Many would hope that battling severe (or even mild) acne and flare-ups would mark the end of the nightmare, but no, because in comes a new foe: dark spots, or scars left from the war on your skin. I know this scenario all too well. Here are some products, from serums to oils, that I have found most helpful in reducing my scarring and dark marks.
1. Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum
I am a sucker for TikTok recommendations, and this serum kept popping up on my For You Page as I began to look for a solution to fade my dark spots.
Although highly rated, I was in shock at how quickly the product started to fade the discoloration on my face, and I’ve repurchased the product twice now. As a college student, I found the serum to be:
- Very affordable
- Effective in treating my dark marks as a person of color
- Non-irritable to my skin
The product is formulated with a modified form of tranexamic acid, which, according to the founder of Adonia Medical Clinic, Dr. Ifeoma Ejikeme, "stops the uptake of the pigment-producing cells into the upper layers of the skin," "works well alongside other pigment regulators," and "is well-tolerated topically with a low side effect profile."
The particular modification, TeraCeutic TXVector, delivers tranexamic acid deep into the skin to help fade hyperpigmentation. It is combined with 4% niacinamide in a dual-action formula to:
- Target existing dark spots
- Prevent future hyperpigmentation
- Improve the appearance of uneven skin tones, texture, dullness, and enlarged pores
2. Kate Blanc Rosehip Seed Oil
As someone who suffers from both acne and dark spots, I never once thought I would liberally apply oil to my skin. Then, of course, came Rosehip oil. Firstly, many of us have heard or read from beauty experts that a healthy and moisturized skin barrier is the first step to resolving many skin conditions, especially when it comes to acne and scarring. Rosehip oil pairs linoleic acid with high concentrations of vitamins A, B, and E, thus regenerating and healing the skin. In terms of direct scarring, a study conducted in 2015 found that Rosehip oil improved the overall appearance of post-patient surgery scarring.
3. Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
And yet another great product I bought because of TikTok ~small sigh~.
Sunscreen in general is something I never took too seriously, even in the summer, so I was eager to see what the results would be after adding this to my newly-formed skincare regimen. In short, I will never be skimping out on sunscreen again and will be repurchasing this particular product when my supply runs out.
In addition to the general basis of protecting your skin from harmful UV rays, Black Girl Sunscreen includes beneficial ingredients
- Avacado to reduce signs of premature aging
- Jojoba oil to soothe the skin while preventing breakouts
- Carrot juice to boost melanin in the skin and promote healing
- Sunflower oil to prevent skin irritation.
With no white cast and a pleasant fragrance, applying sunscreen daily has become an easy feat.
4. Cerave Retinol Resurfacing Serum
Retinol is a great ingredient for tackling almost any skin issue, including breakouts, uneven texture, and dark spots because it works to increase cell turnover in the skin.
"Retinol regulates our sebum production, which is great for acne control."
- Dr. Diane Madfes
This serum by Cerave additionally includes:
- Licorice root extract to brighten the skin
- Ceramides to restore and maintain the skin's barrier
- Niacinamide to "calm" the skin
Due to my somewhat sensitive skin, I began using this product no more than two to three nights a week, and my skin texture has seen a huge improvement since, with noticeably reduced numbers of fine lines and large pores. Before purchasing this product, I recommend doing your research on retinol, as it is a slightly more "risky" ingredient.
These are just some of the products I have found most helpful in reducing my post-acne scars and dark spots. I encourage all of you to do your own research into the products and ingredients you use on your face. And to all those struggling with acne scarring, do not dim the lights; your scars do not define who you are, and will fade over time with patience and a diligent skincare routine.
Find some great retinol serums here.
Find some great dark spot correctors here.
Find some great tips on evening out skin tones for darker skin here.