The O Spot is a Medspa in Durham, Ontario that treats some of the most bothersome skin issues that affect people with melanated skin to help them get the kind of results that may have been out of reach. We spoke with the owner of O Spot, Orica Smart about three things Black people should never use on their skin.
One of the first things Orica pointed out is that melanated skin is sensitive to pigmentation and dehydration, and so, must be treated with the utmost care.
Black people should never use:
We all love a good DIY project, and some of us have whipped up some truly delicious skincare recipes in our kitchen. But it's important to remember that DIY Ingredients such as baking soda, lime/lemon, vinegars, or any ingredients in its purest form on the skin has the potential to:
a) burn the skin
b) disturb the skin’s PH balance leaving it prone to sensitivity and infections
c) Dehydrate the skin.
When the skin is dehydrated it is dull, dry, tight, uneven and may even appear wrinkled. It is important to moisturize, even if you have oily skin because oily skin can also be dehydrated. Orica recommends La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Rich moisturizer, available at Shoppers Drug Mart.
Peels are amazing for treating tough skin conditions and for rejuvenating the skin, yet, can be tricky and dangerous. Peels should only be used within professional settings. There is much to consider when using chemicals, such as the type of chemical, the PH of the chemical, the strength as well as the condition of the skin. Without knowledge of the skin and how it functions, DIY peels could cause serious damage to the skin, including hyper or hypopigmentation. Orica also adds that not having a proper homecare routine and not using or reapplying sunscreen daily will cause adverse effects. Orica recommends Black Girl Sunscreen, available at The O Spot and online.
At Home Devices
Lasers have come a long way, however; at home, lasers should never be a thing, especially for Black skin. There is a specific wavelength that is used to treat melanated skin, and the lasers purchased on Amazon do not fall into the category of a 1064 NDYAG wavelength. Home lasers have the potential to cause first or second-degree burns on the skin, and hypopigmentation (loss of pigment) or hyperpigmentation (addition of pigment) could be the end result. Like peels, there are also illnesses and medications that are instant contraindications to lasers.
Orica is passionate about making sure Black folks have all the right information to care for their skin. That’s why she created POLISHED: Beyond the Skin, an empowerment brunch meant “to educate and empower Black and Brown women on their skin.”
Orica recognized the huge gap in skincare knowledge and education among her clients. “The questions asked and the responses shared online were also worrisome, so I decided to do seasonal skincare workshops. I understand that I cannot educate my community on my own, and so with the help of some of my peers, whose aim is to also empower the skin of colour community, Polished: Beyond the Skin will be on a larger scale.”
Orica feels there are many misconceptions around melanin and the purpose of her event is to narrow the educational gap. The event features “four skincare therapists and skin educators with over 50 years combined experience to highlight the main skin issues Black and Brown folks are currently struggling with, such as; adult acne, hyperpigmentation, facial hair and ingrown hair. They will also address the misinformation on sunscreen, acids and products.”
There will be prizes, giveaways and swag bags along with a delicious three-course meal prepared by nationally renowned Chef Andrea Nicholson.
Orica is taking an inside-out approach, with the event also including “a mental health therapist, a Naturopathic doctor focusing on hormones and gut health and how they affect skin health. We will also have a mindset coach to close the day, because beauty is a mindset,” says Orica.
POLISHED: Beyond the Skin will be held on June 11th, 2023 at Dish Play on 12 Stanly Ct. in Whitby, ON.