As anyone who has met Su-Man Hsu in person will tell you, she’s a true force of nature. Beauty editors (and numerous celebrities) would speak in hushed tones of her ‘non-invasive alternative to Botox’ facials – so when Su-Man Skincare launched in 2013, we don’t need to tell you that it was an overnight success. She may be a celebrity facialist with her own award-winning skincare brand and must-have beauty products – but Su-Man’s story is a true rags-to-riches tale.
The youngest of ten, born to illiterate farmers in Taiwan, it’s hard to believe that Su-Man would go on to develop on her own luxury skincare range and see it stocked at stores including Harrods, Selfridges, Net-A-Porter and Fortnum & Mason. The range combines ancient techniques derived from the Far East with modern Western technology, with products focusing on re-energising and revitalising skin, delivering anti-ageing benefits through powerful natural ingredients and effective antioxidants such as Dragon’s Blood, coffee beans, green tea and rosehip seed oil. But the best person to tell her story? The formidable Su-Man herself, of course…
What’s Su-Man Skincare all about?
Su-Man Skincare is about giving people healthy, happy and energised skin. I like people to look forward instead of backwards when it comes to achieving radiant, and youthful-looking skin.
Why did you set up Su-Man Skincare and what were you doing before?
My life has been a series of beautiful accidents that have all merged into each other. I grew up in a mud hut on a farm in Taiwan. I discovered dance when I was 19 and went on to be a professional dancer. After retiring from dancing, I discovered my second love – Shiatsu, which helped me understand the connection between physical and emotional wellbeing. From this, I created my own facial massage technique and went on to become an international facialist – I was Juliette Binoche’s personal facialist for five years.
However, I was unhappy with the products I was using for my facials – they were too heavy and just 3not effective enough. I wanted products that replicated my professional treatments and would work with simple massage applications. The formulas started at home in my kitchen – I tested them on countless clients and was thrilled by the results. Luckily, they were too – it meant they could take my facial magic home. I then sent the formulas to two labs in France and Taiwan to refine for mass production. This is how Su-Man Skincare was born.
RUNNING IN HEELS LOVES….
The Velvet Skin Moisturising Cream really does leave skin feeling velvety-soft – but that’s not the only reasons why we love this. It’s one of those products that’s a real pleasure to use too. The lightweight moisturiser has an almost whipped texture to it, and although luxuriously creamy, it absorbs quickly and won’t sit on the surface of your skin like some too-rich day creams. Of course, Velvet Skin Moisturising Cream does hydrate deeply, but it’s also packed with potent active ingredients, including peptides, rosehip oil and dragon’s blood extract, giving this multi-tasker extra anti-ageing benefits. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want their skincare to do more? Tackling fine lines and wrinkles, Velvet Skin Moisturising Cream leaves skin plump, dewy, smooth and radiant. Yes, the price tag may seem a little steep, but a tiny amount goes a long way – and this little pot of goodness will last for ages.
Any hero products or ingredients?
They actually work as a regime but the most popular products are my Velvet Skin Brightening Serum and my Purifying Cleansing Gel-Oil. There are three core ingredients in my range – Dragons Blood Extract for healing, repairing and protection, Rose Hip Seed Oil for skin regeneration and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and finally Hyaluronic Acid to keep your skin supple and plump.
The one piece of beauty advice you tell everyone?
Massage your products into your face. I would also say prevention is better than correction. Most importantly start young, start well and never stop!
Who is the Su-Man Skincare woman – or muse?
Anyone who is prepared to put a bit more effort into their skincare and turn it into a ritual instead of a routine. My women don’t look for quick fixes because they don’t make your skin happy. My muse is very simple – Audrey Hepburn. There has never been a more elegant, graceful and naturally beautiful woman.
Five favourite non-Su-Man Skincare beauty products?
La Roche Posay sunscreen, Vichy sun cream, Udo’s Choice Omega Oil on food (a great internal moisturiser), honey and lemon in warm water every morning to cleanse the system and finally mixing half a teaspoon of honey and half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and applying as a thin mask for 30 minutes each night before your pre-bedtime beauty regime. The last two are virtually free!
RUNNING IN HEELS LOVES…
We can hear the sigh – what, yet another sheet mask? But with its East-meets-West philosophy, Su-Man’s range lends itself easily to the Korean skincare treatment du jour – and this one is really, really good. The Facial Glow Rejuvenating Mask is infused with a rich, skin-nourishing serum which brightens, smoothes and deeply hydrates, getting to work in just ten minutes. The indulgent sheet mask is best used weekly, as a treat before a big event or if your skin looks or feels like it needs a little extra TLC. The mask is infused with a potent blend of natural ingredients including orchid extract (an anti-oxidant which boosts radiance and refreshes), seawater mineral concentrate (an instant revitalising cocktail of natural vitamins and minerals), brown algae (soothes and hydrates) and peptides (smooths and plumps). There’s a generous amount of serum included in the pack – so you should have enough to use a couple of times. We recommend planning a relaxing night in – and leaving this on for half an hour or so – it really does restore radiance and give skin a bright, dewy look. A new Team RIH favourite – these masks are magic.
What’s next from Su-Man Skincare?
I just recently launched my own face mask – the Facial Glow Rejuvenating Mask. I have a new range already in testing, which is inspired by one of the most potent Chinese homegrown beauty ingredients that has been around for thousands of years. I can’t tell you what it is yet though as it would ruin the surprise!
For more information, see the Su-Man Skincare website.