Originally from Taiwan, facialist to the stars Su-Man has taken the beauty world by storm with her signature treatments which are a firm favourite with celebrities including Anne Hathaway, Estelle, Juliette Binoche and Joely Richardson among many others.
Su-Man began her career as an acclaimed professional dancer before switching to shiatsu body therapy where she worked on whole body treatments. Through years of practicing and experience, she narrowed this down to concentrate on just the face which involves working to treat both the face and the surrounding areas for maximum benefit. Dubbed as a non-evasive alternative to Botox, a combined technique of shiatsu face massaging (each stroke is repeated 36 times in accordance with the Chinese belief that six is lucky), cleansing and nourishing, is used to lift and reawaken the skin.
Su-Man carries out her facials in a treatment room at the back of her garden in Crouch End which she describes as the perfect place for clients to come and escape from the stress of everyday life. Her treatments are also available at London’s W Hotel every Thursday.
Su-Man shares her career highlights and top tips for keeping skin beautiful and youthful looking:
You started your career as a dancer, what prompted you to become a facialist?
I’ve always been connected to the body since I was a child. I lived in a mud hut in a farm in Taiwan and therefore expressing myself through physical energy /touch is the way I tell my stories. Dance for me is about human expression and the search for perfection. It connects me to the energy of my body and how I can convey that to other people. Being a facialist is almost an identical experience. I transfer my energy to people’s faces and I try to read what they need. If I get this right then it’s a wonderful experience and we both go away happy.
What has been your career highlight to date?
There have been many and they’ve all meant a lot to me at the time they happened. So if you don’t mind I’m gong to identify three. The first was getting a job with one of the top dance companies in the world called Rosas. The second was the first time I gave a facial without thinking (my instincts took over). It was with Juliette Binoche in 2007. The last was being the rehearsal director for a dance section of the Olympics opening ceremony. It was very humbling and made me feel immensely proud. The launch of my own skincare range later this year may top them all.
What are your top tips for keeping skin in tip-top condition?
Apart from using a high quality skincare brand I would suggest the following:
- Don’t over wash the face
- Drink a glass of warm water with honey and lemon juice before breakfast
- Rubbing your ears and massaging your scalp 36 times to improve facial circulation
- Sleep without your face covered to let the skin breathe
- Applying a natural mask of honey and apple cider vinegar for 30 minutes each night before your pre sleep beauty regime.
- A balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates and good fats. The best fats being Udo’s Choice omega oils
- Dance because it lifts your soul and it shows in your face
A conversation with a regular client. We exchanged experiences and tips for healthy living. He told me about Udo’s brand. I gave it a try and was hooked. I’ve tried many before but was never happy. Now my whole family takes it daily in either capsule form, liquid form in porridge or on bread.
What is your favourite way of taking Udo’s Oil?
In my porridge at breakfast. I make a special porridge with soya milk, seeds, banana and a tablespoon of Udo’s Oil completes the recipe.
What other foods do you recommend for keeping skin healthy?
Kale because it’s high in fibre, an excellent source of nutrients and high in antioxidants. Its very versatile to use and my kids love it. All berries, nuts and seeds are brilliant at satisfying hunger between meals. I avoid dairy and sugar as they tend to exacerbate skin conditions. Too much coffee and alcohol dehydrate your skin and can make it look dull and tired.
Vitamin D deficiency is on the increase – what are your thoughts on sun protection and sunscreen?
Getting sun on your face is a double-edged sword. Its feels good and gives you Vitamin D but too much can age your skin rapidly. Sunscreens are great at blocking out UVB and UVA but in my opinion their heavy texture can block pores and inhibit the skin’s capacity to breathe. 15 mins of sun a day without protection is a good amount. Look for sunscreens that have Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide. They offer better protection. Otherwise it’s a hat and avoiding midday sun.
How often do you recommend having a facial?
If you pass forty I recommend once a week but once a month is necessary. It also depends on how well and disciplined you are at looking after your skin. My husband used to have one once a week but as he is now a good student he’s got that down to once every three weeks.
Su-Man was kind enough to share a quick self-facial massage routine that you can do at home – keep an eye out for this post coming soon!