Azores Skincare; In The Jungle with Ignae

By Timi Ayeni

The Azores Islands in Portugal are well-known for their iconic volcanos and their dark heart of stone used in old buildings as well as the black sands on their beaches. The plants that grow on the Island include The Azores Laurel and the Prairie sphagnum; The plant species named Pittosporum Undulatum carries conspicuous orange woody fruits and these have been used in skincare for anti-aging and moisturising. The land gives up her bounties. Find out more in Azores Skincare; In The Jungle with Ignae.

Açores translated in English as Azores is in the regions of Portugal that is part of an archipelago of nine volcanic islands in the Macaronesia region of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 1,400 km west of Lisbon. To explore them is to be transported back in time, amongst giant pre-historic fern trees and an abundance of verdant nature.

The Azores has the highest concentration of hot springs in Europe. Far below the surface are more than 300 volcanic cavities and underwater active volcanoes. This geothermal activity creates rich diverse micro-climates that nurture rainforests, black volcanic beaches, vineyards, and tea plantations.

The protected ocean contains underwater black coral forests and hydro-thermal vents supporting many endemic species. On land, there are rainforests, peatlands, volcanic craters, centuries-old gardens, and a plethora of hot thermal water pools and natural springs.

It is this amazing ecosystem rich with nature’s healing that inspired a skincare brand to be born.  A transformative skincare company made from the natural resources of the Azores.

Ignae was founded in 2017 by Miguel Pombo with Claire Chung joining in 2020. With a belief that the ingredients from the Azores ecosystem could be utilised for the regeneration and healing of the skin.

There are key ingredients grown on the island that are used in Ignae skin care and these nurtured local plants are key to the brand’s collection

Cryptomeria JaponicaThe Azorean Cryptomeria or the Japanese Cedar tree forest comes from the forests of São Miguel Island, Portugal which covers 31% of the islands to ensure its sustainability and its rich texture with phytochemical.  Its name comes from the cypress tree known to the Cupressaceae family as it is native to Japan known as Sugi aka the Japanese Cedar or the Japanese redwood.  

Its benefits include an increase in the skin’s natural tenderness, an increase in the skin’s suppleness for Vitamin A, C, D, and E and it restores the skin barrier on the body. 

Camellia Japonica

Camellia japonica, known as common camellia, or Japanese camellia, is a species of Camellia, a flowering plant part of the family Theaceae. It comes from the Furnas Valley, with its unique edaphoclimatic (situations that promote a specific plant community,) conditions and mineral-rich volcanic soil.

There are thousands of cultivars of C. Japonica in cultivation, with many colors and forms of flowers. In the U.S. it is sometimes called japonica.

In the wild, it is found in mainland China, Taiwan, southern Korea and southwestern Japan. It grows in forests, at altitudes of around 300–1,100 meters.

And then there is the technology they use.

EPC Factor® 

Ignae’s EPC Factor® are liposomes with a nanostructure that can slip beyond the surface of the skin with minimal resistance and are a major breakthrough in skincare. A nanometer = 1 billionth of a meter — to put this into perspective, a human hair is about 80,000 nanometers wide.

Nanosomes are unique because they’re designed with a water-based head and an oil-based tail. The water-based head allows it to be accepted by the skin, while the oily tail propels it all the way to the deepest layers of the dermis. This is why the texture of our products is light and has a liquid feel, as heavier textures impede nanosomal penetration.

This ingredient is created in the laboratory in the Azores using the result of years of advanced research and applied sciences for use in clinically proven skincare.

It regenerates the skin and generates potent actives onto the deep layers of the skin which protect the potent encapsulated actives, contributing to preventing their oxidation and effects of light exposure whilst still nourishing the skin.

EPC Factor® have the ability to significantly increase extracellular hyaluronic acid and decrease the amount of active MMP1, a key enzyme directly responsible for UV-induced photo-aging and collagen breakdown.

Daily Enzyme Cleanser

This cleanser uses EPC Factor which is extracted from algae and plants from the Azores Forest and uses tartaric and lactic acid which provides a superficial peel and exfoliation, while also unblocking and cleansing pores which results in clear and healthy skin.  

Rich Night Serum

Rich Night Serum contains a light oil texture due to the patent-pending EPC Factor liposomes, which carry the potent actives into the deepest layers of your skin for maximum cell regeneration.

It contains EPC Factor, Bakuchiol; which protects the skin’s lipids from peroxidation, Camellia Japonica, and Cryptomeria Japonica which increases the suppleness of the skin and also has a moisturising factor. 

Dynamic Eye Complex

This eye cream is formulated with a combination of high-performance peptides specifically designed to reduce the appearance of dark circles around the eyes and diminish fine lines and wrinkles with a firming effect. 

It helps to regenerate the eye area of the skin which leaves it in a smooth and more childhood appearance on the skin.

Enriched Regeneration Serum

This light serum is a multifunctional treatment for collagen degradation, glycation, and environmental damage, such as urban pollutants.

It contains peptide chains that improve the appearance of expression wrinkles, skin firmness, and elasticity as the time-defying serum can also reduce skin roughness and minimise fine lines, giving more radiant skin and an immediate lifting effect.

The Azores is the world’s first certified archipelago by EarthCheck, the world’s leading scientific benchmarking certification for travel and tourism. Three of the nine islands, Corvo, Graciosa & Flores, and its surrounding ocean are Biosphere Reserves recognised by UNESCO.

This represents a strong commitment to preserve this environment and marine ecosystems. The fertility of the volcanic soil, combined with the winter rains and abundance of water sources allows the Azores to have a rich, luxuriant vegetation.

Nature gives us so much energy, water, and sunlight. The Azores Islands in Portugal offer rich ingredients with healing plants that can regenerate our skin.

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