A regular school project was transformed into a showcase of innovation and creativity as second-year Chemistry students at the Barbados Community College put their skills to the test.
As part of their Industrial Chemistry course, students were challenged to come up with their own creations or products in high demand using natural raw materials indigenous to Barbados.
On offer were bath soaps, essential oils, body moisturizers, shampoos, foot scrubs and T-shirts.
Makala Springer caught the eye with her Pure Bliss, a beauty bar made with essential oils to help users minimize stress and depression through aromatherapy. She explained that the oils commonly used in spas by masseuses to relax their clients were especially helpful for conditions such as insomnia and anxiety.
Her products also included bath bombs made of eucalyptus oil and spearmint, sugar scrubs with cocoa butter, grape seed oil and coconut oil as well as a hydrating facial cleanser made of aloe vera to prevent acne and moisturize the skin.
“I just wanted to promote well-being and health and not focus on just external beauty but beauty from within,” Springer said, adding that she was now considering creating a line of natural products.
Three friends, Monesha Durbeej, Cara Cumberbatch and Yonelle Anderson teamed up to present Auna’s Body Care that specialized in soaps, body moisturizers and face exfoliators.
Like Springer, the trio pointed out that natural products are less harsh on the skin, with little to no side effects. They used natural oils as the main ingredient in their offerings, which included cinnamon swirl and milk chocolate soaps, sea salt face exfoliators and mint vera shampoo.
Another interesting discovery was Therapeutic Remedies by RJNK Beauties, which tailored its beauty products to people in search of natural products because of allergic reactions to popular brands on the market. The line featured scrubs, lip balms, soaps, exfoliants and tie-dye T-shirts.
Further down the line, a smiling Janesa Phillips offered special comfort for tired feet with her Treasure Island, a foot scrub made with olive oil, glycerin, dead sea salt and lavender oil.
Phillips also gained attention with her Lemon My Honey, an edible lip scrub made from cinnamon, glycerin and lemon. She said they were advantages to using natural products.
“When you use chemicals, yes, they will say one chemical in there is helping you fight acne but then there is another product that is causing an allergic reaction… causing your skin to break out more,” she said stressing that natural products contain more antioxidants.
Rolanda Boyce was not to be left out with her special line of soaps made from ingredients such as turmeric, charcoal, peppermint oil, dried moringa leaves and infused oils with chamomile flowers and olive oil.
The students who encouraged their peers to take better care of their skin all told Barbados TODAY they received positive feedback about their line of products.
Chemistry tutor Annette Alleyne noted that while the students mainly produced body care products, she was nevertheless pleased with the high quality of work and use of local materials.
“As a people, we very often don’t even recognize how valuable what we have is, we always look on the outside for knowledge and for people to tell us what to do,” she said, calling for more research to be done on the products being made in the island.