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Skin Care

How to Get Rid of Acne Marks and Scars

Fade dark spots and acne marks without breaking the bank on professional laser treatments

Acne marks can leave you frustrated with your complexion long after the pimples have cleared up. Professional laser treatments can zap those marks away, but you'll pay a high price for that kind of heavy-duty treatment. If you're wondering how to get rid of dark spots from acne, consider some of the following treatments.
How to Lighten Acne Marks at Home
How to Lighten Acne Marks at Home

Hands-off Approach
First of all, let's address how to keep acne marks from appearing in the first place. Picking at pimples increases the likelihood that they will leave behind dark spots that stick around for months on end. Granted, some people's blemishes result in marks no matter what, but since picking can make things worse, just don't do it.

Products for Fading Scars
Once acne marks have developed, it can take months for them to fade on their own. Although at-home treatments aren't instant, they can reduce the time that it takes for spots to disappear. Try the following techniques and ingredients to speed your skin's healing process.

Cleansing Brush: Boost your face-washing routine with a sonic cleansing brush like the Clarisonic Mia 2, $169, every other day. Not only will you get a deep clean, but you'll also help to exfoliate the top layer of your skin. This makes it easier for your topical treatments to sink in where they'll be most effective.

Hydroquinone: Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel, $65, contains hydroquinone, a powerful ingredient for fading dark spots..

Vitamin C: Your skin will be brighter when you use a product that contains vitamin C. That's because this powerful skin saver can calm melanin production and brightens your overall complexion. As an extra perk, vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which will protect your skin from pollution and free radicals. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, $49.50, is packed with activated vitamin C.

Licorice Root: Like vitamin C, licorice root inhibits melanin production. It's an excellent natural ingredient to look for if you want to fade acne marks. You'll find it paired with other powerful skin lighteners in SkinMedica Lytera Skin Brightening Complex, $130.

Chemical Peels: An at-home chemical peel containing exfoliating acids will help remove dead cells from the top layer of skin so fresh layers can shine through. Derma E Overnight Peel, $18.75, will work while you sleep.

Retinol: Vitamin A, found in retinol products, boosts cell turnover to help renew your skin. Look for SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5, $60. It's not as strong as prescription vitamin-A products, but it's a good introduction to retinol and over-the-counter option.

Sunscreen: Sun exposure can intensify dark marks, thereby hindering your lightening process. Avoid damage by using sunscreen faithfully. Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 55, $11.99, is a non-greasy option that works well under makeup.

Note on Acne Scars
Unlike acne marks, scars are textured. They can be indentations or raised spots on the skin. At-home treatments probably won't take care of these, even over time. Instead, turn to a dermatologist who can recommend a course of treatment for evening out your scars.


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