In February 2019 I had the pleasure of hosting a myth buster session with MELANIN MOI. For those who do not know MELANIN MOI is a new inspirational and educational discovery platform for women of color. MELANIN MOI delivers useful tips, tricks, and resources to women of color, so that they don’t have to scour the internet to find it.
When I first heard about the MELANIN MOI: Slay Academy event, I really was interested in participating. As a cosmetic chemist, I felt I could offer a scientific element to compliment the beauty products we love oh so much. As I know the founder of MELANIN MOI, Fanta Dicko, we decided to include a myth buster session. As a cosmetic chemist, I could debunk different myths or biases people have in regard to beauty and cosmetics.
The event titled “Slay Academy” featured 3 key sessions. One session curated by Shakira R (IG: shakiraa.__) showed participants how to apply eye lashes. Kendra (IG: @kenstheitic) hosted a session on hair porosity testing and choosing the right products for your hair type. I curated a discussion with a short list of myths to bust. Participants stayed at each station for ~ 25 minutes and rotated throughout the duration of the event.
The event featured three key sessions:
Master Lash Class: Hosted by Shakira
Hair Porosity Prep & Edge Layin’: Hosted by Kendra and Toni
Myth Buster 101: Hosted by me, Manessa
One session curated by Shakira R (@shakiraa.__) showed participants how to apply eyelashes. Natural hair blogger, Kendra (@kensthetic) hosted a session on hair porosity testing and how to choose the right products for your hair type and edges. And I, Manessa, (@nessa_lo) curated a discussion with a short list of myths to bust. Participants stayed at each station for ~25 mins and rotated throughout the event.
As a scientist who formulates cosmetic products, I know firsthand how the miseducation of consumers can lead them to make improper decisions about products. Facilitating an open discussion allowed participants to address their concerns while feeling more empowered to do their own research and figure out what works best for them. I gave countless recommendations such as Environmental Working Group to research ingredients and what it takes to formulate and launch a product.
At the end of each round participants were encouraged to do their own research about ingredients, routines, and how to minimize sensitization for themselves. For example, we discussed that just because there is someone on YouTube recommending a new 5 product skin care routine it doesn’t mean that such combo would work for you as well. Additionally, if there is interest in trying said combo it is best to introduce products one at a time into your routine to minimize any adverse reactions. If you do observe an adverse reaction it will be easier for you to identify the cause by pinpointing the new product in your routine.
It was truly a pleasure facilitating a session at Melanin Moi: Slay Academy. Exchanging my love of beauty with fellow WOC showcased how deep rooted appearance is in our culture. I can’t wait for the next event!