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People of color have long been excluded from the beauty industry. Face makeup like foundation lacks inclusive and encompassing shades, hair care products leave out many hair types, and skin care products are formulated with no melanin in mind. In recent years, there has been an increased awareness of these shortcomings in the beauty industry. Brands created by people of color, like Topicals, Eadem, hyper-skinand Rose Ingleton MD — heralded a new era where over 40 foundation shades are the norm and melanin-rich skin is included in pre-launch research and testing, closing the glaring gap with incredible success.

One of the most significant subcategories where innovation and inclusion has taken place is in hyperpigmented skincare products. First for some basics: Dr. Dendy EngelmanMD, FACMS, FAAD, Board Certified Cosmetic Dermatologist, explains, “Hyperpigmentation occurs when an area of ​​skin appears darker than the skin around it due to the presence of higher amounts of melanin (pigment). It can occur naturally as a birthmark or be caused by a variety of factors, including sun exposure, acne scarring, aging, or certain skin conditions.”

Anyone can get hyperpigmentation, but it’s a condition more commonly seen in people of color, according to Dr. Engelman and a multitude of studies. The lack of inclusion is especially odious when you consider that “not only is hyperpigmentation more common in people of color, it also tends to be longer lasting and more difficult to treat,” says Dr. Engelman.

The discrepancy is so glaring that it is actually harmful. When I previously spoke to the founder of Topicals, Olamide Olowe for Restlessness, she told me that many anti-blemish products are formulated with resorcinol and hydroquinone, which studies have shown to be harmful for melanin-rich skin. Known as permanent death of pigment cellsthese ingredients can cause dark spots to turn blue-black or gray-blue.

So these new brands — Topicals, Eadem, Hyper Skin, and Rose Ingleton MD – are not only welcome, but necessary and revolutionary additions to the skincare market. Learn more about each of their amazing hyperpigmentation products below.

I’ve been using Topicals Faded Serum for a year – long enough to go through three tubes, and I won’t be stopping anytime soon. Before I get into the praise, I would like to note that I started writing this article a few months ago and had to put it aside because the serum was constantly running out. It’s currently in stock, so heed my warning and add it to cart while you can.

The sulfur in the formula makes the serum smell a bit like Nair, which I don’t mind because IMO the most effective, no-frills skincare smells funky (I make intense eye contact with the infamous toner P50 of Biological Research).

The serum contains niacinamide, azelaic acid and tranexamic acid, which help prevent acne, fade dark spots, even skin tone and accelerate cell turnover, among other things. I use this serum daily and have never experienced any irritation despite my very sensitive skin. When new brown spots appear on my skin, they are not as dark as they were before and I feel reassured knowing that Faded will make them disappear anyway.

Eadem is another runaway success founded by POC. It’s in stock now but there are often months when it’s impossible to get your hands on a bottle. The serum targets three concerns: the main one is the reduction of dark spots and the peripheral benefits increase the radiance and firmness of the skin.

The formula was created and clinically tested specifically on women of color, according to the brand. The result is a serum that treats hyperpigmentation and improves a glowing complexion without the side effects of lightening or changing the overall skin tone.

Though still under the radar, the dermatologist’s namesake brand is clean, vegan, and frequently mentioned by beauty industry insiders. Key ingredients are peptides for collagen production, malic acid for chemical exfoliation and smoother skin, and citric acid, which, like vitamin C, brightens and evens skin tone.

Hyper Skin Serum for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots is another example of a great product created by POC. The brand points out that Vitamin C Brightening Serum for Dark Spots is free of hydroquinone, one of the previously mentioned ingredients responsible for permanent cell death in melanin-rich skin.

An ingredient list of Vitamin C, Licorice, and Kojic Acid is a powerful combination that fades even the oldest, stubborn dark spots and scars.

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