The Aussie Skin Sage: Saya McDermott

This Australian beauty guru—and founder of Saya Skincare—discovered the secret to a calm complexion Down Under.
The Aussie Skin Sage: Saya McDermott
Necessity is undoubtedly the mother of invention—especially when it comes to unpredictable skin. “It was never my intention to create a brand,” says Saya McDermott, founder of an eponymous range of natural products for face, body, and hair. On a crusade to find a cure for breakouts and eczema, two common problems that consistently plagued her complexion, McDermott began to dig deeper into the ingredients she was routinely slathering across her skin. With zero relief in sight after spending hundreds of dollars on countless concoctions, the beauty novice decided to branch out and whip up a few formulations of her own. Hailing from Noosa, a coastal area in Queensland, Australia, she turned to natural botanicals derived directly from Down Under for answers.

“Seeing what these incredible Australian ingredients could do was the start of my passion for skincare,” says McDermott. After road-testing her homemade creations on friends and family and receiving rave reviews, she decided to parlay her personal project into a full-fledged beauty business. “I had no experience in marketing or sales, but I reached out to people around me to help,” explains the former graphic designer and pilot. “My first big step was selling my line at local markets, which was a great way to get customers to try my products. It’s also where I met one of my first stockists. It all started from there!”

With A-Beauty making waves around the world, McDermott’s effective, plant-based collection is garnering attention well beyond Australia’s borders. “I think it’s because of our high-quality standards and incredibly unique ingredients,” says the brand founder of the recent rise in popularity around the continent’s cosmetic innovations. “We have the ability to extract some amazing ingredients from our native flora that have evolved to withstand harsh environments and utilize them in our formulations. The results speak for themselves!”

I was a bit of a sun worshiper when I was young. Unfortunately, I’m paying for it now and trying to reverse all of the damage I’ve caused. Wear SPF!
Here, McDermott shares her tried-and-true solutions for flawless skin, the must-have beauty product she shares with her baby, and more.

Her best business advice: “Don’t give up and learn from your mistakes. Be humble, listen, and be open to advice and help from others around you.”

Her daily complexion cures: “My routine is quick and simple. I’m using the Saya Foaming Cleanser at the moment and double cleansing at night. I try to exfoliate with the AHA Face Exfoliant twice a week. I keep this one on for a few minutes to allow the fruit acids to work their magic! Then, I spritz my face with Rose Water Toning Mist. It’s a super important step because it preps the skin for serums and moisturizers. I add a few drops of Glow Serum and allow it to absorb for a minute. During the day, I use my Balance Moisture with a couple of drops of Renew Serum mixed into it. In the evening, I use my Night Moisture followed by a few drops of Renew Serum.”

Her beauty mantra: “Beauty starts from the inside. Drink plenty of water, eat well, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.”

Her top drugstore discovery: Physicians Formula Bronze Booster is perfect for summer and blends so easily.”

 Her ultimate indulgence: Dermapen skin needling. It’s a fantastic treatment that does wonders for my skin.”

Her ride-or-die beauty product: Glow Serum. It’s new to my range and I absolutely love it! It’s formulated with stabilized vitamin C and high and low molecule hyaluronic acid, meaning it can hydrate multiple layers of skin. It also features a complex of four indigenous Australian species: Kakadu plum, caviar lime, rainforest lime, and desert lime—each of which contains natural vitamin C and AHAs. It’s seriously good.”

Her most trusted beauty pro: “Ania Milczarczyk. She is the master of highlighting, contouring, and making skin look dewy and flawless. Ania is also an advocate for more natural looks and believes less is more—if you don’t need foundation, don’t wear it.”

Her beauty icons: “Samantha Harris and Lara Worthington. Samantha paved the way for Australian indigenous models and I just love Laura’s style and her effortless look.”

Her biggest beauty mistake: “I was a bit of a sun worshiper when I was young. Unfortunately, I’m paying for it now and trying to reverse all of the damage I’ve caused. Wear SPF! I use a locally made, zinc-based sunscreen for myself and my baby called Surfmud.”

Her favorite escape: “Fiji is our go-to family destination. I always take my Rose Water Toning Mist and face oils to replenish my skin after long days in the ocean.”

Written by Amber Kallor

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