In a space where aesthetics has been the traditional model for skin and body treatments, we are currently witnessing a rapid health-focused renaissance. Skincare has become a ritual of self-care. People are becoming more conscious of what they are applying to their skin and why — questioning ingredient listings, brand philosophies and how (and where) the products they apply to their skin are actually made. In turn, the skin and beauty industry has seen a demand from consumers for skincare that combines looking after their skin as a key part of a holistic approach to their wellness.

These consumer considerations have been further heightened by COVID-19, with a renewed interest in how we look after our skin, and how to effectively combine wellness in the skincare they use at home, and in the spa and salon services, they invest in. But, how exactly do we make wellness the cornerstone of skincare? And, what are the elements that transform a spa treatment into a ritual of healthy wellbeing? To answer these questions, we approached Michelle Reeve – owner and formulator of Waterlily Skin, Body Spa to share with us her knowledge and experience and how her brand has addressed the crossover to better meet the ever-growing consumer expectations.

“The answer to how to make wellness the cornerstone
of skincare is very much the focus of Waterlily,” Michelle confirmed. “Waterlily is a professional clinical brand
that was launched in 2004. It was these questions about embedding wellness into skincare that we set out to answer 15 years ago.

Today, the brand includes the WATERLILY, SPACEUTICALS and AROMA THERAPY, and LIME CAVIAR Collections stocked in leading day spas in Australia and New Zealand and used by people at home in their self-care rituals right around the world.

Instead of the commonly held remedial aesthetic approach, the Waterlily philosophy is about strengthening dermal resilience of the skin through nutritionally-complex formulations, to activate skin with clean and green cosmeceuticals synergised with precious botanical actives. This ethos has given rise to a revolutionary age-proofing skin solution; an authentic wellness brand that delivers real results.

Michelle Reeve, Waterlily founder and formulator, explains, “Stress and inflammation are the precursors to ageing and disease. How we experience our rituals and

SKINCARE products directly impact our wellbeing. The opportunity
to combat stress through thoughtful touchpoints and authentic aromatherapy within our treatment delivery directly influences our body chemistry and in turn affects cortisol, inflammation, and other indicators of stress.

The Future Laboratory Report states that “growing health concerns over synthetic chemicals are turning consumers away from mass-produced, over-processed cosmetics and towards fresh, small-batch concoctions with ingredients that address their safety concerns and avoid the need for harmful preservatives.”

With this, global trends indicate that the beauty movement
is adopting these same mindful green slow food behaviours to ingredient selection and preparation. “We want to know not only what is in our products, but where these ingredients have come from, and how they were extracted. Ultimately people want to know the story behind how their skincare has been manufactured, to align with the values of these companies,” Michelle explains.

Not Just Above the Fluff and Pampering

Clinical-grade aromaceuticals provide the cornerstone of each of Waterlily’s formulations. The therapeutic value of these concentrated actives, serves as a remedial approach to skin indications, while the aromatic touchpoints activate deep relaxation.

It’s important to note that a holistic approach to treatment rituals isn’t about fluff and pampering. A holistic approach engages the parasympathetic nervous system to activate transformational change, both topically and internally. Returning to the traditional way to deliver these results through touch and massage elevates the body’s rest and digest responses to transform from the inside out.

FIRST, DO NO HARM Waterlily has a Hippocratic wellness philosophy that embraces a naturopathic approach to the skin, where prevention is hailed over cure. The formulations focus on building resilience in the skin, to promote and repair barrier function, protect the skin pH, and minimise inflammation. Inflammation is the precursor to indications like acne, rosacea, and aging disorders. Naturopathy celebrates an ‘age-proofing’ solution that negates the need for invasive correctives. By nourishing skin with an intense dose of antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids, omega-rich oils, enzymes, proteins, and minerals, the skin is luminous.

Fresh Batched Beauty

Every product is handcrafted in Brisbane in their Botanical Laboratory. Formulations are created in house by founder and formulator Michelle Reeve, then her paddock to plate ethos underlies the artisanal hand-crafting approach to manufacturing. Each product is created fresh each month. It’s a breathtaking slow skincare approach that’s vastly different to anything else on the market; a slow skincare anecdote infused with care and love. The opposite to mass production.

Clean and Green Beauty

Think about your diet. The complexity of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, protein, enzymes, antioxidants, omega rich fatty acids which fill a plate to optimise health. “Considering skin is our largest organ, it’s surprising how relaxed we are exposing it to an abundance of synthetic chemicals. The kind that we would never be comfortable ingesting from our dinner plate.” Michelle explains, “And while these ingredients may not be bad for us, it’s more that they lack nutrition and benefit. It’s the opportunity cost of action- packing our cosmeceutical formulation with nutrient-rich botanicals essential to intensify results.”

Waterlily formulations optimise with nutrient rich botanicals, ensuring the skincare and treatment rituals intensify results at every opportunity.


The most recent addition to the Waterlily range is SPACEUTICALS, a collection that integrates clean and green cosmeceuticals with omega-rich botanical bases to provide an anti-ageing corrective solution while age-proofing with naturopathic infusions of botanical nutrients.

At the heart of the SPACEUTICALS collection is a meticulous selection of advanced cosmeceutical actives in clinically trialed concentrations captured in a blend of powerful Phyto- actives. Think resveratrol to boost collagen, skin-perfecting niacinamide in concentrations as high as 15%, coenzyme Q10 to reverse wrinkles, alpha-lipoic acid to protect against ageing and oxidation, folic acid for DNA repair, stabilized Vitamin C for connective tissue, Heptapeptide-7 and Granactive Retinoid for anti-ageing, AHA’s and BHA’s to refine and resurface, along with anti-ageing vitamins, probiotics, and the list goes on!


A wellness formulation means activating all of the formulations with nutrient-rich ingredients. Niacinamide serums are a great example. Instead of just focusing on delivering a stand-alone active, for example, Vitamin B3, SPACEUTICALS dispenses niacinamide with synergistic skin-identical actives that amplify the benefits. Their niacinamide formula includes N-acetyl glucosamine and hyaluronic acid. Then instead of water and glycerine, the base is optimised with healing aloe vera and lavender hydrosol. To reinforce the synergy of the cosmeceuticals, therapeutic botanicals reinforce the benefits, think licorice to inhibit tyrosine, milk thistle to promote brightness, and lime caviar naturally rich in L-ascorbic acid along clinical-grade aromaceuticals.


Health doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We see this reflected globally in the centenarian blue zones; the community is key when considering health and longevity. Waterlily recognises the powerful impact of support and collaboration. This is one of the many reasons leading salons and destination day spas choose to partner with the brand. In turn, Waterlily Spa Partners invest in their communities, creating and holding space for their guests. Touch, care, and connection are key pillars of wellbeing, and unsurprisingly first principles of Waterlily.

“Michelle and the team at Waterlily provide unwavering business support from practical digital content in a changing beauty landscape, to consistently accessible guidance from skilled business development experts,” explains Rachel McNeil, owner of Heart Space Beauty in Brisbane.

Another beautiful example of this community approach is Waterlily’s partnership with the Wellness Tourism Summit, hosted in Noosa, Queensland in March 2021. The summit will bring together like-minded people to share, learn, engage and expand the conversation of what wellness travel can be — a conversation of which spa and beauty business holders are key stakeholders.

As custodians of wellness for 15 years now, Waterlily continues to return to its heartfelt heritage in the face of new technology, trends, and ingredients to ensure that the values of health, holding space, and connection stay at the forefront of each product and spa ritual. | +61 7 3390 3988