How to Minimize the look of Acne Scars

As if a breakout wasn’t bad enough, turns out that a pimple can last a lot longer than you might think. The life cycle of a pimple is usually between two and three weeks, from the initial build-up in the pore to the moment when the infection is finally released.

If that seems like a long time, then the fact that the red and brown marks they leave behind can last for weeks or even months is disconcerting to say the least.

They go by a few different names — acne marks, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, dark spots, or, most commonly, acne scars — all of which refer to the damage that can happen to the skin after a blemish has run its course. Depending on one’s skin tone they can be red or brown and will typically be the size of the blemish. They can happen whether or not you pick the pimple, although you can pretty much bet the scar will be bigger if you do.

Acne scars will happen with almost every blemish, so avoiding them entirely isn’t realistic. You can, however, minimize the severity and duration of the marks with the help of a few key ingredients. Read on to learn which ingredients are best to improve the appearance of acne scars.

Vitamin C

Perhaps one of the most effective brightening ingredients, Vitamin C has the ability to help break up dark spots and exfoliate skin’s surface while also defending it from external aggressors that can cause damage. It works by inhibiting tyrosinase, a natural skin enzyme that triggers melanin production — melanin being the natural pigment in your skin. Vitamin C specifically targets the abnormal pigmentation on skin’s surface, i.e. those areas where melanin production is kicked into overdrive. Topically, it will help fade the appearance of red or brown spots faster and become less noticeable, which can help to the look of the acne scar. It also works great on brown spots caused by sun exposure.

We use Activated C — a potent form of Vitamin C — as the star ingredient in our Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution. Along with proven botanicals, it can lighten the appearance of existing dark spots and prevent future ones from forming.


When you’re trying to brighten the appearance of your skin, smearing a bright-orange root paste all over it might seem counterintuitive. But Turmeric, an Ayruvedic mainstay, is an ancient efficacious ingredient that is often found in products designed to fade the appearance of isolated forms of hyperpigmentation on skin’s surface. It contains Curcumin, a natural compound that can help to reduce the appearance of pigmented scarring on skin’s surface and suppress melanin production.

It’s a key ingredient in our exfoliating Turmeric Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Mask formula alongside cranberry seeds to even out skin tone and increase luminosity and smoothness.

White Birch Extract

This sugar-derived ingredient comes from the bark of the White Birch tree. It’s a natural source of Vitamin B3, also known as Niacinamide. Vitamin B3 is best known for lightening the lightening the appearance of dark spots and providing clarity for your skin tone overall.

We use it in tandem with Active C and Peony Extract to create the Clearly Corrective Brightening Soothing Treatment Water , a gentle skin brightening treatment that works on both post-acne pigment scarring and sun spots.

Acne scars may be inevitable for those people prone to breakouts, but that doesn’t mean they need to linger. Choose products formulated with these three brightening ingredients that can help with the appearance of those post-acne dark marks.

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