The Portuguese skin care company has its roots in 2009. It was founded by Miguel Pombo, who previously worked in the cosmetic industry dealing with regulation. Pombo, originally from the Azores, has developed his range of skin care products inspired by the unique biodiversity of the archipelago.
The Azores are a set of nine volcanic islands. With a subtropical climate and fertile, rich soil, it is home to a unique assortment of flora, including Europe’s only tea plantations and rainforests.
“The first time I went to the Azores I was immediately impressed, it’s like heaven. Not only is it beautiful, but it has an amazing biological ecosystem. It has thermal water, tea plantations, and rainforests. It’s really amazing, “said Claire Chung, CEO of Ignae.
The brand uses a range of ingredients from the Azores, including Japanese camillia, Japanese cedar and phycocyanin extracted from spirulina.
Powering Ignae is the patent-pending brand’s EPC Factor Complex, delivering the powerful ingredients into the deepest layers of the skin.
“With this technology, we are able to deliver them to the basal layer of the skin where they are most effective. Being able to use the full potential of these natural extracts in highly effective cosmetic products was the big step forward, ” Pombo said Cosmetic Design-Asia.
The use of biotechnology improves the effectiveness of the active ingredients and also allows the company to develop its products with minimal impact on the ecosystem.
“The use of this technology not only brings more efficacy to the products but also sustainability. It is something that is really important to us because it is something that we will take globally and we cannot drain the resources of this rare paradise. ” Chung said.
Chung, who led the launch of Net-A-Porter in China, joined the company in 2020 and immediately recognized Ignae’s global potential, especially in Asia.
“After living in China for so many years, you become really sensitive to the ingredients. It really is the Azores; plants and water are very rich in minerals. In addition to having this extraordinary effectiveness, there is a real authentic story. Also, these products work very well on Asian skin, which is very critical. “
The company initially focused on establishing itself in the Western market, but has no doubts that Asia is a “key market “.
Today, Ignae is available online in Hong Kong, where it has a local partner. This year, one of the markets he will focus on is China.
“China is exciting because it is such a huge market and consumers are really hungry for novelty, and they are also hungry for authentic stories and things associated with nature – just like the Korean island, Jeju, but the Azores are a million times better. , “Chung said.
It is currently available on multi-brand luxury electronic retailer Ssence, which Chung says has a strong following among millennial Chinese consumers.
Chung said the company’s goal is to create a cross-border online channel within the next year. At the same time, it is looking for a strategic partner or distributor in China.
In addition, the company also focuses on the wider Asian region, including markets such as Japan, Korea and Singapore.