May 11th, 2020
This week we ask ten questions of Sharon Hilditch MBE, founder of Crystal Clear Skincare. She opened her first salon aged just seventeen and has had a meteoric career ever since; the brand is now a leading provider of innovative beauty technology and award-winning skin care products. As well as being available in over 3,000 UK salons, Crystal Clear also exports internationally and has a big celebrity following, including Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna.
What’s your background and what brought you into skincare?
I have always loved everything beauty and skincare! I bought my first salon when I was 17 years old, and then opened my second salon a few years later. From being part of the industry from a young age, I noticed a gap in the market for an alternative to surgical treatments. I wanted everyone to be able to feel good about their skin and see real results that are achievable without going under the knife! We’re now celebrating 25 years of Crystal Clear and there’s still so much we have to offer with new salon-machines and at-home products!
What’s the first product you remember using as a teenager and has that affected your later product choices?
I remember using a very scratchy facial scrub in my teens! I don’t actually remember the name, but I do recall my bright red face after every use. Back then I thought the harder you scrub, the better your skin will be. Little did I know the damage that harsh products can have on the skin – luckily this is something I learned before the damage was done! All of my products add benefits to the skin and work further than just the surface to give the skin what it needs. Some of the Crystal Clear treatments include some downtime but none of them harm the skin or cause damage of course – just recognisable results.
What were the first steps to setting up your range and what advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
I think my best advice would be not to take ‘no’ to heart, as you’re going to get a lot of them! As a young woman trying to get a loan to set up my business, I often got laughed at and looked down on. This was 25 years ago so luckily, nowadays, women are much more respected and are welcomed as budding entrepreneurs. I think if you have endless determination and an aim-high ethos then you can make it!
How long did it take you to develop your range and bring it to market?
Crystal Clear has been 25 years in the making and is continuously growing. We have to keep up to date with the ever-changing beauty world (and beauty demands) so really, it’s constantly developing and will do for a very, very long time!
What’s your own favourite product? And one you wish you had created?
I couldn’t pick a favourite! I love them all! Of course, bringing Microdermabrasion to the UK is a huge achievement of mine and so my Microdermabrasion treatment will always make me feel proud. There’s nothing I wish I had created, if I think something is worth creating then I create it!
Who do you see as being your competitor brands?
To be honest, I don’t like to think of other brands as ‘competitors’. I can proudly say there is no brand out there like us! We’ve extensively grown our treatment & skincare menu and I am there every step of the way from the initial idea to the end product. I know the tremendous efforts behind our ranges is what makes us loved by thousands of Salons, Spas & Skincare lovers worldwide.
What’s the next big beauty trend? Where do you get your forecasts from?
I think at-home facial devices are sure to make a huge rise in the beauty world at the moment given the current global crisis! Celebrities such as Lisa Snowdon, Jessica Wright and Gail Porter have all shared our amazing at home devices whilst they’re self-isolating so it’s great that we are able to help everyone pamper in the comfort of their own home.
What are your plans for the future of the brand?
What is your greatest achievement so far with regards to your products? Why do you think they are so popular?
I think people recognise good quality products with incredible results! Whenever people try Crystal Clear, they become loyal fans. Whether that’s from the likes of Madonna and Kate Moss to a teenager buying their first cleanser from the shops… customers always come back. There have been so many great achievements over the past 25 years with Crystal Clear and I guess, even making it to 25 years in the beauty business is an incredible achievement. For every year we continue to provide the nation (and the US) with treatments and products I feel grateful!
You have achieved so much personally, and won many awards over the last 25 years; what goals do you still have?
I’m a natural entrepreneur so goal setting has always been in my nature. I’m always thinking up new skincare systems, developing innovative products and spotting gaps in the market. We have lots of exciting plans here at Crystal Clear but I can’t give too much away just now! In terms of my personal goals, there are plenty of fabulous things to tick off on my bucket list, foods I want to try, countries I’m yet to visit and milestones to celebrate with my family. For me it’s all about celebrating the little things too! I’ve had some major successes, but I never forget to be thankful for the magic things that can happen in everyday life.