Project Clear Skin: How To Get Rid Of Acne Marks And Fade Pigmentation For Good

Banishing pimples is only half the battle.
PHOTO: Getty Images

If there's one thing I hate more than actual breakouts, it's the dark spots and scarring that come *after* the initial bumps are gone. It's like my skin just can't give me a break. The good news, though, is that treating them is totally possible—all hope isn't lost just yet! And since I am tired of seeing marks on my face every time I think I've finally banished my zits, I took it upon myself to research all about hyperpigmentation (the proper term for dark acne marks) and the things I can to treat and prevent them. Read on below:

What is acne hyperpigmentation?

Acne hyperpigmentation is the result of your skin's excessive production of melanin, aka the pigment that regulates our skin color. It is triggered by a lot of things, but the two main culprits are too much UV exposure and skin trauma (such as acne, rashes, or burns). Essentially, the dark spots are the product of how your body copes with external stressors.

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What are the different kinds of hyperpigmentation?

Acne and hyperpigmentation go hand in hand, but let's discuss first the various forms of dark spots. According to Dr. Kaycee Reyes of Luminisce Clinic, there are three different types:

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  1. Melasma

    Melasma often appears in pregnant women. It typically appears on the face and other parts of the body that are typically exposed to the sun. Stress and the use of birth control pills can also trigger this skin problem.

  2. Solar lentigines

    Solar lentigines or sunspots are the results of exposure to UV rays. They often appear as flat brown spots on the skin and show up on the areas of your body that get the most ~sun time~, such as your face, shoulders, and back. 

  3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

    Whenever our complexion goes through skin injuries such as acne, insect bites, burns, or rashes, they leave temporary discoloration. This usually appears after they are healed. It usually observed in darker skin types.

What are the things we can do to treat acne hyperpigmentation?

If the dark spots on your face were marks that acne has left behind, here are the things you should do to fade discoloration.

  1. Load up on sunscreen.

    Okay, we know we sound like a broken record here, but we really do mean it: Sunscreen is *vital* if you want to banish those dark spots and prevent them from coming back. Think of it as your ~shield~ from the harsh rays of the sun. 

    P.S. You also need to apply it even when you're just lounging around the house. It can protect you from the rays that enter through the windows, plus the blue light from your gadgets.

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  2. Incorporate exfoliating products into your routine.

    When it comes to dark spots, these two will be your new best friends: sunscreen and exfoliating products. Here at Cosmo.ph, we're big fans of chemical exfoliants because they are gentler and less abrasive than physical ones like scrubs. To brighten up your hyperpigmentation, we suggest including an AHA product into your routine. They work by loosening up dead skin to reveal a ~new layer~. Glycolic and lactic acid are some of the most popular choices.

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  3. Include a vitamin C serum in your product rotation.

    Aside from exfoliating products, your skin will also benefit from using a vitamin C serum. ICYDK, it is a popular antioxidant that aids in fading dark spots, smoothing out rough bumps, and giving your face an all-over ~*glow*~. BTW, make sure to store it away from direct sunlight to avoid losing its potency.

  4. Review what you ingest and apply to your body.

    Acne isn't the only culprit when it comes to hyperpigmentation. If you notice dark spots popping up after you've started on a new birth control pill or hormone treatment, it's best to halt its usage and ask your doctor for alternatives.

  5. Invest in chemical peels.

    For something a little more intensive, we recommend getting chemical peels regularly. It can smoothen and even out your skin's tone by helping to speed up the exfoliation process. The result? A brighter and more flawless complexion!

  6. Try looking into laser treatments.

    If you're at your wit's end when it comes to post-breakout hyperpigmentation, getting laser treatments is something you can look into. It works by "targeting the pigments and shattering [the pigments] into fine particles which the body can easily get rid of." Be prepared to shell out some cash for each session, though. It can range from P2,500 to P25,000. (P.S. Make sure to wear sunscreen para hindi sayang ang pera!)

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