Meet the Co-founders of Ayuna: Dr. Isabel Ramos, PhD in chemistry and expert in Green Technology and Begoña Sanjuan, expert in product development, Spa and Wellness therapies and aesthetic treatments

How and when Ayuna was born and what is the brand DNA?
Begoña and Isabel: A few years ago, the idea started to take shape in our minds. In 2015, after years of scientific and professional experience, we made the decision to create AYUNA · Less is Beauty, aiming to offer the market “better” cosmetic products and assert that another type of cosmetics is possible. Our vision went beyond the creation of toxic-free and environmentally friendly products; we designed a beauty concept at the intersection of natural, high-tech, and luxury, to combine the luxury experience (effectiveness, sensoriality, elegance, and sophistication) with the attributes of natural cosmetics (clean, safe, respectful to people and the environment) in a single brand. Disrupting the established narrative, we believed that beauty is about living transparently, radiating confidence and promoting a positive internal dialogue reflecting outward wellbeing and self-respect.
AYUNA · Less is Beauty was launched in January 2017 at IBE Los Angeles, with great success and reception by media, specialized buyers, and curators from the Clean segment.
Can you give us more details about the scientific and green Biotech aspect of Ayuna? 
Begoña and Isabel: AYUNA draws much of its inspiration from plants, as they hold a diverse chemical arsenal that, through biotechnology, is transformed into optimal ingredients for effective natural cosmetics. The starting point for AYUNA's formulations is botanical cell cultures, which adapt the growth of wild plants to the controlled laboratory conditions to obtain high-quality, effective plant stem cells. This sustainable cultivation method, without pesticides or contaminants, does not deplete or overexploit our precious natural resources and allows us to obtain plant stem cells of the highest quality and efficiency. At AYUNA, we firmly believe that these crops will be the future.
What are the holy grail products of your line and why?
Begoña and Isabel: All Ayuna products are unique in their own way and they all provide different solutions for different needs. However, if we were to highlight a few, they would be SoapEssence, Cream II, and Balm. They perfectly represent the "less is beauty" philosophy because with only four products, your skin receives everything it needs. The perfect choice to enjoy a complete AYUNA regimen to rejuvenate and revitalize the skin includes an artisan detoxifying cleansing soap, an advanced treatment cream based on botanical cell cultures, a dual-acting protein-based exfoliant, and a tightening detoxifying mask. It is not a coincidence that these are four of the first products that launched the collection.
 Can you tell us more about your newest award-winning product “Need-le”?
Begoña and Isabel: Need-le is one of AYUNA's latest creations, launched at the iconic and exclusive TERRA. Its formula enhances the luminosity and chromatic quality of the skin, promoting a more radiant and even complexion while giving it a silky texture.
The true innovation of Need-le lies in the introduction of two new concepts: galenic channeling and the photobiota factor. The first, inspired by the microneedling technique, includes natural spicules in the formula that give it channeling capabilities. Meanwhile, by properly nourishing the skin's microbiota, luminous probiotics are generated that enhance the skin's photoprotection.
 The Facial – an absolute Must-Have in my opinion. Can you share the science behind it?

Begoña and Isabel: The Facial is a wonderful product, perfect for including in any daytime or nighttime beauty routine. It is an innovative powder-to-lotion formula that visually transforms the skin, improving its texture and appearance.
Its formula includes a triad of exfoliating acids –30% (high) and 20% (low)—that combines succinic acid with AAA Alpha-Amino Acid Glutamic and Acetic acid. These are gradually released through a colloidal system. Additionally, the inclusion of Noni cell-rich plasma makes it a super prebiotic, helping to maintain skin microbiota balance, optimize beauty routine results, unify skin tone, and maintain more luminous and healthy skin.
The Cream II needed 98 prototypes to perfect the final formulation. What has been the difficulty to get this formulation the way you envisioned it?
Isabel: Formulating Cream II posed numerous challenges for AYUNA due to our high standards of efficacy and sensory experience, as well as the need for clean products, free from a wide range of commonly used cosmetic ingredients. With only approximately 10% of available ingredients meeting our criteria, we had to achieve the same quality as our most premium products. We couldn't rely on conventional additives such as acrylic polymers or carbomers to achieve the desired viscosity and texture, so we had to create a new way of making cosmetics from scratch. Developing clean and premium cosmetics meant rethinking every aspect of formulation, from preservation to emulsification, without compromising safety or stability. Additionally, we faced the challenge of finding clean and microbiota-friendly preservation solutions, as there were barely any options available at that time. We had to develop our own system to preserve the products, overcoming the instability that these formulas sometimes presented. So, that was the difficulty: making all these variables add up to create a safe and stable product, with a limited range of ingredients and numerous obstacles. It was all a challenge.
Your overall favorite ingredients to use in Ayuna?
Begoña and Isabel: Thanks to the use of botanical cell cultures, phyto-peptides, and plasmas rich in cellular factors, high-performance ingredients that form the basis of our formulations are possible. Among the most notable are the cultures of cannabis, olive tree, green carrot, Arabian cotton, and pomegranate, which offer a wide range of functions for the skin. Additionally, the peptidic fractions from turmeric root and Centella Asiatica, known as the longevity plant, stand out for their promising results in maintaining the skin's regenerative potential.
What people don't realize of Ayuna? What would surprise them?
Begoña and Isabel: People don’t realize that Ayuna goes beyond just being a cosmetic brand; it embodies a powerful concept aimed at reshaping our understanding of beauty. Since its inception, Ayuna has been on a mission to revolutionize beauty norms by advocating for products geared towards 'well-aging' rather than 'anti-aging'. Our fundamental belief is that cosmetics should serve as a celebration of self-acceptance and care for one's skin, rather than a remedy for perceived imperfections. We're committed to fostering a positive relationship with beauty, grounded in self-love and confidence. Moreover, Ayuna is backed by extensive scientific research, demonstrating the tangible benefits of using positive language to enhance our beauty.
What is your personal holistic beauty and supplement/food protocol?

Begoña: For my holistic food protocol, I consume daily foods sourced from our garden, which my husband primarily cultivates. I lend a helping hand whenever possible.
Isabel: My beauty protocol includes lifestyle habits (avoiding exposure to toxins like tobacco, excessive sun, maintaining a healthy diet, using CLEAN cosmetics), working on accepting the passage of time (valuing my skin and body beyond wrinkles or contours, for everything they allow me to do and achieve each day). Regarding supplements, magnesium has become a great ally in recent months.
What are your most important healthy habits?
Begoña: One of my most important healthy habits is prioritizing quality sleep. I firmly believe that adequate and restorative sleep is essential for overall well-being. It not only rejuvenates the body but also enhances mental clarity and creativity.
Isabel: Taking care of my diet (avoiding excessive added sugars, eating fresh and locally sourced foods), exercising (yoga, strength training, and walking), taking care of the elements I introduce into my home and onto my skin, avoiding known toxins.
What is your best-kept Longevity secret?
Begoña: Maintaining balance in every aspect of life is crucial to leading a long and fulfilling life, be it work, relationships, diet, self-care, or exercise
Isabel: Enjoying time with my family and friends, surrounding myself with the people I love and enjoying the moment with them. Affection and connection seem to me the most powerful way to give the body the ability to protect and be resilient.
What makes you feel your Best?
Begoña: Tom (my son). His presence brings me immense joy, reminding me of the beauty of life. Being with him allows me to immerse myself fully in the present moment.
Isabel: Going hiking in nature, especially in mountainous areas. The grandeur of these landscapes makes ego and problems seem small.
What is your personal mantra?
Begoña: "Make it happen. There are no limits. Keep breaking boundaries." This mantra reminds me to always pursue my goals with determination and resilience, knowing that with persistence and creativity, anything is possible.
Isabel: At the end of the road, people regret what they DIDN'T do.
First thing you do when you wake-up and last thing you do before going to bed.
Begoña: Starting the day mindfully is a great way to stay focused and energized, and I have found that deep breathing is an effective technique. Of course, I always greet the day with my dog, who brings me daily joy.
Before bed, I indulge in an "I Love You" facial massage, which helps me unwind and pamper my skin. This ceremony promotes relaxation and fosters self-love and care, setting the tone for a restful night's sleep. Additionally, I try to engage in digital fasting, although I don't always succeed.
Isabel: The first thing in my morning routine is meditation. The last thing is identifying and holding onto something positive and good that happened that day.
Life Changing book you read?
Begoña: I've found, particularly impactful, "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho.
Isabel: "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living" by Dale Carnegie.
I read it in my adolescence, and it gave me a completely new vision of how to live in the face of uncertainties and difficulties. It also opened the door to self-awareness and the conviction that physical or cultural "genetics" are not determinants, and we have the possibility to influence how we want to live.
Favorite meal to eat?
Begoña: Chocolate
Isabel: My weakness is chocolate! In terms of nutrition, the Mediterranean diet. I love all kinds of vegetables and legumes, in any combination (hummus, stews, ratatouille, ...). If I have to choose one, I'll go with my mother's chickpea and chard stew; nutritious and comforting. She, by family and cultural tradition, knew perfectly well how to make a delicious, complete, and balanced meal.
What is the best piece of advice you`ve ever received?
Begoña: Always stay true to myself and my vision.
Isabel: I have received many throughout my life, and it's impossible for me to discern one. I have counted and continue to count on wonderful people around me who have helped me in many moments with their advice, and thanks to all of them, I am here. However, I would highlight a "piece of advice" that came in the form of a song by Silvio Rodriguez ("Solo el Amor") and resonated with me a lot at a time in my life when I was facing difficulties in my research, so much so that I used it as the quote in my doctoral thesis: "You must love the hour of attempts, you must love the hour that never shines, only love manages to ignite what is dead, only love achieves wonder." I try to remind myself of it whenever I can.