Here is an extensive list of different methods used to remove dark spots caused by acne

Living with acne can feel like riding a roller coaster. You finally clear up a breakout and you’re left with a dark spot or acne scar, but you’re unsure how to treat dark spots caused by pimples. Your initial instinct may be to try home remedies like lemon juice, aloe vera or reach for typical skincare with aggressive chemical peels and harsh exfoliating treatments, but here is how how to remove dark spots caused by pimples.

Image from Proven Skin Care


1. Be Gentle on New Dark Spots as the Skin is Still Healing

When the spot or acne mark is still red and the pimple has only just faded, your skin is very inflamed. This is no time to use any kind of over-the-counter product or acid, so if you typically use Salicylic Acid or Glycolic acid all over your face as a preventative acne treatment, avoid applying these products directly on the affected areas. Your skin is very tender and irritated, and is not ready to for application of exfoliating treatments. Instead, try Hydrocortisone. Using hydrocortisone for dark spots is an effective way to calm inflammation and address and soothe the red in your skin. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory Apply this for only a period of few days, as over time, Hydrocortisone can actually thin the skin and make it more fragile.

2. Introduce Vitamin C Once the Blemish has Healed

When the dark marks or affected areas have completely healed and are no longer irritated, it’s time to bring in the antioxidants to help get rid of dark spots. Load up on Vitamin C, especially in the morning, to prevent excess melanin from depositing and making the spot darker. Ask your dermatologist to recommend the best Vitamin C-based skincare products. Vitamin C is great for removing dark spots. 

3. Use a Retinoid for Brightening the Appearance of Dark Spots

Research skincare products or, again, consult your dermatologist to recommend items that include a retinol derivative that you can use at night to help speed up the regeneration of your skin. This will help push new, healthy, bright skin to the surface. Retinoid is also used as spot treatment for acne.

4. Exfoliate New Dark Spots with Acids

Once your skin has fully healed, you can use exfoliating treatments twice a week. Use a gentle, chemical exfoliant to help even out your skin tone and fade dark spots and discoloration caused by pimples. Mandelic Acid and Azelaic acid are especially good for hyperpigmentation or Melasma, a condition that causes brown spots on the skin.

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5. Protect Dark Spots, Acne Scars and Melasma from the Sun

The most important step of all is to protect your acne scars from the sun. Do not start your day without sunscreen. An SPF of 30 or higher is recommended. UV rays do infiltrate windows in homes, offices and cars, so always wear SPF. Wear a wide-brimmed hat if you are going to be outside for an extended period of time. UV rays are the enemy of acne scars, dark spots and other skin conditions. They trigger inflammation and spike melanin production, causing your dark spots and scars to become even darker and harder to fade.


The technical word for the spot left behind an acne lesion once it heals is Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, or PIH. This type of pigment is different than normal dark spots because it is a result of inflammation. PIH is not specific to acne.

These dark spots caused by pimples can also commonly occur as a result of razor bumps and ingrown hairs. PIH is most common in darker skin types, and can last for longer than 5 years if left untreated. Keep skin hydrated when shaving or washing your face. Not only are ingrown hairs and razor bumps painful, they will keep returning. Use shaving products to soften and hydrate skin and don’t rush the process. Cuts on skin also take a while to heal.

Prevent PIH Dark Spots from Forming

You may also get PIH if you pick at a blackhead or pimple. Picking at an active acne lesion or blackhead increases the likelihood of leaving behind a dark spot, which is one of the reasons why dermatologists and aestheticians caution against it. You’re better off leaving it alone and letting it heal over time, as painstaking as that can be or feel. Or, you can go to a professional like a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician to help remove it.

Relax and Stick to the Plan to Cure Dark Spots Fast

Whether you pick at your pimple or let it heal naturally, PIH may occur either way. It’s important to treat the inflammation and use antioxidants like Vitamin C to inhibit melanin production. Most importantly, use daily sun protection to prevent your spot from worsening. Even a well-healed spot can suddenly become dark if you spend too much time in the sun. We hope this post has helped inform you about how to cure dark spots caused by pimples, and how to prevent further dark spots forming.
Stick to a skincare regimen best suited to your skin.

Start a skincare routine beneficial to your specific skin type, issues and need.

Choose a cleanser, moisturizer with SPF, toner and night cream that will address what skin needs, so you can avoid pimples, dark spots and acne scars from starting. Do your research, listen to your skin…and to your dermatologist.

These are the most efficient ways to remove dark spots caused by pimples.

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Essential Skin Care Steps

Essential Skin Care Steps


Essential Skin Care Steps


Essential Skin Care Steps

With so many popular skin care routines, how do you know which steps are essential?  Our editors picked the six essential skin care steps that you need for clear skin. 

1. Cleanser

The fist step to any skin care routine is a great cleanser and the main difference is the ingredients within the cleanser. Avoid anything with alcohol. Avoid oils if you have acne.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser—is great for gentle cleaning


A toner is an astringent that cleanses skin, shrinks pores, restore pH balance (your skins natural acid) and refreshes skin. It can also prevent ingrown hairs, which is great for men.

Make sure that your toner does not have alcohol. If you have sensitive skin, make sure your toner is gentle.

Popular brands:

Formula 10.0.6 So Totally Clean Deep Pore Cleanser

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Rosewater

3. Moisturizer

Moisturizing is a very important Essential Skin Care Step.

Replenishing and adding nutrients back to your skin is important for your cells.

If you have Acne prone skin, make sure your moisturizer is oil free.

If you have dry skin, use a heavier lotion. Also using a lightweight moisturizer and the morning and a night cream is helpful.

Olay Total Restoration Lotion—for normal to dry skin 

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion—for normal, sensitive skin (available at your drugstore)

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream—for dry, sensitive skin (available at your drugstore)

4. Eye Cream

The eyes are often neglected, but having a great under eye regiment will help prevent wrinkles and under eye bags. There are not that may oil glands around your eyes, so providing extra hydration may help with puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles.

For puffiness, eye creams with caffine are helpful.

For dark circles look for products that have vitamin c and is eye brightening.

For wrinkles, look for something with retinol.

Here is a recommended drugstore brand: 


Here is a recommended high end brand: 

Dermalogica Age Smart Age Reversal 0.5-ounce Eye Complex

5. Sunscreen

If you are going to be in the sun, make sure you apply sunscreen (even if you are just in you car). This will prevent future skin problems.

6. The last Essential Skin Care step is Exfoliating

 Use an exfoliator or exfoliating mask every couple of days to safely remove debris from your pores.

If you have sensitive skin, choose exfoliators that have natural fruit enzymes.

Cetaphil Gentle Exfoliating Facial Cleanser

Skin Care

Is Your Skin Care Right for Your Skin

by Bonnie Min, RN

Skin Care

Do you ever feel like you could be doing something differently or feel frustrated by your skin care routine and not seeing results? Read below to see if your skin care right for your skin.

Skin care isn’t an exact science….OR IS IT??

I used to think it was as simple as washing my face and going out the door…but that’s before I spent 7 years in the Burn Unit as an ICU Registered Nurse and learned real quick just how important sunscreen is.  Then I started a business in skin care and REALLY had my eyes opened.

Here’s the thing.  The majority of us aren’t dermatologists, aesthetic nurses or physician assistants, cosmetic chemists or estheticians.  We see a problem on our skin and we’re off to the nearest drugstore / department store / Japanese / Korean skin care store / Sephora and come home loaded down with a bunch of products along with a lighter wallet.  

But what if the products you bought aren’t designed to work TOGETHER?  You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. I’ll explain. Let’s say you really want to get rid of the wrinkles starting to form on your forehead but you also REALLY want to get rid of the acne that’s there.  Most people will go on Instagram, read all about the power of retinol and conclude that they need the retinol for the wrinkles while using the same, trusty benzoyl peroxide cream they used all throughout their teen years for the acne.  BOOM! Problem solved!!



Did you know that retinol and benzoyl peroxide will actually deactivate each other?  And that’s just one example! “Okay, Bonnie”, you think to yourself. “I’ll just swap out the benzoyl peroxide with SALICYLIC ACID!  HAH!!!”

Not so fast!  Using salicylic acid and retinol will only cause redness and dryness.  So unless you’re really digging the peeling, sunburned look, I’d advise against it.  Another no-no combo I see a lot on social media is retinol plus AHAs. No, not AHA as in the band that came out with the song “Take On Me”.  I’m talking about Alpha Hydroxy Acids aka AHAs. Retinol + AHAs can also lead to redness, irritation and dry skin.

The Vitamin C serum following is really picking up steam because it’s an antioxidant.  The problem is that it doesn’t play nice with AHAs, depending on the formulation. Not all antioxidants are created equal so not all of them are able to withstand destabilization.

All this starting to make more wrinkles appear because now you don’t know if your products are working with you or against you?  Before you start despairing, I want to ask you something.

What if skin care didn’t have to be so confusing?  

What if you could be using clinical skin care that’s created by dermatologists and is recommended JUST FOR YOU and your specific skin care needs?

What if it also didn’t have to cost an arm and a leg?

That’s where I come in to help- take this super short quiz and we can go over your results together to see what’s right for you. 

Have more questions? E-mail Bonnie at

Articles by Bonnie Min, RN 

Is Your Skin Care Right For Your Skin