Say bye-bye to blemishes with these skin-clearing ingredients

A blemish is a souvenir on the skin that no one wants to keep. So, how do you rid your skin of unwelcome spots?

Let's start with distinguishing the types of blemishes one might have: acne marks, scars, age spots, uneven skin tone, and birth marks.

To a certain extent, these blemishes can be prevented by having a good skin care regimen and slathering on sunscreen daily. No matter how careful you are though, sometimes bad things happen. Acne starts sprouting, you accidentally cut or scrape yourself, or hormonal changes due to pregnancy cause brown marks to suddenly appear on your skin. It feels like, oh my lord, it's the end of the world!

Don't panic. Most of these conditions can still be remedied. There are a number of treatments you can undergo to remove those unwanted mementos on your skin but they often cost a pretty penny. Luckily, there are also readily available skincare products you can try out to help you achieve clear skin! You just have to keep an eye out for these ingredients.

Antioxidants help you fight off free-radicals that make your skin look aged, dull, and uneven. There are many different types of antioxidants, but the most popular one is Vitamin C. Not only does it help prevent aging, it also brightens the complexion so skin looks like it has a healthy glow.

We face-off with free-radicals everyday, so it's best to use products that battle them consistently. Serums, toners and moisturizers that contain Vitamin C can and should be used daily. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Serum is a fave, but if you're on the fence about shelling out a pretty penny, you can start by using the Olay Natural White Healthy Fairness Bar with Vitamin C first. It's inexpensive and effective in brightening the skin. Just make sure to use it regularly to experience its full effect.

Retinoids are super anti-agers. They offer the added benefits of unclogging your pores, smoothening your wrinkles, and of course lightening your dark spots and discolorations. Not all products that claim they contain retinoid are the same, though. Some of them are more potent than others; and with retinoids, the stronger the dose, the harsher it might be on the skin. The amount of retinoid you can use will also depend heavily on your skin's tolerance. No matter how strong you think your skin is, you might be wrong. So, it's always best to start with small doses.

You can still use products that contain retinoid daily, granted that you stick to those that contain 0.01 to 0.03% retinoid. While low in dosage, the retinoid will still work on improving the appearance of your skin. But don't expect drastic changes! Amp up the effects of retinoid by using other milder skincare products.

If you want the ultimate rejuvenation – treat sun damage, tighten enlarged pores, even out skin tone, make wrinkles disappear and get rid of acne – you'll need to use products that contain 0.5% retinoid and up for a solid week. Using a strong dose can cause some side effects so it's best to build up your skin's exposure from a lower percentage and increase the dose gradually over time.

It's a shame that Licorice isn't as popular a skincare ingredient but it very well should be! Not only does it even out the skin tone and prevent hyperpigmentation, it also has anti-bacterial properties, which makes it great for combating acne. So, not only does it diminish your dark spots, it makes sure that your skin is also clear of the conditions that lead to blemishes.

The Lulur Indonesian Whitening Body Scrub with Licorice and Mulberry Leaf Extract is best for when you have blemishes on your body. Since it has licorice, Lulur can even out your skin tone and get rid of dark patches, as well as lighten the color of body parts that are prone to darkening, such as elbows, armpits and knees. With continued use, you can expect to see a significant improvement in your skin's tone and texture.

Alpha Hydroxic Acids (AHAs) exfoliate the skin and help in clearing up blemishes, including acne marks, sun spots and hyperpigmentation. It brings your dull skin back to life! There are a number of alpha hydroxy acids, but the most commonly used one is glycolic acid. It works by invigorating damaged skin cells.

If you're looking to try a product that contains AHAs, check out this cute pot of Tony Moly Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream. It's great at exfoliating the skin, especially if yours is already dry and flaky. After using the cream, you'll notice that your skin is brighter and more moisturized.

Image via starsweptsea.com

Image via starsweptsea.com

Hydroquinone is best for bleaching out brown spots. Whether it's an age spot or melasma, the acidic quality of the hydroquinone fades the pigmentation by blocking the production of melanin in the area you used it on. While it's true that hydroquinone can help lighten your spots, just like any other drug, it can cause some side effects. With improper use, people have experienced skin darkening and even getting grey-blue bumps. If you're interested in using it on your skin, it's best to see a dermatologist first to learn how much of the ingredient you should apply and which products they can recommend. And make sure to use a higher SPF sunscreen when undergoing this treatment as your skin will be highly sensitive.

Blemishes don't need to stay with you for life. Try out products with these ingredients, and say hello to clear, bright skin! What are your favorite anti-blemish products?

Sources: Refinery 29Yahoo! BeautyGood HousekeepingGlamour, Paula's Choice, Philippine Star