It all began with a reaction to a skincare kit. Decades later, MV SKINTHERAPY founder and sensitive skin expert Sharon McGlinchey is smashing beauty ceilings with her range of natural products that harness the power of plants. Here, the celebrated beauty therapist talks plant-based “active ingredients”, almost going bankrupt (twice) and why you need to put down your foaming cleanser.
When, where and why did your love for natural skincare first begin?
I first fell in love with the ritualistic ‘steps’ of skincare at 11 years old, when my gran gave me a starter kit for Christmas. Ironically, these products caused a horrible reaction, and I ended up at a skin specialist! Thankfully that didn’t deter me, perhaps it was all part of the plan that led me to eventually create a sensitive skincare range. The universe works in mysterious ways.
What does a typical day look like for you?
First thing in the morning I do yoga and breathing exercises for 20 minutes, have breakfast and indulge in my three-minute skin ritual.
I head into the office where my days are always diverse, from supervising the actual creation and production of fresh
MV products, to tackling emails, to educating skin health consultants and beauty therapists.
Every night, without fail, I nourish my skin with my beautiful 9 Oil Radiance Ritual. Then slide into bed with a herbal tea and my latest audible book (at the moment it’s Finding Me by Viola Davis).
Why is it important to choose active skincare ingredients?
If you’re not using “active” ingredients, you’re not going to achieve any meaningful results. The word “active” in skincare is a dubious one, however. Many people believe that plant-based and natural skincare can’t be “active”, reserving this term only for conventional cosmeceutical products.
Natural skincare ingredients that are active are incredibly expensive, because they need to be of the highest quality. Additionally, the production and manufacturing process needs to protect the integrity of these active compounds — and for most brands, this is not a profitable or easy exercise.
What are some of your favourite active skincare ingredients?
Some of my favourite active ingredients are therapeutic essential oils such as Rose Damascena, and West Australian Sandalwood. Australian Native extracts are incredibly powerful, as they contain unique compounds that have been acquired through thriving in the harsh Australian climate. Kakadu Plum, for example, contains the world’s highest content of Vitamin C!
How has the beauty industry changed?
In many ways it has changed drastically! In 1999, when I created MV, there was no such thing as the green beauty industry — now, it’s a multi-million dollar machine and growing rapidly.
Some things, unfortunately, remain unchanged. Such as the marketing tactics of the beauty industry that fearmongers and disempowers women, the push of “more is more” consumerism and now greenwashing, which dupes well-meaning and ethically driven customers.
What has been one of your most rewarding moments at MV?
While it’s been truly flattering to receive awards and recognition from peers in the industry, the most rewarding moments are every single morning when the team give me an overview of all the new reviews and customer feedback. Hearing real stories of transformation, and how MV products positively impact not only an individual’s skin health, but also their wellbeing, are the reasons I keep doing what I do. It makes me very happy.
What has been one of your most challenging moments at MV?
Almost going bankrupt, twice! Owning and running a small business is not easy. Especially when you insist on sticking to your values, not following the rules and putting integrity above all else, even profits.
What beauty advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Put down the foaming cleanser! Stop scrubbing your thighs with that damn mitt, it will only result in broken capillaries. And stop adding more (and even more) products into your beauty routine, you’re creating micro-trauma that will result in sensitised skin.
What makes you feel wild?
Ooh that’s easy, being on my motorbike! I have a bright yellow vintage 1975 Honda 400FOUR and I love her. There’s nothing quite like riding a motorbike.
What’s next for MV Skin?
Well, this year we are launching in the UK with a dedicated website and fulfillment centre. There is also an exciting new product formulation that I am currently working on and I am crazy excited! It is going to be the epitome of plant-powered therapy and I can already tell that it’s going to be the best-selling MV product ever!