Meet new facial bar franchise Clean Your Dirty Face
From left: Shama Patel is founder of Clean Your Dirty Face, her second franchise. A CYDF product, all of which are all-natural. Elizabeth Kouis is a franchisee in Los Angeles who discovered Patel at an AIR fitness class.
Sure, you’re supposed to wash your face before you hit the pillow each night, but we’ve all skipped this step from time to time—especially if your skincare routine involves so many products, you’re not sure if your skin really cares.
Shama Patel created a solution for the aforementioned kind of customer. A former attorney, Patel launched Clean Your Dirty Face in 2015, a clean facial bar in a highly competitive beauty and wellness sector of franchising.
As a 20-something, Patel, now 37, worked for a law firm in Chicago where she saw a lot of her female colleagues dropping off as they reached senior roles.
“I think it was the combination of obligations and trying to juggle everything,” Patel said. “I looked ahead and said, this is not for me.”
Patel quit and started up her own research and development lab, where she discovered aerial fitness was taking off. She then opened her own aerial studio in 2013 called AIR, now a franchise with eight units. Two years later, she founded Clean Your Dirty Face after testing the concept at a successful pop-up show.
But what makes this facial bar stand out from other brands in the franchise space, such as Faces365, Skoah and Face to Face Spa? For one, Patel’s mission for CYDF is to make routine skincare not only approachable, but affordable and efficient as well.
CYDF turned facials “from a luxury splurge to something you can build into your lifestyle,” Patel said. “We focused on professional skincare in a fun setting with a great brand and quality products.”
Geared toward millennials and on-the-go moms, each facial lasts 30 minutes and can be booked online or over the phone. An esthetician, or “Skin Boss,” examines your skin at the start and recommends one of three facial options, each costing $50. Additional services such as extractions or light therapy range from $10-$20. Another option is a monthly membership, which can save customers money and provides consistent revenue for franchisees.
With franchise locations in Chicago, Los Angeles, Charlotte, North Carolina, Austin, Boulder, Colorado, and soon Atlanta, another unique aspect of CYDF is that 100 percent of its franchisees identify as women. “It makes sense—that’s who our customer base is,” Patel said.
Chloe Millard did her research before investing in CYDF. Now an owner of two franchise locations in Chicago, Millard came from a medical device sales background while her husband specialized in finance—so neither had experience in the beauty industry.
However, “this concept still far outweighed others by a mile,” Millard explained. Other brands seemed impersonal and unoriginal, plus they loved how CYDF is focused on education and really engaging the client.
“We had a goal of forming a partnership in which we were truly making the community a better place while becoming financially independent,” Millard said. “The beauty of CYDF as a franchisee is that there is a tremendous amount of hands-on support … It is still very much a boutique spa feel with the resources of a major corporate powerhouse.”
Elizabeth Kouis, franchisee of CYDF in Los Angeles, won her battle against cancer in 2017. Afterwards, she needed a low-impact workout and found Patel’s AIR fitness class. Her studio’s franchisee also owned a CYDF and invited Kouis in for her first facial.
“I then researched more about the company and fell in love with it,” Kouis said. “I arrived in this country at the age of 12 and I always knew I wanted to own my own business.”
Kouis chose CYDF over similar concepts for the affordability, non-invasive approach and the brand’s clean beauty ethos.
For Patel, ingredients matter most when it comes to choosing products that will be absorbed into the skin. With the recent lawsuits involving talc powder used in Johnson & Johnson baby powder, beauty and wellness brands should be making non-toxic ingredients a priority.
Patel felt strongly about using an all-natural skincare line, so she developed a product company to stock her facial bar with skincare she trusted. This evolved into a full retail line in 2019 that serves as an additional revenue stream for franchisees. The products are “doing phenomenally well,” Patel added, so much so that a new fulfillment center is in the works.
In her free time, Patel paints in her Chicago condo and is working on illustrating her own children’s book. “I think that creating my brand comes from the fact that I am an artist at my core,” she said.