The sights, sounds, and smells associated with the Caribbean islands have inspired many product formulations from mainstream cosmetic companies and the skincare industry generally. There is, however, nothing quite like discovering really great skincare brands that are not only good for your skin but are owned and operated by Caribbean nationals. POTENT shares three standout skincare lines that champion self-care and embrace au-naturel beauty.
Brand: itiba, LLC
Founder: Yoki K Hanley
Location: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
She Creates: Caribbean-inspired, natural skin care.
Yoki’s Skincare Regimen: Every night, I wash my face with one of the bars of soaps. the type of day I have had it will determine the soap I use. I follow up with the matching serum. It is very important to always moisturize immediately after washing.
TIP: when you start to sweat, use a hand towel to wipe your face instead of your hands. Doing that will lessen breakouts. I also do a full body exfoliation once a week.
Yoki’s Inspiration: Nature is one of my inspirations as well as my children and grandchildren. Everything I create has a basis in nature and is used to address some sort of sensitivity or allergy that one of my family members may have.
Her Achievements: Itiba is the only locally (USVI) naturally made skincare to have a board certified dermatologist’s recommendation. Her products are currently used and sold at Emerald Mist Spa in St. Kitts Royal Marriot Resort and the Ixora Spa at Scrub Island, BVI. In 2014, Yoki won Business Woman of the Year and 2015 Leadership Woman’s award
Signature Item: Crucian Spice Body Butter, $28.00
Founder: Nydia Norville
Location: St. Lucia and the US
She Creates: Artisanal, all natural skincare products inspired by the beauty of St. Lucia and the Caribbean.
Nydia’s Skincare Regimen: I like to keep things very simple. I use the oil cleansing method to purify and moisturize my face. My face is very dry and I’ve found that most soaps are generally way too harsh and tends to strip away too much of my skin’s natural sebum. For my body, I will use a castile soap to cleanse and I will hydrate with Choiselle’s bath & body oil in warmer climates and use our body butter in colder climates when my skin tends to be drier.
Nydia’s Inspiration: I always tend to be inspired by someone that started as the underdog, someone that came from “nothing” and turned things around and made something great out of their life despite their circumstances.
Her Successes: Every time a customer writes on social media or tells us how much they love our products and how great they. For me, that means I’ve done my job. That’s the ultimate success.
Trends/Predictions (in Skincare): Consumers are choosing small batch, formulated in small runs, natural products over those that are chemically enhanced. There’s a growing preference for fresh, simpler products with less ingredients that have multiple uses. For example, our lemongrass bath & body oil has less than 5 ingredients, is a great moisturizer for the summer, and also works as a natural insect repellent.
Signature Item: Bath & Body Oil/Lemongrass, $25
Brand: HiRuna Island Soaps
Founder: Marcia Allen
Location: St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Little Elm, Texas
Marcia Creates: Handmade bath and body products. Her main products are handmade natural soaps but she also makes bath bombs, bubble bars and body butter.
Marcia’s Skincare Regimen: My facial skin routine is extremely simple; I use HiRuna Island Soap’s Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay soap in the mornings to wash my face then I use diluted raw apple cider vinegar as a facial toner and I follow that with a little bit of virgin coconut oil as a moisturizer as needed.
Marcia’s Inspirations: I am inspired by nature and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Being able to create products that reflect the memories of my childhood and that are also a healthy alternative to commercial products is important. These products are not just “soap” they are reflection of me as a Vincentian.
Her Successes: Launching my business last year and having nothing but positive reception in my target market; having a couple wholesale clients who are supplying buyers with my soaps in different markets. Always having successful responses and sales at local and regional vendor events.
Trends/Predictions (in Skincare): I see the trend leaning toward being more natural, light and easy to use products. Less is more and natural is always better.
Signature Item: Activated Charcoal & Bentonite Clay Soap, $6
Instagram/Twitter: Instagram – @hirunasoaps