How can I get rid of dark acne marks?

We all love a good story about our grandpa's or uncle's escapades.  Especially, when it involves some type of scarring.  They did what they loved, and they are proud of it.  But, some scars we would rather not mention or have.  These are dark acne marks.  But, here are 5 ways to get rid of those pesky acne marks fairly quickly, and naturally.  Please note that every solution, will involve a little patience, and due diligence on your part to further investigate if it’s right for your skin.  

1. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) which is extracted from willow bark.  BHA is great for oily skin type.  Depending on the concentration of the serum, it can also do wonders exfoliating your skin.  Since, it breaks down old and dead skin cells, it can help your skin tone.  By expediting the skin cell turnover and regeneration process.  This, of course, allows those dark spots left over to eventually fade away.

But, be sure to take precautionary measures since your skin has to adapt to the new routine.  In some cases, it can cause irritations such as skin tingling, itchiness, peeling skin, and hives.  It may also remove too much oil (sebum), which may cause dry(or drier) skin.  These symptoms might occur in people with sensitive skin.  

  1. Apply on a small area
  2. Test for a short time period, such as 3 days
  3. If there is no irritation, try for another three days
  4. Apply lotion over the salicylic acid

There are some other precautionary things to avoid, so please consult your dermatologist for further information before using it.

2. Butter Milk

Guess what? Buttermilk has Lactic Acid which is an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA).  AHA is best for dry skin types.  There are many more benefits, but for right now, just know that it is good for your skin.  Similar to BHA, AHA is great for exfoliation, and brightening the skin, and improving collagen production.  

There are DIY recipes that I have never tried, but this one seems fairly safe for people who are not allergic to mango, honey and buttermilk.  

Blend until it forms a paste.

  1. 2-3 tablespoons of Mango
  2. 1 teaspoon of honey
  3. Apply a thin layer for 30 minutes and wash off with cold water.  Repeat as many times as necessary, until you notice the dark marks and pigmentation disappear.    

 3. Lemon Juice and vitamin C

Lemons have a ton of vitamin C and citric acid.  Which are known to be natural bleaching agents.  Vitamin C has many other benefits for your skin.  For example, it is used in various cosmetic products such as vitamin C serums.  There are many recipes for this as well.  People like to use this sort of acne spot solution for their face because of its all natural ingredients and method of removing brown spots.  

4. Sunscreen 

Sunscreen is a crucial component not to remove but to prevent skin damage and brown marks.  If you ask any dermatologist, or skin professional, they would all agree that sunscreen should really be part of your daily skincare routine.   While,  we are talking about removing dark spots and acne scars, these acne treatment methodologies can also be applied to active acne breakouts.

5. Acne Patches

Acne patches will not necessarily remove dark spots, but, since these thin translucent patches are made from hydrocolloid dressing, they may do the job.  It might just take longer, since dark spots aren't wounds, nor are they pimples.  They are post pimple marks, or skin damage, such as extended exposure from the sun.  

Questions and Answers 

How long will it take for the dark spots to completely fade away?

It all depends on the treatment you want to take. No matter what treatment you take, it isn't a permanent solution compared to a proper skin care routine.  Just stick with one treatment, and see if it works for a set period of time.  These are mostly all natural solutions, so, it might not be as effective as the branded products out there like benzoyl peroxide. 

What causes dark spots on the skin?

Similar, to how long it will take to remove a dark spot, it all depends.  Since, there are various reasons such as sun exposure, and acne scars (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) there's no simple answer.


So, you now have 5 ways to remove your dark spots.  These mostly natural solutions, can eventually do the job.  But, no matter what you choose, patience, and a dedicated skincare routine is the key to keeping these dark spots away.  

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— James Oh, founder of Avarelle Cosmetics