I have had ups and downs with my skin. But recently, it’s been all ups. Totally delightful ups.

For example, I strolled into my apartment building the other day, and a normally unobservant security guard looks at me and says, “you’ve got such beautiful skin.” That was a total first. And I have one product to thank.

Jolie MD.


This two step kit has cleared most of my discoloration and hyperpigmentation, brightened my skin tone, and generally improved the texture of my skin. Not overnight, mind you. I used this product consistently for two months or so — enough to completely finish both bottles of product. So please know this about to be a thorough review.

Jolie MD is the brainchild of Beverly Hills plastic surgeons Dr. Jason Litner, and Dr. Peyman Solieman — and renowned blogger, author, and all around benevolent goddess of the beauty world, my friend Nadine Jolie. I interviewed Nadine to find out how all of this came to be.

“I partnered with the doctors and we’ve been working on it for a year. I’m the creative director, so it’s kind of their baby. From day one we wanted to make a product that is different from the samey-samey skin care that is on the market.”

And apparently, ethnic skin was a particular concern for Drs Litner and Solieman.

“They were meticulous about the ingredients. This product is really meant to address the issues of ethnic skin and it was very important to them to get it right. There are no parabens, no hydroquinone. It’s tailor made as an at-home alternative for women who can’t get chemical peels or laser treatments without fear of discoloration. ”

Step one is the Metamorphosis Softening Serum, a yellowish, clear, thin serum that spreads and absorbs into skin easily and can sting a little bit, if you’ve got sensitive skin. Step two is the Metamorphosis Enlightening Lotion, an opaque lotion that immediately reduces the sting, absorbs well, and leaves my skin feeling soft and well hydrated.

As the product details reveal,JolieMD’s innovative Softening Serum formulation is the first line to feature a proprietary blend of slow release alpha-beta-poly hydroxyl acids for daily use allowing us to gently exfoliate and remove pigment stains and blemishes, stimulate new collagen, and improve penetration of pigment inhibitors without irritation. While other products solely address tyrosinase (a key pigment-producing enzyme) with one or two active ingredients, JolieMD’s Enlightening Lotion uses multiple melanin inhibitors working at several different points to restrain the entire pigment producing cascade. As a result, we know that with continued use you will find more even skin with gradual but consistent clearing of your discoloration. JolieMD is specifically designed with all ethnicities in mind; safe and highly effective for African-American, Hispanic, Middle-and Near-Eastern and Asian skin.

That’s exactly what it did for me. Jolie MD didn’t lighten my skin like the “fade creams” I’d used in the past. I didn’t have to worry about using it in just one spot at a time to be effective. I used it all over my face and it just gave my skin an overall healthy glow, and over time it almost completely reduced the spots of hyperpigmentation I had along my jawline and chin area. Now I feel more confident about my skin. For a while there I literally wouldn’t leave the house without a liberal spackle of foundation and powder on, to cover my dark marks. But now I use much less foundation, and it takes me less time to get ready and go out the door. My skin is glowier and clearer than it’s been…well, possibly ever.


Now please note, it didn’t completely 100% clear my skin. I do still have some dark marks, and I do still wear makeup when I go out. In the early stages, my skin felt sensitive to the first serum. That took a little getting used to. And I did wind up with some dryness around my mouth and chin for a while there, but continued use cleared that up as well.

Nadine addressed my continued hyperpigmentation concerns in our interview.

“It’s not going to go away overnight. Or maybe even two months from now. But if you stick with it, Jolie MD will dramatically improve the quality and appearance of your skin.”

I believe her. My results speak for themselves, and I’m convinced enough to shell out the $96 for more Jolie MD. It ain’t cheap, but it’s worth it in my opinion.

Click here to buy Jolie MD.

PLEASE NOTE that what works amazing for me, may not knock your socks off in the same way. And I am especially cautious about skincare reviews. I know what it’s like to try something that promises to alleviate your problems and to see it not make a difference. So please, if you do try Jolie MD – give it time. Use the whole two bottles to the very end, then come back here and leave your review. I’m interested to know how it works for you!


Caribbean Girl says:
February 24, 2010, 12:49 am
Thanks so much for this post bella. Just have to figure out best way to get it from the Caribbean... heading off to website now.
Purple says:
February 24, 2010, 2:18 am
I'm sold on this but the disadvantages of living in Africa...
Kelly says:
February 24, 2010, 10:46 am
Thanks for the review. But perhaps you can should us a full frontal facial shot, one that's not photoshopped and blur. Thanks!
bella says:
February 24, 2010, 10:51 am
Kelly, I don't know how to use Photoshop and none of the photos I've ever posted of myself are altered in ANY way. I took this with my camera phone, hence the blurriness. Take care, thanks for commenting.
bella says:
February 24, 2010, 10:56 am
Oh and Caribbean Girl - you may want to consider getting a Skybox for US purchases to the Caribbean, if you split the cost with family or friends, it's definitely worthwhile!
b. says:
February 24, 2010, 11:01 am
I was thinking that your skin looked especially nice in the CoN ad photo you posted a while back! Your curls are also popping lately, even in the phone photo above. Are you doing something different with your hair too? Thanks also for using the product to completion and reviewing it, versus using it for a week or two only. Reviews like this are rare nowadays. I've had hyperpig. since my teen years and although the bumps haven't reappeared the blemishes aren't fading very fast. My main problem right now is finding a good moisturizer. No matter what, my pores are clogged. Even plain aloe isn't cutting it. I just started using a cleanser with salicylic acid again (albeit one with less than 2%) b/c I think the higher concentrations of it was giving me *hypo*pigmentation around my lower cheek area. The cleanser I have now seems to offer a small amount of exfoliation to clean my pores, but it's still a hunt in the dark. Sigh...sensitive skin... two different derms did nothing for me (one was a person of color too). My skin's improving but I've got a ways to go.
bella says:
February 24, 2010, 11:31 am
B, thanks for noticing! I've been holding off on doing skincare reviews because I know a. the products are expensive, b. I hate reading reviews that can't possibly reveal the effect over time. I am not gonna just cut and paste talking points to just say I put up a post! And I know how skin issues can affect self esteem. I hope this helps some of my readers, somehow... My hair is a combination of new weather conditions and new products. I'm working on a hair regimen post for either this week or next week - did you see my last hair post? I've been using some of those products. Reviews to come soon!
BlackBetty says:
February 24, 2010, 12:59 pm
Thanks for the review Bella. There's a spa that I love in NYC where I get alternating microderm and peels to clear up my hyperpig and large pores. These products seem like they'd offer good results. True they are pricey, but sometimes you have to pay to get the look you want. Also, since the products make your skin more sensitive, definitely use sunscreen!
Nicole says:
February 24, 2010, 1:29 pm
You skin looks so smooth, I may have to try this product!
Niki says:
February 24, 2010, 1:31 pm
I'm wondering if this can be used on areas other than the face, like your knees, elbows or upper arm area. I have some discoloration and roughness there.
Kelly says:
February 24, 2010, 2:30 pm
Skincare is a very popular issue, and there are countless to products out there clamming to resolves these issues. I myself suffer from skin discoloration, roughness, etc. I was very EXCITED when I saw this posting, and clicked to review the product's website. I'm just saying, if you are going to say the product has done wonders for you, then I would have preferred to see a full frontal image makeup free, because jumping to spend $96 on a product....
Kelly says:
February 24, 2010, 2:34 pm
Much like the products website which only shows half a face. It just doesn't make sense to me. But in any case, I'm glad it has worked for you.
Moni says:
February 24, 2010, 4:03 pm
Thanks for the review. The products look great. Do you have any makeup free before and after photos? I also am dealing with hyperpigmentation from past acne (a few months ago I joked that I look like a cheetah, though it's gotten better since then). I'm strongly considering getting a Clarisonic to help with my hyperpigmentation. Any thoughts on which might be more useful?
bella says:
February 24, 2010, 4:09 pm
Kelly, I understand where you're coming from. And Moni, you're asking the same question...honestly ladies I don't have a photo of myself without makeup. It didn't occur to me to take a "before" photo because I didn't anticipate having the results I got. I can ask the folks at Jolie MD if they have such photos - it certainly would be helpful to have a basis for comparison. Moni, I love my Clarisonic but it hasn't alleviated my hyperpigmentation. It's helped to keep my skin clean, but for marks that are already there, a Clarisonic won't help. Just my thoughts.
JenG says:
February 24, 2010, 6:05 pm
Thanks for info on Jolie MD and thanks for explaining hyperpigmentation. I honestly didn't know what was going on with my skin until reading your post. I recently read about a product called RX for Brown Skin, you can go to Sephora and they will give you a small sample to try at home. I don't know if JolieMD is carried by Sephora, but if it is you can get a sample to try.
bobbie gardner says:
February 24, 2010, 6:58 pm
Can I just clarify, does this cream bleach the skin a lot? Brightening? I like the idea of a product that reduces blemishes but not one that takes away my melanin, subsequently causing the skin to damage long term....
bella says:
February 24, 2010, 8:45 pm
Bobbie - NO it did not bleach my skin at all. It reduced the darker, hyperpigmented spots so my skin had one tone all over. And it generally stripped away any appearance of dull or rough skin. I don't think it's going to result in long term damage, any more than any other acid-based skin serum would. Niki, I used it on my back but not consistently enough to see the results I got on my face. I don't know about rough and thick skin like on the elbows etc...
cdona says:
February 25, 2010, 9:48 am
I've used Rx for Brown Skin and it left my skin feeling wonderfully soft. The Jolie MD product details sounds very similar to Rx. I def. want to give this a try. Thanks for the review Bella!
Solieman says:
February 25, 2010, 1:52 pm
Dear Afrobella, We wanted to thank you for the review and let you know we saw all the comments and will do our best to answer all of the questions posed. Some of the questions require more detailed answers, so we will be adding them onto our blog. SO for now: 1. Pictures- We were planning on adding pictures of people with each specific problem skin with a blog post on the point, ie post acne hyperpigmentation, bleaching vs brightening..., but will also add the pictures by the end of the week on the product detail page 2. The product, especially Softening Serum, does a great job at softening the coarseness and hyperpigmentation that we find around the elbows and heels. In fact, because the serum tends to spread so easily, and most people end up having extra serum, those are the areas we specifically think people would fine useful 3. For the patient who is finding she has clogged pores and wants moisture, I think you will find what is most amazing about the products is that because you will be exfoliating nightly, and then placing the Enlightening Lotion to soothe the skin, your issue with clogged pores will completely go away, and you will see the fresh, healthy skin you have always wanted 4. Finally, as to cost we genuinely have done everything we could to try to bring costs as low as possible. The point of developing the product was to help women, but we have so many active ingredients in the products that it naturally drives the price up. In fact, truth be told each product is well over 20% active ingredients alone, in an industry where most products have 2-3% on average. Moreover, the idea was truly to replace the need to go to a dermatologist/ plastic surgeon/ spa to get microdermabrasion, IPL, and prescriptions. I hope this answers some of the concerns posed. We will do our best to post more fully developed answers to the other questions over the next 2 days, and welcome any other questions people have.
kemi says:
February 25, 2010, 2:12 pm
I would definitely give this a try. Thanks for sharing.
tycajam says:
February 25, 2010, 2:13 pm
I'm glad you take your time Bella, as I always take your skincare reviews to heart. I still use my Cetaphil and it's a cohort for many an athome beauty regimen. But I'll have to put this on the save up for list. It looks so promising and I love investing in my skin :) Thanks for posting!
misspiano says:
February 26, 2010, 1:14 am
Bella, thanks so much for the thorough review. I will definitely look into this product. I wanted to share a tip that worked for me: Neosporin. Once I had a HORRIBLE breakout of bumps under the skin around my jawline. When they finally went away, they left an awful set of black marks on the side of my face (to the point where people would stare like I had a tarantula attached, lol.). After a few months of using Neosporin religiously, the black marks were ENTIRELY faded and I even found that the Neosporin is great to put on new breakouts. Just leave on for a few hours or better yet, overnight. At least it worked for me! :-)
Isis says:
February 27, 2010, 4:24 pm
Hi Thanks for the review!! I'm curious to know what your cleansing routine you used when testing the product. Did Jolie recommend using a specific type of cleanser or did you stick with whatever you were using prior to testing it out?
beautywoome says:
March 1, 2010, 2:55 pm
I have been interested about Nadine Jolie's new range... heard about it right before it launched and then not much after! I love serums and have some hyperpigmentation from picking at spots. Would also suggest to those of you who suffer from hyperpigmentation to exfoliate more than usual. This doesn't mean do it harder, just do it more frequently and such something like a micro-exfoliating cloth (amazing things. I have a couple from Germany). This will help even out skintone too! xx beautywoome
kris says:
March 3, 2010, 6:50 pm
Hi Bella, I want to start by saying how much I love you and your site. I have been following you for a couple of years and I am happy to see the new opportunities and success that have come your way. I was curious if you are ever paid to endorse a product that you are reviewing, and if so, do you disclose that? This product sounds wonderful, but it is pricey. Before investing I just wanted to make sure I have all the facts. Thanks & keep up the great work.
bella says:
March 3, 2010, 7:12 pm
Kris, thanks for your compliments. NO I HAVE NEVER BEEN PAID TO ENDORSE A PRODUCT ON MY BLOG. Because of the FTC guidelines, NO blogger is allowed to do anything without disclosing it, hence my disclosure page. http://www.afrobella.com/afrobella-faq/disclosures-and-ftc-guidelines/ I indicated in this post that I was sent this product to review. That is the case with many of the products I review, and I make that pretty plain. Hope that helps you make a decision. I know Jolie MD isn't cheap, but so are many of the other products you see reviewed on blogs and in print magazines.
Khanyi says:
March 3, 2010, 9:12 pm
Great post! I'm a long time reader and I really appreciate that you've done a skincare post. I also appreciate that you used the product for a sufficient period before doing so. My understanding is that it takes at least a month (new skin layer coming to the top) to see any results. I've been going to dermatologists for over 10 years and I still have more bad skin days than good. I do believe that there is a dearth of good skin products for women of color and I'm always on the lookout for new, innovative products. I'd like to know whether this product is safe to use when breastfeeding. Thanks.
Alisha says:
March 9, 2010, 4:25 pm
Hey Bella! Thanks for the review. Lately, I've been on skincare, walking around Sephora forever looking for products. I'm using Dr. Brandt's Pores No More, but I need something for discoloration. Like MissPiano above, I had a terrible breakout along my jawline. I just might try that Neosporin. Jolie MD seems to be a great product, according to your and other reviews.
Nellie says:
March 15, 2010, 10:46 pm
Hey Bella- I'm curious, did you use this product both morning and night or just at night?
julia says:
March 24, 2010, 4:07 pm
Hi Bella - I'm curious about the other products you've used while you were using the Jolie products. Did you otherwise stick with your regular cleanser and normal skin care routine?
Isis says:
April 4, 2010, 7:13 pm
Ditto @ Julia I was interested to know as well!!!
daphne says:
April 22, 2010, 6:46 pm
Ok, So no one else used the product except "Afrobella?" I trust her judgement but I want to know if others have used it as well.
Solieman says:
April 28, 2010, 4:42 pm
Daphne, If you see the why am I breaking out blog, a few comments are from people who used the product
Naeemah says:
May 2, 2010, 4:36 pm
Hi! Okay, so as soon as Afrobella posted about JolieMD literally 2 days later I went ahead and ordered it. I am a seventeen year old, African American/Hispanic woman and my acne and hyperpigmentation were out of control. I have tried everything in the past (Neutrogena, Oil of Olay, Clean and Clear, Aveeno, Juice Beauty, Nature's Cure) nothing has worked for my skin. And I'm one of those people that every time I get a pimple it left behind a dark brown spot in it's place. I have used Jolie MD for about 7 weeks now and my skin has drastically improved! The whole right side of my face had very dark brown spots all over it, and some of the left side of my face as well. They have really lightened up and I'm sure that a few more months of using Jolie MD my face will continue to improve. I do not have severe acne thank God, but I do consider it to be moderate. In fact, this product has helped in the amount of breakouts I get, they have decreased so therefore the amount of new dark spots have decreased as well. As I began using Jolie MD I changed a few other things. I tried to eat better (chocolate hates my skin I'm telling you) and exercised more. Drinking lots of water is something I have been working on, andI started taking vitamin e, omega 3, and super-b complex vitamins everyday. I cleanse with a tea tree oil face wash, I exfoliate every night with st. ives apricot scrub, and spot treat any pimples I have with tea tree oil and sometimes bareminerals blemish therapy. I have started using queen helene's mint julep masque to help with clogged pores and I think I will start using it once a week. Also, as hard as it is I have cut down on the amount of makeup I wear daily. If anything I only wear concealer (from bm) on my face to cover pimples and my dark spots on certain days of the week (for work and school). Using less makeup has helped minimize my acne. So this is the regimen I have used and so far my skin has improved so much. I have not seen improvement like this using any other products before. It had gotten so bad that every time I looked in the mirror I would cry b/c of my skin, and I still have my bad days (I can't stop breakouts from my period and the spots will take a while to fade completely), but I have used Jolie MD for almost 2 months and will def. continue, and hopefully my skin will only get better :). I just wanted to share my experience with it, and the products I use and if you haven't tried it I really suggest you do. It has been a lifesaver for my face!! Naeemah
Naeemah says:
May 2, 2010, 4:59 pm
Oh, I forgot to say-not only do I have hyperpigmentation from acne scars, but I have it on my face in general. For example, one side of my forehead has been a little darker than the rest of my face for years. Jolie MD has also helped to lighten it. And not only is my skintone uneven, but so is it's texture. So to be clear, I'm not saying that I now have perfect skin after 2 months of using Jolie MD, but my skin has improved a lot and I think that by continuing using it my face will even out more and it's texture will be much more smooth. Also I had moderate acne before, and I would now consider it to be mild, thanks to this product and the other changes I mentioned :).
Cynthia says:
January 29, 2013, 11:04 pm
Bella, I'm wondering if you still feel good about this product a few years down the road? Do you feel your results were lasting?
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marla litner says:
January 9, 2015, 6:59 pm
Hi Afrobella, I hope you don't mind me writing. It's Marla from JolieMD. Just wanted to give everyone an update on our brand. We have completely reformulated the product, making it even more effective in combatting wrinkles, blemishes and hyper-pigmentation, all in 2 simple steps! Also, we've been able to reduce our prices drastically, due to increased production. I hope you'll check us out!