The social commerce app for skincare.

Clear is the free mobile app that helps you track and share your skincare routine. We are fuelling innovation and empowering consumers in the skincare industry via data, technology and community. We were also the 2022 L'Oréal Beauty Tech for Good winners, and were featured under "Best New Apps and Updates" on the App Store in 2023. The skincare industry is worth $200B and social commerce is going to drive the future growth of every brand in the industry. We're going to be fuelling that growth.

Team Size:2
Location:London, United Kingdom

Active Founders

Ahana Banerjee

Skincare enthusiast and Imperial College London Physics grad

Ahana Banerjee
Ahana Banerjee

Company Photo

Company Photo

Hear from the founders

How did your company get started? (i.e., How did the founders meet? How did you come up with the idea? How did you decide to be a founder?)

Clear's journey traces back to my own experiences and passion for technology and skincare. As I transitioned from studying physics at Imperial College London to delving into tech, finance and startups, I encountered a personal struggle with skin issues (cystic acne) that persisted for over a decade. I had tried everything; from diets, to medications, to products to try and improve my skin, but had great trouble in identifying if what I was trying was actually working. Having turned to online social media skincare communities for support, I knew I wasn’t alone. So, this struggle, coupled with a genuine desire to help others navigate their skincare journeys with confidence, ignited the idea behind Clear; an app that helped people to track their skincare routine, skin progress, access a community of like-minded individuals on a similar journey, and get data-driven, unbiased product recommendations.The vision was not only to provide users with personalized skincare recommendations but also to fuel innovation in the industry, enabling brands to create more effective product formulations. My personal connection to the mission, being my own customer, fueled my decision to become a founder. Clear is more than a company; it's a commitment to revolutionizing skincare and empowering individuals on their path to healthier skin.

How did you decide to apply to Y Combinator? What was your experience applying, going through the batch, and fundraising at demo day?

The decision to apply to Y Combinator was driven by a combination of factors, including the belief in Clear's mission and the recognition of Y Combinator's unparalleled reputation for nurturing and propelling innovative startups. The application process was rigorous, requiring a clear articulation of our vision, market potential, and the problem we aimed to solve. Going through the Y Combinator batch was a transformative experience, marked by intense mentorship, invaluable insights, and a supportive community of fellow founders.Fundraising at Demo Day was a pivotal moment in Clear's journey. Presenting our vision to numerous, influential investors provided a platform to showcase the potential impact of Clear in the skincare industry. The experience not only facilitated crucial funding but also opened doors to valuable connections and partnerships. Y Combinator played a pivotal role in shaping Clear's trajectory, contributing to its growth and success in the dynamic startup ecosystem.

How have you kept in touch with the YC community and continued to use YC resources & programs since the batch ended?

Staying connected with the Y Combinator community has been integral to Clear's ongoing success. Post-batch, I actively participate in YC alumni events, forums, and networking opportunities, fostering relationships with fellow founders and leveraging the collective wisdom of the community. The YC network remains a valuable source of insights, mentorship, and potential collaborations.Additionally, Clear continues to benefit from YC resources and programs. From access to YC's extensive network of experts to ongoing mentorship opportunities, these resources have been instrumental in navigating challenges and seizing growth opportunities. The continuous engagement with the Y Combinator ecosystem underscores the enduring support and collaborative spirit that define the YC community.

What's the history of your company from getting started until the present day? What were the big inflection points?

Our journey began with a vision to revolutionize the skincare experience, a vision that culminated in the creation of Clear, a mobile app designed to empower individuals in their skincare journeys. Founded by Ahana Banerjee, an alumna of Imperial College London, Y Combinator, and a Forbes 30 Under 30 awardee, Clear is more than an app—it's a community-driven platform reshaping how people buy, track, and share their skincare routines.From its inception, Clear has pioneered features that make it the Strava for skincare, offering users a comprehensive platform with selfie analysis data providing insights to cosmetic brands.Our growth story is one of organic success, with 10,000+ users achieved without any paid acquisition or marketing hires. We've been featured as one of the "Best New Apps" in the US App Store in 2023, underscoring our impact and relevance in the skincare space.Our community is at the heart of our success, contributing to over 500,000+ routine check-ins and 32,000+ posts, fostering engagement among skincare enthusiasts. The industry has taken notice, with Clear winning the L'Oréal Beauty Tech for Good Challenge and Beiersdorf Beauty Tech Innovation Summit, leading to invaluable partnerships and recognition.As we continue our journey, Clear remains committed to innovation, community building, and revolutionizing how individuals approach and engage with skincare. We're not just an app; we're a movement reshaping the future of skincare.

What is the core problem you are solving? Why is this a big problem? What made you decide to work on it?

The core problem Clear addresses stems from a lack of clarity and communication within the skincare landscape. Consumers find themselves grappling with uncertainty about which skincare products to use and whether these products are effective. Simultaneously, skincare brands face a challenge in understanding their consumers, hindering industry-wide innovation. Dermatologists, too, encounter difficulties in efficiently communicating with their patients.\This problem is substantial because it permeates the entire skincare ecosystem. For consumers, the ambiguity around product efficacy can lead to frustration and wasted resources. Skincare brands, without a clear understanding of consumer behavior, struggle to innovate and tailor their products to meet genuine needs. Dermatologists, the experts in skincare, face inefficiencies in conveying information and prescribing effective routines.\The decision to tackle this pervasive issue arose from a personal connection and a broader recognition of its widespread impact. I personally endured the challenges of skincare struggles, which fostered a deep empathy for others facing similar dilemmas. Recognizing the industry-wide ramifications of this problem, the decision to create Clear was driven by a passion for revolutionizing skincare journeys, providing clarity for consumers, empowering brands with actionable insights, and facilitating seamless communication between dermatologists and their patients.Clear's mobile app acts as a transformative solution by offering routine tracking and a dynamic social community. This platform enables users to objectively measure their skincare progress, connect with a supportive community, and receive data-driven product recommendations. For skincare brands, Clear becomes a conduit for real-time insights into consumer behavior and sentiment, leveraging product usage metrics and user-generated content. Moreover, Clear facilitates secure sharing of routine and progress data between users and medical professionals, allowing dermatologists to prescribe effective skincare routines seamlessly.In essence, Clear emerges as the bridge that resolves the communication gaps in the skincare industry, providing users with confidence in their skincare choices, brands with valuable insights, and dermatologists with efficient tools to enhance patient care in this $200B industry.

What is your long-term vision? If you truly succeed, what will be different about the world?

Clear's overarching vision extends beyond being a solution for current skincare challenges. Our aim is to become synonymous with skincare, a pervasive force in a $200 billion market. The long-term vision for Clear envisions a comprehensive ecosystem that transcends conventional boundaries. From being a single source of truth for skincare recommendations and self-tracking to delving into teledermatology, operating an expansive e-commerce marketplace, introducing a rewards program, curating engaging skincare content, entering the skincare market, and fostering industry-wide innovation through data-driven insights – Clear aspires to redefine and elevate every facet of the skincare experience.As Clear achieves its long-term vision, the world of skincare will undergo a transformative shift. The pervasive uncertainty and inefficiencies plaguing the skincare industry will dissipate, replaced by a seamlessly integrated ecosystem that empowers consumers, brands, and dermatologists alike. Individuals navigating their skincare journeys will find clarity and confidence, supported by personalized recommendations and a supportive community. Skincare brands will experience heightened innovation and responsiveness, guided by real-time insights into consumer behavior. Dermatologists will leverage efficient tools for communication and care, enhancing the patient experience. Ultimately, the success of Clear will usher in a new era where skincare is not just a routine but a personalized, data-driven, and collaborative journey, positively impacting millions and redefining the standards of skincare excellence.

YC W21 Demo Day Video