The embarrassing effects of acne can last long after the pimples go away. Acne can leave tender, red patches that blanch slowly or, worse, the dark purplish-brown spots that take years to fade. Acne spots happen when the pimple has healed but the melanin, or pigment, remains in place and creates a dark spot. These spots aren’t actually scars--although they can be just as frustrating to live with--but a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Don't panic, though--a variety of simple and effective methods can help treat dark acne spots.
Lemon juice is a natural bleach that can help dark spots fade. According to the online magazine Home Remedies for You, you should squeeze a small amount of lemon juice onto a cotton ball each night, then spread it over your face. Let the lemon juice dry for about 10 minutes, then apply an oil-free moisturizer. There are a few cautions with this method, however: If you have sensitive skin, it can be very drying and might need to be applied less often. Also, make sure not to go outside with lemon juice on your face; the reaction between the juice and the sunlight can actually cause skin to darken.
Like lemon juice, a honey-yogurt mask is a natural bleaching agent that will help fade dark, discolored acne spots. According to online magazine Planet Green, you can make a mask by mixing 2 teaspoons of plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 to 2 tablespoons of cooked, oatmeal. Spread the mask over your face each night for about 10 to 15 minutes, then wash it off with warm water. The mask also is moisturizing and should help anyone with dry skin.
Rosehip and Lavender Oil
Rosehip and lavender essential oils both have antibacterial properties that will help treat acne spots, and they also help clear up acne itself. According to Home Remedies for You, the oils help generate new skin growth and slough off dead skin cells, which is the key to getting rid of dark spots. Massage a small amount of either essential oil into the acne spots twice a day.
Katie Regan has worked at a handful of daily and weekly newspapers as a general assignment, city beat, and health and science reporter, and has won numerous awards for her writing. She graduated from Western Washington University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.