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xoNecole Readers Share How They Get Rid Of Dark Spots

Beauty & Fashion

Women are donning beat faces and flawless skin now more than ever. In fact, just about every other video on Instagram is a makeup tutorial.


But just like weaves, we have to make sure that what's underneath the extensions of our beauty is carefully maintained as well. That made us wonder how women are keeping their skin tight and right. One of the biggest culprits that adds years to your appearance is dark spots. While they can be harmless, the presence of hyperpigmentation can decrease your self-esteem and make you extremely self-conscious.

Here at xoNecole, we asked some of our readers to let us in on the ways they tackle dark spots and achieve glowing, radiant skin. Here's what they had to say:

Shanelle

What She Does:

Freelance Writer

How She Gets Rid of Dark Spots:

"The number one thing that has UNDOUBTEDLY helped with my dark spots is Vitamin C serum. It's a natural brightener and it helps your skin glow from the inside out. I have sensitive/combination skin so I was a bit apprehensive about putting an oil like this on my face, but I'm so happy I did! I use that twice a day, morning and night, and it's definitely a MUST HAVE in my skincare routine."

The Products She Swears By:

"A product I can't live without would be either the Vitamin C serum or my Noxzema Ultimate Clear Anti-Blemish Pads. The pads are made with salicylic acid, which sounds harsh, but it works like an astringent. In addition to blocking blemishes from forming, they also help to reduce scarring from previous ones. Without those two, my skin would NOT look as cohesive as it does."

Mel

What She Does:

Business Owner, RN, CMSRN, Professional Makeup Artist

How She Gets Rid of Dark Spots:

For Mild - Acne Scarring

"I use a salicylic-based skincare line, Clinique, to prevent more breakouts. In a nutshell, salicylic acid is a naturally occurring alpha hydroxy acid family derived from willow bark (the same place we get aspirin). Salicylic acid is both highly keratolytic and comedolytic, which means it not only dissolves dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, but it's also able to get down into the pore, dissolve the oil and break apart the debris inside that commonly leads to acne. Additionally, it can correct dark spots without irritating your skin because it's derived from willow bark, which has some topical anti-inflammatory benefits."

Olamide

What She Does:

PR Consultant/Brand Strategist/Multi Media Journo

How She Gets Rid of Dark Spots:

Morning Routine

"I battled with acne and as a result dark spots for years, but after reading up on maintaining a flawless skin and getting to understand my skin, I stuck to a routine that has worked for me till date. My routine is pretty simple enough for every day and doesn't take my time. I start with wiping excess oil with unscented wipes, then I go on to wash my face with a gentle wash from Beauty Formula when taking a bath. Afterwards, I leave my face to air dry and then use my ever-trusted Palmers Skin Success Deep Cleansing Astringent (I've used this for over 15 years!), which is followed by Palmer's Skin Success Toner. Then, I moisturize."

Nighttime Routine

"My night routine is also pretty similar, from wiping my makeup to cleansing, toning, and using a green tea serum that works on my skin overnight. I exfoliate once a week using a sugar scrub from Arami Essentials. I interchange this with my electric facial brush that also works for exfoliating and deep cleansing so my skin is clean and clear. I also drink lots of water and make sure I never touch my face. I wash my makeup applicators often and sometimes I go makeup-free, leaving my skin to breath. I never pop pimples, I make sure to apply topical cream to them till they dry off and the scar slowly fade out."

Naomi

What She Does:

Purpose & Soul Creator of @yourstrulyclub & @inspofinds/Host of Yours Truly Podcast Design + Direction

How She Gets Rid of Dark Spots:

Skincare Journey

"I normally have very good skin and then around October 2017, I suddenly had constant breakouts for a good couple of months, which led to, of course, picking and leaving me with quite a lot of scarring around my cheeks. My main problem was the spots not clearing up at first as I couldn't fix the dark spots if I was still getting acne. I tried so many products and even the famous DuDu black soap, but I have now learned that too much irritation to the skin can cause more breakouts. I have discovered that I have highly sensitive skin and combination skin. I think learning what skin you have is so important to know what products work well for you. For instance, at night I use an oil and I tried coconut oil, which is highly popular but it was too much for my skin and clogged my pores but Vitamin E oil isn't as heavy and contains antioxidants to help acne and smooth uneven tones."

Dietary Restrictions

One big part of my routine now is no dairy. I realized that a lot of my skin problems came from the dairy and after taking it out I no longer have breakouts and my eczema is also clearing up. It's not just about what you put on your skin but what you feed your body too and, that said, I also drink a minimum of 1.5L of water. It's so easy to say, water doesn't do anything when you drink a lot, but a friend reminded me that imagine your skin if you didn't drink anything!"

Skincare Routine

"I think everyone needs to be 100% committed to a morning and night routine to transform and maintain good skin."

"Every morning, I wash my face with Shea Moisture African black soap, which unlike the Dudu African soap, is very nourishing. I don't feel like my face has been stripped away. I then follow up with Body Shop Aloe Toner. I then follow the Body Shop Vitamin C moisture serum, which honestly, this range has transformed my skin. The only difference is my night routine. I change my moisturizer for pure Vitamin E oil and smooth a few drops onto my skin. For around six weeks, I did this every night but now I do this twice a week as it is starting to get warmer in the UK."

The Product She Swears By:

"Now the magic product I just LOVE is the Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Revealing Liquid Peel. It has honestly transformed my skin. I use it twice a week and it subtly lifts a layer of my dead skin off and you feel it doing so! Because I use this twice a week, it lifts the dead skin sitting on my dark spots allowing them to fade."

Do you have any other natural ways to remove dark spots? Let us know in the comments!

Featured image by Getty Images

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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