When it comes to skin care and women of color, sadly, the options are still a bit limiting. Off the top of my head, I can only rattle of a few: Barbara Sturm, Urban RX, Ambi, Fashion Fair and, of course, Specific Beauty.
Created by U.S. board-certified dermatologist Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd (who's also a world renowned skin pigmentation expert, educator and leader), Specific Beauty is designed for women of all complexions, especially those with melanin-rich skin tones.
"The primary concern for multi-hued women is uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and texture," she previously told Allure. "I formulated Specific Beauty for all women of color. If you’re Latina, African-American, from the Middle East, if you’re Mediterranean, if you have tan, olive, or brown skin, Specific Beauty is for you."
With a focus on targeting dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and increasing brightness in roughly 14 days, it was a no-brainer to have the BET staff test it out. We gathered four women with very different skin types to try an array of products for 30 days straight.
Keep scrolling to read their honest feedback on the line that has Black women buzzing.
Anytime something is marketed specifically towards women of color, I give it the automatic side-eye. I want to know about the research, the consumer base and frankly, if it can produce results. But I am fairly democratic when it comes to things I will try, so I happily agreed to test out the Specific Beauty Skin System.
My system came with three products: a sunscreen, a serum and a spot treatment. It was supposed to be used for 30 days. I diligently used each product every day twice a day, with the exception of the sunscreen, which I only used in the morning for a month. I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I am a veteran tester of products, so I always expect my skin to somewhat reject whatever new thing I am using, at least for the first few days. I had no negative reaction to anything. In fact, well after the 30 days was up, I continued to use the sunscreen and the spot treatment daily.
The consistency was really agreeable for mixing with the other products I already use in my routine, so nothing was too heavy or chalky. Additionally, I really feel like they worked. I use a mix of prescriptions and luxury products on my skin and so these formulas were not as strong, but I still feel like after a month, I could see that they were working so if it is an option within your price range it is definitely something that I would recommend. —Danielle Prescod, Lifestyle Editor
Seasonal breakouts have become the bane of my skin care goals since high school. Pimples of all sorts—from stress, menstrual cycles, or stubborn dirt and oil—found a way to permanently mark their territory on the left side of my face, right in the cheek area. So, when I read about Specific Beauty’s multi-part color correcting system, ensuring an even-toned complexion and good riddance of dark spots, I figured why not?
The word "system" typically makes me shy away from most skin care products. With my on-the-go schedule, it’s just too much commitment to remember to wipe, wash, moisturize, or layer two or three times a day. But Specific Beauty’s Intensive Skin Brightening Serum, Accelerated Dark Spot Corrector, Advanced Dark Spot Corrector Pads and Active Radiance Day Moisture made it simple.
Plus, they numbered the products in order of suggested use. I followed my daily and nightly skin care regiment, thoroughly washing and rinsing my face. Afterward, I used one corrector pad to wipe evenly across my face, as I did with the serum. After my skin dried, I used a generous amount of the day moisturizer.
The first week’s results weren’t instantly noticeable. I’d see a dark spot that maybe appeared to lighten up some, but not significant enough for it to have totally disappeared. The second week however, maintaining the same routine, I’d begin to see that one patch of dark spots on my left cheek even out with the rest of my face. The clearer the skin, the more even it appears, so I kept the process going for the rest of the month. Nearing the final days of the trial, I did begin noticing that the day moisture made my skin a little oily. When I reduced the amount I used during the morning, however, that issue resolved itself.
Overall, I’d say Specific Beauty’s correction system is certainly worth a try. I haven’t struggled too much in the last few years with full face breakouts, so I was able to see the results of the products in one, focused area of my skin. And while the products do take some time to kick in, the smoothing and evening skin tone benefits are worth the wait as well. — Diamond Alexis, Music Writer
My skin behaves for the most part, and I don’t really have any dark spots, but I didn’t feel like Specific beauty’s system targeted to POC kept my dryer winter skin moisturized.
I can’t say I loved the line of products, but I didn’t dislike them either. The vitamin C serum was probably my favorite for brightening my lack luster face during the cold weather. — Jazmine Ortiz, Living Editor
As a person with super oily skin, I’ve always struggled with finding the right products. A face cleanser that doesn’t dry me out, a moisturizer that doesn’t make clog my pores—the list goes on. So, when I was asked to try the Specific Beauty products, I was naturally skeptical.
The first time I used Skin Brightening Serum, I fell in love. It left my skin really smooth and refreshed. I also liked the Dark Spot Corrector pads. My face just felt really clean. The Daily Moisture was my least favorite. Despite being a light product, it seemed like my skin was producing more and more oil as the days progressed. I’m not sure if it was a combination of all the products or just the moisturizer, but I would find myself blotting my face two and three times a day.
After 10 days, I stopped using the products altogether. Although my complexion was noticeably improving, the excessive oil production just became a real problem. I think Specific Beauty offers a variety of products. I just don’t think it was for me. — Ashlee Graham, Senior Producer
Shoutout to these four ladies who committed to the cause! Clearly, there were mixed reviews initially—but eventually, most came to love the final results. Like most things, good things take time, and to see a true difference it takes a minute.
Which leaves us curious, would you give this skin care line a chance? Hit us in the comments below.
(Photo: Specific Beauty)
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