Hey friends! During my vacation, OY-L skincare had sent their travel friendly product kit for me to try and review. OY-L skincare was a new brand for me and I was actually quite intrigued to try their products. Their ice bag packaging made a positive first impression and then their lovely products with unique texture made me fall in love with this brand. So I connected with Andrea Pierce-Naymon, the founder of OY-L skincare to learn more about her company and her products.
Greenchicgirl: What led you to start your own skincare line?
I grew up like the rest of the women of my generation. As a teenager I found skin care and cosmetics within my price range at the drug store and as I matured and my income rose, I aspired to department store brands and then luxury lines. I treasured these brands and I trusted them. As my daughter became a teenager herself, I saw no problem with her following my example.
But after my daughter got sick and the doctors couldn’t figure it out, I started reading labels and was horrified after learning about the chemicals. Further research lead to to realize that a lot of these chemicals were toxic and carcinogenic. I spoke with cosmetic chemists who furthered my education on parabens, phthalates,PEGs and other toxic chemicals.
Greenchicgirl: You left the fashion, style and retail world to create OY-L skincare line. How difficult was that transition? What are the challenges you had to face?
The transition was weird in that as a owner/buyer; I had other people who took care of things like receiving, processing orders, eblasts, bookkeeping, marketing, etc. I was spoiled but it was our family business and I was there for over 20 years. As an entrepreneur, I did everything from the ground up. Batch records, receiving ingredients, record keeping, bookkeeping, marketing, letter writing, shipping and preparing the boxes and then, of course, making the products. Now I have 2 employees that help me out and we are now looking into co-packing as we are getting bigger. Oh, and I still also mop the floors in the lab. LOL! The challenges of starting a business are way different than operating an existing business with many other employees.
Greenchicgirl: “OY-L” – is it a play on words or does it mean something?
Since my products were all oil-based, except for the face mist, I wanted to call it OIL, but that name would never get trademarked. So I found that Popeye’s girlfriend’s name was spelled Oyl; and I thought it was cute and different. My original logo was Oy L with a gold drop between the Y and L. After I got re-branded the ad agency took out the drop and added the dash and made it vertical on the bottles. I loved the new label and so did the people at the Indie Beauty Expo. Also, my friends laugh at me because I say “oy” a lot and OY-L just seemed right. We have just been granted our trademark for it as well as our tag line, Beauty Without Secrets.
Greenchicgirl: Green beauty industry has gained immense popularity in the past few years and so many new artisan skincare brands have emerged (and are still emerging). How does this affect the business? What’s your perspective about it?
I am so happy I got into the green beauty revolution when I did. People are really interested in it at all levels. I was lucky to get into Saks.com early on as a luxury green beauty brand and I am so happy to see that Target is adding green beauty for the masses. Yes, there is a lot of competition but that is good and I feel my products add to some white space.
I formulated my products to be good for most skin types. I did not want a so many SKUs, that I could not grow at a decent rate. Since launching my line, I have added 3 lip balms, a cleansing powder, a new scent for the body line and a new product to be launched on August 2nd during “A Night for Green Beauty” being seen around the world online.
Most articles and discussions I read say there are so many facial oils on the market. My face cream, to me, is like a pressed face oil. It contains so many beautiful and beneficial oils in it but it is a whipped cream. A little goes a long way and it adds a dewy look.
But I have been working on a new product for a long time now and I can’t wait to share it on August 2nd.
I have a core set of ingredients that I incorporate in most of my products. Most amazing is the medical-grade Manuka 20+ honey. In Europe, New Zealand and Australia, they use this honey on post-surgical patients and burn patients. It contains MG (methylglyoxal), which is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It has even been used to treat MRSA infections, so it can do wonders for blemished and inflamed skin. But also, honey is a humectant, which means it draws moisture into the skin and locks it in. This hydration helps with skin elasticity and cell regeneration. It’s an amazing natural ingredient. Pink Himalayan salt is also a core ingredient because it is produced from ancient sea beds and not processed and bleached like table salt. Hemp seed oil is used because it is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores). And Lavender essential oil is more than a beautiful scent. It is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. It can help with acne and healing of the scars.
I had tried many body butters and lotions over many years. Because I don’t add water to my products, I had to find a way to make the butter more luxurious. I didn’t want them to be so thick that you couldn’t use them year round. It took a couple of years to perfect the formula. They are so fluffy because of the whipping technique. The only downside is that in very hot weather transporting them through the mail is tricky. I found out the hard way last summer. We now ship with ice packs during the summer to ensure the customer gets a light and fluffy body butter delivered.
Being a transparent and natural company, I am always looking for natural ingredients that will add to the product’s effectiveness. Blueberry and cranberry seed and ground-up lavender buds and rose petal were so natural and made such a beautiful presentation of the mask. These are all ingredients that have an added benefit to the product and the seeds were gentle enough for the skin. Cute story – I had a customer’s boyfriend plant a couple of the seeds to see if they were real. They sent me a picture of the seedling that grew from the seed. It made me laugh!
Yes, I alluded to a product launching August 2nd. I can’t really reveal it now. Please watch the Instagram stories on August 2nd on A Night For Green Beauty.