OY-L: Non-toxic skin product company starts up in Akron
Legal News Reporter
Published: March 14, 2017
The Akron Business Accelerator is generally known as the launching pad of technology companies. But a new, plant-based skin care product business is looking to break that mold and break into the heady world of luxury skin products, said Andrea Pierce-Naymon, founder, CEO and formulator of OY-L.
“There is a ‘green beauty’ revolution going on right now,” said Pierce-Naymon, explaining that “green” is another term for “no toxins.”
“There can be over 300 ingredients in cosmetics products,” she said, “and some of them are harmful. People are demanding (toxin-free) products.”
Especially in high-end stores, she said, “people are going crazy over them.”
According to MarketResearch.com. the U.S. beauty and cosmetics market exceeded $62 billion in 2016. Globally, skin care products account for more than a third of that market, at $121 billion, making it the largest single market segment.
Pierce-Naymon is positioning OY-L to make a splash in the green side of that market, she said. She thinks that she has developed a product as an “artisanal manufacturer” that can make a mark in this incredibly competitive market.
Only a few months old, OY-L (https://oy-l.com) products are in Saks Fifth Avenue, and have been positively reviewed in Vogue and Allure magazines, and made a “10 best product launch” list in Well+Good.
Pierce-Naymon and her husband own the Beachwood clothing store Kilgore Trout. The buyer for that store, she has a background in pharmaceutical and medical sales.
She became interested in green skin products because of the experience of a family member, she said.
“My daughter was ill, and I just started subtracting all of the chemicals from her life,” she said.
“I went to the app Think Dirty/Shop Clean (www.thinkdirty.com). That app gives all of the ingredients for every cosmetic product. “Zero toxins seemed like the right thing to do,” she said.
The name OY-L comes from the fact that the company’s products are “all oil based,” said Pierce-Naymon. None of them contains any water, she said, so they do not need preservatives and potentially harmful biologicals cannot grow in them.
OY-L’s ingredients include hemp seed oil, sea buckthorn, lavender, apricot kernel, prickly pear, frankincense and pomegranate seed oils, among other plant-based extractions.
Pierce-Naymon said that lavender is an ingredient in about 80 percent of her products. She said that lavender has a number of positive health benefits. An article in Medical News Today stated that lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and may help with digestive issues and anxiety.
Other OY-L ingredients include manuka honey, organic rose petals, arrowroot, pink Kimalayan salt and many more exotic substances.
Like many entrepreneurs, Pierce-Naymon originally started in her house. She developed a few products in her kitchen, using Manuca honey from New Zealand and lavender as base ingredients. She gave one of her body butter products to her brother Daniel, a very successful business consultant in Cincinnati. He was so impressed by it she said that he decided to invest in her company.
“I gave some to my wife, and she was just raving about it,” said Pierce. “Then I tried it myself.” I said “let’s step back and see if there’s something we can do with this.’ We got it out of the basement, and off we went. It’s been an interesting adventure—not something that I expected to get into at all.”
That investment allowed her to move to the accelerator and hire a chemist and office staff and expand the product line.
OY-L’s line now includes an exfoliating mask, body butter, face wash, body scrub, hydrating facial mist, face cream, bath salts and lip balm, with more in development.
In addition to a few stores, OY-L is also sold and used at a few local spas.
At Aurora’s Spa Walden, Karen Johnson is “an avid fan of OY-L. I love her stuff. They have an amazing product line.” Johnson said that her spa started carrying the products on a recommendation of a client, “when she was still making it in her kitchen.”
Heather Horning at the spa Serenity Too in Tallmadge, which specializes in skin care, has been using OY-L products for a few months, she said. “The honey and sea salts that she uses in her products are extremely beneficial,” said Horning. “We love everything they have. They’ve struck gold with us.”