Welcome to this week’s ‘My Beauty and Wellbeing’ story. This week we caught up with Wilma McDaniel, director of award-winning skincare technology company, Cutitronics. With over 20 years of experience in the skincare and beauty industry, Wilma is helping to drive innovation in the sector with Cutitronics’ range of patented technologies that are revolutionising the way we take care of our skin at home.
First of all, Wilma, how has your relationship with wellbeing developed since you began your career in beauty and skincare?
My fascination with wellbeing began in my early teens. I was thirteen when I witnessed the transformative effect that a three-day health retreat had on my mum, and it set me on a path to the global beauty and personal care industry. Initially studying International Spa Therapy and Management, this led onto a career that has spanned decades, taking me all over the world and working with many esteemed beauty brands.
Throughout my career, the biggest factor that shaped my relationship with wellbeing has been the people that I have met along the way. I have been incredibly lucky to be surrounded by some inspirational mentors who have taught me just how important it is to prioritise health and wellbeing.
There was one particular experience which really influenced my feelings towards wellbeing. Around ten years ago, I was at a training session run by Robin Sharma, following the release of his book, The Greatness Guide. In the session, he shared his philosophy: “Get to the top of your game, but make sure you keep these two things with you – the people that you love, and your health”. It immediately resonated with me because, even at that early stage in my career, I had seen people burn out and I had seen people lose important relationships because their work took over. It’s great to set high goals in your working life, but it is crucial that you do not sacrifice your health and your relationships in doing so.
You’ve moved from Beauty to Tech – what inspired this change and what advice would you give anyone considering doing something similar?
My life took a slightly unexpected but utterly serendipitous turn when I met the co-founders of Cutitronics. I had been working in the health and beauty industry for more than 20 years, mainly in sales, education, and marketing roles and taking responsibility for leading teams, growing sales, and building client experiences and relationships. Technology was becoming a bigger and bigger trend in the industry but not one that I was at the forefront of. Fast-track five years and I’m helping develop a suite of skincare technologies and leading a truly exceptional team. In the realm of skincare, technology offers a level of personalisation that would not be achievable otherwise, allowing us to gain in-depth insight into our changing skincare needs and achieve better wellness regimes at home.
What are your fav skincare ingredients and why?
I’ve always had a passion for the clean side of the beauty business. Great ingredients such as hyaluronic acid – which is like a quenching drink of water for our skin – paired with beautiful sensory formulations makes for a truly holistic skincare experience. Aromatherapy has always been a huge interest for me as it really extends beyond the physical benefits of skincare ingredients and helps to support our psychological health and wellbeing. I especially love essential oils like geranium, frankincense, lavender and camomile.
What are your must-have skincare products? What is the last product that you purchased that you’re loving?
Right now, I love the Ishga exfoliating facemask. It’s just excellent. It looks and feels like a scrub, but you leave it on your skin for around 15 minutes like a mask. Then you use a cleansing lotion to massage it into the skin and once it’s all off you are positively glowing. It’s full of natural ingredients, and everything that you use after it works better because the deep cleanse removes all of the dead skin.
A lot of my favourites come from brands I have previously worked with. I still adore the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair – it’s a fabulous serum and has been part of my routine for a long time. For many years I have also been a fan of Darphin products, which goes back to my spa heritage and deep-rooted interest in clean beauty and self-care. There was one product I bought recently that goes way back – Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. It has been a saviour during lockdown now that I’m spending more time on Zoom calls – if you haven’t used it before, it’s like a burst of energy under your make-up. It’s perfect for special occasions too!
As you know, Wow Beauty is committed to encouraging self-care, what are some of your non-negotiable self-care rituals?
Definitely my self-care Saturday. This has been a staple ritual in my life for a long time. I love taking a couple of hours to myself on a Saturday morning to relax, detox, and give my skin some extra TLC. This is when I would usually use my Ishga facemask – followed by a long soak in the bath.
In terms of my daily routine, I always make sure to cleanse every morning and night. Sometimes I’ll opt for a gel wash, other times I’ll go for a deep balm to melt away make-up – I very much prescribe what I feel my skin needs at that time. Saying that, I will always use a serum and an eye product – they are non-negotiable for me.
What difference has lockdown life made to how you practise self-care? What items have become your lockdown must-haves?
Obviously, our routines have changed considerably now that our homes have also become our workspaces. I recently indulged in some products to guide my new routine and restorative bath oils were top of the list.
Now that there are no physical barriers between home and work, it’s really important to have rituals to separate the two. For me, I decompress during my evening soak in the bath. I can take a deep breath, let go of the day and let those beautiful essential oils work their magic.
What does your typical morning skincare routine look like? And your night-time routine? Has anything changed since lockdown?
In the morning, I am completely taken with the Ishga body wash – it’s like the smell of the sea. I love natural fragrances because it’s like a touch of nature’s wellness without stepping foot outdoors.
Since lockdown began, I have noticed that my skin has been more dehydrated. I’ve been making a conscious effort to drink more water and use products which give a boost of hydration. At the moment I’m using the Ishga Marine Cream and also loving the Hydra Beauty Crème from Chanel. I also couldn’t talk about hydration without mentioning the Sisley Black Cream Rose Mask. It’s great for giving the skin a real boost now that we’re not getting as much exposure to the sun or spending as much time out in the fresh air.
What changes would you like to see in the beauty industry over the next year or so?
Over the next year or so, I would like to see the beauty industry move towards a more omni-channel approach. The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the uptake of digital channels in the beauty industry and I think that harnessing these technologies is the single best way that beauty brands can continue to thrive in 2021 and beyond. One of the biggest challenges faced by the industry is the fact that many consumers do not experience their desired skincare results at home. Technology can help overcome this. By using a mix of digital channels and devices, beauty brands can find new ways to connect with their consumer at home, create a more personalised experience and, most importantly, educate customers on their individual skincare needs.
Thank you, Wilma
You can find her on social media here @Cutitronics