‘Clean Your Dirty Face’: The US-Based Beauty Franchise Making Facials Accessible

Behind the buzz of the unique business with the brand’s founder and CEO, Shama Patel.

After recognising a gap in the market for low-fuss facials and clean, uncomplicated skincare, Shama Patel came up with the idea for ‘Clean Your Dirty Face.’ The facial franchise now has 14 locations across the United States where clients can enjoy affordable 30-minute facials plus shop a selection of skincare.

SPA+CLINIC caught up with Patel to learn all about the story of Clean Your Dirty Face.

Why did you decide to launch Clean Your Dirty Face?

I had the idea for a while but there are three reasons why I decided to move forward with it when I
did:

  1. I’m perplexed when I see industries overcomplicating really simple things. In this case, skincare. I had experienced breakouts my entire life and I knew there was a simpler, more approachable way to get the information that I needed rather than paying $120 for a long facial in an intimidating spa, or from the oral medication that my dermatologist always prescribed me. I wanted more people to benefit from easy skincare that produces real results (versus overwhelming them). Ten years prior, on my first day of law school, we were taught that ineffective/obsolete lawyers use legal jargon to confuse their clients, but that effective/modern attorneys simplify concepts in such a way so as to communicate to the layperson effectively. My training in law school helped shape my attitude on the need to simplify and be an effective communicator.
  2. I was already in the health/wellness space. I had started a boutique aerial fitness company a couple of years before starting Clean Your Dirty Face, so I understood the space and its consumers. CYDF was a natural next step.
  3. CYDF was the solution to a real estate problem that I was encountering with my fitness company. Specifically, I wanted access to better locations but had limited options within our square foot range. So, I took bigger (better) real estate, divided it into two, and put both businesses under one roof. Both catered to the same client — a busy professional whose time is valuable so efficiency + effectiveness are key.

What’s been the consumer response to the Clean Your Dirty Face 30-minute facial concept so far?

Fantastic, but only because we know our consumers and what they want. CYDF is not for everyone, but if you’re a busy on-the-go professional who doesn’t want to spend much time on skincare but still wants clear/healthy skin then CYDF is for you. At CYDF, our licensed estheticians help you develop a simple skincare routine that you’ll actually follow.

Having a basic routine that you’ll follow consistently will help you achieve real results versus over-stressing your skin with nine-step skincare routines that you may start off with strong, but eventually drop off because it’s unsustainable for your busy lifestyle.

Clean Your Dirty Face is home to 30-minute facials
Image credit: Supplied

Why do you think the 30-minute facial concept has been so popular?

Results. Whenever I do anything, whether it be designing a home, starting a business, or even supporting friends through a difficult decision — I always start with the end goal first and then work backwards. I ask myself, what goal are you trying to achieve? At CYDF, my goal is to show my client results. Once you know the goal, you can ask yourself a series of follow-up questions to figure out the small tasks you must accomplish to achieve that big goal.

For example: How do you get results? You have to do something consistently. How do you get a human being to do something consistently? You break it down to its basics and deliver it in approachable baby steps. In other words, 30-minute facials twice per month at an affordable price, with a two-step at-home skincare routine that they can do daily. From there, you can build up.

How do the take-home products fit into the concept? Why did you decide to launch these? Also curious about what came first – the facial chain or the products?

The facial bar came first, but the products came shortly thereafter that same year in 2015. When we opened in 2015, the concept of clean beauty didn’t exist. As someone who was hyper-focused on health/wellness and didn’t have a background in skincare, it was important for me to read (and understand) the ingredients in my products. What the marketplace offered was either a big brand with questionable ingredients or “natural” and made in someone’s kitchen with no testing or credibility.

Clean Your Dirty Face’s effective yet uncomplicated skincare range
Image credit: Supplied

Over the years, those seven products expanded into 22 products. The products are still formulated by licensed estheticians and tested on thousands of clients in our facial bars. I believe that in order to be successful, you must have control over your own product and your own distribution. One without the other will ultimately lead to the brand’s demise, which is why in our case, both product and service companies go hand-in-hand and support one another.

Furthermore, not a single clean skincare company produced back bar sizes for facial service use. This back bar issue still remains the case today in 2022. So, I worked with my licensed estheticians to develop a 7-product skincare line that was anchored by basic food ingredients such as lemon, rose, super berries, charcoal and matcha green tea.

Anything else you’d like to add?

When training my team, I often say “if you’re listening, you’ll learn how to take care of your skin, but if you’re really listening, you’ll learn how to take care of your life.” Internally, we call the company “Clean Your Dirty Life” because the true reason for Clean Your Dirty Face’s existence is to make people look good, yes, but more importantly — to feel good, empowered & confident to make educated decisions in every part of their life (not just their face). The company is an extension of me, and it’s my way of life.

Specifically, these are the words that apply to my way of living, and CYDF alike: clean, grounded, simple, pragmatic, minimalist, thrives on routine, believes in the basics.

I practice the fundamentals in every aspect of my life, including business. To date, we’ve raised zero capital, have no debt, and own 100% of the company.

My humble advice to entrepreneurs is to create something valuable, work incredibly hard, and be patient. Great companies aren’t built overnight and they need a proper foundation in order to last for a long time. This lesson is important for entrepreneurs because it’s easy to lose sight of those fundamentals in today’s social media-driven, fast-paced world where there is lots of smoke and mirrors.

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