Finding a perfect skin care regime can be a difficult task for those of us without perfect, easy going skin. However, that task is even more of a challenge when trying to balance having clear skin while having to constantly wear a mask, maintaining new make-up habits and starting a new life.
Yet, businesses like Afro Juice, have tried to ease the process of finding accessible skin and hair care. Afro Juice, owned by 21-year-old Florida A&M student Omari Harris, a business administration major from Pensacola, provides Afrocentric and hygienic products to the Black community, including FAMU students.
Many college students aren’t educated on the best products to use for their skin, and adding stress from ‘the college experience’ into the mix doesn’t make it any better.
According to HCP.com, researchers from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University conducted a study published in the journal Acta Dermato-Venereologica that stated,“Results showed that compared to low stress individuals, the high stress group suffered more often from pruritus (itchy skin), alopecia (hair loss), oil, waxy, or flaky patches on the scalp, hyperhidrosis (troublesome sweating), scaly skin, onychophagia (nail biting), itchy rash on hands, and trichotillomania (hair pulling).”
For Black students, although social media has made it a bit easier, you have to search for natural products specifically for Black skin.
Dr. Jenna Lester, a dermatologist at University of California, San Francisco, told NBC, “To have someone tell you a description of how something looks in darker skin, but not show you a photo of it, is really not sufficient and it’s not comparable to how we learn about rashes and people with lighter skin.”
Harris opened Afro Juice on June 13, to help, educate, and steer Black students on their personal journeys to clear skin and healthy hair.
“The idea started when I asked what can the Black community benefit more from when it’s made in our own communities, and that’s how Afro Juice was born,” Harris said. “It took over a year of planning, but I’m happy we took the time necessary to have a good plan.”
Harris emphasized that one of the major skin care questions he’s asked about is healing dark marks and the products he recommends to treat them. He makes sure people understand that skin takes time to heal and that time specifically depends on the person. He always recommends Black soap and says it’s very effective for people of color.
Harris urges his customers to pay attention to their skin’s response to certain products. Always read the ingredients for products you use on your skin, he added, because something that smells good may still be breaking down your skin.
Afro Juice’s vision statement is direct and to the point: “To create a culturally lush environment for all communities of color.”