This Brightening Serum Was Created for Women of Color, By Women of Color
Given that Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover met while working at Google, it's safe to say the pair know how to use the internet for research. But what they found was that information about melanin-rich skin is frustratingly hard to come by. When they started swapping their personal experiences shopping for makeup and skincare, they quickly came to the realization that as women of color, their skin tones and concerns are considered an afterthought in the beauty industry.
So Amouzame and Glover created Eadem, a skincare brand that puts the needs of melanin-rich skin first. The co-founders' vision was noticed before they launched any products: Eadem was named a Glossier Grant Winner for Black-Owned Business and is a part of Sephora's Accelerate Program. The duo also built an online community where women with melanin-rich skin can connect by sharing their stories.
"Our intention with Eadem was always to first build an editorial site first, to give women like us a platform to share their unique stories and experiences. 'Eadem' comes from the Latin word meaning all or the same, and our brand is truly rooted in those crucial connections we have with one another. While we may seem very different from the outside, there are so many commonalities that bond us together," Glover tells InStyle. "One of the most important things in building a brand for women of color was to really listen to the voices in our community and create a place where they felt comfortable in their own skin."
Now, Eadem has finally made its debut with the launch of the Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum.
This fragrance-free milky serum is formulated to fade dark spots on skin of color as well as prevent future ones from forming. The secret sauce is Eadem's Smart Melanin Technology, a blend of amber algae, niacinamide, and encapsulated vitamin C. Together, these ingredients are designed to restore natural skin tones without bleaching or lightening them. The texture of the serum is game-changing, too. Skin drinks up this milk almost instantly, without leaving any shiny or greasy residue.
Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum is safe for all skin types, and has been formulated by women of color chemists, vetted by women of color dermatologists, and tested on different melanin-rich skin tones, Amouzame says. The brand recommends using it morning and night on damp skin for optimal results. In the A.M., make sure you finish off your routine with SPF.
"We set out to pioneer what we call Smart Melanin Beauty, which is our way of formulating our products uniquely for skin of color. We know that with skin of color you need to be much gentler to avoid inflammation and cause more hyperpigmentation," Amouzame says. "Because of that, each active has been tested to work on skin of color and the actives are used at the right dosage to not compromise the skin barrier."
To shop: $68; eadem.co
Along with tried-and-true ingredients like vitamin C and niacinamide, Eadem's Smart Melanin Technology includes amber algae, an ingredient that was chosen after eliminating many other options because it's effective, gentle, and sustainable.
"Amber Algae really stood out for us as it's super gentle yet it dramatically reduces dark spots without changing the tyrosinase activity in our skin to preserve your natural skin tone," Amouzame says. "Plus, harvesting the ingredient is sustainable and environmentally friendly, which was important to us."
It was also important for the co-founders to leave out ingredients that are potentially harmful to women of color, namely hydroquinone, a popular but controversial lightening agent.
"I've struggled with cystic acne and hyperpigmentation for most of my adult life, and have tried countless over-the-counter and prescription products to combat dark spots and post-acne marks," Glover shares. "At the time I was using multiple products that contained a popular depigmenting agent called hydroquinone, which I later found is actually banned in several countries outside of the U.S. and can cause permanent uneven skin lightening amongst other unwanted side effects if used for a long period of time (which I had been doing). And just like me, Marie and I learned that there were so many other women of color out there who wanted to treat their post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation safely without the use of toxic chemicals or the potential to alter their skin tone."
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The co-founders say they went through 25 iterations of the formula in order to get the results and user experience just right. "As women of color, we know firsthand the built-in anxieties of trying out new products only to be disappointed," Amouzame adds.
And if the before-and-afters on Eadem's site are any indication, mission accomplished.
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