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Austin Couple Launch AKINYI Skin Care to Create Youthful, Hydrated Skin

Local husband-and-wife duo blend their ideal mix of nurturing ingredients for their skin care brand 

Akinyi Slom Founders – Beauty Pick
JD Simon & Sheila Naya, founders of AKINYI (photo by Romina Olson)

Dissatisfied with countless skin care products on the market, Sheila Naya and JD Simon, a local husband-and-wife duo, set forth to create the perfect moisturizer themselves. With an entrepreneurial spirit and motivation to find the exact formula to treat a multitude of skin issues, Naya and Simon worked together to launch their brand, AKINYI, earlier this year. 

“As I grow older, my skin has become really dry, so in the morning, Sheila and I were in the bathroom with different lotions and oils, rubbing them together just trying to get the right hydration for our skin,” says Simon. “That’s pretty much how this idea started… creating our own product to keep our skin looking young and moisturized.” 

Sheila Naya and JD Simon, founders of AKINYI (photo by Romina Olson)
Sheila Naya and JD Simon, founders of AKINYI (photo by Romina Olson)

After years of mixing products in their own Austin apartment, the duo went out on the journey to create their ideal facial moisturizer. They solidified a partnership with a scientist to create their exact formula, a journey that took a year of back-and-forth to ensure the end result had the exact consistency to work well through all seasons. Ultimately, they settled on a product that seals in hydration and safeguards the skin from environmental damage.

Nourish, heal, rejuvenate with key ingredients

The AKINYI moisturizer aims to address three areas. “We want to nourish your skin; we want to heal your skin; we want to rejuvenate your skin,” shares Naya.

The moisturizing cream includes key ingredients such as collagen, which Naya notes, “helps with wrinkles and those fine lines, making your skin look youthful.” AKINYI contains premium fatty acids, including ceramides, essential oils such as jojoba oil, and antioxidant vitamins like E and C.

“Then, we have Niacinamide, which is a very good ingredient when it comes to shrinking your pores, and for people who have hyperpigmentation and eczema spots, vitamin C helps to lighten,” adds Naya. As for their secret weapon? Naya divulges that it’s pearl extract, “a nice ingredient to make your skin look youthful and supple and radiant.”

Naya and Simon designed the product to be sensitive for all skin types but also for all age groups and genders, as well. 

“You don’t really see a lot of men that really care about their skin,” adds Simon, “but as you get older it’s beneficial to develop some type of routine.” 

 “We also wanted the scent to be as unisex as possible because everyone loves sandalwood; everyone likes clean scents,” adds Naya. 

Akinyi skin moisturizing creme
AKINYI moisturizing creme (photo by Taylor Prinsen Photography)

About the brand’s name

The brand’s name, AKINYI, originates from Naya’s father’s Tribe in Kenya. 

“In the Luo Tribe in Kenya, if you’re a girl and you are born early in the morning, your name is Akinyi”, explains Naya, whose middle name is Akinyi. The product design gives a nod to the idea of waking up early in the morning with lovely, supple, youthful looking skin. 

As for the packaging, Naya explains how her middle name carries through all details. “It’s yellow like the sun, and then black like the founders,” she explains. “And if you look at the logo, there’s a little ring that symbolizes the sun, too.”

It is clear that careful thought has been put into every aspect of the AKINYI skin care brand. Learn more and order online at