REYN co-founder and esthetician Holly Byerly can take one look at your current skincare routine and peer into the sins of your skin’s past and present history.
Before a new client even steps foot into her treatment room, Holly asks them to take a photo of the products they’re currently using on their skin. Like a clairvoyant, she can see through to the root cause of their skin concern without even laying a hand on their face. 20 years of experience in esthetics has helped Holly hone her supernatural skill of healing skin with seemingly conflicting conditions; sensitive yet acne-prone, dry with excessive sebum production, and damaged skin barriers caused by the very products designed to care for the skin.
“I had a client come in recently complaining of red, irritated, and inflamed skin,” Holly recalls. “She sent over a picture of the products she was using, and it was four [chemical] exfoliants. I see a lot of that, where people have just ruined their skin barrier.”
Holly set up her client with a skincare routine straight out of the kitchen pantry: pure, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. Healing the skin barrier is her first priority, and the number of clients she sees with compromised skin barriers is what pushed her to found and formulate products for REYN.
One could argue that Holly started her product development career in childhood, concocting homemade face masks with red clay that she would collect from a hillside on her family’s farm growing up in Eugene, Oregon. Holly would perform what today we would call “100% natural and organic” spa treatments on her friends and family growing up, but when she turned 15, her innocent interest in skincare suddenly turned serious: her aunt passed away from skin cancer at just 36 years old.
“That’s really what kick-started everything for me,” says Holly. “I got into skincare a little bit more and started looking at it as a career and something that I could really hold onto.”
She didn’t waste any time. At 18 years old, Holly pursued a degree in esthetics and has been helping people heal their skin ever since. She helped to open spas for Hyatt Hotels, working in Scottsdale, Seattle, and New York City. After opening the spa at their Wall Street location in New York, Holly left Hyatt and went on to work with a skincare company, becoming the brand’s US educator, and creating the brand’s treatment protocols.
In 2014, Holly left NYC for the west coast. There, she transitioned to working in medical spas, taking on the director of esthetics position in San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles and taking a position at a new medical spa as the practice director.
Working in product development versus client-facing services was like getting a peek behind the curtain. With each brand she’s worked with, Holly learned the ins and outs of formulations and pushed the boundaries of production to create products that were safe for the skin, lightweight, and efficacious.
After working for other brands creating the products that they wanted, Holly realized that the product she wanted to see on shelves didn’t exist. Working in the beauty industry had afforded her access to nearly every skincare product, but even the best products she tried lacked universal benefits.
“It’s always been something that really interested me, because there are so many great products out there that are so oil heavy,” says Holly. “I wanted a product that offered everything your skin needs to thrive instead of relying solely on oils to moisturize. I also wanted a product that was usable for all skin types.”
Holly’s experience working with complete skincare lines in her treatment room informed how she would go on to create a product line at REYN. She uses multiple steps in her facials, but when clients went home and tried to replicate the process on an everyday basis, it’s almost inevitable that they would end up with an unbalanced chemical equation at some point.
“I wanted to simplify things,” says Holly. “There are just too many products out there. Every brand has 7–12 different serums to address 20 different concerns. While it’s nice to customize people’s skincare, I wanted to create more of a universal product.”
Holly knew what she wanted to create and how she wanted it to feel and function on the skin, but finding a chemist who could help execute her vision proved near impossible. She kept running into the same issue: separation. She went through 42 trials before landing on the final formulation that ticked all the boxes — and then some.
“Getting that glycerin to work with ingredients that would hold it together and prevent separation was the biggest challenge,” says Holly. “We worked with so many different emulsifiers and ingredients that were supposedly going to help to stabilize the product.”
REYN’s first product, Base Serum, is everything Holly wanted it to be: lightweight, non-greasy, and the hero product in a minimal skincare routine. It’s designed to support skin of all ages, types, and tones to help it reach homeostasis and thrive.Developing this bespoke formulation was a labor of love, but it’s also a love letter to the industry that Holly has devoted the last 20 years to advancing both behind the treatment table and on the shelves.
“I would love to see everyone using the product, but I would feel really good about seeing other estheticians, dermatologists, and industry leaders talking about, using, and loving the product,” she says.
From making homemade clay masks in childhood to pushing the boundaries of cosmetic chemistry today, Holly’s higher purpose remains the same: to help people feel good in their skin.