If you're looking for a break after you successfully banished a blemish, think again. The red marks leftover from popping a pimple or having a deep cystic lesion can linger unless you resolve to take more acne action. The good news is that you can greatly reduce these red marks by sticking to a proper cleansing routine and using products containing alpha-hydroxy acid, salicylic acid and retinol. These ingredients not only help to diminish the red marks left behind, but they also aid in brightening and healing your skin.
Apply a dollop of skin cleanser onto your fingertips. Gently massage the facial cleanser onto your skin using small circles. Make sure to thoroughly wash your forehead all the way to your hairline, your nose and jawline. Rinse with warm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel.
Saturate a cotton pad with toner and swipe the pad over your entire face. According to Dr. Alicia Zalka, a Yale-affiliated dermatologist, toner is a crucial step in the cleansing process. Not only does it help remove any leftover grime and slough off dead skin cells, but it also preps the skin to fully benefit from the products used to reduce red marks.
Smooth a dime-size amount of facial cream featuring glycolic or salicylic acid over your entire face, making sure to cover any red marks. This helps to exfoliate the skin and speed up cell turnover.
Gently smooth a pea-size amount of an over-the-counter dark-spot corrector serum over the red marks. The retinol in these kinds of products helps to banish the red marks and even out your skin tone.
Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face every day. The sun can greatly increase red marks on the skin.
Visit a board-certified dermatologist if the marks linger after 6 to 8 weeks of at-home treatment. According to New York-based dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, a professional can offer a glycolic acid peel to lighten up these red marks.
You'll need to add moisture back into your skin after using these kinds of products. Find one that is lightweight and oil-free.
Soy, kojic acid and licorice extract are natural options known to help remove red marks and dark spots on the skin.
Prolonged use of hydroquinone, an ingredient in some brightening creams, can lead to gray pigmentation in the skin.
Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.