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Caribbean Beauty: Three Must-Have Brands

Traditional island beauty ingredients that fell out of favor among younger generations are being brought back into the limelight.

| April 18th, 2013

From left to right: Susan Lee Quee, Courtesy of Sunny Isle, Courtesy of Cher-Mere
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Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil
Audiences in the U.S. and across the world have increasingly been discovering the wonders of Jamaican black castor oil, but it’s taken Jamaicans a while to come back around to using their grandmothers’ hair and skin staple.

“The black castor oil seeds came to Jamaica as part of the slave trade, and in the rural areas, they’re harvested, washed, laid out in the sun to dry, then roasted, crushed and boiled to separate the oil,” says Delroy Reid, owner of Miami-based Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil, who’s now on a marketing blitz in Jamaica to reintroduce the oil to urban audiences there. “In its purest form, the oil brings the blood to the surface of the skin, allowing the root follicles of the hair to get oxygen and enabling greater hair growth.”

Reid grew up watching his grandparents make their own black castor oil. Some of his clients have told him that the oil has done wonders to their eyelashes and eyebrows.

MORE: The Comeback of Caribbean Beauty Secrets

Ital Blends soaps and skincare
Michelle Yap-McKay, founder of Jamaican soap and skincare company Ital Blends, cannot say enough about the wonders of goats’ milk, which, she claims, is a panacea for eczema, acne, psoriasis and all manner of skin ailments.

Yap-McKay’s handmade products combine goats’ milk with a range of plants and flowers found in the mountains of Jamaica, including aloe, nettle, lavender and mint.

Cher-Mere hair and skin care
A biochemist by training, Cheryl Bowles, founder of Cher-Mere, was always inspired by the natural beauty treatments and health remedies used by her mother. By marrying science with nature, Bowles continues to highlight the benefits of the many plants and flowers of the Caribbean, and incorporates them in a range of eco-friendly, paraben-free hair and skin products that can work for anyone, anywhere.

MORE: What Makes Nordic Women Beautiful

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