Hillary Wilcox couldn’t imagine living anywhere else than our pristine Peninsula. What this beach-loving naturopath did imagine during her time studying Advanced Diplomas in Naturopathy, Nutrition and Herbal Medicine as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science in Naturopathy was MAAEMO. The 25-year-old started the certified organic skincare brand in response to her passion for wellness, health and appreciation for Mother Nature. Hillary shares an insight into her journey and her expert skincare tips with Kate Sears.
What was the turning point that led you to becoming a naturopath?
I think my journey with naturopathy began with an unhealthy relationship with food as a teenager. I spent a lot of time fixated with diets and negative eating habits, which led me to search for answers on how to live a healthier lifestyle. I loved educating myself on how to nourish and look after my body. I became really interested in nutrition and herbal medicine and wanted to be able to educate others on how to improve their own health and well-being too. It has been an amazing journey so far and a very rewarding one.
How did the move from naturopathy to also being the director and founder of MAAEMO transpire? How was the transition from studying naturopathy to being the brains behind a business that has an Instagram following of almost 40k?
Well, I actually started MAAEMO in my final year at university, which looking back seems like a crazy idea. I was so passionate about skin health and was really interested in studying herbs that had been proven to support the skin. I remember learning about these incredible, well-researched botanicals and would then look for skincare products that contained them. But I really struggled to find any products that contained the ingredients I was looking for, so I started to develop my own products. Things took off, and then before I knew it I was juggling my final trimester and a business and a part-time job.
Your gorgeous skincare products are certified organic, vegan and Australian. Could you expand on your passion behind this concept and why you started it?
When I discovered how under-regulated our skincare industry is here in Australia, I felt really disappointed in the system. It became clear to me that the only way to know if a product was as natural and organic as it claimed to be was if it was certified organic. Obtaining our organic certification was a long and difficult process, but I think it was definitely worth it to be able to give our customers confidence and validation over how natural and organic the products in the MAAEMO range truly are.
Is there any advice you would give your 13-year-old-self?
I wish I could just tell myself to relax and enjoy being 13. Stop trying to grow up so quickly. Trust yourself and know that everything is going to work out as long as you work hard and be yourself.
Could you share with our readers your best skincare tip for spring?
Spring is a transitional season where we move from the harsh temperatures of winter and start to see more warmth and sun. Transitional weather can often irritate and leave our skin on the drier side. Make sure your skincare routine includes lots of antioxidants and hydrating ingredients; shea butter and hemp seed oil are some of my favourites. Also, make sure you are using an SPF daily if you are not already.