As new skincare brands continue to enter the market, there’s been a gaping void of products that cater to Black skin.
Noticing the lack of Black female founders in clinical skincare, specifically, is what got Ciara’s gears moving for her own, On A Mission (OAM) Skin.
What started as a budding vision — launched in September 2022 — turned into two and a half years in the making to create a line that made clinical skincare both simple and accessible for all skin tones and types.
“I really think we’ve created something that is missing in the skincare industry with OAM,” Ciara shared exclusively with AfroTech. “In my personal journey, I found skincare to be confusing — there were so many products. I found clinical-level products worked wonders for my skin, but it was so complicated. I knew I couldn’t be the only person struggling with this and made it my mission to make clinical skincare simple and to bring awareness to the power of clinical formulations.”
“Clinical testing is something that really differentiates us in the market,” she added. “We tested our products on 96 women of every tone on the entire Fitzpatrick Scale. This is truly missing in skincare today.”
OAM Skin hones in on a numbering system to ensure a clear, easy-to-follow skincare routine for beginners as well as more experienced consumers, to help build knowledge of what their own skin needs.
In order, OAM Skin’s Radiance System features: a hydrating cleanser, brightening pads, brightening serum, eye revitalizer, and radiance moisturizer.
While ease is a major key for OAM Skin, inclusivity is what drives the mission.
Inspired by her mother and grandmother — who she shares were both lovers of beauty — Ciara built a dynamic team of women of color to help push the message that everyone deserves access to achieving bomb, healthy skin.
“It’s about making sure we’re being inclusive and thoughtful at every stage of the process — from product development and testing to collaborating with diverse groups and having a team that reflects multiple walks of life,” Ciara said. “Even during product development, our clinical testing on the entire Fitzpatrick scale, we’ve ensured all skin tones and types were represented and can feel seen. Also, with both my team and our OAM Skincare Advisory Board, I wanted to make sure that people of color could see how important this element was for me in building this company, so they can trust that our products are taking their skin’s needs into consideration from the start.”
In the time spent developing the formulas made of pure ingredients, the OAM team was mindful of the bigger picture of solving consumers’ “confusion and trial and error in the skincare space,” OAM Skin CEO JC Johnson told us. In addition to focusing on simplicity, the team locked in at the lab to research, brainstorm, and create a new clinically proven method for an effective regimen.
“We were also intentional about developing products that were highly efficacious for all skin types and skin tones, and so we worked with one of the best pharmaceutical skincare labs in the industry to develop OAM,” Johnson said. “They have been researching alongside dermatologists for over 40 years.”
Being led by a Black female founder, keeping in mind the skin issues that Black women face — such as hyperpigmentation — was paramount when creating the formulas, according to Dr. Tiffany Libby.
“Vitamin C is one of the most well-studied skincare ingredients when it comes to treating hyperpigmentation and works by inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme in melanocytes or pigment-producing cells that makes melanin or pigment,” Dr. Libby said. “Hyperpigmentation affects many women of color and options for treatment can be frustrating and limiting.”
Dr. Libby continued: “The line is designed around making vitamin C not only more affordable but also help incorporate it into a cosmetic skincare line that can be suitable for all skin types with additional benefits like evening skin tone and being compatible with medical treatments for treating hyperpigmentation on top of improving the overall health of one’s skin.”
The Vitamin C skincare line includes the Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex™, which aims to help the brand serve as a game-changer in the industry. The proprietary is said to be gentle yet effective for all skin types and skin tones.
“Often, Vitamin C can be irritating for those with sensitive skin and we made sure this version [we went through 11 variations], worked for everyone,” said Maha, one of OAM’s chemists. “It’s a proprietary blend of peptides and a trifecta of highly refined Vitamin C that penetrates every critical layer of the skin to promote a collagen-rich appearance. The Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex’s time-release delivery system distributes micro-doses of Vitamin C all day long so you experience the benefits long after application without the irritation that can often be experienced from a single large, instantaneous dose…We went through leaps and bounds to make that happen as we wanted to ensure that the products truly worked for all skin tones.”
One of the key players in Ciara’s glam is her best friend and makeup artist, Yolonda Frederick — who also serves on OAM’s Advisory Board. Through her longtime experience of beating the faces of celebrities, she knew she wanted to provide insight on helping consumers who are into makeup have the best skin for their looks to pop. Frederick pointed out the foaming cleanser, Vitamin C Brightening Pads and Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer as products that aid in that journey.
“I have always been an advocate for healthy and luminous skin as the foundation for a great makeup look,” Frederick said. “And this collection was focused on skin clarity and radiance from its inception. The importance of texture is critical in general. However, when it comes to skin prep before makeup, we endeavored to create products that are not tacky, glide over the skin, and absorb quickly so they won’t alter the integrity of the makeup application. It was also important that we create products that remove makeup effectively.”
To learn more about Ciara’s OAM Skin, click here.