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Modern. Effective. Logical. skinSense is common sense for the skin, cutting through the jargon
 to deliver a high concentration of ingredients proven to strengthen and improve skin condition.

Harnessing the ground-breaking powers of Lamellar technology to lock highly active ingredients into the skin so that they work harder and for longer – achieving results that the customer can see and feel.

How did it all begin?

For over two decades I have been working with the latest technological advancements in skincare. With Ultrasun, lamellar technology allowed us to achieve long-lasting UVA and UVB protection. This was when I questioned: why can’t we do exactly the same with hydration, targeted skin strengtheners and the highly active ingredients we all want in our skin day and night.

What sets your business apart?

skinSense by Abi Cleeve is the brand which harnesses the ground-breaking powers of Lamellar technology. Lamellar structure technology is composed of fine, alternating layers that form an even bond with the skin. Lamellar 
gel structures emulsify cosmetic oils and form an invisible film around the active ingredient. This ‘suit of armour’ not only protects the ingredients, but it supports the penetration and action of the active ingredients into the skin. skinSense’s advanced lamellar technology delivers antioxidants that the skin needs to fight external aggressors on a daily, even hourly, basis by taking them deeper into the skin. These structures enable the high-quality and healthy ingredients to remain within the skin’s layers throughout the day and night.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

Frustrated that the beauty industry often relies on outdated technology, Abi decided to use her knowledge of long-lasting sunscreens to create skincare formulations which utilised an advanced, highly effective technology. The result is a range of products with a lamellar structure formulation, which locks highly active ingredients into the skin so that they work harder and for longer – achieving results that the customer can see and feel.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

Our skin is amazing – at over 20 sq. feet, it’s tasked with our total protection, allowing us protection from the elements, maintaining our body temperature and allowing the sensation of touch and communicating temperature and even danger to the brain. We are continually striving to not only find the best ingredients for our skin but to use highly effective technology to ensure the best delivery system for a formula that is potent, stable and delivers results.

Abi Cleeve

Founder of

skinSense by Abi Cleeve

What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

I’m passionate that people should feel good about themselves. We are all different, we all come from different backgrounds and have different aspirations but we should really be the best that we can be and be really happy and proud about that.

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

I’d sit in my Mum’s shop listening to her tell amazing stories to her customers and how they hung on her every word. This has really shaped the way that I interact with people, it wasn’t just what she was saying it was how she spoke. I was fascinated by what she did, she had a Doll’s House shop for collectors, it really was an amazing environment.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

Wow, I think the most exciting thing for me is I get to work in an amazing team. They really do take my breath away so often, always thinking about what I need before I’ve even thought of it. They join me in planning ahead, ensuring that the business really continues to thrive. I truly believe that everybody is a part of the business and is contributing to its success and I feel very very proud.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

I’ve learnt so many key lessons along the way but I think to really ensure that you bring your A game to everything you do. Listen to people. Everyone has different experiences they know different things, they view things in a different way and they can often shed light on a problem that I can’t find the answer to.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Although I don’t necessarily take it yet, it’s probably to rest more. I really need to fit that in, but I do think it’s right that you should get the balance right in life. I can’t say I’ve honestly achieved that yet but I hope to one day.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

I would have two pieces of advice. One, Be yourself, genuinely be yourself. Secondly, I would say is live every day in business as if it’s your first. On your first day of a new job or your first day starting a business you are so full of energy, determination and commitment. Sometimes it’s easy to tire and lose our way. Literally take each day as if it’s that first day, enjoy the ride and just keep on pushing, and you will get where you want to get to.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

How we are funded has always remained the same from the principal that my mum instilled in me from a young age. We have always used the simple saving up route. This may sound crazy in this day and age, but we have really worked to look at what our priorities are and then to make sure that we have the finance available.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

There have been many challenges and to be honest many years ago even being a woman in business was quite a challenge. I would say that there were times when I was not taken seriously but I have to also say there are times where I was very well supported. One challenge has been finding great people and when you do, hold onto them. Learning to adjust the business to fit in around their lives so you can support them as they go through their family journeys. It’s crucial to ensure that everyone is comfortable and able to work at their best and to continue their own development within the team.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

I think women-led businesses have a very special place. There are some important intuitive strengths that we have that really are assets to a business. Kindness, awareness of other peoples’ environments and stresses, finding what motivates everybody to be part of that team and leading by example. Ensuring that you are the hardest working person in the team, that you are the longest working person in the team and to coin a phrase you never leave a man down, so to all my team, I really feel very supported.

60

Seconds

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Abi Cleeve

My inspiration is...

My inspiration is my mum. She taught me everything I know about business and a lot more. She has always worked very, very hard all her life to give her family the best possible environment.

My greatest fear is...

Heights. I’m terrible, I have to be driven over the Dartford Bridge.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

I don’t quite know how I did it, but I flew to San Francisco on my own, aged 16 to go out and live in California for three months

Guilty pleasure?

Coronation Street. I love it! Can’t get enough of it and watch it as much as I can.

Mantra you live by?

Live every day as if it’s your first. Whether that’s in work, in love life, in your home life remember that enthusiasm and just enjoy the ride.

Female role model?

I really admire Olivia Colman. I’ve loved how she has had this huge rise to fame quite rightly with many accolades but still remains her own person and giggles away! 

Women-led brand you love?

There have been so many over the years, one of my recent favourites is Livia’s. Olivia is an amazing young woman who was diagnosed with many food intolerances in 2014 and instead of sitting back she took a business degree, used her parents’ kitchen and created a range of free from edible treats that are now stocked in over 5000 stores up and down the country. The story reminded me of my own story as to how Ultrasun UK started. 

Top productivity tool?

Its not a tool or a device it is the team. Get that right and you will have all the tools you need,

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