5 steps to fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by acne

Yes, it can actually be done.

What causes acne scars? When an acne breaks out on our skin, it’s a result of inflammation that injures the skin tissue. As our skin heals itself over time, the skin may experience the following:

1. Scarring

Our body produces skin tissue to make up for the broken tissue, and sometimes it can be too little or too much. This results in a raised scar caused by overgrowth of tissue or a depressed scar, indented into the skin, much like pitted scars. Deep breakouts that happen beneath the skin surface can increase the chances of scarring.

2. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Throughout the process of skin healing, your body is triggered to produce excess melanin, causing discolouration on the spot where your pimple might have already healed. This discolouration usually looks reddish or purple on fair skin, and brownish on darker skin tones. The more inflamed your acne was, the darker the pigmentation tends to be. Unlike actual acne scarring, it is flat and leaves a darker mark than your surrounding skin.

In this article, we focus on post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation caused by acne and how to fade them.

This discolouration may fade over time, but it can take up to 3-6 months or more to completely fade them, depending on the condition of your skin. Below are the necessary steps to shorten this time.

How to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Treat your acne

Do not pick at your acne or pop it with your hands. This is going to introduce bacteria to skin tissue and extend healing time. Use pimple serums and avoid harsh cleansers or scrubs that will cause your acne to get more inflamed.

Use brightening serums

Begin skin brightening after your pimple outbreak has started to stabilise and cleared up. Brightening serums are full of actives that can help to lighten discoloured marks. Some work by speeding up the skin’s natural renewal process, gently exfoliating away the top layer of discoloured skin. Vitamin C, Retinol, Niacinamide and Kojic Acid are some example of brightening ingredients.

DR's Secret Skinlight T3

Skinlight T3

Walteria indica leaf extract and kojic acid help inhibit melanin production while kiwi and grapefruit help stimulate microexfoliation. Other than using DR’s Secret Skinlight T3 on darkened areas, it can also be used to spot treat as it can help quicken the recovery of acne.

DR's Secret C15 Essence 7

C15 Essence 7

Inhibits tyrosinase which contributes to melanin production and stimulates collagen production to help in wound healing. DR’s Secret C15 Essence 7 is highly concentrated and nourishing and is best applied on discoloured spot only after acne has cleared up. This is to avoid aggravating the inflammation with over-nourishment when skin is more sensitive during an outbreak.

Aestier Age Arrest A3 and AR Essence A3

Age Arrest A3 set

Proprietary E-Factor™ peptide mimicks our skin’s natural growth factors to activate skin renewal, reducing pigmentation and stimulating collagen production. Use Aestier Age Arrest A3 and AR Essence A3 to nourish and repair skin after acne has cleared.


Treat acne - moisturise

When the acne inflammation has healed and sebum level has become balanced, repair your skin barrier to quicken the skin’s healing process using a moisturiser.

Wear sunscreen everyday

Wear sunscreen everyday

We’ve said it many times and we will say it again – always wear sunscreen. Our skin reacts with the sun to form melanin and we need the protection to prevent our skin from producing more melanin to the already darkened spots.

Engage the help of supplements

Our body’s most important antioxidant – Glutathione. Glutathione inhibits tyrosinase, responsible for producing (eumelanin) dark colour, and changes it to pheomelanin (light colour). Glutathione also regenerates Vitamin C, offering greater antioxidant protection.

Taking Vitamin C supplement also helps to keep Glutathione in our body active. Vitamin C works together with Glutathione to inhibit tyrosinase.

Need more help? View our recommended regime for dark spots and pigmentation.