The island of St. Croix offers incredible inspiration to many artisans, with it’s turquoise waters, tropical flora and diverse culture. However, few people are able to capture the essence of the island the way Yoki Hanley does with her line of itiba skincare products. Using an incredible blend of natural moisturizers, exotic aromas, and locally grown botanicals, itiba products let you take the island of St. Croix home with you.
What is itiba? In the native Caribbean Taino religion, ‘Itiba’ refers to Mother Earth and all life that sprang forth from her, which is a fitting namesake since all of the Itiba products are handcrafted here on St. Croix using the finest locally grown and harvested ingredients. Yoki is passionate about using natural, minimally processed or unrefined ingredients to ensure her skincare products are gentle enough to be used by anyone and everyone – “all skin types, all skin sizes and all skin colors”. Itiba skincare products do not include any animal products that result in loss of life, and no fillers, parabens or formaldehyde donors. Instead, avocado, jojoba, coconut, palm, castor and sunflower oils are used as bases for many of the products, as well as 100% aloe vera juice, and shea butter. To get the earthy colors and delicate aromas of the soaps, itiba products are created using natural colorants, herbs, spices, botanicals, and essential oils.
The entire itiba line has been created to be unisex, and there is a wide range of products including soaps, lotions, hair and body serums, body butters and polishes, body sprays and, most recently added, a Hydrating Curl Cream. My personal favorites are the Mango Body Polish and the Carib Lime Body Butter, both of which make your skin feel incredibly soft while their tropical fruit scents linger lightly for hours. Whether you like the scent of fruits, or prefer something spicy or just fresh, itiba has a scent for you. Currently you can choose from seven island-inspired scents including: Carib Lime, Crucian Spice, Midnite Rain, Mango, Papaya, Tranquil Sea and Kaya. For those of us who love the Carib Lime scent, all of the Carib Lime products offer a natural defense against mosquitoes due to the Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil used to give the products their refreshing scent…free bonus!
Just as important as the the fact that most of the ingredients are locally sourced, is the fact that the entire itiba skincare line is lovingly handcrafted here on St. Croix in Yoki’s Frederiksted workshop and itiba retail space. When you visit the itiba retail store you will often find Yoki herself there to walk you through the products. If you do happen to have any allergies or sensitivities to any natural ingredients, such as nuts, she can help you find the right product for your skin and tell you which products to avoid. Her knowledge of each ingredient used, as well as the fact that she crafts her products here locally, allows Yoki to customize her formulas when necessary and to truly capture the essence of St. Croix in each product.
Itiba products can be purchased at the retail shop in Frederiksted, as well as other retails stores and boutiques throughout the island. You can also shop itiba online at itibabeauty.com, or buy itiba products on Amazon.com. Find out what all the fuss is about for yourself! Nourish your skin with botanicals provided by the island of St. Croix, lovingly crafted into amazing skincare products by Yoki Hanley at itiba.
– Jennie Ogden, Editor