Chats with Ella & Jo brand founders sharing their top 5 skin secrets


As most of you may already be familiar with the powerhouse that is Ella & Jo, a creation by Charlene Flanagan & Niamh Ryan. Ella & Jo is an Irish skincare brand; created, produced, and packaged in Ireland. Now more than ever with people wanting to support homegrown, Ella & Jo offers wonderful skincare whilst also allowing us to support Irish business locally. Ella & Jo brings high-quality home-grown skincare products that rivals international brands, to the Irish market. As well as the existing range available, Ella & Jo will also be offering Christmas sets, meaning you can treat your loved ones to the gift of innovative skincare this holiday season!

The current range of products available from Ella & Jo is an incredible collection of tools to elevate your routine. With hero products like the Hyaluronic mist, to beauty hacks like getting the most out of your products with the squeaky-clean brush cleaner. Already the recipient of multiple accolades, from Hi Style, RSVP, and Stellar Beauty Heroes to name a few, this is only the beginning for Ella & Jo!

We caught up with Charlene & Niamh to get the inside scoop on what makes Ella & Jo so successful, and what we can expect to see from the brand in the future:

Tell us about your business, the history, present, team and goals?

Ella & Jo was founded by both Charlene & Niamh in 2017 after Niamh as a skincare expert saw the connection between acne/blemish prone skin & not cleaning makeup brushes regularly. There is more bacteria on your dirty makeup brush than on your toilet seat & 68% of women surveyed don’t clean their brushes as it “Takes too Long” Squeaky Clean Brush Cleanser was born in 2017 as an antibacterial makeup brush spot cleaner that will clean, antibacterialise and have your brushes dry ready to reuse in minutes. Clean Brushes = Clear Skin & Flawless Makeup every time.

In 2018 saw the follow up of our innovative Hydrating Mist 3in1 Hyaluronic Skin Mist, 80% of people are dehydrated in their skin causing premature aging, flaky, tight skin, we designed the 3in1 to be used on the go and can be sprayed over makeup to reset refresh and plump dehydrated skin. 99% of women that used the mist over a 3-month period said their skin felt more hydrated as a result.

Next in line was our Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum which is a four tiered serum This supercharged serum is formulated with Matrixyl 3000 to help stimulate collagen and elastin, Hyaluronic Acid to deeply moisturise, Niacinamide to rebalance uneven skin tone/reduce redness and Botanical Extracts to help soothe skin. The results & feedback from the serum have been incredible. We have grown the team over the past 3 years. We have travelled internationally to the U.S to seek business ventures, won several beauty related awards and our goal as a brand is to design skincare that helps make women feel better about themselves whilst ourselves still having a work/family life balance. There is lots to come from Ella & Jo in 2021 we are so excited!

How do you generate innovative ideas?

Listening to our customers, recognising the problems and gaps in the market, we are an innovative brand that is ingredients focused, Niamh’s background in Skin Therapy & Skin Science as well as both Charlene & Niamh working on the ground helps to listen and learn what we really want as women, not what we think they want.

If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

Charlene: Maya Angelou – She was a woman who was never hesitant to speak her mind, she defended the rights of women, young people and the ignored. She encouraged people to “take life by the lapels”, to face your trials and hardships. She was a person that looked for the positive and never gave up, She is my kinda gal. Her favourite quote of mine is I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Niamh: Rosa Parks – Because she showed such courage on the bus that day – I would wonder whether it was preplanned or whether she just decided on day I have had enough and stood up against the world.

When did you realise that as a business you would need to pivot?

We have always had an online presence and relationship with our customers, 2020 Lockdown allowed us to have the time to re-focus and get tasks and jobs done that were always pushed to the long finger due to day to day business operations. We didn’t necessarily pivot as such, we just adapted to the current climate. As women, that is what we are great at! Adapting!

How did you home in on new goals?

We still have the same goals as always; we just have had to change the direction slightly on how we get to them.

Did the change come from within your business or did external things help?

We are a small but powerful team, we each bring a different set of skillsets to the table, but we are both part of female led entrepreneurship programmes (Niamh Going for Growth & Charlene EmpowerHer) and the support & advice that comes from these women & mentors is invaluable. Our Local Enterprise Office in Mayo has been a huge support to our business as well.

Did your core mission change?

No, our core mission is “We want women at the end of each day, to look in the mirror and see & feel something beautiful”

What are your plans for the future?

We are currently signing off on New Products to be introduced to the range in 2021, we are exporting into international markets and expanding our team. Sing it with us, “Things can only get better…”

What are the top 5 things that we should be doing for our skin?

1. SPF – Not just for the sunny months, it’s an all year-round dedication to protect the skin from UV rays. You are flushing money down the drain buying and using anti-aging products if you don’t use SPF every day, find one that also caters for Blue Light Protection against screen time.

Recommendation: skingredients skin shield spf 50

2. Hydration – Again another all year-round task, hydration is essential for all skin types, hyaluronic acid is one ingredient that is a skincare essential and can slot into any skin care routine safely and gently. It’s safe to use in pregnancy & will overall give you healthier radiant and youthful skin.

Recommendation: Ella and Jo 3in1 Hyaluronic Skin Mist & Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum

3. Don’t forget your body too – We are so wrapped up all winter that we tend to ignore the skin on our body, which will come back to bite us in spring summer and we will have to work extra hard to buff those dead skin cells, exfoliate and nourish with an oil or oil based moisturiser and keep your skin smooth and shining!

Recommendation: Sanctuary Spa Body Scrub & Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse

4. Swap Caffeine for Herbal Tea – I know your daily cuppa is a hug in a mug and I'm not asking you to go cold turkey, every second cup of tea or coffee per day I would recommend changing to a herbal especially if you struggle to drink water throughout the day. Lack of water or too much caffeine will dehydrate the skin, cause fatigue and it will show up in the skin looking dull and grey, dark circles more emphasised as a result of too much caffeine. Add a bit of excitement to your cuppa and change up the flavours every week!

Recommendation: Pukka Tea is one of my faves!

5. Take a supplement – Working on your skin is a 360° approach working on it from the inside out. Take a supplement rich in omegas/collagen/Hyaluronic acid and of course beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Recommendation: Revive Active Beauty Complex