Oh, acne. We all get it. Some get it a lot. Some people barely get them at all. Whichever category you fall under, we all can share this in common:
WE HATE THE DARK SPOTS IT LEAVES BEHIND.
Hyperpigmentation. It is the devil. But you know what? The devil is a lie.
Read on to know more about those pesky little marks and how you can say ‘bon voyage’ to acne scarring and hello to clear, even-toned skin.
What is hyperpigmentation? Well, in layman’s terms, it is when your skin produces excess melanin in a certain area that’s had some type of trauma to it. So when you pop your pimples (which is a big no-no and is probably the reason why your skin is trash), the skin is healing from that self-infliction. The results of that leaves a dark spot, which isn’t a pretty sight when it comes to having your best skin ever.
Now I’ve had my fare share of dark spots in my life.
- Forehead spots
- Cheek spots
- Chin spots (those are soooo stubborn to get rid of, ugh!)
YOU NAME IT.
I had to change my routine up a bit to prevent acne which leads to dark spots in the first place, but chances are if you’re on this post, you have hyperpigmentation and you want to get rid of it.
Foreva. * Cardi B voice*
Hyperpigmentation Anonymous is in order! I’ll go first.
ME: Hi, my name is Evie and I have hyperpigmentation. Y’ALL: Hi, Evie!
Okay. That’s finally out the way, so let’s get into the tips.
1. Clearing up hyperpigmentation requires diligence & patience.
Just like any skincare product or regimen you start, it takes time for you to see a noticeable difference in your skin overall. When it comes to acne scars and the severity of them, it can take a very long time to clear them up completely. But do not fret, this doesn’t mean you should lose hope, it just means you have to finesse your skincare a bit so you can get the most satisfactory results.
2. Give your skin some TL(C).
Vitamin C is your friend when it comes to acne scars. This powerful antioxidant, also known as ascorbic acid, is super important not only for your overall health, but for our skin when it comes to anti-aging and producing collagen.
Our skin is the biggest organ on our bodies, and vitamin C plays a major role into what keeps our skin bright, young, and healthy (and let’s not forget to mention, FINE as heck!).
So definitely eat your vitamin C rich foods, which doesn’t stop at oranges. Bell peppers are loaded with it. Tomatoes, Kale, strawberries and of course your citrus fruits like lemon, lime and grapefruit.
The list goes on, but the point of eating right is to prevent the acne from forming in the first place, and if you ever do get acne, your body is naturally going to clear them bad boys up and if you do get an acne scar, your immune system aids in speeding up the healing time and leave a less hideous looking scar.
In a nutshell, Vitamin C is a huge help to correcting an uneven skin tone. Don’t be shy, now. Get into some tender loving (C)are.
3. Hold up, wait a minute. Y’all thought I was finished? More about Vitamin C!
I almost forgot to mention, to fade scars, you can apply products with vitamin C in them to help improve your scarring and fade your dark marks. I personally love this trick that helps me stay consistent with my skincare routine.
Sweet orange essential oil.
I get mines from a health foods store. Even discount stores like Ross and Marshall’s has an array of essential oils from time to time in the beauty aisle.
So here’s the trick: I put a couple drops of sweet essential oil in my moisturizer on my hand before I massage it into my skin. Simple right?
Whenever I feel like my skin is looking dull and I’m trying to expedite the process of healing any marks, this does the job in keeping my skin even and glowing with no effort.
When buying skincare products, look for terms like “vitamin C” or “brightening” on the label. Even if you look on the ingredient list, if it has “ascorbic acid” on that list, you should be fine. These types of products will either be something you put all over the face or something you put on the dark spot directly such as a moisturizing cream or a serum.
4. No SPF, no results.
I will always be harping on this. Forgive me in advance, but you’ll thank me later.
SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN, SUNSCREEN.
Some of you may be taking care of your skin pretty well, but still can’t get rid of those pesky little rascals on your face. Why is that? Well, if you only wear sunscreen when you go to the beach, then that more than likely can be the reason, sis.
I’ve made a post on the importance of SPF, but I have to be that annoying friend that gets on your life about this. Everyone, and I mean everybody and their mama should be using sunscreen. Whether it’s already in your moisturizer or in your foundation, still have that barrier of protection.
Your dark spots will get darker if you expose them to the sun unprotected. PERIOD.
I don’t care if you bought the most expensive serum that claims to get rid of dark spots pronto and has a bazillion reviews of folks raving about it. If you aren’t using sunscreen, that product will not work as well and it can make your skin worse, ESPECIALLY if you have a darker skin tone.
When you expose your skin to certain treatments that inhibit melanin production and lighten the skin, it increases our skin sensitivity, which can lead to our skin producing more melanin when those UVA/UVB rays come for you with no mercy.
Rule of Thumb: If you're going to be using skin treatments specifically targeted towards correcting dark spots and evening out the skin tone, use those treatments at night and ALWAYS wear sunscreen the morning after. Your skin will love you forever.
My favorite sunscreen at the moment? Australian Gold SPF 50 Spray Gel With Bronzer. BOMB! For one, it doesn’t leave a white residue on my dark skin at all. No trace. The formula is light and makes my skin dewy but not greasy. Plus a huge bonus is that it doesn’t irritate my eyes! Cop this super affordable gem.
5. Exfoliating is your bestie.
I love exfoliating, and I do it very often. But there can be too much of a good thing. Just like your real bestie, y’all can’t be around each other every second of the day, or else one of you will get irritated of the other.
Well hun, our skin works that way as well. TOO much exfoliation can irritate our skin, lead to more breakouts and even worse *gasps*— acne scarring.
Here is the 1, 2, step to exfoliating for a more even, glowing skin.
Types of Exfoliation: Chemical vs. Physical
Exfoliation in a nutshell is using a form of abrasive to remove dead cells from the surface of the skin. There are two forms of exfoliating. Most people are familiar with face scrubs like from St. Ives (which was my first face scrub! The apricot one.) That product has granular beads in it to physically exfoliate your skin to reveal new baby skin. That’s pretty much the most widely recognized way to exfoliate. Sugar scrubs and salt scrubs also have the same purpose and effect.
Chemical exfoliants are another beast. But this beast? This beast is beautiful, honey. There are different forms of chemical exfoliants. Two common forms are Hydroxy acids, which abbreviate to AHA/BHA. What are those? AHA stands for Alpha Hydroxy Acid. BHA stands for Beta Hydroxy Acid. This article has an excellent breakdown on the nature of these two forms of exfoliation which I think is bomb supplement to this post.
I enjoy using chemical exfoliants because they get rid of debris inside the actual pore of your skin rather than only the top layer. Chemical exfoliants are a bit for intermediate users so I recommend using natural methods, such as essential oils (like sweet orange oil) and even using milk and yogurt in your masks since they contain fruit acids in them to get rid of dead skin on the cellular level.
I love using The Ordinary’s ‘AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution’ once or twice a week as a treatment for my hyperpigmentation. I put it on cleansed, DRY skin and set a timer for 10 minutes and let it work it’s magic on my face. Once the timer goes off, I wash it off with lukewarm water and voila, my face is refreshed, a teeny bit brighter, but also super vulnerable so I put on my eye cream and moisturizer right after so it can really soak into my skin.
DISCLAIMER: DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT use a physical exfoliant and a chemical exfoliant back-to-back. This can be extremely irritating to the skin and trust me, I learned the hard way.
All and all, it’s really a bomb way to get you dark marks to go away for good because that dead skin that creates that pigment is going to be gone over time once you follow these tips.
The point is this, once you get into the habit of exfoliating twice a week (or whatever frequency your skin can tolerate, I do it 3-4 times a week) you’ll notice your hyperpigmentation fading away to new, fresh, BOMB skin that is clear and glowing like no other. Using chemical exfoliants in combination with physical exfoliants on alternate days make the biggest difference in not only the clarity of your skin but the texture of it as well.
With hyperpigmentation and clearing those acne scars, this is a good start to getting the job done. Over time, you will see your dark spots starting to fade and become even. It’s amazing how hard our skin works to take care of us, so return the favor!
Cleanse your skin. Moisturize your skin. Treat your skin.
As soon as this becomes a consistent regimen with the tips I’ve recommend to your above, you should be good to go. Just remember to have patience and diligence.
Most importantly, love yourself. Flaws and all. Flawed skin is still YOUR skin. Remember that. It still serves a purpose because you have purpose. Believe that.
Sending Even-Toned Regards,
P.S. — Love this content? Please share with a friend. Let’s keep the movement going!