This scientist from the Caribbean is creating sustainable beauty products


Alessandra Rajkumar is a 26-year-old sustainability advocate with a degree in chemistry and environmental science. The Trinidad and Tobago native founded Wakeful Wonders, an eco-friendly natural skincare line, to create everyday beauty staples that were more ethical.

“I value life, everyone and everything in it so deeply. I am passionate and driven when it comes to making more ethical decisions in the modern-day world,” Rajkumar told In The Know.

The product line includes reef-safe sunscreen, body butters, scrubs, anti-bug bite sunblock sticks, herbal healing salves and lip balms.

“I knew that my products needed to resonate with these values and more importantly the message I wanted to impart. My product line is manufactured in small batches to ensure sustainability and quality control,” Rajkumar said. “Due to self-sustainability being a core belief of mine, I try to get most of the ingredients from this sacred country of Trinidad and Tobago.”

The reef-safe sunscreen is one example of Wakeful Wonders’ value-driven products. The SPF 25+ sunscreen is advertised as a way to “protect people, corals and marine life.” The National Park Services says 6,000 tons of sunscreen enters reef-surrounding areas annually. Reef-safe products exclude the ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have been shown to cause severely damaging coral bleaching.

To sweeten the deal for Mother Earth, all of the products’ packaging is made of recycled paper and is fully compostable. Some of Wakeful Wonders’ natural ingredients include cocoa, peppermint, cinnamon, rosehip, lavender and coffee beans sourced from the country.

“I think far too often the land here is underestimated for its vastness, not in literal size but vastness in biodiversity that can be found in our plants and animals,” the founder said of her home country. “The soil here is so rich and it is in my humble opinion that this nation has great potential to be self-sustaining.”

Check out more of Wakeful Wonders’ story in the clip above!

If you enjoyed reading this article, you might also want to check out this Brooklyn artist who turns food waste into sustainable fashion.

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