When your acne heals, you might be discouraged by red or dark marks left behind on your skin, but don't despair. These are not permanent marks and are simply your body's reaction to the previous inflammation. While post-acne hyperpigmentation will fade on its own, you can eliminate it faster by using a few specific skin care tips.
Clear up your acne. Use a gentle cleanser on your skin each morning and night and apply over-the-counter creams to dry up your blemishes. If that doesn't work, see a dermatologist to have your acne professionally treated. No matter how mild or how severe your acne is, it's important to have a complexion free of blemishes before you attempt to clear up hyperpigmentation. Otherwise, you'll just have to repeat the same process over and over without much result.
Exfoliate your skin with a toner each day. Use an alcohol-free formula to remove dead skin cells and to help reveal the healthier, fresher skin underneath without drying out your face. The faster dead skin cells slough off, the faster hyperpigmentation will fade.
Use an alpha-hydroxy acid chemical peel. At-home formulations and those only a dermatologist can use are available to remove the top layers of skin and reveal fresh skin beneath. This can cause some peeling, though there is usually minimal recovery time. apply a thin layer to the skin and allow it to sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.
Apply lemon juice to your skin. Cut a fresh lemon and dab a bit of fresh juice onto your hyperpigmentation spots. This will help bleach these areas and allow them to blend into your natural skin tone faster. Be careful to rinse the lemon juice off after a few minutes, however, as the citric acid can be potentially irritating to your skin.
Use an oil-free moisturizer every day. Apply it each morning and night after cleansing to keep your skin healthy and youthful looking and to aid in proper skin cell replenishment, which is key for fading inflammation caused by previous acne breakouts.
See a dermatologist. If natural and over-the-counter remedies are not clearing up your hyperpigmentation, a dermatologist may be able to prescribe stronger creams or recommend another treatment, such as laser surgery, to correct the problem.