Thu | Feb 20, 2020

From ackee seeds to acne cleanser - NCU student’s dabble in research leads to oil-based skincare products

Published:Monday | February 10, 2020 | 12:05 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Orlando Hamilton displays some of his skincare products,  under the brand Verdantderms Cosmetics, during NCU Research Week last week.
Orlando Hamilton displays some of his skincare products, under the brand Verdantderms Cosmetics, during NCU Research Week last week.

Out of scientific exploration, Verdantderms Cosmetics, a start-up skin-care brand, was born.

Twenty-seven-year-old Orlando Hamilton, along with a team of undergraduate final-year students from Northern Caribbean University (NCU), conducted research on oils.

“We wanted to explore different seeds, so we started out with ackee seeds, guinep, okra; and some of them didn’t yield any oil,” he recalled.

However, the findings sparked his interest and in short order, he ventured into product development.

“It came out of a need ‘cause during my teenage years, I had acne and I tried many of the products on the market and they just didn’t work for me; and those that appeared to work had side effects.”

Hamilton explained that finding a market has not been challenging as people are becoming more conscious of the products they use on their skin and are opting for natural products.

“With natural products, the only drawback is that the cost of production, especially at this small stage, is very high.”

“We have a wide range of products, including a beard shampoo, eczema cleanser, acne cleanser, a facial cleanser for individuals who don’t have acne or eczema but want something natural, we have a scrub and a makeup remover,” all of which arecomposed of oils from neem, coconut, sunflower seed, and olives.

The business has afforded him scholarships, which he has poured into expanding the enterprise.

“I got it registered last year and I am currently in the process of rebranding the packages. We should be in stores later this year,” the entrepreneur said.

Now a microbiology master’s student at Northern Caribbean University, Hamilton wants to dabble in research on athlete’s foot and delve deeper in acne vulgaris.

“I want to work with the bacteria itself to better tailor the acne product and the fungus that causes athlete’s foot,” he said, adding that he believes an oil blend is a suitable alternative to the chemical products on the market for the foot fungus.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com