We all know how the Japanese invent the wackiest and most unusual lifestyle products and services. Regardless of how odd their inventions, there’s no denying there are some of us who are curious (and daring) enough to want to experience it for ourselves.
Nightingale droppings used in facials isn’t new per se, but in Singapore it’s still considered a novelty, and one place you can try it out is at Ikeda Spa Prestige at Clarke Quay Central!
The Geisha Organic Facial (S$240 for 90 minutes) treatment comes from Kyoto and uses all-organic products. Stepping into the reception area felt like I was transported to Japan, with its light wooden floors and mild-demeanoured staff tending to me.
After filling out a brief form detailing my skin concerns, I was led to the treatment room that was actually, surprisingly, less bedecked than the reception area. It was adorned simply, with the bed taking centre stage and the machinery on display.
The treatment uses products from Chidoriya, a Kyoto-based brand established in 1949. Its products are inspired by the founder’s daughters’ skincare regime and uses ingredients so pure that they could be good enough to eat!
Once I disrobed and cocooned myself up in their towels, the treatment began with “aroma breathing”, where the technician rubbing essential oil between her hands and allowing me to take three deep breaths. This step was meant to relax and comfort me, prepping myself to fully immerse in the 90-minute session.
Next, she cleansed my face to rid it of any dirt, grime and oil. I really enjoyed the gentle circling motion of her fingertips across the various sections of my face; it was definitely a very soothing massage and instantly my shoulders sank deeper into the bed.
This was followed by a slathering of rice bran soap that’s made from pure vegetable oils and silk powder, so it’s safe even for sensitive skin.
The rice bran powder itself contains vitamins, minerals, pantothenic acid, along with other nutrients to nourish and maintain a healthy skin. I loved the feel of the soft, frothy foam against my bare skin.
Once my face was squeaky clean, it was time for dead skin to be sloughed off and have my pores unclogged with the help of azuki red bean exfoliant. This is just one of the products in the Chidoriya line that’s safe enough to consume (not that anyone would intentionally do so), but the smell that wafted through the room was intoxicating. I could imagine myself indulging in a red bean dessert.
Fun fact: Azuki red bean powder has been used as a face wash in Japan for 1,200 years, and court beauties of ancient Japan would scrub their faces and bodies with small silk bags containing the azuki powder.
The fun part of the treatment finally came — extraction! I usually perform my own extractions at home, so I should say, I’m rather familiar with the pinching sensation that many people detest. Having someone do it for you has its perks too; they can get to hard-to-reach spots and work on more stubborn clogged pores with their professional tools.
Thankfully, the technician told me my skin wasn’t too problematic.
My face was then wrapped in a warm towel and massaged gently to improve blood flow and to maximise the skin’s efficacy in absorbing all the products used during the treatment.
Finally, the much-awaited nightingale dropping mask was prepared and applied to my skin.
If you’re wondering what the draw of this facial is, it’s been touted that this mask brightens the skin, hydrates it for long periods, tightens pores and gives one a younger visage, hence the name Geisha Organic Facial.
Besides it feeling super cold on my skin, there was no smell whatsoever. The consistency felt goopy and thick, so it could be unpleasant for some. I was left in the room to doze off for 15 minutes (in which I successfully snored), before being awoken and trying to pretend I didn’t just embarrass myself.
Once the mask was completely cleaned off my face, a diffuser was used to spritz peach moon toner onto my now-dewy and plump skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties and works as a natural preservative. It removes excess oil from the skin and impurities, in turn reducing the occurrence of blemishes and breakouts.
The purpose of using a diffuser is to ensure that the product is evenly distributed in micro-droplets, which also helps the skin absorb it faster.
The final steps included applying camellia oil for moisturisation and a day cream. The result was an immediate improvement in skin texture and less noticeable shadows on my face. It also helped that I was well-rested from that brief cat nap.
A week after the facial, I could still feel that my usual moisturiser and BB cream absorbed a lot better than before. I also could tell that my skin tone was more even and I felt like my face was plumper. Is this facial for everyone? I would say so, given that the use of organic products and how pampered I felt during and even after the facial was over!
I particularly appreciated the fact that no abrasive products were used to get a healthy glow, so you can be sure that your skin is well taken care of here. The next time you’re thinking of a fancy treat for the woman in your life, surprise her with this luxurious and much-deserved treatment.