Kristina Holey and Marie Veronique Nadeau

Similar to a doctor consulting on difficult cases with a fellow physician, facialist Kristina Holey often turns to non-toxic product formulator Marie Veronique Nadeau for advice on solutions for stubborn skin conditions. “We are able to challenge each other and learn, and we complement each other,” Holey said.

Recently, Holey came across nasty outbreaks of perioral dermatitis, a rash around the mouth, at her San Francisco studio. Like she’d done before, she solicited Nadeau’s help, and the pair landed upon a mixture of ceramides, sodium hyaluronate, magnesium chloride, the amino acid l-arginine and humectant sodium PCA to tackle loss of the skin’s vital sealing system. “It led to really great improvement in a relatively short time for people with pretty intractable skin problems,” touted Holey, who explained that the inability to retain moisture can be at the root of those problems. The remedy’s results convinced her and Nadeau to go to market.

Holey and Nadeau’s Barrier Restore Serum is headed to the retailers CAP Beauty, Ayla and Credo, and joining it on shelves and websites are the companion serums Soothing B3 Serum and Intensive Repair Serum. The products, which are priced from $90 to $110 for 1-oz. sizes, are the start of broader collaborative efforts between Nadeau, a 68-year-old founder of stalwart Berkeley-based skin-care brand Marie Veronique, and Holey, a 33-year-old rising skin specialist, whose services have been extolled by Goop, Vogue and W magazine.

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Holey didn’t intend to put out her own products now. “The idea of doing it alone was daunting,” she said. “I also didn’t want to create products just for the sake of having my name on them.” The impact of the products Holey and Nadeau developed, though, seemed too evident to ignore.

“Barrier function is a big deal. It’s how your skin maintains moisture, and it doesn’t get a lot of attention. Barrier function impairment is very common, and there hasn’t been much out there aside from antibiotics or steroids for it,” Nadeau said. Holey chimed in, “I have been able to communicate about this to my clients and get them hooked on the products by rebalancing, re-moisturizing and re-hydrating the skin. What happens after regular usage of Barrier Restore Serum is your skin feels different. It’s actually balanced.”

The two products Holey and Nadeau have released in tandem with Barrier Restore Serum further assist in fostering a healthy barrier function and handle various skin maladies that can arise along with afflictions such as perioral dermatitis. “They were made to work together and to be layered to normalize the barrier function, and target it from all angles,” Holey said. Soothing B3 Serum contains niacinamide, bioflavonoids and lico-rice extract to control inflammation, and Intensive Repair Serum includes vitamin B5, marrubium extract, and lactic, salicylic and acetic acids to fight pimples and blotchiness.

“The skin is complex and problems generally come together. When Kristina is seeing someone with perioral dermatitis, that client may also have acne,” Nadeau said. “If you have three different ways to address them, you can improve your changes threefold, and that’s a pretty good idea.”