Rate my start-up story: Sarah Hancock, Skin & Tonic

Meet Sarah Hancock, founder of Skin & Tonic a British organic, sustainable skincare company. This is her story of how her business was born. 

(This blog is part of a series to celebrate our event, Virgin StartUp Ignition: business tricks and insight for amazing women. Sarah's blog is one of five published on Virgin StartUp, the blog with the most views will win the entrepreneurs behind it the opportunity to present their business to our all-star panel at the event. So if you like it, share it!)

"Our products use minimal, organic ingredients and are multifunctional. (We decided we didn't need 10 different products when we could create 1 product to do 10 things!!) Our mission is to move minimal, organic skincare away from the dusty shelves of health stores and into an urban, youthful, stylish environment.

The organic skincare market in the UK grew 17% YOY in 2013 with the biggest sector the under 30's. My journey to find  stylish, organic skincare product began when I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis in 2009. At the time I was in my late 20's working as a stressed out tv executive and living a very unhealthy lifestyle. I quit smoking, booze and took up a more healthy lifestyle. Then, one day, I read an article about endocrine disrupting & carcinogenic chemicals in many skincare products. It was a lightening bolt moment. I was a self confessed beauty junkie and I went home & emptied my beauty cabinet, one by one I threw away my products.


I looked to buy stylish, organic skincare but couldn't find many on the market that fitted the bill - there was nothing that catered for the young, urban, ethically minded consumer. So, I quit my job and trained in essential oil science and skincare formulation at, Neals Yard Remedies. Skin & Tonic was born. This year my boyfriend Josh also quit his job and joined my little skincare revolution. In August we launched at Hackney Wicked festival. It is now October and we're stocked by 12 retailers in the UK and abroad including Urban Outfitters and Topshop. We have no marketing budget but have already featured in Stylist, The Telegraph, Psychologies, You magazine. Our dream is to cut away from the bullshit in exists in the skincare industry- the cheap fillers, the synthetics, the overt gender discrimination, the ridiculous names & promises and show people that skincare can be simple, unisex, stylish & sustainable. 'Real skincare for Real people."

Virgin StartUp Ignition - business tricks and insight for amazing women will see the UK's top female entrepreneurs come together to celebrate Women's Entrepreneurship Day. A day of workshops and key-note talks, the aim of this event is to inspire and help more women to start their own businesses. Find out more information and grab a ticket, here.