Not only are the Exuma islands naturally gorgeous, but they’ve got some natural beauty secrets of their own—from natural exfoliators to beautiful flora and fauna that also boast beauty benefits. Here are four beauty secrets I discovered during my quick trip to the Caribbean. —Aleigh
Limestone. The Exuma islands are made of limestone, which acts as a natural filter and is one of the reasons the water here is so spectacularly clear. When it comes to beauty treatments, however, often mud masks are enriched with limestone for its mineralization and exfoliation properties. While I was there, I scooped up a few big handfuls of sand and scrubbed my feet for an instant island pedicure!
Coconut. Coconut palms are sprinkled throughout the Bahamas, and this hairy little fruit has some powerful beauty benefits. Coconut oil is a beauty multitasker—it has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, but it’s also a fantastic moisturizer. Use it as a body oil, as a deep conditioning treatment for your hair, or even to remove stubborn eye makeup. Plain, natural coconut water, on the other hand, is extremely hydrating, with plenty of electrolytes and none of the added sugar or chemical color additives of your typical sports drink.
Sea grape. With leaves that look like large eucalyptus and cascading bunches of edible grapes, the sea grape is a Bahamian bush medicine standard, eaten as a sweet treat or to soothe an upset stomach. But like its cousin grape varietals, the sea grape also boasts antioxidants, making it a great addition to skincare products from lip balm to moisturizer.
Mangrove. The mangrove tree has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and skin-healing properties—it’s a bit rare, but I’ve noticed it as an ingredient in both facial creams and moisturizers.
Relaxation. We frequently joked about being on “island time” while we were in the Bahamas, especially when we were hungry or thirsty! But I think there’s something more to that sometimes-frustrating slower pace. Napping, sleeping, and decreased stress are all good things—and keep you happy and healthy! And happiness + healthfulness = beauty. The well-rounded kind.