Meet Ayond, a Skincare Brand That's Harnessed the Desert's Best Ingredients

Its products will transport you to New Mexico.

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Various skincare products
Photo: Courtesy of Ayond

When you think of the desert, the word "dry" probably comes to mind, and "hydration" likely doesn't. However, the founders of Ayond, a luxury skincare brand rooted in Santa Fe, NM, are working to change that. Shani Van Breukelen and Porter Yates launched the brand in 2018 and have since been building a line of eco-friendly products that shares their love of the desert with the world.

The founders refer to the brand as "transformative beauty inspired by desert resilience," and it's easy to see how this message is reflected in its formulas: Wild indigo, blue butterfly bush, and sand verbena, for example, are all found in the Southwest. Both Van Bruekelen and Yates are happy to share just how valuable these ingredients are to one's skincare routine and what the desert landscape means to them. "Growing up in Santa Fe, I experienced the uniqueness of what the desert has to offer and we wanted to represent more than just cacti or sand dunes," Yates said.

Ayond's line currently includes the Metamorph Cleansing Balm, the Rock Rose Face Serum, the Amber Elix Face Oil, and the Taos Blue Day Cream. Each has multiple uses; the cleansing balm, for example, can be used not only as a facial cleanser, but also an anti-irritation mask and a salve to use for facial massage with a gua sha. The day cream, on the other hand, both moisturizes and protects the skin from pollution and blue light from screens.

Black jar of cleansing balm
Courtesy of Ayond

To buy: Metamorph Cleansing Balm,, $80

In speaking with Van Breukelen and Yates, it's clear how much thought went into each product, especially when it comes to staying true to the brand's desert inspiration. "Our Amber Elix Face Oil is inspired by the canyonlands of the southwest, gems of fossilized Amber and the warmth and groundedness one feels during the golden hour," Yates said.

Bottle of face oil
Courtesy of Ayond

To buy: Amber Elix Face Oil,, $120

Yates and Van Breukelen specifically called out rock rose extract as their "hero ingredient," since it's included in nearly every Ayond product. It is "an ingredient we use in so many areas of our lives, we drink it as a tea, burn the absolute to relax and infuse it in our skincare," they said. As far as its skincare benefits go, "Rock rose is an amazing plant that helps restore stressed environments — it is extremely resilient due to a resin it produces that protects it from the high desert sun and heat. Many of the protective properties of the resin are translated into our skincare, helping to protect the health of your skin from environmental stress."

Bottle of face serum
Courtesy of Ayond

To buy: Rock Rose Face Serum,, $120

I had the chance to try out the cleansing balm and face serum for myself, and I was impressed with the luxurious feel of both products from the get-go. As someone who has recently started paying more attention to skincare ingredients (a long overdue development), I appreciate how much care went into the formulation of these products — and I could feel the difference on my skin.

jar of face cream
Courtesy of Ayond

To buy: Taos Blue Day Cream,, $110

From thoroughly washing off the day (a must in New York City) with the cleansing balm to adding a soothing, hydrating serum that's intended to combat visible signs of stress and premature aging (another necessity as a New Yorker), I was able to add an element of the peaceful New Mexican desert to my daily routine, even from across the country.

As for what's next, Van Breukelen and Yates mentioned that they're currently working on a night cream and a treatment mask, both of which will include more of the hydrating, soothing, plant-sourced ingredients the brand has become known for.

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