If youâ€™re a beautiful cocoa or caramel colored sister, then you already know all about this stuff.
I guess the first time I used a fade cream was in high school. I donâ€™t remember if my family turned me on to them, or if it was my school friends. I do recall that most of the girls in my class used them. Clareesha used Ambi. Tawanda used Crusader. Mary used Topiclear. Mariah used Palmerâ€™s Skin Success. And so on. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but you catch my drift. They were popular products among my peers. The one that we used was called â€“ wait for it â€“ Fair and White. I kid you not.
I’m pretty sure that this product isn’t sold in America. Also, please note that the product is called whitening cream. Or “whitenizer.” I know that many of my Caucasian or lighter-complexioned friends have always used tanning oils, the stuff that turns their palms orange. But that stuff isnâ€™t called â€œblackening creamâ€ or “blackanizer,” right? No. Because that sounds like a product in a Dave Chappelle sketch. (on a personal note, I love Dave Chappelle. I wish he would just get a new show on HBO, already.)
The whole industry of fade creams doesnâ€™t sit right with me, for many reasons. That name on the label is just one of them. I didnâ€™t use Fair & White to bleach out my skin. I used it on the dark spots left behind after I had a bad zit (which usually happens on my chin, see Carolâ€™s Daughter photo for evidence), and I was usually advised to use the products under my arms, on the back of my neck, or on my knees â€“ all areas where black women tend to have darker colored skin. But I definitely knew girls who used it every day, all over their face. They were the ones who had light-skin-Michael-Jackson faces and dark-skin-Michael-Jackson necks and arms. Iâ€™m not going to get on a moral high horse and say fade creams are wrong, just as I will never say hair relaxers, weaves, or colored contact lenses are wrong. I always say, do you. Iâ€™m just saying; nobody wants to wind up looking like the poster child for these ointments, do they? So, so tragic.
Iâ€™m interested in finding out what you guys think about these products. They seem awfully old-school to me. It breaks my heart that so many women in Africa still feel the need to use these products, and still believe that white is right instead of black is beautiful. But recently when I was looking for a good moisturizer with a high SPF that would help clear up my skin, I found myself staring at an old, familiar name.
Despite my mixed feelings, Iâ€™ve been using Ambi Even & Clear Skincare Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 for about three weeks now. It has no whitenizing power, just an unusually high SPF to combat the Miami sun. It seems to be helping with my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. I have no major complaints, but I suspect that this product would be terrible for someone with sensitive skin.
I switch between three different moisturizers, all with varying degrees of SPF. I bought Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15, and I agree with the reviews on Drugstore.com. Itâ€™s a meh kind of product. Iâ€™ve seen Gabrielle Union shilling for this stuff, which is part of why I bought it â€“ isnâ€™t she gorgeous? But I have to say, I havenâ€™t noticed much of a result on me. It tends to melt off my face. Like I said, meh.
I would much rather use Kiehlâ€™s Abyssine Lotion. I got a great product sample thatâ€™s been lasting me a while. But itâ€™s pricey stuff, yâ€™all. Iâ€™m still looking for the perfect moisturizer. The perfect product that will alleviate dark spots, even my skin tone, protect me from the sun, help me control oil all day long, and oh yeah – cost less than $15. If anyone has a recommendation, holla.