Post-breakout good news: You survived, and your skin is pimple-free again. The bad news: You’re left with hyperpigmentation that manifests itself as red or dark spots, which can last weeks or even months. And no one is spared from this frustrating skin condition. Scars can affect complexions of all ages and colors, and if you’re a chronic pimple picker, the odds are even more against you.
The only way to immediately eradicate the reminder of your last breakout is through in-office lasers and Retin-A, but there are some non-prescription products that do a good job at fading markers faster. Here, we’ve rounded up the most effective ways to treat acne scars at home.
1. Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
Slow and steady is the way of Clinique's spot treater's game. You won't see results from this featherweight serum overnight, but you'll be happy if you stick with it. Clinical trials showed improvement in acne scars, along with sun and age spots, in four weeks.
Clinique | $145
2. Pixi By Petra Glow Peel Pads
If you want to fade those godforsaken marks faster, but you can't even at the thought of adding another step to your skincare routine, opt for these glycolic acid-soaked pads. A quick swipe puts cell turnover into high gear so pores, breakouts, and yes, uneven skintone are minimized.
Pixi | $22
3. Renee Rouleau
Part of the struggle with treating acne scars is that a lot of brands are stealth when it comes to naming their products. Luckily, this gel does what it says, and says what it does.
Renee Rouleau | $39
4. Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare
Is there anything this drugstore cult-classic can't do? Along with minimizing stretch marks, signs of aging, and hydrating dry skin, it's also an effective method for post-breakout dark spots.
Bio Oil | $13
5. Kate Somerville D-Scar Scar Diminishing Serum
This lightweight serum zaps post-breakout marks while balancing texture all thanks to a small, but mighty peptide that puts the skin's renewal process into overdrive to improve tone and smoothness.
Kate Somerville | $48
6. Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Spot Correcting Night Mask
Sleep off acne scars by slathering on Origin's mask. It's enriched with Rosa Roxburghii, mulberry, and white peony which brightens up dark spots, while powerful hydrators keep skin smooth.
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins | $56
7. Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-In-1 Fight & Fade Toner
In the race to clear, even skin Neturogena's toner will always come in first. It's loaded with maxium strength salicylic acid which shrinks pimple size and redness in just eight hours, along with glycolic acid, a known spot eradicator because it speeds up surface cell exfoliation.
Neutrogena | $7
8. Skinceuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector
The hefty price tag might cause sticker shock, but it's worth the money. The lightweight cream targets current discoloration from breakouts while preventing future hyperpigmentation.
Skinceuticals | $90
9. Peter Thomas Roth Camu Camu Power C x 30 Vitamin C Sleeping Mask
Your glass of OJ has nothing on this overnight mask. Packed with 30-times more vitamin C than an orange thanks to camu berries, the treatment's skin-brightening prowess makes it an effective method for diminishing spots. If you aren't a fan of nighttime creams, applying a thick coat of product and letting it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it will also deliver the same effect.
Peter Thomas Roth | $62