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OX Sylva Meets: Sharon Maughan

Sharon Maughan

You may know Sharon Maughan mainly as a stage and screen actor, as the mother of actor Alice Eve, perhaps as a semi-finalist on Celebrity Masterchef, and almost certainly as one half of the famous Gold Blend couple of the 1980s. However, she’s now taking on another role, that of beauty entrepreneur as she launches her own brand into the UK. FaceWise is an intelligent, solution-led skincare range, the inspiration for which came about after Maughan was diagnosed in 2009 with salicylic overload, so severe it necessitated surgery.

You are renowned for your acting career, why the move into skincare?

Simply put, it was a necessity. I needed a salicylate free skincare collection to incorporate into my post-surgery health routine and couldn’t find anything in retail branding itself as such. There was a huge gap in the market, so I spotted it and began working on creating something for people who were going through similar struggles with sensitive skin, and also for people who just want a more natural approach to their skincare.

What was most important to you in launching FaceWise?

Bringing a safer skincare to the world of health and beauty. And, hopefully educating people to the potential hazards that we are exposing ourselves to on a daily basis when it comes to cosmetics.

We hear a lot about parabens and phthalates but not salicylates. What is their function?

Salycilates are a preservative like parabens. They are a naturally occurring chemical produced by plants that provide protection from pathogens. They can be found in the skin of certain fruit and vegetables (like parabens), such as apples and tomatoes and in the bark of trees. They are now used artificially as a cheap form of preservative in cosmetics.

Is intolerance rare?

Not rare, but I developed and extreme buildup of salicylates which proved to be toxic for me. However, my intolerance started in a very common way. Symptoms to look out for include itching, skin rash and hives.

How involved were you in the development of the products? 

FaceWise is my concept from scratch, and every inch of the way. I am involved in all aspects of the business from ingredients to formulations, to manufacturing, to sales, to marketing.

What was the biggest obstacle? 

Finding a business partner who was able to fully understand and support this new concept from the start with factories and development, through to understanding marketing and distribution.

The range is currently just four products - do you see it growing or is it meant to be a very curated line?

No, it will grow and grow. This product is needed in the wellness world, and we are very ambitious in our goals. This initial line is fully inclusive and is being enjoyed by a surprising number of men as well as women, which was an important aspect for me. We will expand this range to include babies, children and other healthcare products in the future.

Have you received a lot of support?

Yes, for which I’m very grateful. The USP (unique selling point) is exactly that; unique. Most people in the world of wellness have recognised that immediately, and I am so filled with gratitude when someone purchases a product or shares their positive thoughts on social media.

 What’s next for you?

Expansion. New products, new retail partners, and spreading the word further.

Finally, can we be cheeky and ask – you’ve been married to the actor Trevor Eve for over 40 years. What’s the secret to a lasting marriage? 

Being best friends. Showing respect, patience and understanding.  

FaceWise Skincare currently consists of a Melting Cleansing Balm, an Eye Cream, Moisturising Day Cream and Revitalising Face Oil and prices start from £18.95. We’ve been really impressed with all four in trials but the stand-out has to be the Moisturising Day Cream. With a reassuringly solid texture (a little like a cold cream) it has a pleasant light floral scent and massages easily into the skin. A little goes a long way and once applied, skin feels supple and protected against the bite of chilly winter mornings.


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