W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak has hosted celebrity facialist Su Man Hsu at its award winning AWAY Spa this month. As the facialist for celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Frieda Pinto and Sienna Miller, her facials are known as a natural alternative to Botox and she has spent the last ten years re-crafting the art of the luxurious facial as well as building an esteemed reputation in skincare.
At the W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak, she provided guests with her signature facial inspired by principles of Shiatsu and Pilates beginning with a personalised skin analysis to determine the best course for their skin needs. We caught up with Su Man during her residency at the AWAY spa at the W Retreat and Spa Bali Seminyak.
Su Man, we know that there are many things you can do for your skin, but if there were a top 3 tips for skin what would they be?
- Drink a glass of warm water with half lemon juice and 1 TBP of honey for better skin and detoxifying.
- I rub my ears; scrub my scalp every morning to improve my facial circulation.
- I also have facial once a week (do it myself) and apply a mask.
- I do exercise every day for a minimum of 30 mins.
- I take omega 3,6,9 capsules every day.
Sorry that’s five!
Do you have any top products that you swear by?
I use my own product range (Su-Man Skincare, available now at su-man.com) which I created myself simply because I needed skin products that supported my facial technique. During the early years I used other brands and found that I was not getting the results I was looking for. I needed high performance products that were light and could be easily absorbed through massage. As my facial is based on the process of purifying, energising and nourishing the skin, each product had to contain an element of this.
However, each one is carefully designed to have a primary benefit as well as a secondary. For instance my cleanser mainly purifies but also energises and nourishes. I started experimenting at home in my kitchen and then as I saw great results on my clients faces I refined the range with two labs in France and Taiwan. It took four years of hard work but I’m very proud of what I’ve created.
As we head into Winter in the southern hemisphere, how should we change our routine as it gets colder?
The cold air, harsh wind and lower temperatures in winter months make our circulation slow down, the production of sweat and sebum glands decrease and can cause skin dehydration, making it dryer, tighter and can even sometimes cause itchiness due to lack of moisture. Therefore you need to adjust your skincare routine to maintain it at it’s best. Here are my winter skincare tips :
1. Exfoliation is even more important in winter than summer because it helps to stimulate circulation, increase the metabolic system and helps skin renewal.
2. Try to do a facial at least once a week to ensure your skin gets efficient nourishment and hydration. Also don’t forget to apply a facial mask at home once a week.
3. Avoid water that is too hot when you cleanse your face and body as that can lead to further dryness. Avoid covering your face with duvet or blanket and avoid drinking too many drink that are high in caffeine as they cause further dehydration .
4. Make sure you apply a moisturiser that contains vitamins A, D, E (ingredients such as apricot kernel oil, sunflower oil, rose hip seed oil are good for this) particularly around the eye and lip area.
Your facials have been described as the “non-invasive alternative to Botox”. Are you able to share any secrets of your facial?
The truth is I never came up with this description. It was said by clients and the press. Another one they say is “a facelift in an hour.” The reason is that my facial is not a superficial process is that it only deals with the surface skin. I also lift tired and sagging muscles as well as open the energy channels in the face. The result is skin that has been woken up and if you like – worked out. This leaves it looking lifted and sculpted. I would argue that it’s even better than Botox because the face remains expressive and relaxed rather than frozen and fixed.
For me there are three processes to creating beautiful and healthy skin. These are purifying, energising and nourishing. After an initial skin analysis I deep cleanse the face, followed by gentle extraction, the application of a botanical placenta mask and finally toning and moisturising. Each procedure is applied through carefully designed massage techniques. My aim is to rebalance the energy and moisture in the skin as well as wake up and revitalize all the muscles in the face and surrounding areas. It’s a kind of natural facelift that leaves the muscles alive and the skin glowing.
Do you have any tips for doing an ‘at home’ facial?
Daily massage is an absolute essential for healthy looking skin. It improves blood circulation; tones and firms face muscles and keeps the skin supple. If you do this with your skincare products particularly moisturiser it ensures the products penetrate and protect the dermis. There are three basic principles that a good quality skincare range will offer to keep your skin hydrated. Toner gives you moisture, serum stores moisture and moisturiser ensures moisture cannot escape. I have developed an easy to do self-facial massage programme that doesn’t take more than three minutes a day. The video for my at home facial massage is now available on my website Su-Man.com.
DAILY SELF -FACIAL MASSAGE
Follow this sequence of massages/gestures after cleansing your face. Usually morning or night time. Make sure you touch your face/eyes/ears with clean hands. In ancient Chinese medicine all the pressure points on the face are not only related to internal organs but are also related to beauty. They make the face radiate, take away dullness and enhance your physical presence.
Before you begin your daily self – facial you need to generate heat in the face, stimulating circulation therefore preparing the pressure points for massage. This is done by rubbing the ears with the palm of both hands until heat is generated in the ears. All the exercises are easier to do sitting down.
1. Exercise one
With the elbows rested on a table. Massage the face with moisturiser starting from the chin with the heels of both palms round up to the base of the ear line 36 times.
2. Exercise two
Take the heels of both your hands from the edge of your nostrils and press along in one continuous line underneath the cheekbones up to the edge of your ears. Again, 36 times. Always, in one direction. Never press downwards. You want to lift the face muscles up – not down!!
3. Exercise three
Take the middle fingers of both hands and press the area between your eyes and your nose. (at the very top of your nose). You stroke gently but firmly downwards following the nose line to the side of your nostrils. It is like drawing two lines in a downward direction. You do this 36 times. This also clears the sinuses and helps to improve your breathing.
4. Exercise four
You make two small claws with your four fingers of each hand. Put them together on the middle of your forehead and press quite firmly (without pulling the skin) in an outward direction, smoothly, until the temples. 36 times. Again, only in one direction.
5. Exercise five
Tap around the eye sockets with our fingertips with the natural weight of the fingers. Do not tap too hard!! Six times above the eye socket and six times below. This stimulates the bones of the eye socket. Do not tap the eyelids!! They are too delicate and can damage the eyes. This exercise brightens the eyes and reduces any puffiness or swelling above or below the eyes. Once a day is enough. To finish off this exercise you continue tapping all over the face. But you only need to do this a few times.
6. Exercise six
Finally, after finishing all the above five exercises you take the fingertips of the two hands, and tap everywhere on the scalp and cranium quiet strongly (using the natural weight of your fingers) to wake up the energy, the blood circulation, and to strengthen the bones. Please note it is not good to touch your face after this exercise as you can transfer dust and dirt from your hair.
When you have finished this sequence I suggest you drink a glass of warm water to help the chi flow
For more information on Su-Man’s skincare range visit www.su-man.com
For more details on The W Resort and Spa Bali Seminyak, visit www.starwoodhotels.com or follow @wbaliseminyak on Twitter and Instagram.
Couturing would like to thank Su-Man for her time and the AWAY Spa at The W Resort and Spa Bali Seminyak.