Sharonn Itliong, founder of the Crater Lake beauty product company in Peekskill, grew up in the fertile lands of the Philippines. While other little girls were off playing hide and seek with their friends, Itliong would observe the women in her family while they experimented with the exotic fruit and herbs picked right off their land. Her grandmother would grab a banana, mash it, and preach about its moisturizing properties right there on the spot or pluck an avocado, peel it, and apply it as a natural facial masque. Her aunt would stroll over to a guava tree and shake down its ripe bounty; the juice she would apply to her skin or boil down the leaves of a papaya tree for a soothing bath. She witnessed other natural skin care techniques as she traveled all over the world on vacations. She remembers that, in the Zambian countryside, she and her nanny “used to go to the market on beauty ingredient treasure hunts, and buy bulk amounts of indigenous oils and shea butter.”
All this multigenerational knowledge has been incorporated into her product line of artisanal bath and skincare luxuries. All are made with decadent butters such as mango, shea, and cocoa; nourishing oils of marula, avocado, coconut, and sunflower; as well as soothing botanical extracts. Two must-try products: Zambian Coffee Body Scrub, made with authentic Zambian coffee, is the perfect was to start your day ($20); follow up with Flutter Butter body butter, an ultra rich but lightweight moisturizer that smells amazing ($19.45).