Dr Bruce Nwachi is a renowned dermatologist who began his career in 1984 as one of the few male Estheticians, in an industry dominated by women. He started as a Nigerian immigrant seeking to blend African raw materials with American technology, today he produces great skin care products and treatments for all skin types. Some highlights of the interview were Dr Nwachi’s revelations that most women are unaware that most bleaching creams contain steroids which can have dire consequences as they age… He has built a top-notch clientele list which includes, A-list celebrities like Sean John Combs, Naomi Campbell among others. V ANESSA OBASI certainly had an insightful one on one with the Dermatologist at Oasis Med Spa corrective skincare and Day Spa Centre, Ikoyi Lagos.
Meeting Dr. Nwachi
My name is Bruce Nwachi, I was based in Los Angeles California for 36 years and now I am based in Lagos. I am currently in partnership with Freda Francis of Oasis Med Spa as an expert beauty analyst.
What is your typical day like?
Some days are usually busy. Laser hair removal, facials,
body contouring are some of the frequent procedures people come for. Other procedures include fillers, lymphatic drainage.
One of the services you offer I believe is to make women lighter
Not really. One of the services we offer is to help women recover from sunburns and pollution. We lift off the discolouration to help them retain their skin colour. However, we have some products that help you get lighter by incubating your melanin, we also have shots, lightening creams, but I do not subscribe to it.
This is a med spa as well as a regular spa, what is the unique quality?
The knowledge of the service, the quality of the products and equipment are some of the unique quality we have. I have been in this business for over thirty years, I am a practising and licensed medical esthetician recognised by the American Board Of Esthetics and Beauty and I have colleagues who have spent 10 years of their lives doing this – that goes a long way to explain the quality of service.
How do we get women out there to avoid getting quack solutions to injectables and bleaching?
Sometimes, people engage in these things for many reasons, ranging from ignorance to hearsay. Of course you get the supposedly desired result, but unknown to them, they are damaging their skin. It is important for us to create awareness for them to know some of the products are high in steroids, which only thins the skin because it is not for long term use.
What are the methods to get a higher quality skin lightening treatment for those who are certain that this is the route they want to go down?
There are so many methods and certainly it has to be done the right way and most of them come at an expensive cost, people just have to go to the right process.
Is there not a risk with getting skin lightening shots?
Yes, there is.
I know you have a machine that helps reduce fat, tell me a bit about that
We have a fat melting and body-contouring machine we use for clients.
How long does it take to have that process done?
It takes about 8-10 treatments. Also there are other measures that should be taken; watching your food intake and exercising more
Do men prefer lighter women?
I believe it is a misconception. I believe your character and the way you carry yourself very much counts. Personally, when I [see a] woman I am mostly analysing her mannerisms, and carriage. But speaking as a whole, most men have their interests and specifications, but I do not believe men explicitly prefer lighter women. People are of the opinion that you have to be lightskinned to be beautiful, but in my opinion, beauty is from within. You do not have to be light or dark skinned to be beautiful.
What is the worst case you have had to repair in your years at work?
The worst case was a lady whose skin had thinned so much the veins were very evident. She had to break away from the products to enable her skin to heal before we began treatment.
Many young people are going for fillers and botox, what do you think is responsible for that?
As we all know fillers and botox are for the older women, however, the younger generation is resorting to it because they are using those products that thin their skin, which brings us to the ignorance bit and the need to create more awareness.
What advice would you give to older women about aging gracefully?
To start with, every woman should embrace good lifestyle. Women should invest in their health as much as they do their looks. A lot of vitamin C will do your skin some good, washing your face after every day also helps, collagen and filleronics are also options to use to age gracefully.
Some other useful tips are; work out more, even if you have to do it around the house.
Cleanse your skin properly
Drink plenty of water
Protect your skin from sun using the right SPF products.
Get enough rest
Who are some of your celebrity clients?
Naomi Campbell, Tisha Campbell, Cookie Johnson, Puff Daddy are some of my clients.
What kind of skin care have you used to retain Naomi’s radiant look?
Naomi has always been dedicated to her skin care routine because she knows it is important to her profession. Some of the services she benefits from are body glow polish, facials, skin tightening, body-contouring.
Who are some of the women you think look good here?
Frieda Francis, Genevieve Nnaji and a host of other women. You can’t talk of some of the world’s beautiful women without talking about Nigerian women.
What do you tell women who feel they need to change themselves or skin colour to look good?
The first thing we do when women approach us to help them look lighter is to let them know that God made them beautiful, and that they should be happy in their skin. However, people feel like they have to be lighter to look beautiful, mostly based on societal demands and expectations. But often times their minds are made up about what they want to do and you can’t convince them otherwise. My job as a trained dermatologist is to ensure that our treatments are top quality. We try to advice women against going to quacks, especially because I have seen too many skin destroyed by quacks.