Overworked, overtired, and suffering from low energy, mood swings, and various aches and pains, Helina Fan sought relief. The Western medicine remedies prescribed to the young mom and business entrepreneur included heavily-dosed pharmaceuticals that merely served to mask her symptoms. She felt there had to be a better way to treat what she described as feeling incredibly off-balance. As her condition worsened, she sought alternative therapies, and eventually discovered TCM – Traditional Chinese Medicine.
“Through acupuncture, herbal remedies, massage, and other TCM treatments, I started to reclaim my vital balance and feel like myself again,” said Fan, founder of a San Francisco real estate investment firm. “In discovering these alternative and wholistic treatments that worked so well for me, I wanted to share their efficacy, and thus, Redmint was born.”
Redmint is the manifestation of Fan’s mission to demystify powerful TCM practices and make them accessible to all. Redmint marries holistic wellness treatment, a bespoke herbal bar, and an innovative, herbal-botanical skincare and herbal supplement line, all within a peaceful urban sanctuary located in San Francisco’s Marina District.
“I created Redmint with the belief that the key to health is the balanced functioning of body, mind, and spirit,” said Fan, who holds a bachelor’s degree in finance, a master’s degree in accounting and taxation, and is studying to become a certified doctor of TCM. “Our bodies are more powerful than we know, and when we harness the power of holistic treatments, we can naturally increase energy and vitality.”
Fan was raised in southern China in a military compound whose residents included top political officials and diplomats. Her grandfather was one of the top generals of the Chinese Communist Party and fought as a major general in winning the war between China and Japan, as well as the internal war between two political parties of China. Her grandmother was the vice mayor and treasurer of the city in which Fan was born. Fan’s father encouraged her to become a diplomat and to serve and inspire others by sharing knowledge and passion. She feels that with Redmint, she has heeded his call to service.
“I want to share with other busy and stressed-out men and women what I have found to have worked,” said Fan. “My own experience allows me to connect with others, and share what has made a difference in my life. Through TCM and the treatments provided at Redmint, I have more energy than I did ten years ago.”
Redmint’s new 1,000 square foot sanctuary features aspects inspired by the five elements believed in Chinese tradition to be the world’s lifeblood: metal (jin), wood (mu), water (shui), fire (huo), and earth (tu). Designed by Redmint’s director of design Meghan Carozza, the six private treatment spaces and an herbal bar open to a bucolic, pergola-covered courtyard. Inside, unique touches include charred wood ceilings, bark and ghost wood walls, and Himalayan salt walls. Communal space features soothing neutral color palettes, dramatic hand-hewn beams draped in white linen, and a smattering of healing crystals. “The atmosphere is quiet and soothing,” said Carozza. “Guests are enveloped in nature.”
Redmint’s debut comes at the perfect time. “The stress and anxiety we have all been experiencing greatly affects our skin, our body’s internal system, and hormone balances,” said Fan. “People are seeking to take charge of their internal health with holistic self-care rituals. Redmint’s treatments and remedies can help restore inner balance and outer glow.”
By balancing the mind-body connection, Remint treatments help with pain and inflammation, insomnia, stress, digestion, headaches, hormone imbalances and more. Services include Face Glow and Body Acupuncture that activate the body’s innate life force known as Qi. Gua Sha Facials help increase skin circulation and detoxification. Lymphatic Drainage, a gentle, rhythmic treatment aids with detox and rehabilitation, LED Lightstim Therapy addresses pain and tension relief. Sound + Deep Tissue Therapy integrates tuning forks and helps eliminate soreness and pain, and a Microcurrent Facial uses gentle micro-current technology to tighten facial muscles for a noticeable lift. In addition, Redmint’s Herbal Bar, offering a variety of herbs to support multiple aspects of health and featuring a proprietary menu of herbal lattes, shots, and teas, is a modern twist on the traditional coffee bar.
Fan personally developed Redmint’s innovative skincare line when she could not find natural and organic products that met her high standards. She spent years researching and developing the products, which are made at a local lab. “Herbal formulas that are great for the skin do exist, but not many are readily available and most are not in a marketable format,” said Fan, who creates her line in small batches, which allow for tweaking based on customer feedback. “The Redmint line is curated and blended from the purest herbal extracts and botanicals, each of unmatched quality, offering multi-correctional performance, and universal efficacy.”
The uniquely active formulations feature ancient powerhouse ingredients filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and fatty acids, that leave skin hydrated, nourished, and revived. The collection includes: the 5 Elements ageless skincare line inspired by the five elements theories of TCM for optimal skin youth that incorporate a high concentration of herbs such as ginseng, angelica sincensis, astragalus root, licorice root, goji berry and white peony. The Pearl Illuminance collection features pearl powder and goji berry extract blended with rice water for brightening and illuminating. And the anti-inflammatory CBD collection (Huo Ma Ren) prevents aging, clears skin impurities, and brightens the complexion. The herbal extract line centers on skin glow, detox, sleep, Qi/energy, and gut microbiome.
Redmint’s dramatic packaging, also designed by Carozza, is infused with meaning and purpose. The 5 Elements and Pearl Illuminance skincare packaging design is inspired by the famous lifestyle painting ‘Qing Ming Festivals’ known as the ‘Mona Lisa of China,’ which celebrates the beauty of daily life. The CBD packaging design uses oracle scripts which are the first handwriting of mankind. The herbal extract line design is based on a theory that each herb has its respective role while the combination of herbs maximize efficacy. All products are within Miron glass bottles and jars, an innovative scientific glass that extends the product shelf life for an additional two to four years.
Just as the sanctuary environment and skincare packaging are rooted in meaning, so too is the Redmint name. Red connotes fire, speed, passion, and drive. Mint is refreshing and cooling: a soothing pause. The merging of these two distinct yet complementary forces evokes the spirit of Yin and Yang, the ancient Chinese principle that all things exist as inseparable elements that form a balanced, interconnected, harmonious, and dynamic whole.
“Redmint is an oasis in the middle of Cow Hollow,” said client Linda Lam, a San Francisco investment portfolio manager. “I love the healthy, tasty drinks at the Chinese medicine bar, in addition to the high-quality services and super friendly staff. I am also in love with the skin care products. After consistently using the ageless oil, eye cream, and cream for the past three months, I can see a significant improvement in my skin; it feels smoother, has a natural glow, and looks more hydrated and even toned.”
Adds client Jean Riney-Niewiadomski, faculty member at Santa Clara University in the counseling psychology graduate school, “The sanctuary is a tranquil environment that makes you feel like you have been transported to another place, one that is peaceful and relaxing. The spa is a blend of ultra-modern and old-world touches. You walk in to a refreshing aroma and quiet atmosphere. The products are phenomenal and allow you to take the experience home.”
“Redmint was born out of a quest for solutions,” said Fan. “It was created to share and educate people about the transformative effects of TCM, rooted in the notion that the key to health is a balanced approach to body, mind, and spirit.”
Redmint is located at 1958 Union Street, San Francisco.
All photos courtesy of Helina Fan and Redmint