Okay, bad news first: Dark spots on your face can be brought on from either past breakouts (aka post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), sun damage, or skin trauma—all of which can happen to just about anyone. Now the good news: These darkened patches are fairly easy to treat, meaning you’re not stuck with them forever, if you don’t want to be. Follow the tips below and you’ll start to fade the dark spots on your face in as little as four weeks, while preventing new spots from popping up, too.
How to get rid of dark spots on your face rule #1:
Do NOT pick that zit.
I know, it’s nearly impossible to resist. But if you’ve given into temptation in the past and picked the shit out of your face, you know the ugly aftermath: an inflamed red or brown mark (that can stick around for months) as a result of skin trauma.
Instead, keep your hands off and treat your pimples with a one percent hydrocortisone cream (you can get it at any any drugstore). It’s an anti-inflammatory, so it’ll soothe redness and swelling—and unlike traditional acne spot treatments, it won’t dry out or irritate your skin (which can end up creating more hyperpigmentation). Another option? Hydrocolloid pimple patches. These little stickers create a moist environment for wounds (aka your pimples) to heal, and also protect them from bacteria and your dirty fingers.
How to get rid of dark spots on your face rule number #2:
Use a chemical exfoliant.
Ditch your face scrub (sorry, but they’re generally too aggressive for skin that’s prone to dark spots and hyperpigmentation) and get yourself a chemical exfoliant, instead. Chemical exfoliators include alpha hydroxy acids (like glycolic and lactic acids), beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid), and enzymes from fruit extracts. All three help dissolve the “glue” that holds together dead, discolored cells on the surface of your skin leaving you with clearer, brighter, all-around glowier skin. Plus, by sloughing away surface-level dead cells, your skin is better able to absorb any spot treatments or brightening serums you apply afterward, which helps make them more effective.