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Coined as “the Latinx-futurist gender-inclusive brand for future rulers”, Marco Castro is the new, Brooklyn-based beauty brand creating a safe space for queer people of colour and speaking to a vision of comprehensive well-being. Founded by the NYC-based Peruvian make-up artist of the same name, the company aims to showcase the beauty and diversity of underrepresented people with particular emphasis on Latin American culture. Poised to be an authentic, unique and timeless brand, it launched last year with a singular, multi-functional product that’s been dubbed “all-in-one Peruvian liquid gold.” By Marco Castro, Amazonicoil is the hybrid beauty serum setting a new standard in the beauty biz.

A transformative serum that reawakens the skin and evokes a radiant glow, Amazonicoil in its essence, is a ripe concoction of Peruvian ethnobotanical ingredients procured from the Amazon Rainforest in Castro’s native country. For all skin types and tones, even the most sensitive of epidermises, its uses are copious, from improving acne scars and softening fine lines to alleviating anxiety, stress and pain – not to mention contributing to the regulation of sleep and improving overall mood. This is because it’s a miracle product that can be used both topically and orally.

Formulated with 1000mg full-spectrum CBD extract derived from hemp – meaning it contains several naturally occurring cannabis plant extracts and less than 0.3 percent THC – when ingested, the serum addresses internal balance. This is, in part, because it contains immune-boosting ingredients like omega 3, 6 and 9, vitamin A, plant-based retinol, vitamin E, antioxidants, omegas and a whole plethora of other micronutrients, but also because it’s vegan, organic (USDA-certified), cruelty-free and non-gmo formulated, without wheat, nuts, and artificial flavours or colours. “I envisioned developing a product that could provide natural beauty from within. I wanted to create something so pure and natural that it enhanced the skin’s look and nourished it from the inside out,” Castro says. “We tend to focus on superficial aspects and appearances, so I needed to design a product that could make people feel good inside and out.” According to Castro, the oil also makes for “great mocktails!”

A blissful blend of sacha inchi, wild buriti, hemp-derived bio-terpenes and of course full-spectrum CBD extract, when applied to the skin, the lightweight, fast absorbing and instantly moisturising serum helps to reduce signs of ageing and age spots, soothes skin irritation and redness, smooths skin texture, restores vibrancy, renews skin elasticity and regulates sebum production. Castro explains that it’s his company’s aim to create beauty products that combine the wisdom of ancient Peruvian beauty with the power of natural ingredients and even the innovative quiddity of modern design. “Aside from sustainably sourcing our ingredients from Peru, the essence of the brand and all of our upcoming launches are inspired by my country. Peru is one of the oldest civilizations in America and has a vast biodiversity. We are dedicated to preserving and sharing knowledge about plants so that our culture and traditions can thrive. By doing so, we aim to inspire and empower our youth and our community,” Castro says. “As a Peruvian with a voice in the global spectrum, I want the world to know where I come from and [to] empower my people.”

What’s more, as part of the brand’s ambition to reduce its carbon footprint, Amazonicoil is packaged in a bottle made from 60 per cent recycled glass and boxed in an FSC certified recycled carton. Its 1ml dropper is crafted from 50 per cent recycled materials and holds 33mg of CBD per serving. Produced in small batches to ensure freshness, Amazonicoil undergoes “meticulous processes from oil extraction to bottling”, which sets it apart from mass produced products that promise similar results.

As a brand, Marco Castro is a reflection of its founder’s upbringing. Born in Lima, Peru, the artist experienced the healing properties of natural medicine and ancestral rituals. After migrating to the US in his teenage years, he “somehow ended up” assisting François Nars for nearly two decades, and after a series of successful collaborations with other industry giants, Castro – who is also a 10 Magazine contributor – “realised that there was a need for representation of Latinos in an industry that is often dominated by Western culture, founders, and rituals”. He explains, “Peru is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and our plants, fruits and ingredients have been used for their medicinal and nutritional value for centuries. This realisation and my years of experience working for other companies led me to create my own brand, which aims to showcase the beauty and diversity of Latin American culture.”

So, believing in the holistic nature of beauty Castro began travelling back to Peru from 2020, cutting his teeth in extensive ethnobotanical research all the while. “I returned to New York with over 20 potent natural ingredients that my ancestors had used for nutritional and healing treatments,” he recalls. After two years of experimental creative alchemy, where traditional ingredients met the healing powers of CBD, he and his team arrived at a “super-pure and natural formula that contains only four highly effective multifunctional actives,” he says. “I aimed to minimise the number of ingredients in the formula, ensuring each ingredient served a specific purpose. Unlike many face serums with numerous ingredients, our formula only contains what is necessary for optimal efficacy.”

Castro worked alongside medical herbalist, Emma, in the development stages. She was someone who quite literally understood the assignment. She quickly recognised the artist’s background, his message and had a pre-existing knowledge of the Amazonian ingredients he’d spent so much time researching. “To create a formula that’s beneficial for your health and skin, I needed to collaborate with someone who comprehends the strength and effectiveness of our ingredients. Working with Emma, our medical herbalist has been a blessing!” Castro praises.

With Amazonicoil, Castro is fostering a sense of belonging in an industry so often hallmarked by exclusivity. “In an industry and world that is still largely dominated by large corporations, wealth and the elite, our mission is to challenge the status quo and pave the way for a new chapter in the beauty industry by offering unique formulas featuring the diversity of our faces and culture,” Castro says. “Our ultimate goal is to create a platform that goes beyond beauty – a platform where individuals like us can feel represented, included, and inspired.” Marco Castro is setting out to change the game.  

Photography courtesy of Marco Castro.