Susan Harmsworth of ESPA Talks Lifestage and Staying Beautiful On Long Flights

Sue Harmsworth Headshot 2012

ESPA CEO and Founder Susan Harmsworth doesn’t look like a knight, but she has been given title of MBE, which stands for Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. The honor was bestowed by the queen for Harmsworth’s outstanding contributions to the spa and beauty industries. The luxurious, biodynamic line is made in England, and used at their ESPA spas in over 55 countries.

Anyone who has visited ESPA locations at Acqualina, Ritz Carlton Four Seasons around the world knows the honor is justified. Harmsworth’s attention to detail and natural, cutting edge products make the experience memorable. So what’s the most popular treatment in the world? Harmsworth answers, “The most popular treatment is always the massage. It is based in Ayurvedic principals. Our clinical aromatherapy oils are unique and our therapists are trained to look at how people walks, body shape, and make adjustments accordingly. They will sensory test you – and the customer chooses the what appeals to them. The body knows what it wants.”

The second most popular are facials, aided by their incredible skincare line of serums and moisturizers. To round out their offerings, Harmsworth has added a new line called Lifestage. It is specifically geared towards the skin care needs of people 45 and older.

Harmsworth oversees the production of all the products at their factory in Somerset, England. “Natural chemists are very hard to find. There are very few. But we have an amazing chemist that helped us with the encapsulation technique. When we reformulated the range we took out the parabens, DEA and all the bad things, but stability with naturals is really hard. The technology coming out now allows us to be more and more efficacious.” The line uses Natural Encapsulation Technology together with a unique blend of 10 pure and concentrated actives for outstanding performance for hyper-pigmentation, elasticity and more.

Harmsworth spends the majority of her time globetrotting between ESPA’s spas world wide and has a rather effective ritual to keep her skin from drying out on  long-haul flights. “I take all my make-up off, exfoliate very thoroughly, put on oils quite heavily then put ESPA’s Skin Savior over the top. It brings your skin back to life and acts as a total protector.” The rest of the ritual involves Bose noise cancelling headphones, ear plugs, a Tempurpedic eye shade that blocks out all light and doesn’t leave lines, and a rich cashmere pashmina. “On a 14 hour flight to Shanghi I will sleep seven hours!”