Samantha Wills on why sunscreen is a non-negotiable in her daily skincare routine
The Australian entrepreneur and in-store UV-iQ ambassador reveals her go-to products that keep her skin fresh and hydrated from bustling New York City to beachy Bondi.
What’s it like living between Australia and New York?
It’s the best of both worlds!
Manhattan is home to about nine million people, but during Monday to Friday when all the other boroughs come to Manhattan Island, it swells to a population of 18 million people. The island is only 13.4 miles (21.6 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide. Growing up on deserted beaches in Australia, it’s hard to wrap my head around.
Do you prefer the vibrant, city vibe of New York or the beachy, outdoor lifestyle of Bondi?
I will always be a beach girl at heart. I love the outdoors, sandy feet and salty hair, and the beautiful Australian beaches are what I miss most when I’m in New York.
New York is definitely electric and a great place creatively for me, but escaping from a New York winter to the middle of the Australian summer is pretty amazing!
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How do the different environments affect your skin? How does your skincare differ between New York and Bondi?
New York winters definitely dry your skin out quickly, between the elements outside and the indoor heating. I’m also conscious of how the pollution affects my skin.
The Australian sun does not mess around, and a few minutes outdoors during summer can see you with more than a sun kiss. Add to that the 24-hour flight each way, and you really do put your skin through its paces.
A facial sunscreen with serious hydrating ingredients like UV-iQ Anti-Pollution SPF50+ Facial Sunscreen is perfect for helping to protect and re-invigorate my skin when I arrive back in Australia. It also has ingredients that protect my skin from pollution so it’s great for New York.
Tell us about your skincare routine. How important is sunscreen?
Sunscreen is crucial. I wish there were more everyday, accessible ways to see how UV rays affect our skin. I know Sunsmart in Australia has an app for that.
No matter the climate, I like to wear sunscreen whenever the UV rating is three or above. I try not to wear makeup if I’m not working, so a facial sunscreen with a light tint is great.
My skincare routine is focused on clear, healthy skin, regular exfoliation and lots of hydration – water, herbal teas and moisturiser.
What do you look for in a facial sunscreen?
For everyday under makeup, I like it to feel light and non-greasy. If I don’t need a lot of makeup for that day, I will use a tinted sunscreen as a base and apply a bronzer over it. I like UV-iQ Hydrating SPF50+ Facial Sunscreen Milk Sheer Tint. It feels silky and light and leaves my skin looking fresh and hydrated.
If I’m at the beach, or outside in the Australian sun, I like a heavier, full-body sunscreen. I’m always conscious to also wear a hat and sunglasses to combat Australia’s super-strength rays.
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Is it sometimes difficult to fit a proper skincare routine into your busy schedule. What are your absolute skincare and beauty essentials when you’re short on time?
I definitely don’t do as much as I should, but my non-negotiables are:
- Never sleep with makeup on. Always cleanse, even if with baby wipes before bed. Changing your pillowcase every few days also helps.
- Find even a travel-size exfoliator you like so you can take it with you easily – a good scrub can work wonders.
- Cut the sugar! This breaks my heart to type. Especially as I’m typing it with a Cadbury block next to my computer but the results of clean and conscious eating show very quickly on your skin. **Puts chocolate away**
- Sunscreen, always. Non-negotiable. It will be what our future selves thank us for.
What would you change about your skincare if you could turn back time?
I would have listened to my mum about sunscreen when I was in high school in the late 90s, instead of baking myself with my friends on the beach with ‘Sun In’ spray lightening our hair.
What do you do to stay balanced and keep your wellbeing in-check when things get challenging?
I have struggled with this a lot over the years, especially in the early days. I had no perspective that anything else existed outside the brand and what I was trying to achieve. Now I am very fortunate to have an incredible team around me who truly are masters of their field.
To keep my wellbeing in-check, I try to get to Soul Cycle (in New York) every day. If I’m in Australia, I sit on the beach (even in winter) and ground myself, using the waves as a soundtrack. Sometimes, especially when designing, I have to take a few days away from my desk, especially when I’m mid-collection. This allows me to return with a fresh perspective.
And, this one is not always easy to do, but in my most overwhelming moments, I stop and find gratitude. I list things in my life I’m grateful for. It puts a lot into perspective.
From now until 28 May 2018, you can go into the draw to win $5,000 worth of Samantha Wills Jewellery. Head to Chemist Warehouse for all the details.
The full range of UV-iQ Smart Sun Protection products are available at Chemist Warehouse.