A daily routine is important for many of us as we navigate increasingly busy and full lives. Balancing the potential for overwhelm, a clear structure can be useful to ensure we include important elements in our day, including those essential, small, ‘me time’ moments of self-care.
That’s the inspiration behind New Zealand brand Daily Wellness, a concise range of natural skincare formulated with powerhouse botanical active ingredients and supported by an ingestible spirulina supplement.
We spoke with Auckland-based founder, Sophia Mantell, about her goal of making caring for yourself, and your skin, as simple as possible.
What sparked your interest in establishing Daily Wellness?
I was looking for ways to really care for my body inside and out. I stopped drinking six years ago and it was then that I sort of came back to my roots to see how I could nourish my body and skin.
I’m a mother of three and I like things that are simple yet effective that aren’t focused on the ‘beauty is pain’ methodology but, rather, on ‘beauty starts within’ and the cumulative effect of care and nourishment.
I wanted to make giving back to my body and skin simple, and something that was part of daily rituals so it felt effortless and the results got better with time – consistency is everything, and we only get that when it becomes simple to repeat.
The Daily Wellness line-up; Founder Sophia Mantell. Photography (L) Olivia Atkinson (R) Yiselle Lowery for for Marlow
Did you always have an interest in beauty and wellness?
I grew up with quite an alternative lifestyle; at one point we lived in a commune where we did daily yoga and meditation and were vegan. It was in the early ’90s when it definitely wasn’t very cool to bring sprouted grain bread with lettuce in your lunchbox! Although uncool at the time, it was a beautiful core base of wellness to have instilled in me at a young age.
I have always been interested in beauty and making things. Anything beauty- or food-related was a go-to, or sometimes both – shout out to the versatile avocado for some good facemasks! – and that is now being put to good use in my adult life.
What were you hoping to offer that was different from what’s already out there?
When I looked at what was on offer, there were a lot of chemical options at lower price points – peels or acids that all strip the skin. I wanted to promote kindness and cumulative effect through rituals: that feeding your skin was an option, that taking care and giving your skin health from the inside and out was going to give you incredible results.
The real difference for me is the efficacy, we formulate with ingredients that [are backed by] clinical data and we use levels that are clinically proven to make change in the skin.
What key ingredients were ‘non-negotiables’ for you?
The initial core range started with Essential Radiance spirulina capsules, this was because of its incredibly dense nutrient-to-weight count. NASA actually uses it in space to keep astronauts at peak nutrient levels as it takes very little space to grow, which means less impact on the environment as well.
Then came the Nourish Greens Mask. I wanted something truly soothing that would protect the skin’s barrier and lock in moisture. Shea, olive, jojoba and hyaluronic acid were all must-haves – and spirulina, of course.
Regenerating Power Serum uses a high level of bakuchiol, a natural retinol alternative. When I first took the formulation to my manufacturer they laughed me out of the room, saying no-one formulated that high and it would cost me way too much, but I kept my resolve and went with 2 per cent bakuchiol because that is where you see real results. The serum is amazing, it reduces fine lines, melasma and pigmentation, and brightens your skin. It’s probably my favourite of our range!
Daily Wellness Regenerating Power Serum.
It also contains native kawakawa…?
Yes! I love kawakawa. It is such a great anti-inflammatory and really calms the skin. We have some really incredible native ingredients in New Zealand, such as our seaweed and bush flora. There are some coming through in our new products in 2023!
What are your best tips on how to use your skincare?
Nourish Greens Mask: I use micellar water to wash make-up off, pop my mask on while I warm my shower water then I get in, wash it off and continue my skincare routine. It seems a little backwards but it means three times a week is easy to achieve. I hate the idea that doing a mask feels hard or time-consuming – a fast mask is still a good mask if it gives you some hydration and a little bit of extra care.
Regenerating Power Serum: I recommend starting with night use and increasing as your skin gets used to it. You can use the serum both morning and evening but don’t forget to use sunscreen during the day. This is a potent serum that will make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
Supercalm Crème Cleanser: The most indulgent cleanser, with arnica for healing, hyaluronic acid, calendula and jojoba. It’s so healing and an amazing make-up remover. Double cleanse, use a flannel to remove.
What habits contribute to your own personal daily wellness?
I use the Five Minute Journal each morning and evening. It’s so great because its short and sharp but directs your attention for the day on what you want to achieve while giving you a focus of gratitude as well – I recommend it!