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Q&A: Calvin Ng on why the SK-II Boutique Spa took 13 years to come to Malaysia

The SK-II brand needs no introduction. Their most coveted product, the Facial Treatment Essence has become a staple for many — with fans claiming to have used it as far back as its launch 40 years ago. Thus when we first heard that a new boutique spa which uses only its products is opening at The Gardens Mall, we can’t help but feel excited.

It’s the first SK-II Boutique Spa in Malaysia, and also Senze Salus’ (the owning company) first overseas expansion after 13 successful years in Singapore. Guests will finally be able to enjoy premium facial treatments in a luxurious spa ambience and exceptional service with personalised touches. There’s a total of five facial treatments on their menu now, all of which fully utilise SK-II’s products and technology.

SK-II Boutique Spa
Mr. Calvin Ng, founder of the world’s first SK-II Boutique Spa

But why did it take so long for them to expand to Malaysia? We met up with Calvin Ng, founder of the world’s first SK-II Boutique Spa and fired off a few questions.

It’s been 13 years since the first SK-II Boutique Spa opened, why the long wait?
We have always wanted to expand outside Singapore — but when we first started out 13 years ago, we were very new to the business. In fact, it took us a while to convince P&G to allow us to have the rights to SK-II. Singapore was a pilot test and that alone took us about three years just to fine tune all the business processes, planning and development. Even the facial techniques are from us (Senze Salus). It’s not just about designing treatment services. We want to make sure every other business angles are also on point: operating services, protocol, standards — and to make sure we are able to maintain it at the consistent level. And before you know it 10 years has passed.

SK-II Boutique Spa

We actually just had the approval to expand it to Malaysia two years ago. It took us two years to conceptualise, prepare, and plan. We wish it could’ve been faster but we want to make sure we have the right location. It took us a bit of time but we managed to land ourselves in the right location.

How is the SK-II Boutique Spa different from other luxury spa outlets?Being the only company in the world with the rights and exclusive license to perform SK-II facial treatments definitely gave us the upper hand. SK-II’s products are already powerful enough to deliver results for all skin concerns, but we further enhanced it by incorporating advanced technology. Doing that also gave us the opportunity to cover an even wider range of skin concerns. It’s the combination of the greatness of SK-II products and technology that differentiates us from other brands.

What about in terms of service?
Our business concept is also what made us special in the industry: we emphasise on customer care. As we all know, skincare is not a one-off affair, it’s a long term commitment. We create that initial service with our customers and then build a relationship from there, for the long haul.

SK-II Boutique Spa

It must be a hard to decide which facial treatments to launch in Malaysia first. How’s the process like?
We selected five treatment services to begin here in Malaysia, while in Singapore we have about a dozen of them. The key is to provide at least a wide enough range from essential care to advance care. Then, we will bring more intensive care treatments to the market. We want the consumer to first have that  understanding of what we do and to first trust the service that we have. It’s takes time to build up that trust.

Could you give some examples?
The Senzational Facial and Senze Oxygenated Facial treatment addresses half of the skin concerns. While the ‘Disovery Facial’ is best suited for people who have not experienced an SK-II facial treatment or products. More unique treatments will eventually be made available — like the radio frequency treatment — which is slightly more intensive.

How and where will you see SK-II Boutique Spa grow in 10 years time?
10 years from now, we’ll continue to scale it and even in Malaysia alone, there are so many opportunities for us to grow — possibly more than 10 outlets. There’s definitely a few more popping up within Klang Valley area. Then we will also look more at the other states and even East Malaysia. We also have the rights to expand to Indonesia and Thailand. Hopefully we’ll be able to see one these countries very soon.

SK-II Boutique Spa

SK-II Boutique Spa is located at G-231, Ground Floor, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, +603-2284 9688

Q&A: Calvin Ng on why the SK-II Boutique Spa took 13 years to come to Malaysia

Jolin Lee


Unlike most modern-day millennials, Jolin does not need caffeine or alcohol to power through the day (and night). Her eye for beauty is as sharp as her eyeliner flick, and she can spot your unblended eye makeup from a mile away.

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