You must also have a back-up plan. Just like going to your back-up gun if your primary becomes damaged or taken. If your O.C. doesn't work you need to be prepared to go to a higher level of force or be ready to run away. Always keep in mind your self defense tools are likely to give lackluster performance when it comes down to it.
If you carry O.C. as a defensive option put some thought into it. Just like with your gun-holster-ammo combination. Police officers use the O.C. on their belt far more often than the gun beside it. Consider which spray pattern and formulation will best suit your needs. Also consider placing several cans in strategic locations like in the car, at the office, by the front door and in your vest pocket.
Using O.C. isn't as complicated as shooting but you do need to practice with it. Many companies sell inert training units that will work for practice but I suggest just using a live can.
Practice like you would use it and think ahead and know which way the wind is blowing. If it blows back into your face have you really made yourself safer?
While on the topic of accidentally (or otherwise) being sprayed there are some simple guidelines you can follow to speed recovery along. Water and lots of it will help immensely. If you have non-oil based soap available (like Dawn or J&J baby shampoo) you should use it to wash the excess spray out of your hair and off your face. Make sure to get it all so you don't get recontaminated later when you shower. Never use salves or creams to ease the burning sensation.
It will only trap the O.C. under the skin and cause blistering. Never remove another persons contact lenses, always let a medical professional take them out.
If you ever are forced to spray someone you should move afterward. Two or three one half second bursts will do it. If the face is covered it will make it no hotter to spray more and it could actually wash some off. It should produce a reaction within three seconds of contact. If you do not get the desired effect go to your "plan B".
Chemical Weapons can be a good choice for people who choose not to have a gun. They can also help us bridge the gap between no force and lethal force. If chosen and used correctly they can be a great asset to anyone who is worried about their personal safety.
I have sprayed many individuals over the course of my law enforcement career and the best OC spray I have found is Fox OC spray. I prefer it in the cone spray pattern.
Buy it here: Fox Labs, 5.3 SHU Pepper Spray - Flip Top Cone (1.5 ounce) https://a.co/d/gMj2rdR
Keep your head down and keep the faith,