has a more cosy feel, but offers private treatment rooms. All three outlets maintain a consistent quality and offer the same programs and machines. Since I'm a regular at the Novena location for my monthly 3 Mediskin Machine Facials, I decided to give the new Paya Lebar outlet a try.

The new Paya Lebar oulet at SingPost Centre

The interior of the outlet

When I arrive I am pleasantly surprised to see that Fiona, my regular aesthetician from the Novena branch, is here to do my treatment. Turns out she splits her time between the two outlets and it’s so nice to see a friendly face!

 

TREATMENT STEPS

Part 1: Double Cleanse and Exfoliate

Double cleansing the face is very important, as it prepares your skin to absorb all the nutrients and vitamins it will be getting from the next few steps. Additionally, Cheongdam uses the OxygenCeuticals Botanicals Enzyme Peel (containing papaya enzymes) to gently exfoliate the face from dead skin cells and make sure it is ready for the Aqua Peel and Microneedling.

 

Part 2: Aqua Peel

If you didn’t already know, Korean facials differ from Western-style facials in that they rely on different machines for maximum effect instead of manual exfoliation/extraction. Aqua Peel is a medical grade machine that uses multiple specially-formulated solutions to gently deep cleanse the skin and infuse anti-oxidants and vitamins for visibly cleaner, fresher, smoother and brighter looking skin.

This process takes about 15 minutes to clean, exfoliate and infuse your face with a hydrajet. It feels a bit ticklish on the skin but you can feel the infusion working! I get the Aqua Peel as part of my monthly facials at Cheongdam Skin Management so I was definitely very familiar with this step.

 

Part 3: Doublo-M HIFU

The next part of the Skin Awakening Program is Doublo-M HIFU. HIFU stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, and it goes deep into below your epidermis (outer skin layer) to reach the superficial and also the deeper skin layers, as well as the Superficial Muscular Aponeurotic System (SMAS) with a triple layer lifting effect. This is what creates the tightening and lifting. 

Something to keep in mind, is that Cheongdam’s Doublo HIFU machine is the Doublo-M edition, which is less painful but does require multiple sessions (3 over a period of about 3 months) to get the best results. In a medical office you will likely see a Doublo-S or Doublo-Gold machine, which can only be operated by a doctor, and is more painful and requires a one-time session. Cheongdam has paired the Doublo-M HIFU with the Microneedling for the Skin Awakening Program because microneedling is also recommended to be done in intervals of every 6 weeks for 3 times to see maximum results (although you will be able to see some results after the very first session.) You can also get the Doublo-M lifting treatment alone at Cheongdam.

I have heard that HIFU can be unpleasant, so I ask Fiona if I am getting numbing cream. “No,” she answers, “because the HIFU will be going below the epidermis, and the numbing cream doesn't go that deep into the skin.” Looks like I’ll have to grin and bear it.

Fiona marks up my face with a white pencil to give her a clear track of where to apply the Doublo handle. My face will receive between 400-600 of what are called “shots” during our session. I am not looking forward to finding out what a “shot” feels like.

The handle that reaches 4.5mm under the skin

Fiona applies a cold gel onto my face and we begin. The first shot doesn't feel like anything at all and I Iet her know that. She says that she can adjust it to more intensity so it will be more effective. I agree, because, “No pain, no gain.” After she adjusts it, I feel it! The best way I can describe it is each shot just feels like heat and a “zap!” to the skin. This will be the toughest part of the procedure as it is targeting the lower layer of the SMAS, 4.5mm in, in order to heat it up and create tightening. However, my worst fears are unfounded, as it is completely tolerable. Not comfortable, but definitely ok.

The various handles and how deep they reach

After Fiona has gone over my face once, she switches cartridges on the HIFU so it reaches on a slightly different level of the SMAS, 3mm down, which encourages collagen production and goes over my face one more time.

The handle that reaches 3.0mm under the skin

The handle that reaches 1.5mm under the skin

The final part of the HIFU is a 1.5mm handle which is for the delicate areas closer to the eyes. I don’t feel it on my upper cheeks but definitely feel it in the thinner, bony parts of my forehead. Overall not too bad! After almost an hour we are finished and ready for the next step.

 

Part 4: Numbing Cream

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Here’s a photo of me looking adorable while I wait for 20 minutes for my numbing cream to take effect. Whereas I didn't require any numbing cream for HIFU, I will definitely need it for the microneedling because it will create tiny micro-injuries all over my face so that new skin cells and collagen form in their place and make me look younger and refreshed.

 

Part 5: Microneedling with NCTF FillMed

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First of all, what is NCTF FillMed? It is a French-made skin booster that is extremely popular in Korea. A Seoul clinic popularized the filler as “Chanel Injection,” likely because it is made by a French pharmaceutical company, and the name stuck. NCTF FillMed combines approximately 53 different kinds of minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients such as amino acids. It is an all-in-one skin rejuvenation treatment that is aimed at improving skin elasticity, diminishing wrinkles, getting that glazed skin texture with radiance, brighter and more even skin tone, increasing skin hydration, and tightening of pores. The most common way to administer it through injection, but Cheongdam recommends microneedling, as their clients can get the benefits of both skin booster and microneedling procedure. Cheongdam also offers the NCTF FillMed Microneedling program on its own.

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As I mentioned above, microneedling creates nano-sized minimal incisions (or micro-injuries) in our skin and allows the ampoule to absorb better and deeper into the dermal layer. This treatment is good for people with expanded pores (like me) and scars or anyone who wants to rejuvenate and brighten skin. It boosts collagen production and makes the skin firmer.

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With the numbing cream doing its thing, Fiona got to work and I didn’t feel a thing. I actually fell asleep and woke up towards the end of the procedure. By then the numbing cream had worn off and I felt the needling process but it was totally bearable. The whole microneedling procedure with the NCTF FillMed ampoule took about 30 minutes.

 

Part 6: LED Light Therapy

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Once my NCTF FillMed Microneedling was finished I took a look at my face and had a pang of regret: I looked like a very ripe tomato. The first thought was, “What have I done?” Fiona, told me not to panic, and that the redness will go down. She brought in an LED machine to place over my face. She applied a Redness Soothing Aloe Vera Gel and protective goggles and turned it on for 20 minutes on the red setting, which helps skin heal and generate new collagen.

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Once this step was finished, Fiona cleaned my face and applied Couperose Fluid to calm the redness down. I was all done!

 

AFTERCARE

An hour after the procedure I took the photo below at home:

I had much less redness and now it really did just look like a very mild sunburn. 

By the next day, the redness pretty much wore off, except in those spots where Fiona applied more microneedling in order to address heavier hyperpigmentation.

For aftercare I knew I should use special products and avoid heavy moisturizers but still keep hydrating my face, especially right after the procedure. Because I had never done microneedling before, I went by Joy’s list of appropriate products to use. You can watch her video here:

I used the Cryogenic Activator from OxygenCeuticals, which is both a mist and toner, which I sprayed liberally throughout the first couple of days to keep my face from feeling hot. After the Cryogenic Activator I used a light serum called the Moisture Aqua Serum which contains high levels of hyaluronic acid (HA). The HA absorbs faster and deeper because the skin is still healing from microneedling. I also did sheet masking every day for 7 days, using the YourFit Relieve N Power Kit. This particular ampoule and mask set is meant for post-procedure treatment, and really helped to calm down the microneedling irritation and give the skin the right nutrients and hydration after the procedure.

 

THE RESULT

It took about 3 days for all the redness to subside and by day 7 I already saw results. I went out with a group of friends for International Women's Day brunch not even a full week after the Skin Awakening program and they all commented on how glowing my skin looked. My pores had definitely gotten much smaller! I can see why someone would do this every 6 weeks for a few times to see maximum results - even one session gave me a beautiful, smooth pore effect!

As for the HIFU, Fiona told me that I would see the lifting about a month post procedure. I was also told that I may feel some swelling or tenderness along the jaw line for 2-3 days. I had no swelling at all, but I did experience tenderness for about 6 days! I didn’t feel it when speaking or laughing but I would feel it when I applied my moisturizer for my day and night time routine. Then, just like that, it was gone.

My skin 3 weeks after the Skin Awakening Program

It has been nearly 3 weeks and although I don’t see dramatic results I can tell that my lower jaw/jowls don’t look as obvious to me when I open that dreaded “selfie” cam on my phone. That’s a win in my book, as that was what prompted me to want to give the Doublo HIFU a try!

Check out the full video of my experience here:

If you'd like to try the Skin Awakening Program, there is a Launching Promotion happening right now. You'll get to try the program at S$849 for your 1st Trial (U.P S$1,508). The promotions ends on 31 May 2021 and is exclusive to Eunogo e-commerce customers only, so make sure you book online here.

Cheongdam also offers the Doublo M HIFU Laser Lifting and NCTF FillMed Microneedling Facial programs separately.