Alya Skin was founded by Manny Barbas and James Hachem, two men in their early twenties from Melbourne. Neither had experience in the beauty industry, but they decided to team up and start the brand after seeing the face mask hype on social media. According to Barbas, the word ‘Alya’ means heavenly/beautiful in Arabic and that is how the name came about.
All Alya Skin products are vegan and animal cruelty free. There are three key products in the Alya Skincare line: Pomegranate Facial Exfoliator, Pink Clay Mask, and Australian Native Berries Moisturizer. The products can be purchased individually or in a bundle.
Alya Skin Pomegranate Facial Exfoliator deeply exfoliates and cleanses your skin, and is intended to be used prior to the Pink Clay Mask. It is said to be safe for sensitive skin and gentle enough to use every day. The Pomegranate Facial Exfoliator is also said to reduce skin inflammation, as well as help with eczema and acne.
Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask is said to detoxify and brighten your skin, while also providing anti-aging and anti-acne benefits. After using the Pomegranate Facial Exfoliator, it is recommended to apply the Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask to the T-Zone section of your face. Let your mask dry for 10 minutes then remove with the Alya Skin Bamboo Face Towel. Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask is said to be safe for sensitive skin, although one of the ingredients (which we’ll discuss below) has the potential to cause sensitization reactions.
Of note, it is claimed that the Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask can help to “close and tighten pores”. We’d like to point out that no mask or skin care ingredient can open or close pores because pores don’t have muscles around their opening to allow them to open and close! Rather, the ingredients in the Pink Clay Mask will help to clear excess oil, dirt, and other impurities from pores, which may minimize the appearance of pores.
Alya Skin Australian Native Berries Moisturizer is to be used after the Pink Clay Mask in order to moisturize the skin. It is said to be safe for sensitive skin and should be used on a daily basis.
Next we will discuss the formulation details for each of the key products in the Alya Skincare line.
As the name implies, the Pomegranate Facial Exfoliator features pomegranate extract. Pomegranate extract has catechins with a high antioxidant activity. Antioxidants limit oxidative stress caused by free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. The key exfoliating ingredient in this scrub is cellulose acetate, which is a polymer made from pure cellulose extracted from wood pulp by a reaction using acetic acid. Cellulose acetate is biodegradable and is a highly sustainable product that replaces polyethylene (PE) beads. Cellulose acetate physically exfoliates the skin, which helps to remove dead skin cells from the surface of skin that can clog pores and cause a dull complexion. Lastly, there are several emollients in the Pomegranate Facial Exfoliator, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and macadamia seed oil, which all help keep the skin soft and smooth.
Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask contains two natural clays: kaolin and bentonite. They both have excellent absorption properties, which means they can absorb excess oil from the pores and help to reduce shine. They also function as gentle abrasives that can exfoliate the top layers of skin, removing any accumulated dead skin cells to reveal a brighter, smoother complexion. Alya Skin Pink Clay Mask contains a high concentration of witch hazel. Witch hazel water is a source of several types of antioxidants, including tannins. Tannins are phenolic compounds rich in hydroxy residues that impart astringent properties, resulting in a constricting and drying effect when applied to the skin. They work by cross-linking with keratin proteins, creating an invisible film that can temporarily degrease skin, tighten and tone skin, and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. However, it should be noted that tannins can cause irritation and sensitization reactions with some people.
Alya Skin Australian Native Berries Moisturizer contains a bioactive complex of 3 Australian super berries: Tasmannia lanceolata (Pepperberry) fruit extract, Syzygium luehmannii (Riberry) fruit extract, and Kunzea pomifera (Mutries) fruit extract. All three of these extracts provide antioxidant benefits to the skin. This moisturizer is also claimed to contain vitamin C, however, neither vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or its derivatives can be found on the ingredient list. Australian Native Berries Moisturizer contains several emollients, such as sweet almond oil, macadamia seed oil, and she butter, which all help to improve skin hydration and keep it feeling soft and smooth.
While Alya Skin Australian Native Berries Moisturizer is said to be safe for sensitive skin, we’d like to point out that there are several fragrance ingredients in this moisturizer, including citronellol, geraniol, linalool, citral, and farnesol. While they do make the product smell lovely, they could be damaging your skin. This is because the way most fragrance ingredients impart scent is through a volatile reaction, which almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin. Plus, you don’t always need to immediately see or feel the sensitizing effects of fragrance ingredients for your skin to suffer damage.
Alya Skin has received several awards and has been featured in many popular magazines, such as Glamour, Vogue, TeenVogue, Australian Women’s Health, and more. All of the Ayla Skin products have received an impressive amount of positive reviews. For instance, the Pink Clay Mask currently has 1,467 reviews on the brand’s website with an average of 5 out of 5 stars. The Pomegranate Facial Exfoliator and Australian Native Berries Moisturizer don’t have quite as many reviews as the Pink Clay Mask, but both products have still received an average of 5 out of 5 stars on the Ayla Skin website.
References: Whimn.com.au “These Two Aussie Boys Made $3 Million Dollars Selling Face Masks” Aug 2018, alfa-chemicals.co.uk “Lessonia reports on how to successfully replace PE beads in your cosmetic formulations”