She's the founder of Manasi (7), a Swedish beauty brand fusing high-performance skincare and pigment-rich makeup with wild-harvested and certified organic ingredients. Here, Susanne Manasi reveals her love affair with fermented skincare, inflammation-quelling infrared lamps and botanical oils for just about every beauty SOS
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What does beauty mean to you?
To me, it can mean a lot of things. Of course there is physical beauty when it comes to enhancing your features, but real beauty comes from inside. It means kindness, respect, love, trust, compassion, happiness and confidence in being yourself. Being the best person you can be and treating others the same way you would want to be treated.
Talk us though your morning beauty routine...
I am a minimalist and believe in less is more and taking care of the skin from the inside and out. I try to eat a healthy diet and add fermented foods to my daily intake.
The focus of my skincare routine is to keep the skin microbiome intact and to only use products that strengthen the skin barrier. Your skin's microbiome is its first layer of protection, and everything that touches your skin touches this bacteria first.
Over-use of cleansing products and other harsh ingredients, especially surfactants, exfoliants, retinoids and alcohol, will strip away these natural ingredients. So I never wash my face in the morning as I want to keep the natural protective layer intact.
I then apply our Microbioskin Botanical Serum Chanua, a probiotic serum with fermented ingredients, and Microbioskin Botanical Face Oil Armonia, which is made with a proprietary blend of 24 botanical plant-oils and extracts.
This boosts the skin barrier and protects it during the day but also works as a great primer for my makeup.
What is your biggest skin concern?
When I accidentally eat something I am sensitive to or I am going through a stressful period, I can get rashes. When I do, I add extra amounts of our Microbioskin Botanical Serum Chanua to my skin care routine as this helps my skin to calm down. I also use an infrared lamp daily, which gives great results.
Which products are always in your makeup bag and why have they earned a place there?
How do you look after your hair?
I only wash my hair once a week as I don't want to strip the scalp of its natural oils. I don't use regular shampoo and conditioner. I mix sodium bicarbonate with apple cider vinegar and use it as a hair rinse. I also add some of the Botanical Face Oil Armonia to the ends of my hair to boost my natural curls.
What is your favourite fragrance?
My favourite scent right now is the Osmanthus flower. It reminds me of sunny days on the beach at my favourite place in Cambodia where I've enjoyed a few holidays in the past. That is one of the reasons I added an Osmanthus flower extract to the Botanical Face oil Armonia.
What is the best beauty advice you’ve ever been given?
It would have to be to take care of my skin both from the inside and outside. If we had been living in the stone age we would probably would not need any skincare products for keeping our skin healthy, but since we are living in a populated city in 2023, and sit by the computer, wash our faces daily and are exposed to pollution, we need to take care of it from the outside as well.
That's why I'm such a big fan of fermented ingredients in my diet and for use topically on my skin.
What are the beauty practices you have learned from the women in your family?
I have learned that you can come a long way using natural oils for both the skin and hair. I also use Optima Raw Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for oil pulling [an Ayurvedic practice of swirling coconut, sunflower or sesame seed oils around your mouth and then spitting it out to pull out toxins and bacteria]. A natural oil is the greatest multi-tasker if you ask me.
What beauty advice would you give your younger self?
Try not to cover your skin so much, instead just enhance it.
Do you have a beauty or wellness secret?
I swear by using an infra red lamp from Beurer for lowering blood pressure, relaxation and anti-inflammatory purposes. Acupuncture is also great for overall wellbeing and balance.
I have a remedy that might seem strange, but it has been used in India for a long time as a natural remedy. When I was pregnant with my son I suffered from hyperpigmentation. I used my morning saliva and applied it to my skin every day and it actually helped. It's thought that saliva is anti-inflammatory.
I also drink MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) with purified water daily to help the natural detoxification process in my body as that starts to slow down the older you get.