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Meet Miguel Pombo, Founder of Ignae

Meet Miguel Pombo, Founder of Ignae

Ignae brings you powerful skincare made from the natural resources of the Azores. We had the pleasure to speak with Miguel Pombo, and discover the brand's dedication to protect the ecosystem and its unique biotechnology to provide carefully crafted and transformative products.

What is the philosophy behind Ignae?

Ignae was created in 2017 with the idea of bringing to beauty all the beneficial properties of the ingredients that can be found in the Azores Islands, with the help of biotechnology. So this is what we have been doing ever since, while respecting the balance of our ecosystem, which is fragile and needs to be nurtured and protected.

What is your EPC Factor?

The EPC Factor is our proprietary, patent-pending delivery technology, which enables us to encapsulate soluble and insoluble botanical and algae extracts in very small liposomes, which can deliver them into the layers where they are most effective. The EPC Factor structure allows us to increase manifolds the effectiveness of some natural ingredients, but it also allows us to use less biomass, thus contributing to a more sustainable extraction of plants and algae from the Azores Islands.


Ignae harnesses the pristine natural resources of the Azores. What can you tell us about it?

We believe that outstanding ingredients can be sourced from the pristine nature of the Azores. It is a unique ecosystem, with forests, temperate ocean waters, volcanic soils and some extreme environments, like hotsprings or deep sea vents. We source our exquisite ingredients from these locations and enhance their natural properties with the use of our proprietary cutting edge biotechnology, developed in the Azores as well. We continuously search for the best ingredients for skincare, and are now specializing in actives from algae and cyanobacteria, which we believe, will have a huge impact on beauty in the coming years.

In your formulations, you use the Volcanic Thermal Water from the Azores, what are the main benefits of this ingredient?

The thermal water that we use comes from an aquifer that stands on top of an igneous rock (hence the name Ignae) inside the Furnas Valley, a major hidropolis, with over 30 different hotsprings. On its way to the surface, the water is enriched by many different minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron or natural silica. This hotspring, located in the beautiful Terra Nostra Garden, has been used for many centuries, treating certain skin conditions of travellers who would come here specifically for its properties. Nowadays, we know that it helps maintain the integrity of the skin barrier, as well as regenerate the collagen matrix and protect it from the damages caused by sun exposure. So we decided to use it as the building block of Ignae from our inception.

What's the technology behind Ignae's Blue Light Serum?

Our Blue Light Serum is formulated with a high concentration of betain, ectoin and inula helenium extract. The two latter have shown a powerful action against blue light radiation, while the betain provides a deep moisturization and nurturing of the skin. Finally, all this works synergistically with our EPC Factor, which also includes phycocyanin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory. The result is a powerful moisturizer with noticeable skin regenerating properties.

What do you think is the #1 mistake people make in their skincare routine?

Not being rigorous with their routine is, in my opinion, the #1 mistake, as you really need consistency to achieve noteworthy results. Also, I believe that many people (and this is especially the case with heavy users of skincare products), use a lot of unnecessary products that are too harsh on the lipid barrier, such as peels or acids. While the “baby skin” effect can be quite addictive at the beginning, on the long term, one can lose the skin’s natural protection and risk deteriorating the overall skin condition.

How do we transition our skincare routine from summer to autumn?

At least in the Mediterranean countries, such as our own, people tend to get a lot of sun exposure in the summer, and not be as rigorous with their skincare routine, so I would suggest using products that help restore the lipids on our skin, such as oils, or collagen-building peptides. Our Rich Night Serum, which is rich in oils (like bakuchiol and camellia japonica seed oil)  is able to provide a powerful regeneration of the skin, so it is a great addition to an Autumn skincare routine. 

Your favourite product?

I like our Ignae Dynamic Eye Complex very much, as it has an instant lifting effect, but I would have to go with our Enriched Regeneration Serum, as it is such a powerful moisturiser and on the short term, you feel your skin plumper, suppler and more dense. When we launched this product (and the new range), I used it once in Los Angeles and then took 4 consecutive flights, spending more than 16 hours inside planes, and my skin was always perfectly hydrated. It is great for fine lines and wrinkles as well, and is great as a stand alone product, especially for people who cannot use many products or are not very disciplined about their skincare routine.

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