Sustainability and Veganism are two words that have become much more prevalent across the globe, as well as in the Health & Beauty Industry. Consumers are becoming much more aware of what they are putting into their bodies as well as what they are putting onto it.
Cleaning products, washing detergents, shampoo & conditioner have all got Vegan, Cruelty-Free and Sustainable alternatives to their former. Brands as well as consumers are much more aware of the impact they have on our Earth and what responsibility they hold considering how the movement is shifting into popularity.
However, it is difficult not to fall into the trap of sustainability which involves mediocre beauty products faltering quality in replacement of Veganism because of its growing popularity. A term coined ‘Green-washing’. These Brands or Ranges could not compete with powerhouses like La Mer, La Prairie & Sisley in their efficacy, effects, and luxuriousness. What if we told you there was an avenue for both?
A lot of new brands are coming out with entirely Vegan, Cruelty-Free and Sustainable skincare, and while it’s fantastic for the environment, our health and for the animals – not all plant-based ingredients are formulated in ways that can impact our skin. Certain plant-based oils can have amazing impacts on the skin however if not formulated in ways to improve efficacy, target or extract aspects of the ingredient, our body doesn’t know what to do with them and thus will sit atop the skin until washed off in the evening.
Combining luxurious textures, scents and packaging, efficacy, and high results-driven technologies alongside Vegan, sustainable and Eco-friendly seemed like a difficult task. And for those who don’t necessarily want to commit to an entirely Vegan lifestyle, little impacts can be made to protect and help the environment in ways that don’t involve introducing raw, cold-pressed potato oil into your daily routine. It could be as simple as changing one or two steps in your skincare routine, without compromising on results.
Welcome Ayuna, an Eco-Luxury brand. Created by Isabel and Begoña, two Spanish female visionaries, Ayuna is an emerging Mediterranean vegan-friendly skincare brand launched exclusively at the Embassy of Beauty. Its packaging is elegant, sleek and sophisticated (not to mention entirely recyclable). Right away, it gave me a feeling of being an honest brand, down to earth, yet complex and elegant.
Textures are voluptuous, each step gives off a divine, fresh, and warm scent and intelligent technology has been encompassed throughout the brand. ‘Green-Technology’ is at the forefront of their ethos which has zero compromise to efficacy and everything to do with results.
Let me share my top three favourite picks from the Ayuna range below with you.
Ayuna Essence: the ideal exfoliator
Put simply, Ayuna Essence is a gentle grain-free “gommage” (the fancy French way to say exfoliation). I made the switch from grain exfoliators to chemical ones recently, so was excited to try this specific product. More than just a peel, Essence is a multifunctional 3 in 1 exfoliating mask that uncovers silky, smooth skin. It is prepared from 52% organic ingredients and is perfect for all skin types, on the face and neck. It works as a dual-acting formula, chemical and manual exfoliation, and finishes by nourishing through oleo-essence.
Essence goes on at first as a protein peel, removes as a gentle gommage polish and then transforms into a serum of organic olive oil. This process promotes extraordinary skin renewal, unveiling luminous skin, evening out the skin tone, and leaving the complexion appearing visibly younger. The first phase, the chemical exfoliation, is done by a cocktail of Alpha Amino Acids (AAA), aspartic and glutamic. Both amino acids contain unique acidic lateral chains, similar to glycolic and lactic acid, but much less abrasive.
When applied to the skin, the AAAs release a powerful renewing action that weakens corneodesmosomes and promotes their shedding (without getting too technical, corneodesmosomes are the lipidic glue-like connections between the cells and the AAAs loosens them).
AAAs are as effective as AHAs, but gentler so completely safe for all skin types. The manual exfoliation through gommage is done thanks to microcrystalline phytocellulose, a natural grain-free biodegradable exfoliating agent. Its fibrous structure refines and rejuvenates the appearance of the skin.
Finally, we have the oleo-essence phase. Olive squalene restores and prevents the dehydration of the skin’s lipid barrier whilst Olea Europea Oil, an emollient plant oil rich in antioxidant properties, prevents dry skin and inflammation. Skin is left with a remarkably soft feel to the touch. Finally, the fermented Lactobacillus and Cocos Nucifera use peptide technology to maintain the balance of the skin’s microbiome by promoting the survival of beneficial microorganisms, as well as providing broad-spectrum protection of the formula against bacteria, yeast, and mould.
Lately, I have been moving away from clay masks, which seem to dry out my skin, and towards the hydrating charcoal ones. I was therefore extremely excited about Balm, Ayuna’s volcanic revitalizing mask.
With fruit oil & squalene, lemon fruit water & probiotics, Volcanic Glass and Active Carbon the mask lessens the skin’s sensitivity, draws out impurities and leaves it feeling luscious. Further, the presence of Pullulan in the formula, a natural sugar, creates a hydrating and tightening film and enhances the skin’s natural ability to protect itself.
Incorporating its luscious “beautifulness”, a cocktail of natural aromatic essential oils, gurjam balm, holywood, myrrh, chamomile, rosemary and buchú, the scent is clean and warm, and highly addictive! Balm gives a visibly more relaxed, rejuvenated, and luminous complexion. It diminishes signs of ageing (mostly fatigue and stress), detoxifies, and reduces the appearance of pores.
Last but not least, the notorious Cellular Oil. This is Ayuna’s best-selling product and is ideal for dehydrated and/or dry skin. It is a powerful revitalizing serum-in-oil that softens and brightens the skin while triggering the skin’s rejuvenation process.
It provides the skin with micro-lipids found in stem cells obtained from the Acebuche tree, i.e. the Millennial Wild Olive Tree. When applied to the skin, the oil triggers the cellular rejuvenation cycle of the skin by activating mitochondrial fusion which in turn generates and recycles energy and protects cells against environmental and metabolic stresses.
With 44% organic ingredients and a pleasant texture that easily absorbs, the oil is designed to revitalize all skin types. Instantly, the skin radiates luminosity, becomes firmer and healthier. Signs of fatigue are diminished, and the skin enjoys increased elasticity and flexibility, greater comfort, velvet-like softness and smoothed out wrinkles.
The Cellular Oil sinks in without leaving skin feeling greasy and most importantly, without clogging pores or causing any breakouts. The blend also includes fatty acid-rich hazelnut and sweet almond oils which nourish and smooth skin.
Finally, the scent is is out of this world, and reminded me of a warm summer evening, after a day of soaking up the Mediterranean sun.
Vegan beauty is not new, but the demand is growing. According to Forbes, though most consumers have not adopted a fully vegan lifestyle, the vegan beauty market is on the rise—and projected to reach $21.4 billion globally by 2027.
Overall, the Ayuna product range does not disappoint, and your skin will thank you for all the amazing benefits it will bring to it!
Encompassing high levels of technology alongside eco-friendly plant-based ingredients harnessed inhouse without damaging the environment and even considering water usage – this brand is a certain way to incorporate all you love within skincare with the aspect of doing some good to the world we live in.