Ignae, a Portuguese beauty start-up that develops its biotechnology
ingredients from the natural habitats of the Azores, is launching a direct-to-consumer site that offers its new range of premium skin care products, alongside AI skin testing and a personalized skin condition monitor, to the U.S. market next Monday, WWD can exclusively reveal.
Founded by Miguel Pombo in 2016, a native of the Azores, the brand was created with the belief that from the depths of the surrounding sea to volcanic fumaroles, many ingredients in the Azores ecosystem can be used for skin healing and regeneration.
The brand’s latest patent-pending EPC Factor Complex, which is used across its products, is a kind of nanostructure called liposomes that imitates the phospholipids that make up the cell membrane and is extracted from the plants found across the islands of the Azores. These nano delivery vehicles allow the penetration and absorption of active ingredients deep into the skin’s dermis.
Pombo said the new formulation is made of phospholipids that resemble the ones present in human’s own cell membranes and therefore enhances the bio-absorption of the encapsulated substances.
“The fact that our liposomes are plant-based, clean and vegan is super exciting. It’s not easy to stabilize and encapsulate all the ingredients into a delivery vehicle to your dermis. Let’s not forget the skin was designed to keep things out....With the size of 400 nanometers, our liposomes can slip beyond the barrier of the skin into its deeper layers, with minimal resistance, allowing the algae and plant extracts from the Azores Islands to be absorbed through the skin to produce superior results,” he said.
With the new development in biotechnology, the brand is bullish about its prospects in the U.S. market. The brand was previously only available in Europe and Asia online, and selected spas at five-star hotels.
Claire Chung, who joined the company last year as chief executive officer, believes that the brand is in a great position to tap into the clean beauty trend. Having spent more than two decades working in the luxury sector, Chung launched Net-a-porter in China as the general manager of Yoox Net-a-porter Group China in 2015.
“We’ve seen the trend in the U.S. market for clean and vegan skin care products and we go the next step by using biotechnology to deliver more powerful results with plant-based clean ingredients. This enables Ignae to be relevant to both younger conscious customers to an older demographic seeking anti-aging and performance-driven products,” she added.
Ignae is positioned at a premium price point. A bottle of 50-ml day complex and a tube of 50-ml regeneration serum are both priced at $192, while the night complex retails for $199.