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Just because the area below are necks is rarely exposed, doesn’t mean that it should be neglected. If you knew that skin was the largest organ (which it is), then why wouldn’t you care for it from head to toe? It makes sense that our bodies are rarely, if ever, given as much attention because our faces are usually the most exposed part of our body.

One of the biggest skin care concerns among black women is pigmented or discolored skin. Getting rid of blemishes or dark spots on your face is one thing, but how do you treat the horrid pimple invasion on your body and the resulting, unfortunate dark spot? To avoid the appearance of blemishes take a proactive stance and try Murad’s Clarifying Body Spray ($37, which treats breakouts before they occur on your body. As you spray the affected area, bacteria is killed, therefore preventing new “bacne” from appearing.

But if the dark spots are already there as a result of “bacne” and you want them lightened or you have patches of skin you want evened out, try Makari De Suisse Body Beautifying Milk ($47.45, and pay specific attention to those discolored areas and include your knees and elbows in the treatment. Another benefit of using this milk is that it also moisturizes your skin. Note that this product doesn’t contain hydroquinone, but does contain three natural ingredients: licorice root extract, mulberry root extract & bearberry extract which are chemical-free alternatives to lightening skin discolorations.

Another option for evening your skin tone is Black Opal’s Body Fade Cream ($12.95, drugstores). After you’ve exfoliated in the shower, apply this as you would any other body lotion concentrating on problem areas along with your knees and elbows. This cream is a mixture of hydroquinone and natural ingredients which helps to both even your skin while hydrating it and works for all skin types.

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