This Celebrity Facialist Shares Her Skincare Secrets

Photo: Courtesy of Su-Man
Do you ever marvel at how flawless, poreless and perfect celebrities' complexions are? How, when they're constantly travelling the world twice over, attending events every night and working all day, do they have such glowing, healthy skin 24/7? Some of it's smoke and mirrors, of course, but it's also down to the facialists they have on hand to look after their skin throughout the year.
Enter stage left, facialist to the stars, Su-Man, who has worked on the faces of Anne Hathaway, Freida Pinto and Juliette Binoche as well as developing her own expert product range. Su-Man’s unique beauty approach is born of a lifelong commitment to wellbeing and health, having spent her early years as a professional dancer and training extensively in Pilates, shiatsu and traditional Chinese facial massage. We asked the skincare specialist and beauty pioneer about her career path and her top tips for looking after your complexion.
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How did you transition from dance into becoming a facialist and skincare expert?
Sadly, a dancer's career is short but this gave me the opportunity to become a facialist and continue my love affair with beauty inside and out. When I retired from dancing I retrained as a shiatsu therapist and used my knowledge and intuition for knowing what the body needs to create my own facial technique. It was quite simply one beautiful accident after another!

How did you build up your client base, including numerous celebrity regulars?
It took time, almost eight years! I'm really bad at selling myself so I let word of mouth build up my reputation. I've learned that sometimes in life you have to go slow to get somewhere fast. It also allows you to understand your identity and what it means to you. The good thing about this approach is that it endures because it's based on real experiences and trust. The real game-changer was when I became Juliette Binoche's personal facialist. When I first met her I told her that her face was sagging. She didn't look too happy but came back for a treatment a year later. After that she sung my praises, saying that I had transformed her face and spirit.

Are there any simple facial exercises or massages you can recommend to try at home?
I demonstrate different massage techniques, stretches and how to use my skincare on my website www.su-man.com. I also share videos on my Instagram, including how to do facial massages on yourself and exercise tips to enhance your beauty and health.

What are your three top tips for looking after your skin this spring?
Seasonal changes might affect your skin but you also have to pay attention to the needs of your skin throughout the year. Little tweaks in your skincare ritual are all you need, rather than buying seasonal products. Ultimately, you should keep your skin protected and healthy all year round. Nonetheless, here are some top tips:

1. By keeping your kidneys purified and clean it will be reflected in your skin. Boil a handful of flat organic parsley in 2 litres of water, then simmer down to 1 litre and drink it throughout the day.

2. Mix a teaspoon of honey and apple cider vinegar together. Apply this to your skin for half an hour before your nighttime skincare ritual. It reduces pigmentation and brightens your skin. Simple and affordable!

3. The winter cold can leave your skin sullen and de-energised, so exfoliating is essential. Choose an exfoliator that contains natural exfoliating agents like glycolic acid and white lily flower. This helps you shed away dead skin accumulated throughout winter. My Exfoliating Facial Polish does this brilliantly with the added bonus of conditioning the new skin cells underneath. It literally puts a spring into your skin!

4. Start your day with an antioxidant juice by mixing the following ingredients together:
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup pomegranate pips
1 kiwi
7 walnuts

What are your must-have skincare products?
I created my own skincare line because I didn't like anything else on the market. I felt that most products were too rich, too heavy and, in most cases, underperformed. I need products that are 'effortlessly powerful' and have textures that work well with my simple massage techniques. In my years as a facialist, I have worked on over 10,000 faces. I have learned that applying good products with the correct application can prevent five years of ageing!
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Photo: Courtesy of Su-Man
How did your own skincare range come about?
It all started in my kitchen. I was using products which did not work well for me. As a farm girl who grew up connected to the beauty and power of nature, I became educated in what is best for our health and appearance. I just knew what were the best ingredients for the skin, so I started mixing my own formulas. I had a lot of interest from my clients who wanted to buy them. As I couldn't spend all of my time in the kitchen, I decided to go to two innovative chemists in France and my native Taiwan. I'm an East-meets-West girl. I found it fascinating that the scientific labs struggled to replicate the magic in my formulas, despite their expertise and equipment. They were incredibly patient and enjoyed collaborating with me. I think they learned something new from me, too! They made the products safe for retail distribution and helped to refine my intuition. I'm so proud of them, they are like my own little dance company performing wonderfully and bringing beauty into the world!

How often, realistically, should we have a facial?
Ideally once a week but once a month is good if you're disciplined about looking after your skin in-between treatments.

If we can't afford a regular facial, what's your best skincare advice?
Adopting a regular and thorough skincare routine is essential. I have created a sheet mask which is the very closest you can get to replicating having a facial with me. It can be used once a week or just before a special event. I love using it after long flights, it's a great pick-me-up!
Follow Su-Man on Instagram @sumanskincare
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