How To Clear Acne and Dark Spots | Home Remedies & In-Office Treatments

Acne is a battle that almost everyone faces, and the scars that remain are the most annoying. As if dealing with acne wasn’t bad enough, post-acne dark spots take up residence on your skin like a bad tattoo. Numerous products claim to reduce dark spots, but how do you know which ones will work? 

We’re here to help you figure it out! From how to Remove Pimple-Caused Dark Spots with home treatments, and natural ingredients to in-office recommendations, these solutions can effectively fade dark spots caused by pimples. So keep reading.

But First,

What Causes Dark Spots?

When you get a pimple, you probably want it to heal as soon as possible. However, acne blemishes can leave a dark mark on your skin even after the pimple has healed. This is aggravating but not unusual.

Understanding what causes these dark spots on your skin is the first step toward removing them.

A pimple is a type of inflammation that appears on your skin. As your skin heals and new skin cells form, the cells sent to help restore the smooth surface of your skin may contain too much melanin.

Melanin is responsible for skin color; when certain cells have more melanin than others, the result is a darker skin patch. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the term for this.

For example, picking or squeezing a blemish can prolong skin inflammation and increase your chances of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

People with darker skin tones are more prone to this condition. Keep reading to learn how to treat post-pimple dark spots and how to avoid them in the future.

Scars vs. Dark Spots

Acne dark spots are treated differently than acne scars. Scars require damaged or overgrown tissue. Scars are difficult to remove altogether, and while they may fade over time, they are usually visible.

Acne-related dark spots, on the other hand, are flat against the skin’s surface. Therefore, they do not suggest long-term damage to your skin cells, pores, or follicles.

It may take some time, but dark spots tend to fade over time and eventually disappear completely. Unfortunately, it can take anywhere from three months to two years for them to vanish.

That doesn’t mean you have to wait indefinitely for your dark spots to fade. Numerous home remedies, over-the-counter (OTC) products, and even dermatology treatments are available to help you get rid of them faster.

So, here are some home remedies below;

11 Home remedies for removing Dark Spots and Acne

Papaya Treatment.

This natural exfoliant rich in AHAs, which is well-known for its benefits to the gut, also aids cell turnover. We’re referring to its ability to remove the top layer of skin and regenerate new ones. So, if melanin has accumulated in one area of your skin, remove it by rubbing mashed papaya on it. Next, scrub the fruit on the affected areas, wait for it to dry, and then rinse. What’s more? After that, you’ll be closer to having an even skin tone!

This treatment imparts an unparalleled radiance and is suitable for all skin types.

Aloe vera gel

Many people advocate using aloe vera to treat acne-related dark spots online. Aloe is a fantastic healing agent, especially regarding your skin.

Some studies have found that using aloe regularly can help to stabilize melanin levels in cells, but more research is needed to determine the extent of this effect.

Grapeseed Extract

Another natural product that may help lighten dark spots is grapeseed extract.

There have been no studies on the topical application of grapeseed extract for clearing dark spots. However, some research suggests that taking grapeseed extract orally for six months can help people with the skin condition melasma, which is similar to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Reduce Dark Spots With Vitamin C

Vitamin C is highly effective at fading dark spots. It is found naturally in many citrus fruits and is a popular star ingredient in many cosmetic lines. The reason for this is that Vitamin C is known for being an excellent depigmentation agent. As a result, you will notice a significant fading of dark spots and brighter-looking skin after using vitamin C-enriched products. This ingredient is also excellent for treating blemishes, making it an all-purpose treatment for acne-prone skin.

Choose a good vitamin C serum and apply it to your skin daily after cleansing it.

Using Buttermilk

Because buttermilk is high in lactic acid, it is excellent for gently exfoliating dead skin cells and brightening skin to help fade dark spots. It will also aid in the maintenance of your skin’s pH levels.

Pro Tip: Apply buttermilk to your face with a cotton ball. Allow it to sit for 20 minutes before washing it off.


They say that old is gold, and this dependable yellow spice works its magic. This easily accessible ingredient has rarely failed to deliver as a dermis savior. Turmeric has been used for centuries and has been shown to help with digestive issues and dark spots. 

Pro Tip: Combine two tablespoons of turmeric with one tablespoon of honey, and apply the mask for about 20 minutes. Then, allow the pack to live up to its billing.

Use Retinol.

Retinol is one of the most effective ingredients for fading dark spots. With regular application, it can transform skin texture and repair any damage done to the skin. Retinol penetrates deep into the layers of the skin to treat dark spots that aren’t even visible yet. After incorporating a retinol cream or serum into your skincare routine, your pores will appear refined, and your acne will be under control.

Pro Tip: Consult a dermatologist for a retinoid cream appropriate for your skin type.

Tomatoes to the rescue!

This delectable flavor enhancer also works its magic on the skin TLC shelf, helping to revitalize skin with dark spots. Because it is high in lycopene, a naturally occurring chemical that is a powerful antioxidant, it reduces dark spots and serves as an excellent natural sunscreen! So, the next time you can’t find your sunscreen, head to your kitchen, grab some tomatoes, and follow these steps:

Apply a small amount of the pulp to your skin and massage for a few minutes in a circular motion. Once finished, wipe, and you’re ready to go and glow.


Yogurt, which can fade dark spots by exfoliating the skin, is another naturally skin-brightening item you may already have in your home. Yogurt, like papaya, breaks down dead skin cells due to lactic acid, which is naturally found in dairy products. Unlike other chemical exfoliants, this acid is gentler on the skin, and because it is derived from dairy, it aids in correcting pH imbalances. As a result, it helps to improve tone, texture, and redness.”

You can apply yogurt to clean skin alone or with other ingredients known to improve skin health, such as honey, which is antibacterial and ideal for acne-prone skin3. Adding oatmeal to a yogurt mask will help slough and soothe dry skin; however, be careful not to tear or irritate the skin when removing this mask.

Never Forget Sunscreen!

All your efforts to fade dark spots will be futile if you do not use a high-quality SPF cream or gel. In addition, when exposed to UV and infrared rays, dark spots become more visible. As a result, whether you are indoors or outdoors, always wear sunscreen.

Pro Tip: Choose a lightweight gel sunscreen that protects against IR radiation and UVA and UVB rays.

Lemon Juice works too!

Lemon, as citrus fruit, is high in vitamin C. It’s also a popular ingredient in do-it-yourself home remedies for treating dull skin and extreme pigmentation. Applying a lemon juice pack will benefit anyone with oily acne-prone skin and will quickly fade away dark spots.

Pro Tip: Make a face mask with a tablespoon of honey and lemon juice. Leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it off.

Also Read: Homemade Remedies for Eczema

5 In Office Treatments for Acne and Dark Spots

Because they require more intense procedures than over-the-counter options, some acne scar treatments require special attention and care from your dermatologist. The disadvantage is that treatments are typically costly. If you’re not ready to dip into your savings, know that you’re not alone in your battle with acne scars. You may even learn to feel much more at ease with them simply by reframing your way of thinking.

Fillers for the Skin

Certain scars, such as hyaluronic acid, can be filled with a substance that elevates the depressed areas. This can even out the skin’s surface and eliminate shadows. Fillers were not a long-term solution until recently. Bellafill, the first FDA-approved dermal filler designed for permanently correcting moderate to severely dented acne scars, is now available to those over 21. 

Unlike other fillers, it contains two different ingredients to help improve acne scarring. PMMA is made up of tiny balls that act as a scaffolding. Most fillers degrade over time, but because the body cannot absorb PMMA, it provides a permanent solution,” she says. The remaining 80% is collagen.

The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes, and while you may need a touchup a few months later, some people only require one treatment, according to Dr. Shah.

Injections of Steroids

If you notice a stress pimple forming, a steroid shot can be administered the same day you call your dermatologist because the process is very quick. Cortisone not only reduces the inflammation of an existing zit but can also make thick scars (keloids) appear softer and flatter. “These are only for raised scars,” Dr. Shah clarifies. “It will help flatten the scar, but it will not affect any texture discrepancies.”

Laser Therapy

Dermatologists frequently remodel collagen with lasers which do not eliminate acne scars but can improve them by 30% or more. These can help to reduce the redness associated with acne scars and marks. When lasers are used to treat acne scars, the results can vary dramatically depending on the number of treatments you’ve had and the amount of social downtime you’re willing to accept as part of the recovery process. For example, Erbium laser resurfacing is another more aggressive option than Fraxel.

Excisions by Punch

This procedure is best for people with icepick scars that aren’t as wide as rolling or boxcar scars. When you use a punch excision on a scar that is wide at the surface, you’re making a bigger punch and trading one scar for another. Your dermatologist will numb the area before removing the scar with a tiny cookie-cutter-like device and sewing it closed with a tiny stitch. In less than a week, the stitch is removed. Most dermatologists advise against using this method for those with darker skin or undertones prone to hyperpigmentation.

Consider Using Doctor-Approved Chemical Peels to Treat Pimples

Salon professionals should only attempt chemical peels. They are topical acids applied to the skin to remove the top layers of damaged skin, revealing brighter, blemish-free, youthful skin. It is extremely effective at treating dark spots, and you will immediately see results.

When applying a chemical peel, always consult a professional. They can recommend the best peel for your skin type and resistance.


Microdermabrasion is usually around $150. It employs a device that blasts tiny particles at specific areas of your skin or rubs a diamond-tipped device over your skin.

Microdermabrasion is a high-tech exfoliating treatment that aims to buff away imperfections while leaving your skin smooth and evenly toned.

It’s frequently used to treat dark spots, including those caused by acne. This treatment is thought to be low-risk and minimally invasive.

Also Read: Foods That Make You Look Younger


Use caution when using products that claim to treat acne-related dark spots.

For starters, some of these products include potent retinol ingredients. These ingredients work by thinning out your skin’s layers. While this may result in skin that feels smoother and appears more evenly toned, it also leaves you more vulnerable to sun damage.

As part of your daily beauty routine, apply sunscreen every day.

Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate every cosmetic product (FDA). Be especially cautious of products purchased internationally or sold online.

Some cosmetics contain ingredients such as mercury, which are not disclosed on the label. Use caution and only buy from vendors you know and trust.


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