4 Powerful Ingredients To Clear dark spots left by Acne

4 Powerful Ingredients To Clear Dark Spots Caused By Acne

Acne left marks behind? 

Rubbing them with cleansers, toners, brightening facials, home remedies and what not, but still not getting results! This can be one of the annoying experiences! We get that. 

If we look in depth, dermatologists describe these dark spots as Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation which occur when acne injures the deeper layers of your skin.  We understand that ending up in the vicious cycle of acne brings with it a lot of frustration. 

Relax! It's not permanent! Recent researches suggest that with the help of topical ingredients it is easy to clear the acne marks completely.

Top 4 effective ingredients to get rid of acne marks

Topical treatments involve the use of bioactive ingredients to repair and rejuvenate your skin. For managing PIH, few ingredients have been identified as extremely beneficial to balance out melanin production, boost collagen, and calm inflammation that subsequently helps in the fast healing of the scar.

1. Niacinamide

From lightning scars to calming skin inflammation, niacinamide is a multitasking ingredient that works for most skin types.   

In tackling  PIH, niacinamide helps to prevent melanocytes (melanin pigment-producing cells) from reaching the skin surface. This is how it helps to fade away dark spots left behind after a pimple heals.

Also, its potent antioxidant properties neutralize the free radicals in affected skin areas and also encourage the production of new healthy cells. Also, niacinamide calms and soothes the damaged skin through its inflammatory properties. 

How to add- Niacinamide can be used in the form of serums, gels or creams in your daily routine. However, since the concern is stubborn, serum form is recommended. Serums tend to hit the target area with higher efficacy due to high concentration of the actives. Using it consistently can give you visible results. 

Skin type- Niacinamide works amazing on every skin type; from normal to dry skin. 

2. Peptides

Peptides are the new breakthrough ingredient in the skincare industry that works on treating post-acne inflammatory conditions, mainly in the healing process by creating a small chain of amino acids that build proteins in our skin.

The topical use of peptides helps boost collagen for healing damaged tissue and blunt the appearance of the scar. In the case of PIH, peptides can give a good deal of results in healing the condition.

Its barrier strengthening property works on retaining moisture in the skin to build new tissue under the scar while protecting it from environmental aggressors. Furthermore, antimicrobial properties of peptides help fight harmful bacteria and promote wound healing.

How to add- In their topical forms, peptides serve best in serums. Being adequately concentrated and light in weight, they seep into the skin and perform their action in an effective way. 

Skin type- peptides are recommended for all skin types. The only catch is that you must introduce them to your skin slowly and then gradually build up a routine to daily usage. This will help you identify the suitability of the peptides to your skin. 

3. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate SAP

When your skin is going through the post-acne healing process (PIH), it needs plenty of antioxidants for faster healing of the skin by neutralizing the free radical damage.

Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP), a derivative of vitamin C needs no introduction for its potent antioxidant qualities and gentle nature on the skin. Alongside this, you can reap the anti-aging benefits from SAP to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This ultimately improves the overall health of your skin and imparts that radiant glow!

How to add- SAP can be used topically in the form of serums as it easily gets absorbed in the skin to perform quick actions.

Skin type- This derivative of vitamin c is especially curated for oily, acne prone skin types. It is because of its oil-soluble properties. 

4. Allium Cepa Bulb Extract

Several studies have stated that the external application of Allium Cepa Bulb Extract a.k.a onion extract can help to reduce the size of acne scars by rebalancing collagen production subsequently fading away post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. 

To get efficient results, pair Allium Cepa Bulb Extract with the following ingredients

  • Olea Europaea Leaf Extract

Olive leaves are packed with a high concentration of bioactive antioxidant compounds like Oleuropein. These compounds along with Allium Cepa Bulb Extract are known to promote natural skin radiance and rejuvenation that help in accelerating wound healing. 

  • Bellis Perennis (Daisy) Flower Extract

When paired with Onion Extract, it helps to reduce the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme liable for the formation of melanin. Furthermore, the presence of L-arbutin, a natural skin brightening agent in Daisy Flower Extract helps to minimize the appearance of dark spots on the skin.

  • Bulbine Frutescens Leaf Juice

Bulbine Frutescens Leaf Juice is an excellent ingredient to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. When formulated with Allium Cepa Bulb Extract, it helps in healing scars and dark spots by stimulating skin regeneration and revitalization process.

Also, it helps to fight free radicals that cause photoaging and works on diminishing the scar by hindering the pathway of pigment synthesis.   

How to add- Being spot treatments, such formulations yield good results when used in gel texture. Try adding them in your skin care routine gradually. A consistent use will take you a long way!

Skin type- These ingredients are suitable for all skin types. 

How long does it take for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation to fade?

In present times, Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) has become the most concerning problem for many people. Treatment for Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) depends on the severity of the problem and the natural exfoliating ability of the skin.

If hyperpigmentation affects only the epidermis layer of the skin, then it might take approximately 6- 12 months to achieve the desired results. 

However, if PIH affects the dermis (layer lies beneath the epidermis), pigmentation can take a longer time to fully fade away.

Dermatologists explain that in most patients, inflamed acne has been acknowledged as a major cause of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.  And also, people having acne-prone skin are at risk of developing acne scars and PIH marks Thereby, it is necessary to follow a  good anti-acne skincare regimen to save your skin from all the long-term damage.  


Sun protection is an integral part of the post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) care routine. Direct contact with UV rays trigger melanin production in the skin which can cause more darkening of your PIH marks. To prevent further darkening of the skin, a broad-spectrum sunscreen having  SPF value of more than 50 is considered a strong preventive measure from sun rays. Sunscreens with physical filters like Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide are effective and safe for all skin types.