What are acne marks?

Acne marks, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, are dark spots on the skin’s surface that follow an inflamed blemish.

How are acne marks caused?

Acne marks are caused when an inflammation to the skin, such as acne, causes increased pigment production resulting in visible dark spots on skin’s surface. The darkening of the skin is caused by an increase in melanin, the natural pigment that gives skin its color, which could also be due to UV exposure, hormonal fluctuations, and aging. Overproduced melanin particles cluster together and eventually result in dark spots on skin’s surface.

Are acne marks different than acne scars?

Unlike the dark appearance of an acne mark, acne scars are scars or indented areas on the complexion. There are three main categories of acne scars — icepick scars (deeper than wide), boxcar scars (wider than deep with distinct edges), and rolling atrophic scars (uneven and rugged). Without the proper skincare routine, both acne spots and acne scars can appear on the skin after blemishes have cleared.

Do acne marks go away?

The appearance of acne marks can fade over time with the help of a dark spot corrector and other skin brightening products designed to even skin tone. You can also boost results with a brightening sheet mask that is formulated to help visibly reduce dark spots and discolorations.

How long do post acne marks last?

Using a brightening serum daily can help fade the look of some discoloration over time, but it could take anywhere from 6 months to a year (or longer) depending on the intensity of the dark spot.

How long do post acne marks last?

Depending on the intensity, it could take anywhere from 6 months to a year (or longer) to help fade the look of discoloration of post-acne marks. Using an effective brightening serum can help.

How do you treat dark spots from acne?

Luckily, there are skincare products that are formulated to visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots. Understanding acne marks removal methods can be daunting, but there are several effective ways to help visibly correct. Below are a few of our favorite tips to help address visible stubborn post-acne marks on skin’s surface for a more even looking complexion.

Tip #1


Finding products designed to help visibly correct the appearance of post-acne marks is key for those with dark spots. To help improve the look of an uneven skin tone, we recommend incorporating our brightening serum which is clinically-proven to help correct post-acne marks and dark spots for visible correction and clarity. * This serum can be used as both a spot treatment or applied over the entire face day and night. In a clinical study, after 8 weeks of use, 90% of women showed a dramatic reduction of visible discoloration on skin’s surface. **

Care For Post Acne Marks

Tip #2


Help purify skin and visibly improve clarity by exfoliating!

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. Exfoliating regularly (one to three times a week) can help brighten skin.

If you have post-acne marks, try exfoliating skin with our skin brightening face wash that smoothes and refines the feeling of skin for a more radiant glow while respecting the skin barrier for a noticeably smoother appearance.

Explore the rest of Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective™ skincare routine for dark spots and skin discolorations including a skin brightening water and brightening moisturizer .

Care For Post Acne Marks

Tip #3


Acne marks are exacerbated if blemishes are picked at or go untreated. While it may be tempting, don’t pick. Picking or squeezing blemishes can lead to more acne, inflammation, and scarring. When you pick, you also run the risk of getting an infection from the bacteria on your hands. Lessen the temptation by targeting your problem area with an acne spot treatment instead. This spot treatment is formulated with 1.5% Salicylic Acid, a beta-hydroxy acid known to reduce the appearance and severity of blemishes.

Care For Post Acne Marks

Tip #4


Minimize your chances of developing post-acne marks, by keeping acne at bay from the start!

Caring for your skin properly helps reduce breakouts, which can lead to acne scars and post acne marks. Learn how to prevent future breakouts from occurring with an effective skincare routine for acne. Oily skin types should give our Blue Herbal Collection, formulated for acne-prone and oily skin, a try.

Discover all our efficacious treatments for acne-prone skin to help prevent and treat acne.

Care For Post Acne Marks
Video ConsultationBook Your Video Consultation