Everyone talks about the potential for scarring and redness that comes with acne but there is one frequently overlooked piece of pimple aftermath that can be incredibly frustrating. Dark spots happen quite frequently and can be a pain to get rid of. Let’s take a closer look at these discolorations and figure out some ways to take care of them safely at home!
- What are acne dark spots?
- 16 Do-It Yourself Remedies to Clear Acne Dark Spots
- Related Questions
What are acne dark spots?
Often incorrectly labelled as acne scarring, acne dark spots are actually an entirely different post breakout phenomena. If the spot is flush with your skin and dark or pink in color, chances are you do not have a scar so much as a stain that was left behind as a result of the inflammation from your breakout.
When you have an acne breakout, your skin’s natural healing process can become disrupted by inflammation. When this happens, your body sometimes accidentally amps up its pigment production, resulting in dark, pink, or red splotches to temporarily form.
Also referred to as hyperpigmentation, this is a very common problem that most acne sufferers endure at one point or another.
In the grand scheme of things, it is better to have acne dark spots than acne scarring, as with acne dark spots there is simply discoloration and not actual collagen damage that is more difficult to repair. Acne dark spots typically heal themselves on their own in weeks or months but there are some things you can do to help speed up the process!
16 Do-It Yourself Remedies to Clear Acne Dark Spots
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Does apple cider vinegar help with acne dark spots? Apple cider vinegar seems to be a sort of miracle cure that can be slapped on any ailment and produce almost miraculous improvement. From acne breakouts to stomach issues, this fermented wonder product really does the trick in a ton of health situations.
Apple cider vinegar proves especially effective against hyperpigmentation since it contains a substance known as acetic acid, a chemical that is proven through clinical studies to potentially lighten the appearance of dark spots.
To use apple cider vinegar on your face, first you must dilute it. To do this, mix one part apple cider vinegar with one part water in a container. Use a clean cloth or cotton round to apply the mix to your face and allow it to sit overnight. Rinse the next morning and repeat if your skin can handle the acidity.
2. Ayurvedic Treatments
Ayurvedic for acne dark spots treatments? Ayurvedic treatments are holistic practices that are derived from Indian culture. These practices are thought to be safer than some western medicine alternatives and are relatively easily accessible due to their herbal nature.
There are quite a few different options available for those looking into using ayurvedic practices to treat their acne flares.
It is believed that using water therapies can produce some pretty significant results by ridding the body of toxins known as ama. In a practice known as usnodaka, boiled and cooled water is used to cleanse the body. The water is boiled then cooled for just five minutes before being drank. This is done six to seven times per day to increase your “digestive fire” and improve your body’s toxin removal process.
Alternatively, there are quite a few different herbal options out there that vary depending on your body’s needs. In a different practice known as aushadhi, usnodaka is combined with herbal consumption to increase your body’s overall health. When the body is overall healthier, the skin is generally clearer and less marked.
Though what you need will vary greatly, people who suffer from skin issues can opt for things like Indian sarsaparilla, cumin, fennel seeds, coriander and licorice to add to the boiled water or into a steambath to help remove the ama.
Lastly, facial masks are sometimes made to treat specific target areas. Pastes are made of things like dried chickpeas and water or almonds and goat milk which are then applied to the face and allowed to dry before being rinsed off. This actually makes a lot of sense since goat milk contains lactic acid and chickpeas are exfoliating, both of which can help decrease the appearance of acne, scarring, and hyperpigmentation.
3. Red Onion
Does red onion help with acne dark spots? This sounds pretty gross but hear us out. Red onion, also known by its scientific name of Allium cepa, is a popular additive in skin lightening and scar removing creams, masks, and gels due to its effective and cost efficient qualities.
It has been proven that red onion skin can actually help lighten the appearance of hyperpigmented areas when applied directly to spots regularly. This is because it contains quercetin 4′-O-β-D-glucopyranoside which inhibits the formation of further darkening and promotes healing and circulation to the area.
Milk to get rid of acne dark spots? Like we mentioned before, lactic acid is fantastic for treating a whole host of skin issues. You can find it in pretty much any over the counter skin lightening treatment and in tons of acne medications and creams!
You can get your lactic acid from anything ranging from buttermilk and cream to spoiled milk you have left in the fridge. Just apply it with a cotton ball to the affected areas and let it soak in before rinsing well to prevent any funky smells.
5. Aloe Vera
Does aloe vera helps acne dark spots? Much like apple cider vinegar, aloe vera is a sort of health jack of all trades. You can literally use it to soothe burns; the stuff is magical.
Aloe contains aloin which is a scientifically proven skin lightening agent.
You can apply aloe vera directly to pigmented areas to lighten them naturally and gently. Bonus points if you harvest it straight from the plant, as that is when it is at its purest and most potent form!
6. Green Tea Extract
Does green tea extract helps with acne dark spots? Green tea is an absolutely delicious refreshing drink that is lovely on a hot summer day on ice or wonderfully soul warming on a cold winter evening. It is also used in quite a few different medical applications, including in weight loss and appetite suppression.
Using green tea extract directly on individual pigmented areas can lighten them fairly dramatically and the tea extract is actually rather gentle, making it great for those with sensitive skin.
7. Raw Potatoes
Potatoes for acne dark spots? This one might seem kind of weird but it actually makes quite a bit of sense from a scientific standpoint.
Potatoes contain an enzyme known as catecholase that can help reduce the production of melanin in the skin, stopping dark spots worsening and remaining present.
Additionally, the texture of a slice of potato is fantastic for exfoliating, as it is rough without being gritty or too abrasive.
Just slice off a small piece and use it to scrub your dark spots directly for a minute or so and let the remaining residue settle and dry. Rinse well with lukewarm water and repeat as needed.
Does lemon help acne dark spots? Much like raw potatoes, lemons are great for exfoliating, just in a different way. Lemons are chemically exfoliating since they have an acidic nature, which could help with removing dead skin that could delay the improvement of dark spots.
Additionally, lemons contain natural bleaching agents that can directly lighten the skin when applied topically. It is a good idea to dilute the substance to prevent burns.
When using lemon juice or scrubbing with lemons, be sure to rinse well and try to contain it to just the pigmented areas to prevent bleaching of other areas that could result in uneven skin tone and texture.
Does oatmeal really helps with acne dark spots? Oatmeal has been used for generations to help treat a variety of skin issues including poison oak, poison ivy, poison sumac, and chickenpox. This is due to its antiinflammatory properties and its generally soothing nature.
Additionally, oatmeal is a fantastic gentle exfoliant, making it great for keeping your skin clean and clear. The gentle exfoliation and soothing nature makes it great for treating acne marks, as it can even the skin and promote circulation to the area, resulting in faster healing rates.
Do tomatoes help with acne dark spots? Tomatoes have been used for more than a century to help ease the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone. It is also an incredibly easy method of treatment since it basically has two steps.
Simply slice up the tomato and rub a slice on each of your dark spots. Alternatively, you could choose to smash up the inner parts of the tomato and apply it as a spot treatment. Either way, let it sit on your skin for a few minutes and then rinse well with lukewarm water.
Repeat as needed.
Turmeric mask for acne and dark spots? Used in Indian households for hundreds of years, turmeric is a fantastic cooking spice that also makes quite a fantastic skin lightening mask.
The yellow powder is helpful in regulating the appearance of your skin tone and texture and also makes for a great chemical exfoliant. Many people mix it with lemon juice until a thick paste forms.
Be warned, some people do experience staining. The yellow tint does not last long but can be a bit scary so be cautious, especially if you have particularly pale or sensitive skin.
Does papaya helps with acne dark spots? Another fruit based treatment, papaya is amazing for a ton of different skin issues due to it containing papain, a chemical exfoliant that is gentle but effective.
Papaya also helps to elevate the healing response of your skin and enhances the cell regrowth process. These two effects, when combined, make a powerful treatment that is safe and wonderful for existing acne, too!
If you want something a little stronger and think your skin can handle an intensive treatment, horseradish is incredibly effective. The abrasive, fragrant root is powerful and will give results fairly rapidly if it meshes well with your skin.
Fresh grated horseradish mixed in with apple cider vinegar works wonderfully and is more effective than jarred horseradish due to the intensity of the root being greater when freshly handled and sourced without the preservatives that can be present in manufactured versions of the product.
Horseradish can be irritating, so be sure to patch test your skin and be cautious. Never use it close to your eyes and do not use it over large areas of skin. Horseradish is only safe if you apply it only to spots and are careful to watch for irritation.
14. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is frequently used to treat acne and other skin issues since it is antibacterial and very cleansing. It is also anti-inflammatory and promotes cell regeneration.
Due to this, applying straight hydrogen peroxide with a q-tip to affected areas makes for quite the amazing spot treatment, as it can draw blood flow to the area and assist in healing. This chemical is truly wonderful and is recommended by dermatologists worldwide since it is so effective!
Common in cooking as a light herbal addition or fresh garnish, parsley actually makes a pretty great skin care asset when used in its fresh form. Parsley is actually frequently used in skin care products due to its ability to gently help lighten the skin naturally.
When applied as a spot treatment, parsley can be quite effective not only in treating acne spots but also in diminishing the appearance of breakouts and dry patches, as well.
Sandalwood powder is fantastic for treating dark spots and has been used since ancient times to treat a ton of different skin concerns.
One of the best things about the sandalwood powder is that is blends so easily with essential oils, apple cider vinegar, and other carriers that allow it to be made into a mask or spot treatment.
Apply it directly to your dark spots and let it dry before rinsing.
A little tip: you can mix sandalwood powder with aztec healing clay to make a dry down mask that treats acne while also improving the appearance of dark spots and even actual acne scars.
Can laser treatment improve the appearance of dark spots? There are some laser treatments that can be used to improve dark spots but, widely, they are more reserved for actual acne scarring spots. Dark spots from acne are generally temporary and will improve on their own or with some easy at home remedies or over the counter treatments. Laser treatments are incredibly expensive for something that will likely remedy itself on its own so most people do not go this route, though it is possible.
Can dark spots not go away on their own? Some people do experience rather persistent dark spots. These are usually not related to acne and typically come from hormonal issues or pregnancy. If you have these types of dark spots, a doctor or dermatologist can prescribe a cream to assist in decreasing the appearance of blemishes or you can try an over the counter option if you prefer it.
Dark spots can happen to literally anyone for a variety of reasons but are often prevalent in those with acne due to the damage the skin sustains when it is inflamed and irritated. These spots can appear red, pink, or brown and are flush with the skin; texture implies acne scarring which requires a more intensive treatment to remedy and more time to heal fully.
There are tons of different natural options out there to assist in treating hyperpigmentation. This list is only the tip of the iceberg so play around and find an ingredient or blend that works for your skin. Natural skin remedies are fantastic alternatives to try before opting into manufactured drugs and treatments since they are quite effective and also give you control over exactly what goes into your body.