An entrepreneur bagged a £60,000 on Dragons’ Den last night after wowing the panel with her all natural skincare range.
Hanna Sillitoe, 40, of Manchester, appeared on the BBC Two show to pitch her eponymous brand, which is formulated specifically for people with skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis.
Speaking on the show, Hanna told how she was inspired to create the all natural, vegan products after battling her own skin woes for two decades – and shared her own amazing before and after photos.
All five Dragons were impressed by Hanna and offered to invest. But after some deliberation Dragons Tej Lalvani and Peter Jones emerged victorious, agreeing to invest a combined £60,000 in exchange for 20 per cent of the business.
Hanna during her pitch that was lauded by the Dragons and by commenters on social media
Hanna’s leg before and after she used her own techniques to heal her aching skin
Hanna pictured with one half of her investment team, Tej Lalvani, after her success in the den
The success story was praised by viewers, who said she was ‘amazing’ and ‘deserved every success’.
Speaking to FEMAIL about her journey to Dragons’ Den, Hanna, who suffered from acne, psoriasis and eczema, said: ‘It [my skin condition] got so bad my doctor offered me a chemotherapy drug in order to suppress my immune system.
‘That was my turning point where I thought there had to be a better way.’
Appearing on the show last night, Hanna almost broke down as she recounted her struggles with skin issues, saying that she ‘couldn’t stand’ the feeling of her own clothes against her skin.
The former interior designer added that the impact on her mental health was ‘huge’, saying the physical pain was often trumped by the mental impact.
Hanna suffered from severe psoriasis, eczema and acne for over 20 years until she began a natural healing process which meant a complete transformation of her diet and lifestyle
A before and after shot of Hanna’s left hand after she used natural remedies to cure it
Hanna collaborated with one of the UK’s best natural skincare formulators and created a range of skin care and hair care products combining the powers of science and botonicals (pictured)
Peter Jones waits to hug his new business partner as Tej Lalvani also congratulates his colleague. She received £60,000 in exchange for 20% of her business
She said: ‘My skin impacted everything. My career, my relationships, my social life. It changed what I did, who I saw, what I wore, where I went. This is the part so many doctors miss, or don’t take seriously enough.
‘So many people I speak to with skin conditions say the same … the mental health implications are huge. That pain was very often worse for me than the physical pain of my skin.’
Hanna also took a closer look at what she had been applying to her skin and was shocked at the amount of toxic ingredients in seemingly harmless lotions.
She had previously tried steroid creams, creams ‘that burned my skin’, greasy thick emollients, paraffin creams, coal tar treatments, sunbeds, Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
‘I tried paying for private medical care in the hope they might have a different solutions – they didn’t,’ she added.
So taking matters into her own hands she collaborated with one of the UK’s best natural skincare formulators and created a range of skin care and hair care products combining the powers of science and botonicals.
‘My products started out as a small, kitchen table range. Created by a wonderful local naturopath and aromatherapist,’ she said.
She added that interest ramped up through Instagram when her followers would ask what she used on her own skin – so much so that her aromatherapist couldn’t keep up with orders.
That’s when she contacted one of the UK’s biggest natural skin care manufacturers and was surprised when they agreed to meet with her in person.
Hanna on her bed in 1996. She struggled with skin issues for more than twenty years
Peter Jones, who invested in Hanna, tweeted his delight to working with her while dozens of other users shared their delight for her, with one calling her remedies ‘life-changing’
‘They were so genuine and it was lovely to see them just as excited as I was to create something with real value and purpose. They spent a great deal of time working with me free of charge because they absolutely believed in my vision,’ she said.
She said she went to the Dragon’s Den to take her project ‘to the next level’ and It made complete sense that Tej – CEO of Vitabiotics – UK’s number one vitamin company, was keen to get involved with a brand that has such a focus on health and wellbeing.
‘Tej was always top of my list,’ Hanna said. ‘His brand is centred on wellbeing and he proved in the Den that he completely understood my vision.
‘His connections with some of the UK’s biggest health store retailers is obviously massive for me.
Hanna’s stomach before her transformation. Hanna suffered from severe psoriasis, eczema and acne until she began a natural healing process
Hanna took a closer look at what she had been applying to her skin and was shocked at the amount of toxic ingredients in seemingly harmless lotions, pictured after her transformation
‘Peter focused on my desire to reach out globally and conquer America, so much of my work is online, I don’t doubt his tech experience will prove absolutely invaluable to take that side of the business forward.
‘My day in the den was just the beginning. Together we’re going to prove a powerful trio and I’m excited for the weeks and months ahead!’
Hanna continued: ‘I could not be more excited! I was in a daze for the rest of that day, the next morning it felt like a dream and I’ve been on cloud 9 ever since!!
‘The whole experience has been the best rollercoaster ride and I’m thrilled to be working with two dragons who are going to help me change even more lives.’
The nation watched Hanna dazzle the dragons and social media was awash with support for her.
Peter Jones, who invested in Hanna, tweeted his delight to working with her while another twitter user said: ‘Wow @HannaSillitoe you were amazing!! To say you impressed them all is an understatement…I’d still be talking to the wall. ‘
Hanna Sillitoe, 40, pitched her all natural vegan skincare range – inspired by her own skin problems that were so bad her doctor offered her a chemotherapy drug