“Cedros Bay is the Caribbean’s first All-Natural, Vegan, Cruelty-Free Skincare Line made with 100% Organic Coconut Oil. It’s 100% Caribbean and even has recyclable packaging”
Sugar, honey I know, the Island girl glow is all you want. Well, I got the ice tea (see what I did there)! All puns aside, let’s get straight to the point on how you can get your natural glow in moisture-sucking conditions. Cue the new Cedros Bay range from Coconut Growers Association (CGA) Limited, Trinidadian manufacturers who have utilised coconut trees far beyond their ability to shade for over 80 years.
This year CGA Limited decided the world needed to know how to look like a glowing Caribbean goddess. Which led to the launch of All-Natural, Vegan and Cruelty-Free Skincare Line Cedros Bay.
I like to keep it real in this space so when I was gifted the full range of products; I used it every Sunday for four months so I can confirm that my sensitive skin loved it as much as I loved the Island Bags packaging.
My favourite product by far is the Coconut Body Scrub! The sugar crystals buff away dead skin cells and the Virgin Coconut oil leave my skin looking and feeling smooth and hydrated. After the scrub, I lather with the Coconut Body Lotion, which includes shea butter, papaya seed and avocado oil which makes me feel, smell and look like the things Caribbean dreams are made of. To be honest, I spend more time sniffing the Coconut Coffee Body Scrub, which puts me in a spa state of mind during my self-care Sunday session. I got the most out of my Coconut Lip Balm while I was in the UK as the sweet Almond oil treated any chapped textures that developed and the Lemon oil maintained my lips lustre.
All in all, the ingredients in each product do what they say they will do so I’ll let Product Development Manager Gabrielle Agostini (previously known as The Trini Traveller) share the back story with you.
Kiki: The last time we spoke, you were travelling and creating stunning content as The Trini Traveller. Tells us a bit about this exciting new journey with Cedros Bay?
Gabrielle: I will always continue to explore this fascinating world, but just over 2.5 years ago, I was compelled to return to my background in Strategy and Operations Consulting. We’ve been working on strengthening CGA as a company, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed developing a strategic plan and performance management system. The aim is to drive CGA to become one of the top oil and soap companies in the world. The lab presented the idea of launching a high-end skincare line made from our key material – Coconut oil. It made perfect sense! Within the company, there has been a recent shift to be more environmentally and consumer conscious. Hence the development of Cedros Bay – the Caribbean’s first All-Natural, Vegan, Cruelty-Free Skincare Line made with 100% Organic Coconut Oil. It’s 100% Caribbean and even has recyclable packaging (no labels and biodegradable caps).
Kiki: I love the ‘Clean Caribbean Beauty’ statement!
Gabrielle: I know! It’s the first of its kind in the Caribbean. It took us over two years to launch because we had to ensure we got the ingredients and packaging materials right. We had to conduct the correct type of stability testing to make sure our products are safe to use on the skin. Proper stability testing is crucial to us, especially as the facilities that do this type of testing do not currently exist in Trinidad and Tobago. It’s something I am very passionate about as I’ve had extremely sensitive skin all my life. As a child, I had eczema breakouts every few months and overall redness and irritation from clothes and synthetic products. Having the opportunity to work on not just a beauty product but a clean beauty product has been amazing!
Kiki: Natural beauty products and tropical scents are a bit of a thing now. How would you say Cedros Bay is ideally placed to compete in the International market?
Gabrielle: I would say the International arena is where Cedros Bay truly belongs. I have attended several beauty conferences and trade shows, and I haven’t found a product anywhere near the quality we produce. Cedros Bay was launched in May of 2019 and with the resources of CGA Limited and our continuous research on the best companies to collaborate with, we hope to have Cedros Bay in key markets like the USA within a year or two.
Kiki: What are the pros and cons of producing a beauty brand in the Caribbean, and how did you combat them?
Gabrielle: The Cons include the limited facilities for stability testing within the Caribbean as well as sourcing of raw materials such as preservatives and emulsifiers. Another con includes a limited number of retail outlets and e-commerce platforms within the Caribbean beauty industry due to the size of each of the CARICOM markets. The major pros are being able to source key natural ingredients such as Coconut oil, Coconut meal and Coffee etc. I’m also proud that we have a talented team that understands the needs of our customers. They know how to cater to their desire to improve their skin tone, hydration and give them that overall natural Caribbean glow.
Kiki: Oh yes, that natural island girl glow! How does it make you feel to be able to package and promote the concept of the Glowing Caribbean Goddess?
Gabrielle: I loved the tagline we created for the brand – it truly embodies what I hope to get out of the brand. I am in the sun and sand every other weekend, so I have to take care of my skin, and Cedros Bay is the best solution. Even when I get a sunburn, I apply the lotion, and my skin heals quite quickly.
Kiki: The body lotion is one of my favs. What’s your personal opinion on the range?
Gabrielle: My two favourite products are the same as yours! I cannot complete my home spa experience in the shower without the Coconut Body Scrub. It feels great on the skin. The pieces of Coconut straight from the farm keep my skin hydrated and moisturised. Cedros Bay uses real exfoliating parts in our scrubs, unlike most scrubs that use microplastics which inevitably destroy our oceans and marine life. After my shower or whenever I am in the mood, I apply the Cedros Bay Coconut Body lotion. The smell alone is my obsession. These products leave the body unbelievably soft and silky, and I feel healthy, especially knowing that I am no longer using synthetic ingredients on my skin!
Kiki: That’s good to know! What are your hopes and aspirations for the Cedros Bay brand?
I want Cedros Bay to become a global brand like no other. There are natural, vegan and Coconut oil brands popping up all the time with the worldwide movement towards clean beauty, but we are still very unique. Cedros Bay has all of those benefits combined, plus we would be the only brand at that level from the Caribbean with 100% safe stability testing. We also consistently adapt our formulations, packaging and initiatives based on daily customer feedback from our digital platforms. Check us in two years for hopefully more amazing updates!
Let’s get connected…
Where can we find you on social media?
My Travel Page is @thetrinitraveller while Cedros Bay is of course @cedrosbay.
Our company page is also @cgacaribbean where you can find the range of all our vegan and cruelty-free brands such as d’OR, Purist, Simply Natural, Constance Estate etc. Cedros Bay products are available online here and they can be shipped straight to your door!
Photography by Omar Frederick – The Right Angle