Up until my mid-20s, I had only an occasional pimple every now and then. But when I started getting persistent hormonal acne deep beneath the skin’s surface a few years ago, I began to see the bleak effects it was having on my complexion, even after the breakouts would dissipate. Each blemish that popped up left behind a pesky dark spot that would stick around for months on end, undoubtedly made worse by my flimsy commitment to SPF and the stress of the pandemic.
Once the maskne phenomenon reared its ugly head, the state of my skin spiraled even further out of control. On top of the face masks, the uncertainty and anxiety of the times definitely didn’t help my acne woes. Every time one spot would heal another one would appear, creating clusters of shadows that were like the ghosts of pimples past all over my jawline and cheekbones. It felt like playing whack-a-mole trying to get my face back to even a semblance of what it once was.
I’ve tried plenty of vitamin C treatments, which aim to clear up discoloration and reveal fresh, even skin—but when I caught wind of the Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum, I was extra intrigued by the gorgeous packaging and the fact that it was specifically formulated for melanated skin. People of color tend to struggle more with scarring caused by acne or other lesions, so I was eager to try the inaugural product by Eadem cofounders Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover, Black and Asian women who are catering their love of skin care to people of color. “Research shows that hyperpigmentation, especially post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, is one of the most common conditions in melanin-rich skin,” Amouzame tells Glamour. “A lot of products on the market don't take that into account, so Alice and I saw this opportunity to uniquely formulate products for women of color that actually work without using harmful ingredients.”
When I first got my hands on the serum, the milky consistency held true to its name. I loved how rich it felt to the touch and the way it seeped into the skin, leaving a hydrated glow behind. It’s great for layering under your favorite night cream. After a month of using it religiously (in addition to upping my water intake and prioritizing holistic wellness to quell breakouts), I noticed the dark spots beginning to fade. My cheeks looked more evenly toned and started to bounce back to a smoother canvas for creamy bronzers and blushes. There’s nothing like rediscovering your love of makeup after a bumpy few years of uneven tone and texture.
The formula includes natural ingredients like amber algae, which helps to fade dark spots without lightening skin, natural exfoliants like pineapple and papaya enzyme to resurface skin cells for a brighter complexion, and licorice root extract to combat hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and inflammation. This stuff is great for non-acne scars and bug bites too.
The product’s efficacy isn’t entirely shocking, because the cofounders took their sweet time meticulously crafting the formula, with the help of industry powerhouses. “We sought out formulators and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ann Brewer, who has expertise in working with darker skin tones, and went through over 25 iterations of Milk Marvel to get the results and user experience just right,” says Amouzame. Despite its being geared toward people of color, I noticed editors with fair skin raving about it online too—so it’s a true gem for people of all ethnic backgrounds.
“We position it for skin of color because the majority of the serums on the market only work on fair skin, but our serum is suitable for all skin tones,” says Amouzame. “It's actually done wonders for a lot of women with fair skin, even helping some with their melasma. We're all about real diversity, and that starts from the formulation.”
I’ll be keeping this jar stocked in my medicine cabinet for the long haul, and I’m eager to hear what the budding brand decides to do next. “We can’t reveal too much about new products—we are still hard at work making them!—but we can share that Eadem will continue to focus on products that help with hyperpigmentation in melanin-rich skin using safe and effective formulations designed for women of color,” says Amouzame.
If you’re searching for a reliable formula to fade dark spots and rejuvenate a smooth complexion with a healthy glow, add this to your lineup ASAP. Eadem just launched at Sephora (with an impressive star rating and reviews count since hitting the beauty retailer’s shelves), so you can snag the serum on the site right now.
“As a teenager, I grew up at the Sephora on the Champs-Élysées in France,” Amouzame says. “I would spend hours touching the products, trying them, and eventually buying something I could afford. I discovered beauty there, and it’s surreal to know that someone could discover Eadem in the same way.” Just like a healthy, dewy glow—who doesn’t love a full-circle moment?
Erin Parker is a writer and strategist in New York. Follow her on Instagram.
Originally Appeared on Glamour