Olivia’s skincare journey

She is known as Australia’s favourite export and for her healthy glow. After setting up the luxurious Gaia Retreat in Byron Bay Olivia launched the award-winning Australian native filled Retreatment Botanics range. She talks to Anita Quade about her health and beauty journey.

You founded Gaia Retreat & Spa in 2005 ­ tell us why you chose the location for the retreat and what was your inspiration to head into the wellness arena?
“I’ve always had a natural interest in wellness. My mother instilled in me the importance of healthy eating, taking care of my skin and self-care from a very young age. It’s a message I like to pass on as much as I can. I find it incredibly healing to surround myself with nature ­ to take walks through the countryside, breathe in the fresh air and to simply enjoy the beauty of Mother Earth.”

What were your thoughts when you and your friend Gregg Cave came across the stunning property?
“When we saw the property that is now Gaia Retreat & Spa, we knew we had found a piece of paradise. The lush expanse of the Byron Bay Hinterland is such a unique part of Australia, and we felt something very spiritual emanating from this piece of land. Walking barefoot in the grass we felt instantly connected to Mother Earth. Gaia (spirit of Mother Earth) washes away stress, calms your soul and gives you a deep sense of peace and wellbeing.”

How did you turn your spa and beauty dream into a reality?
“We wanted to share this special place with friends and loved ones, and so, with the help of two of our friends who are also directors of Gaia­
Ruth Kalnin and Warwick Evans, and an extremely talented team of therapists, wellness experts and staff, Gaia was born!”

What has been your proudest wellness milestone?
“I have two really! Opening both Gaia and the Wellness Centre at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness Research Centre. Both places help people heal and replenish body mind and spirit ­ reflecting my way of thinking that your thoughts create your reality so eating well and
thinking positively creates a happier life ­ for you and others!”

Tell us what inspired you to launch your incredible 10 product Retreatment Botanics range? How did you ensure it was different from other organic products?
“It was a natural progression to launch our own skincare range to reflect the values we hold at Gaia. The Gaia Spa facials and treatments are so deeply luxurious and nourishing, that we wanted our guests to be able to take that magical experience with them! Our skincare is designed to bring back the feelings of Gaia at home, their own spa retreat!”

How was the Retreatment Botanics range created?
“Retreatment Botanics has been created without compromise. Firstly, we knew that the products had to be toxic-free and made with the highest quality natural and organic ingredients. It was also important they were Vegan and Cruelty-Free, as well as Palm-Oil Free. Secondly, we worked closely with leading green scientists and we are so proud to have achieved formulas that are truly effective and also meet our high standards. We don’t need to harm our bodies or the planet to have beautiful skin!”

Skincare formulations are constantly evolving how do you ensure you stay ahead?
“We have also formulated the range using a new, ground breaking technology Australian Biomimicry. To survive in the harshest places on earth, Australian native plants intelligently store super high concentrations of antioxidants and vitamins. This new technology is able to capture these powerful phyto-compounds as they exist in nature, in their most active and stable form. I have witnessed its very real results on my own skin, and it is amazing!”

Any can’t live without products in your beauty stash?
“It’s hard to pick one can¹t-live-without product. They are all incredible! I do especially love the serums ­ Kakadu Brightening Serum and
Restore Serum. They are really nurturing and hydrating. I also adore the Firming Eye Cream and Ultra-Rich Moisturiser. I love the whole range!”

You work closely with the Gaia team ­ do you have any plans for expansion and perhaps stocking in other salons and spas?
“Yes, absolutely. We would love to share this beautiful range with everyone around the world including other salons and spas.”

What does beauty mean to you?
“I find beauty in everything. It is all around us. It can be a single flower growing through a cracked pavement, the laughter of a child, the
wagging of a dog’s tail, kindness from a stranger or a song that moves us. When we stop and acknowledge these small, sometimes fleeting moments, it lifts our heart and brings us into the moment ­ which is all we have! I believe this is true beauty.”

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