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Faded Brightening & Clearing Gel

1.70 fl. oz. for $ 36.00
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Brand Overview

Topicals’ Faded Brightening & Clearing Gel is an impressive skin brightening product that gets the concept right with proven ingredients.

Packaged in an opaque squeeze tube that protects its ingredients from light and air exposure, this gel-cream has a light texture that glides across skin. As you rub it in, it gets slightly creamier (the result of it coming into contact with your skin’s natural warmth), but it absorbs quickly without a sticky residue. It does have a slight dewy effect, meaning that if you have very oily skin this might be a bit too emollient for you.

Topicals advertises this is a good treatment for fading dark spots and post-acne marks, and it has the ingredients capable of doing so. They include a high amount of skin-brightening and pore-refining niacinamide and tranexamic acid, which research also shows can help improve skin tone, including stubborn issues like melasma.

Added as supporting ingredients are alpha-arbutin, azelaic acid, and kojic acid – which can also help with uneven skin tone, though they’re here in smaller amounts (they’re still great additions, though) . There’s moisturizing shea butter and jojoba oil plus antioxidants and soothing ingredients including Centella asiatica, licorice root, turmeric root, allantoin, and bisabolol.

All told, this is a very good skin brightener that skips irritants and sticks to what is highly likely to work.

One note: when you first apply this, there is a slightly musty smell that sensitive noses might detect. It fades quickly, but it might be initially off-putting to some. This isn’t the result of any additional fragrance (this is fragrance free); rather, it’s the combination of ingredients that creates this smell.

  • Gel-cream texture is suitable for normal, dry, and combination skin.
  • Includes a good amount of brightening and pore-refining niacinamide + brightening tranexamic acid.
  • Contains alpha-arbutin and azelaic acids as supporting ingredients.
  • Includes moisturizing, antioxidants, and soothing ingredients.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive components.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Has a slightly musty smell upon initial application that might be off-putting to some.
Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: No

For spottie hotties - great for sun-damaged and scarred skin, this gel serum fades your most stubborn marks, scars, and spots so that you can kick back and let your worries fade away. Faded is gentle enough for those experiencing hyperpigmentation and erythema that can’t tolerate more aggressive acids, and is never bleaching!

Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Niacinamide, Tranexamic Acid, Shea Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20, Ceteareth-12, Cetearyl Alcohol, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Behenyl Alcohol, Alpha-Arbutin, Jojoba Seed Oil, Zinc Ricinoleate, Azelaic Acid, Glutathione, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, Allantoin, Phytic Acid, Squalane, Palm Butter, Glycine, Soybean Sterols, Cetyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Licorice Root Extract, Melatonin, Turmeric Root Extract, Sclerotium Gum, Arginine, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Bisabolol, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

Topicals is the collaborative effort of friends Olamide Olowe and Claudia Teng, two young entrepreneurs who decided to create their own skin care products – as many brand founders have done before –that address the skin concerns they (and many others) personally face. Olowe has hyperpigmentation from post-barbae folliculitis (bumps due to various types of hair removal), while Teng has eczema. The primary consumer goal was to create treatment-oriented products for people of color – like themselves.

Their interest in skin care goes further back than Topicals’ 2020 launch date: Olowe went to school with the daughter of the founder of the Shea Moisture skin care line. Inspired by these products, she created a sister brand to Shea Moisture while still in college; Teng’s mother is a dermatologist, and Claudia herself worked in clinical research at Stanford University’s Department of Dermatology.

To date, Topicals only features two products: Faded, a gel-cream treatment for hyperpigmentation, and Like Butter, a mask designed to soothe dry, itchy, or eczema-prone skin. The good lessons both founders have learned from their earlier experience in caring for skin are applied here: both formulas are stably packaged, fragrance- and irritant-free, and feature proven ingredients (both natural and synthetic) designed to target the conditions they’re designed to treat. How refreshing!

It’s a strong start for a fledging brand and we look forward to seeing if future offerings follow the same track as these first two products. For more information about Topicals, visit


About the Experts

The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.

Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.

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