Businessman and lifestyle icon Ben Chan isn’t done yet with beauty salons. But after opening more than 50 branches of Bench Fix nationwide, the most logical move for him, he said, is to take it to the “next level” by launching Bench Skin Expert.
“The only step left is for us to go into skin and body care. Bench Skin Expert completes the lifestyle services we offer,” said Chan, president and CEO of Suyen Corp., at the launch of Skin Expert’s first and biggest center at Glorietta 4 (beside Ascott Residences) in Makati.
Operating for months now, it timed its launch with the recent opening of a smaller Skin Expert branch at the SM Mall of Asia. Celebrity endorsers Bea Alonzo and Enchong Dee graced the Glorietta launch.
Like other mall-based face and body centers, Skin Expert offers a range of services including Botox, skin fillers, skin-tightening and body-sculpting procedures using the latest available technology.
Its laser (Pixel Perfect and INfralight), radio frequency (Maxi Sculpt) and ultrasound (Perfect Contour) machines were imported from the United States and Italy.
Skin Expert is said to be the only aesthetic center in the country to offer Perfect Contour. It also has reputable skin-care brands such as NeoStrata and Exuviance.
“Perfect Contour, done once a week for nearly an hour, uses an improved cavitation technology that generates bubbles in your fat cells,” said Dr. Melissa Zosa. “The fat cells then implode and are eventually passed out through urine. It’s the safest and most convenient form of ultrasound designed to zap fat in the tummy and other problem areas.”
Apart from trained facialists and therapists, each branch has two doctors to advise clients and do more invasive procedures. Skin Expert doesn’t do liposuction and other invasive procedures or surgery.
Since it caters primarily to mall demographics, facial services are tailored to every need and budget. It also offers body scrubs and firming wraps, as well as “brightening” hand and back treatments. There’s even a “back acne” cleaning procedure to treat and prevent breakouts on the back area.
A basic Express Facial costs P250, while the INtraceutical Facial Therapy, which makes use of deep-penetrating botanical extracts, costs P3,000. Apart from resulting in clean, exfoliated skin, the facial therapy promises to lighten and give the skin in the neck and face a temporary mini lift.
Skin Expert also offers glycolic and chemical peels (from P600 to P10,000 for the whole body) on various parts of the torso, including underarms, feet, chest and even buttocks. It also offers a range of hair removal services using INfralight on such areas as the face, upper lip, chest, underarms, “bikini,” arms, legs and, for men, their beards.
Women can also opt for a “Brazilian,” but the service, which involves removal of unwanted body hair in the groin area, isn’t available to men.
Of course, what’s a beauty center without the whitening treatments many Filipino women can’t seem to do without? Apart from White Radiance Facial, Skin Expert offers Skin White and Skin Lift combination for P3,000 (a savings of P1,000 compared to when you do the treatments separately).
There are also a number of facial services for problem skin such as Teen and Advance Acne Facials as well as acne “surgery” and Acne Solution Facial.
And unlike other treatment centers, Skin Expert offers clients a semblance of luxury and exclusivity often lacking in a mall setting. Its Glorietta 4 center has 15 “beds,” either set in private rooms or separated by floor-to-ceiling curtains.
With a total floor area of 250 sq m, Skin Expert’s Glorietta 4 is big by mall standards. Small groups of friends can “share” the experience by booking adjacent beds since curtains separating them can be parted. “We appreciate it if they call us in advance,” said Zosa, “but, since this is a mall, walk-in clients can inquire any time.”
Architect Miguel Pastor played with white and colors such as sky blue, combined with wood panels, to produce contemporary and cozy interiors without the cold, antiseptic feel.
Oriental touches are evident on glass sliding doors with bamboo etchings.
“I added wood because if you limit it to white and blue, it might feel a bit cold,” said Pastor. “Wood gives just the right warmth. We chose blue because it’s a color signifying service.”
A third branch is in the works at SM Megamall. Asked what sets his new baby apart from its competitors, the shy and soft-spoken Chan—a rarity in such a high-profile industry—declined to comment.
“They’re all my friends,” he said with a big smile. “Let’s just drop that question.”
PHOTOS BY ARNOLD ALMACEN