There are a lot of hi-tech facials on the market involving all manner of machinery and chemicals but facialist Su-Man, who gives treatments at the Away Spa at the W Hotel, forgoes all of that and uses hands-on techniques to lift, energise and revitalise your face. Drawing on her background as a professional dancer and her training in pilates, shiatsu and traditional Chinese medicine, she uses movement to achieve pretty amazing results – the most technical bit of kit she uses is probably the steam machine at the start.
Once the steamer has opened up your pores, Su-Man begins the facial with a deep cleanse (all the products she uses are her own formulations), a thorough check over of your skin and some extraction, before a scrub exfoliation. Then she applies various serums and uses gua sha – scraping techniques using flat stone tools – all over your face and neck, even getting into your eye sockets, to encourage lymphatic drainage, boost circulation and balance the flow of chi. Su-Man has developed her own style of strokes and pressure so you defo won’t have experienced anything like this before.
After the scraping, a chocolate-based mask gets applied in a thick layer – it feels like you’re being encased in a crust, in a good way – and she moves onto a leg and foot massage. Again, very particular movements are used and she’s not shy about applying the pressure. Once the mask is peeled off, you get a final round of facial massage and a strong neck stretch.
This is most definitely a hands-on facial. Su-Man will move muscles in your face that you didn’t know you had but there are no abrasive or tingling products used so you are actually able to relax. And you’re left with plumped and glowing skin. Su-Man reckons it took ten years off us and we’re not gonna argue with that.
Away Spa at W Hotel, 10 Wardour Street, London, W1D 6QF