From the outside, Alayube’s residence looks like a typical Brentwood house, but his garage is his factory where he manufactures and packages skin care products for Xingu Amazonia, his natural cosmetics company, which he officially launched in December after years of perfecting his formulas.
Xingu (pronounced shing-goo) products are cosmeceutical, combining cosmetic and pharmaceutical properties that simultaneously heal and beautify. For example, Alayube, an experienced chemist, designed a facial renewal lotion that not only moisturizes the skin but helps tighten pores and regenerate skin, creating a healthy glow by stimulating the body’s natural oil production. The lotion is made with organic materials such as olive oil extract, sweet almond nut oil, vitamin E and Cupuaçu butter.
Alayube uses Cupuaçu butter in most of his products. The butter is manufactured from the seeds of the Cupuaçu tree, which grows in the Amazon rainforest. While most people have probably never heard of Cupuaçu or its ability to sooth and moisturize skin, Alayube, a Brazilian of Afro-Native descent, grew up using the natural remedy.
“I didn’t discover any of the ingredients I’m using in my products,” Alayube said. “I’m just using them in a new way. People from the Amazon regions have been using these natural remedies for millennia. My mother is from the Mundurkus tribe and she used to chase me around when I was little, smearing this goo on my cuts and bruises. She swore by it, and sure enough, within a day or two any cut or bruise I had would be gone. Since the products are organic and made with natural materials, the body is less likely to reject it, so it goes to work faster.”
Alayube, who grew up in San Jose, never thought he’d turn to natural “goo” to make a living. He studied biochemistry at San Jose State before accepting a scholarship with NASA to study computer science. He spent years in the software industry, working for NASA and Microsoft, but eventually the long hours and travel began taking a toll on his health.
Alayube decided to leave the stressful technology world and go back to school to study cosmetic chemistry and learn how mix ancient Brazilian remedies with traditional beauty products such as lotions. Today he enjoys a quieter existence in his Brentwood lab, where he mixes and measures ingredients and whips them together with a standard kitchen mixer. Lotions take a day to make, while more complex products such as the anti-aging treatment serum take about three days to complete.
“I use raw ingredients that are similar to the sebum found in skin, which naturally protects the skin and locks in moisture, so the products blend well with all skin types,” Alayube said. “The products are non-toxic and hypoallergenic as well. My people have been using these ingredients for centuries and now I want to bring it to Brentwood and beyond.”
While Alayube sells his products to day spas, salons and estheticians, he also sells the Xingu line on the Internet. Xingu products are not tested on animals and use no animal-based ingredients. The all-natural vegan products contain no petroleum-based products, synthetic fragrances or artificial coloring.
For more information about Xingu Amazonia, visit www.xinguamazonia.com or call 925-392-8041.