Reader question: Getting rid of blemishes

Hi Miss Liz,

Can you suggest some good blemish removers? I have these acne marks/scars and it takes a while to lighten them. I just rely on my whitening moisturizer (Olay's) but i don't know if that works. Any suggestions from affordable to high-end products are welcome in my book, since when it comes to my skin care I'm willing to spend. But if it's affordable and works that'll be great! :) - Diana

Hi Diana! What you can do to lighten your blemishes faster is to use sunscreen everyday, preferably something with SPF30 above. Why? Because blemishes are basically caused by hyperpigmentation or too much melanin in the area. That happens when skin is wounded or scarred - the skin tries to repair the damaged spot by producing more melanin. 

To keep the area from darkening more, use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays. The sun triggers our skin to produce pigment so we need to deflect its damaging rays with SPF products. Here are sunscreens I like:

Clinique Derma White City Block Anti-Pollution SPF40 PA+++

VMV Hypoallergenics Armada Face Cover 30

Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50

You should also exfoliate your skin regularly to cleanse the dead, dark skin away. Three times a week max is enough! Any drugstore exfoliator will do as long as it's not too abrasive. Well, personally I'm not into bead exfoliators as I find them too harsh. I prefer using a clay mask, then massaging it off my skin with a vegetable sponge soaked in warm water. This cleans pores nicely, too! I do this twice a week.

Etude House Wonder Pore Clay Clear Mask

As for creams/serums, I haven't found anything that makes blemishes lighten CONSIDERABLY faster. That said, I do like the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair. Documented my use in four weeks with photos and it did lighten the milder-looking blemishes.

UPDATE: try also the Rave: Shu Uemura TSUYA Skin Serum or Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution - they are amazing! Read the reviews. :)

You can also try some natural remedies. Pure lemon juice (applied on problem spots) is said to help bleach blemishes. Cider vinegar is also another DIY solution.

Do note I'm not a professional so I can't really share more than what I've experienced for myself. The best route is to talk to a dermatologist who can recommend products and treatments which can bleach the blemishes effectively! It's safer because she can make her recommendation according to your skin type and condition. :)

Hope this helps, Diana! Guys, are you using any products to combat post-acne pigmentation? How are they working for you?