Be your own facialist
“As a facialist and a 50-year-old woman, I take my skincare very seriously. But what a lot of women don’t realise is that younger-looking skin can be the result of a very simple regime. What’s important is that you make this regime a daily ritual, not something you occasionally dip into.
“I originally come from East Asia, where women use a layering system for their skincare. What this means is religiously using a cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream and moisturiser every morning and evening, and exfoliating twice a week only. I truly believe that this type of regime is what allows us to prevent our skin from deteriorating as well as helping to repair any past damage.
“The trouble is, you still want your skin to breathe. I tried so many different products out there but found many of them too heavy and suffocating when layered on top of each other. So in 2012 I created my own line, Su-Man Skincare: six products that together create a perfectly integrated system. Each product basically builds on the good work of the one before it.”
Skincare in my 50s
“Like my facials, my regime works on a three-step process of purifying, energising and nourishing the skin. I cleanse with my Purifying Cleansing Gel-Oil (£40), spritz on toner and apply my Velvet Skin Brightening Serum (£98), followed by the Moisturising Cream (£95) and Awakening Eye Uplift (£55).
“Each product has rosehip oil to nourish and Dragon’s Blood extract, a bright red resin extracted from a tree native to the Amazon, at its core to protect the skin. The formulas are also a clever balance of oil and water to ensure they glide across the skin when you apply them but are easily absorbed.
“Then every evening after cleansing I mix one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and apply it as a mask to even my skin tone and reduce dark spots. I usually leave it for half an hour before I rinse it off.”
My three-minute DIY massage
“To get the best out of my regime I always massage my products into my skin. Apart from encouraging blood and oxygen to the surface of the skin, to help you glow, massage is the best way to get to know your own skin and understand its individual nuances.
“In the morning I start by massaging my scalp and rubbing my ears with the palms of my hands. It generates warmth in my face so that my skincare absorbs better. I then move my fingertips in a circular motion all over my face until the skin feels warm.
“Leaning my elbows on a table, I put both thumbs in the sockets at the inner corners of my eyes, apply pressure and drop my head down for six seconds to release tension and lift the skin. I then move my thumbs to the middle of my brows and again drop my head and stay in this position for a couple of seconds.
“Next I form a V-shape with my index and middle fingers and wedge my chin between them, sweeping outwards towards my earlobes. Using the heel of my palms, I press firmly underneath my cheekbones, starting at the corners of my nose.
“Then I sweep from the inner corners of my eyes to my nostrils with my middle fingers. Lastly, I zig-zag up and down along my forehead – you always want to work against expression lines to help smooth them.”
My bathtime ritual
“If I could make women ditch one thing it would be foaming bubble bath. It’s too harsh, especially for ageing skin. The best way to keep your body moist in the bath is to put a few drops of sunflower seed oil into the water. Lightly pat it into your skin so you lock in the moisturising benefits for longer but don’t stay in the water for too long as this can also dry out your skin.
“Once a week I massage a body scrub into dry skin before getting into the bath to really rev up my circulation. And I always use a body cream not a lotion as it’s richer and more nourishing.”
My make-up must-haves
“I believe that the older you get the less make-up you should use on your face. You want to look groomed but too much colour can look clown-like. The only make-up I wear by day is eyeliner, mascara and brow pencil. I darken my brows to frame my face and make me look more awake. Then I apply Clinique Cream Shaper for Eyes (£15) and Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Mascara (£25) to enhance my eyes, which are not particularly large.
“If I’m going out in the evening I’ll put on some red lipstick to add a little bit of glamour to my look. I love Giorgio Armani Rouge D’Armani Sheer Lipstick (£27). It’s just so sexy!”
My favourite fragrances
“Fragrance is such a subjective thing that when I’m working I tend to choose more subtle scents. I’m always aware that a strong perfume could make clients uncomfortable and unable to relax. I’m a big fan of Prada’s new fragrance, Candy Florale (£39.50), a gorgeous blend of peony, musk and caramel. It’s just enough for you to sense the fragrance without it being too overpowering.”
My haircare secrets
The next big thing in beauty is…
“…a collaboration between East and West, taking nature, tradition and science and putting it into skincare.After years of looking for the next quick fix, I really believe the western world will look increasingly to eastern philosophies for its inspiration and regimes.
“In Asia, anti-ageing starts at 18 – not 35, as it tends to in the West. We begin early and this is what makes the Asian consumer very savvy. When I’m at home in Taiwan I can spend the whole evening talking to my six sisters about skincare and I’m always impressed about how much they know. Now it’s great to see Western women beginning to develop this relationship with their skin.”