She’s created a single product that’s garnered a cult following and luckily for us, beauty entrepreneur Nancy Schnoll, is just getting started
Written By JANNA JOHNSON O’TOOLE
VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers because of their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit.
As a former actress working alongside beauty industry pros, Nancy Schnoll learned the cardinal rule of skin care early on in her career—that exfoliation and hydration are the keys to a glowing canvas. Once she understood that, though, she became disheartened with the options to making them happen. "All the exfoliating products out there were harsh and intended to be used as treatments, one to two times a week,” she explains. “So my goal was to create a gentle, moisturizing exfoliant that you could use every day.”
Thirty-one formulations later she landed on the one—literally. Her line epitomizes simplification; just a single exfoliating cleanser, Reflekt 1, which, thanks to ultra-gentle exfoliating beads made from jojoba esters, is designed to be used morning and night. “It leaves your skin plump, supple, and hydrated but still thoroughly cleansed,” Schnoll says.
While she may have set out to disrupt the industry, Schnoll remains surprised—and inspired— by the groundswell effect her product has had, amassing a devoted cult following that reaps benefits beyond clean skin. “The feedback I’ve received is so rewarding,” she says. “I’ve always believed skin care is self-care—there’s an emotional element to it and when you nurture your skin, you feel better on the inside and out.”
Here, the New York-based entrepreneur shares more of her wellness gems and her streamlined approach to beauty.
First thing you do when you wake up?
Brush my teeth, make fresh coffee, and check email.
Eight to nine hours per night. I’m a sleeper. It’s incredibly important for me to shut down on every level, both mentally and physically.
30 minutes. I believe in high maintenance for low maintenance—if you take great care of your skin the rest will be easy.
Hair situation in the a.m.?
Messy bun. It’s simple, easy, and chic.
Your signature beauty look?
Natural and fresh. My philosophy is less is more.
Barre class. It works my body head to toe.
Go-to breakfast and a.m. beverage?
White Moustache sour cherry artisan yogurt. I’m obsessed with it and of course old-fashioned drip coffee. Stumptown House Blend is my favorite.
Foolproof self-care move?
Add a bit of your favorite mask to your nighttime moisturizer for an extra boost.
I change them by the season. I love fragrances that are androgynous and make me feel sexy.
An expensive-but-worth-it product or treatment?
Non-invasive add-ons for facials such as LED and microcurrent treatments.
Kosas LipFuel Hyaluronic Tinted Lip Balm. The packaging is next-level and my lips love it!
Cuticle oil, hand cream and Egyptian Magic salve, which makes my heels baby-soft.
The journey I am now on with Reflekt. It gives me the ability to have an impact on people’s skin. When your complexion looks good, you feel good, and go out into the world and accomplish good.
None. I have never taken a job I don’t have a passion for and I’ve been working since I was 15 years old.
How the idea for your current company came to you?
I knew there was a hole in the beauty space that needed to be filled.
The top of one mountain is the bottom of the next, so keep climbing.
I’m just getting started. Reaching for the stars takes time.
Starting a company is a rollercoaster ride—lots of ups and downs. Luckily, my eternal optimism kicks in when I need it most.