Like many Black women, I’ve struggled (and still do) with hyperpigmentation for years. This is due to pigmented skin having higher concentrations of melanin, making us more susceptible to dark spots. And as Black women and other women of color know, it’s not an easy fix. But after my years of frustration came the solution I never thought I would discover — all thanks to a miracle $36 serum known as Faded by Topicals.
Formulated by Olamide Olowe and Claudia Tang, both sought to create products that centered skin of varying tones and conditions. However, as skincare lines and products often prioritize the goal of having perfect skin, Olowe and Tang wanted to take the emphasis off of this and instead normalize stigmatized skin conditions like acne and eczema.
Currently, Topicals has launched two products:
- Faded, a brightening and gel serum that balances skin tone, smoothes rough and textured skin, and brightens and revives tired skin.
- Like Butter, a whipped mask that restores dry skin, helps soothe sensitive and stressed-out skin, and repairs damaged moisture barriers.
How did I use Faded?
As my main skin concern has been adult hormonal acne, which results in my textured and hyperpigmented skin, I purchased the Faded serum. Since the serum is packed with active ingredients, it’s recommended you do a patch test first and slowly work up from 2-3 days a week to regular use (as it’s an exfoliant which can be drying and damaging if overused). Moment of honesty… I didn’t follow this recommendation and instead used it daily. But, I know my skin well enough as I’ve been using exfoliants for years, so luckily I was not met with any problems. Here’s how I incorporated it into my nightly skincare routine:
- Pre-Cleanser: Banila Co Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm
- Cleanser: OXY Maximum Strength Acne Cleanser
- Toner: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner
- Serum: Topicals Faded Serum
- Moisturizer: Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream
For alternative routine suggestions check out this Twitter thread created by the official Topicals account.
What were my 30-day results?
Now, be warned. The serum smells. It contains sulfur and is fragrance-free, so its strong scent can be very overpowering at first. With the results it delivered in the one month I’ve used Faded, it became a compromise I gladly made. As seen below in the before and after photo, the serum helped clear up my acne texture and lightened up the dark spots I had on my cheek, which is where I struggle with my skin the most.
What’s the final verdict?
I couldn’t recommend the Faded serum more if you, like me, deal with acne, hyperpigmentation, and textured skin. The serum does everything it’s intended to and may even be comparable to topical medication prescribed by dermatologists. Above all, the brand’s message of inclusivity and dedication to celebrating all skin conditions is one that is vital and must be upheld by the beauty industry moving forward.