I have always, always struggled to maintain the clarity of my complexion since my school years. It is prone to acne breakouts and my skincare routine had always revolved around keeping the skin healthy and hopefully blemish-free by way of topical products (i.e. daily leave-on exfoliant to encourage cell renewal and decongesting pores). This routine of trying to keep my skin blemish-free also includes the use of oral medication, Accutane, though I have stopped taking it since.
Earlier this year, I had another bout of severe acne breakout and I decided to seek out aesthetic laser treatment to see if it can help with reducing the severity of my on-going zit-uation. I picked Novu Aesthetic Clinic at its Raffles City branch because I am always in the vicinity, walking pass it almost every single time I am in there so it just piqued my curiosity.
About Novu Aesthetic Clinic:
Absolute safety, accountability and results lie at the heart of every NOVU protocol. The company has acquired its own R&D and manufacturing facilities in Korea to develop better treatments, equipment and products to bring the best practices and machines to our patients in Singapore and around the world. This vertical integration keeps our prices competitive while offerng patients more options in skincare.
All NOVU doctors undergo a rigorous series of trainings and courses at our headquarters, and are regularly supervised by a board of senior medical doctors experienced in aesthetic medicine.
The NOVU Medical Board is also led by doctors who are experts in their fields. The Board governs our strategy, policy and practice – ensuring that the health and wellness of our patients are the utmost priorities of our endeavours.
Devoted to our mission to be the trusted, professional skincare and aesthetics provider, we own over 250 locations worldwide under our parent company, Novena Global Lifecare, in 20 countries like Spain, Malaysia, Myanmar, China, Korea and Taiwan and more. No aesthetics company has performed more successful laser aesthetic procedures than NOVU. We are the most credible and established global player with over 6 million protocols doen to date – and counting.
credit: Our Story
One of the things that made Novu standout to me is their “3C System” to differentiate various skin conditions/issues, like so:
Aesthetic treatments available:
As an aesthetic clinic that prides itself on innovations and effective treatment protocols, Novu offers an extensive repertoire of treatments for various skin conditions/issues.
There are 2 places where treatments are done: Novu, and Novu Genesis.
The first conduct most treatments while the latter is where all the more in-depth and ablative, correction treatments are done. Genesis is also where most of the more technologically advanced machines and protocols are.
Below is a list of treatments that can be done at Novu:
Below is a list of treatments that can only be done at Novu Genesis:
Products for topical use:
Aside from its extensive range of aesthetic treatments, Novu does manufacture and sell its own in-house brand of products to complement the aesthetic treatments you are undergoing.
If it is your first time visiting the clinic, their consulting doctor (may or may not be a certified dermatologist attending to you) will assess your skin and then recommend the aesthetic treatment protocols suitable for you. This is also when you can ask for a recommendation for the products that you can/should purchase. Beyond that, for subsequent visits, their trained staff will be there to assist and advise on what products that would be suitable and beneficial to you.
There is altogether 5 range of products that serve different functions and target groups, these are:
Alright, so now that you know what Novu Aesthetic Clinic (including Genesis) is about, the range of services they offer, and the consumer products you can purchase, let’s go into my experience with them!
Like I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I specifically chose its Raffles City branch as it was the most convenient location for me.
I always walked past the clinic and always wondered what they offer for their aesthetic treatments. So one day, I just decided to walk in and see they can do for that severe breakout I was experiencing at the time.
The registration was easy and pretty straightforward: register, answer a questionnaire and wait for your turn for the consultation with the doctor on shift that day. I was attended to by Dr. Clement Leong (whom I believe have since left Novu’s employment) who assessed my skin and recommended a laser (FL-Pixelclear) and another treatment that I have forgotten what it was exactly. I do remember paying SGD198 for this 1st treatment session; it is for the 2 aesthetic treatments and the consultation.
It was after a few weeks from this 1st session that I reached out to Novu Aesthetic Clinic for a possible try-and-review collaboration and what this part of the post will be focusing on.
Sponsored Treatments: FL-PixelClear + P+ Phyto Laser + Ion Infusion
Let us have a closer look to see what each treatment is and does:
These are the 3 aesthetic treatments I was “prescribed” for and I am pretty happy with what I see.
The FL-Pixel Clear and P+ Phyto Laser were both using laser light energy and both feel warm when it hits the skin. With a varying degree of intensity, your doctor will carefully keep track and record each session, reviewing each time you visit before determining what setting to set the lasers at.
This, I feel, is good and I do think that it is important. Dr. Clement was very thorough and meticulous. He remembered how the condition of my skin was the last time I visited and he could adjust the intensity according to what my skin needed. Whether to increase, decrease, or simply maintaining the intensity as the last session, I trusted Dr. Clement fully.
Once the 2 lasers were completed, the clinic assistant will then finish up by using a Light Treatment where intensive light pulses are emitted. This is pretty intensive and it will feel bright and warm on the skin’s surface but it is nothing unbearable. It is quite nice actually this one.
What comes next is the Ion Infusion. This Ion Infusion begins with the application of a selected treatment serum (options are Hyaluronic Acid Concentrate, Shiro Whitening with 10% L-Ascorbic Acid, or Kakadu for anti-aging benefits) onto the skin and a device with a metal plate will be lightly pressed against the skin to activate the iontophoresis process. The clinic describes the iontophoresis as “the transdermal delivery of serums using voltage gradient across the epidermis using low and harmless electrical current to infuse the skin with active ingredients effectively, without invasiveness”.
The Ion Infusion is super fun and enjoyable! Just imagine slathering a thick layer of serum onto warm, post-lasered skin, and then having a cold massager moving lightly over. It IS the best feeling ever! Your skin will feel soothed and suitably hydrated right after.
An entire treatment session will take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how busy the clinic is at the time of patronage. It is really a quick in and out and is perfect for busy office workers to get a lunch hour refresher. However, depending on what you’re getting treatment for, and the intensity the doctor has set the laser at, your skin may appear a little red. Do discuss your expectations with the doctor, he or she can recommend the best course of treatment or perform the treatment.
I have visited and completed 3 sponsored sessions of aesthetic treatment protocol with Novu and again for the 5th time that I paid for out of pocket. I find that both lasers definitely helped in addressing my zit-uation after having visited them regularly.
I won’t say my complexion today is in the clear, no. There is still room for improvement and it will definitely take a while before my complexion bounces back to where it was before the recent haze incident but I now know what my available options are besides home use topical products.
Going back to Novu Aesthetic Clinic for my 6th session? Don’t mind if I do!
Points that encourage me to return to Novu, and recommend them:
- No hard-selling at any time (when I visited them as a paying customer and when I returned for sponsored treatments)
- Fully customizable treatment protocols (in subsequent visits, you can choose what you want to do at the clinic, or get a recommendation by the doctor on duty)
- Prices are competitive (ala carte price for the P+ Phyto Laser, FL-Pixel Clear, and Ion Infusion are $78, $148, and $55 to $65 respectively)
- Novu has multiple locations islandwide (refer to locations here)
- Since early November, Novu Aesthetics was awarded the Singapore Prestige Brands Award’s Regional Brand Title and simultaneously inducted into the Hall of Fame, making it the only aesthetics brand in Singapore to attain such prestige.
In a few of my IG posts, I mislabeled my attending/consulting doctor for a dermatologist. Some readers pointed out that he wasn’t and further shared with me on how common it is for mislabeling to happen and as recommended, I thought I would share some differences between a Dermatologist and an Aesthetic Doctor in the context of Singapore.
The Dermatological Society of Singapore made a clear distinction between the two, stating:
Becoming an accredited dermatologist/ skin specialist in Singapore requires at least 6 years of post-graduate training after medical school, of which the last 3 years involve intensive and specialist training in all areas of the skin, hair, nails and sexually transmitted infections. Many dermatologists have FAMS (Dermatology) as part of their qualifications.
An aesthetic doctor, on the other hand, is usually a general practitioner, who has an interest in the aesthetic improvement of the skin but has not undertaken the specialist training nor received the specialist accreditation. Aesthetic medicine is currently not a recognized specialty in Singapore. An aesthetic doctor may have attained certificate, diploma or masters courses that often involve online or distance learning. Qualifications such as Dip Derm (Diploma) or MSc Derm (Masters) which some aesthetic doctors possess do not mean specialist accreditation in Dermatology.
Seen on DoctorxDentist forum (link)
They further elaborated on the treatments and procedures the two can perform, stating:
Dermatologists can carry out aesthetic procedures such as lasers, chemical peels, botulinum toxin injections, and fillers as part of their daily practice without the need for further certification as adequate training and experience will have been gained during their specialty training and as part and parcel of their work.
However, aesthetic doctors need to complete a Certificate of Competency Courses in order to carry out aesthetic procedures such as lasers, peels, botulinum toxin injections and fillers in their clinic. These half-day Certificates of Competency Courses for various aesthetic/ cosmetic procedures are provided by the Dermatological Society of Singapore with National Skin Centre for general practitioners who wish to perform aesthetic procedures that require certification.
Seen on DoctorxDentist forum (link)
In essence, both kinds of doctors have completed and achieved a basic medical degree from medical school.
A dermatologist then goes on for post-graduate training for many years after and upon official confirmation and graduation, they will then be accredited by the Ministry of Health and have their name logged into the directory where anyone can access to verify. He or she would have garnered years of experience during this post-graduate training under a mentor and on-the-field training in the public sector via
An aesthetic doctor is a general practitioner (GP) who may have an interest in aesthetic medicine and wishes to practice it after receiving his or her basic medical degree; have attended and attained relevant competency certifications from the Dermatological Society of Singapore–National Skin Centre (read: DSS-NSC Certificate of Competence) in order to perform said treatment.
Read this for more information pertaining to the skin doctor discourse in Singapore
It is also interesting to learn that since “aesthetic practice is not regarded as a specialty or subspecialty. The use of the title of aesthetic plastic surgeon or aesthetic dermatologist or aesthetic physician (or similar titles of the same import) is therefore not allowed (source).
I suppose this is why most people get the two labels confused. Both kinds of doctors can perform simple procedures like chemical peeling and botox injection because they both have had relevant training in performing it. The difference is the years they may or may not have spent learning to do it. One is accredited with the Ministry of Health while the other is practicing in the private sector. Both are doctors, they just go about their professional pathway a little differently.
So…million dollar question: when to visit who?
In my humble opinion, if you just want to improve the overall “look” and “feel” of your skin or body, visiting an aesthetic doctor would suffice since they do have vast, hands-on experience. But to get to the root of the problem, a dermatologist is better equipped with the diagnostic training and prescribe a treatment plan for you. The odd rash? The mole? Yeah, let the dermatologist have a look at it.
Complexity and severity plays a role in determining which doctor to go to, so does having the right experience for the chosen aesthetic procedure you want to receive, wouldn’t you agree?