JW in conversation with Sandy Dao

We get to chat with the creative director of Real Living magazine Sandy Dao on her wellness routine, what inspires her and so much more…


Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Sydney, NSW, Australia.

What is one of your daily rituals?

Starting the day with sunscreen and ending the day with a double face cleanse.

What are you currently working on? 

Pushing my creative boundaries on new projects and creating meaningful connections with people I’m passionate about. But most recently regaining some balance in life. It’s been a journey of self-discovery that’s only just begun. 

What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your life career wise?

Saying No. Difficult for a ‘Yes’ person such as myself.

What are some ways you handle stress and pressure?

Sometimes letting go is all you need to do. Get up, go for a run, a walk, a breather. I often find it hard to switch off so I need to physically remove myself from my environment to help.

What is your greatest strength?

My Intuition

What is your greatest weakness?


Who inspires you?

My Parents, their love is beyond measure and those who dare to live out their dreams.  

What inspires you?

Honesty in a conversation, originality in thought and beauty in the imperfect.

How is sustainability apart of your life?

I try to consume less animal products and to reduce plastic consumption as much as possible.

What is your biggest wellness indulgence?
A Lymphatic Massage! And also a Barre Body class. I leave in a much healthier and calmer state of mind and it’s great for lengthening my muscles and fixing my poor posture habits.

What are your 3 clean – non toxic beauty must haves?

There are so many wonderful non-toxic conscious beauty brands now. I’ve tried to incorporate more clean beauty products in my everyday routine so this is such a difficult one. But if I had to choose, I keep returning to: Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Gel, Kat Burki Super Nutrient Elixir, Tata Harper Hyaluronic Gel Moisturiser and Corpus Naturals Natural Deodorant in No. Green (That was four… Opps!)

What are your 3 wellness must haves?

  1. A Probiotic
  2. A daily laugh out loud moment
  3. An embrace with someone you care about

Whats your ideal way to switch off?

It depends on how connected I’ve been, but I find a clichéd love film in bed usually does the trick, and if I can surrender to letting go – meditation.

What are you currently reading, watching and or listening to? 

Reading: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. I’ve read and re read the first chapter so many times but finally getting around to delving into it.

Watching, more like re watching: Normal People, Euphoria and Mindhunter. 

Listening to: The Jacquemus Playlist on Spotify.

Where is your favourite place to travel?

I’ve fallen in love with every place I’ve been fortunate enough to travel too. But places that have left everlasting memories would be the Middle East, Mexico, New York and my parent’s birth country Vietnam; It’s a part of my heritage so it holds a special place in my heart. 

What do you eat for breakfast in the morning?

For on the go, a smoothie that consists of oat milk, pea protein, frozen berries, chia seas, collagen powder and a splash of JW Tonic One. And for when I have time, avocado on rice bread with loads of butter and sprinkled sea salt flakes.

Tessa James

Tessa James

Australian Actress & Founder of James Wellness


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