Island Time

Island Time

My name is: M. Claire Chung.

My stomping ground is: Lisbon, New York and Shanghai. I have the privilege of calling each one “home.”

I’m known for being: The calm in the middle of the tornado. 

I'm talking about: Skincare and wellness.

You can find it at: ignae.com.

Before I launched this, I was: I had launched Net-a-Porter in China and, prior to that, China’s first luxury online retailer.

My interest was sparked when: 

I met Miguel Pombo, who sent me a bottle of Ignae. It removed all my wrinkles. We teamed up and raised capital to launch the new Ignae—a clean, vegan skincare line.  

What inspired me to start this was:  

Landing in the Azores islands which lie in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I was stunned by the volcanic lakes with bubbling thermal springs sprinkled throughout the island.  There were rainforests, black volcanic beaches and rolling tea plantations. I thought, “Is this for real?” I think I’ve discovered the fountain of youth.

The idea behind it is:  

Our mission is to create high performance skincare by enhancing ingredients sustainably sourced in the rare ecosystem and pure nature of the Azores. We recognize this as authentic luxury: rare, sustainable and transformative. Our-plant-based ingredients include extracts from the camellia flowers, Japanese cedars and green tea. Our camellia extract, powered by the most advanced biotechnology, is also collected in the heart of Terra Nostra, which has one of the largest camellia collections in the world with more than 600 varieties which benefit from the bubbling thermal water in the soil and a unique microclimate. Ignae also uses the repairing properties of phycocyanin, extracted from spirulina, which is collected on Graciosa Island, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and known for the purity of its marine ecosystem.

Our secret ingredient is:  

Ignae made a biotech breakthrough in creating our patent pending EPC factor made of liposomes that encapsulate the powerful, natural, regenerative ingredients found in our products. With our biotechnology, the active ingredients are able to be carried deep into the layers of the skin where new cells are produced, enabling repair of damaged skin cells and supporting cellular regeneration.

It’s so important to ground to the earth because: With the speed that I live my life and the way I (used to) travel, grounding oneself is important. Even in the city, I take the time to go walk barefoot in the park and walk barefoot on the beach. I invest in the time to ground myself, literally, to the earth.

We all spend too much time sitting in front of computers and using our mental capacities. Grounding yourself to the earth through the feet is a holistic approach to self-care. Our feet contain many minor chakras, but there are seven specific energy points that correspond to the seven main chakras that run from the base of our pelvis to the top of our head. These chakras are the conduits between the energy of the earth and the energy of our bodies.

A relationship with nature is everything because: Nature does not need mankind, but mankind needs nature to live. We need to honor and respect it.

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