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Banishing Blemishes: An Ultimate Guide on How to Get Rid of Dark Spots Caused by Pimples

Published: November 7, 2023

While there are a number of skincare concerns that arise among many individuals, one of the most frustrating challenges is the battle against pimples, and even worse—the dreaded dark spots that seem to linger long after the blemish itself has faded away.

In this article, we will delve into a detailed exploration of dark spots caused by pimples, the differences between the two, and effective ways to treat these stubborn spots.

Additionally, we will introduce you to [ comfort zone ]’s dark spot treatments that are formulated to promote a balanced, even skin tone. This November, we are launching Luminant, a collection that will feature a dark spot-correcting serum, as well as an illuminating correcting cream which are both effective on all types of hyperpigmentation and provide immediate radiance.

"3 elements are important for the reduction of existing dark spots and inhibiting new ones: gentle exfoliating of the skin, preferably with enzymes, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and finally active ingredients that provide progressive brightening and instant luminosity."

Elisabeth Nehme, Board Certified Esthetician 

and [ comfort zone ] Master Educator

skin regimen vitamin c booster on a dark background

Understanding Dark Spots and Their Causes

Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, result from the overproduction of melanin. This extra melanin creates spots of various sizes and shapes that look brown, black, or gray. While dark spots are not painful, they can impact one’s self-esteem.

Because dark spots can result from various factors, they can be a common concern for people of all ages and skin types. Some of the most common contributors include:

Sun Exposure

Prolonged sun exposure can worsen dark spots caused by pimples, impeding the skin's natural healing process. UV rays trigger melanin production, making the spots more pronounced and difficult to fade. Protecting your skin from the sun's harmful effects is essential in preventing the exacerbation of these blemishes and promoting effective healing.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes, whether linked to pregnancy, menstruation, or birth control use, significantly impact the skin, intensifying the appearance of dark spots caused by pimples. These changes influence oil production and melanin activity, contributing to the formation of these spots. Recognizing this connection is vital for managing and preventing skin discoloration at different life stages.

Skin Inflammation

When a pimple develops, it triggers an inflammatory response, which can cause an overproduction of melanin. This excess melanin can lead to the formation of dark spots, known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It may be tempting to pick or squeeze a pimple, however, it is important to note that worsens inflammation and increases the risk of hyperpigmentation.

Pimples vs. Dark Spots: What’s The Difference?

Pimples and dark spots signify distinct stages in the skin's response to inflammation. Understanding these differences is crucial, as it informs specific and effective approaches to treatment.


A pimple is a small, raised blemish that typically appears on the face, neck, arms, or back. It is a common skin condition caused by clogged pores or inflammation. Pimples vary in size and severity but are often temporary.

To ensure breakouts do not persist, it is essential to establish a proper skincare routine. Begin with using a gentle cleanser that will remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup. Incorporate regular exfoliation to help unclog pores and remove dead skin cells. Use spot treatments with ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to target specific blemishes. Additionally, maintain skin hydration and lock in active ingredients by applying a moisturizer at the end of your skincare routine.

Dark Spots

Dark spots are the skin's natural response to inflammation, such as acne, injuries, cuts, or certain skin treatments. These triggers can prompt the skin to produce excessive melanin as part of its healing process, resulting in the appearance of dark spots in the area of the inflammation. Preventing and managing dark spots requires a different approach than pimples, as the focus shifts to treatments targeted towards hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration.

Skincare Ingredients to Combat Dark Spots

A variety of skincare ingredients can effectively combat dark spots and hyperpigmentation. These ingredients target different aspects of the skin's pigmentation process, helping to fade existing spots and prevent the formation of new ones. In order to maintain ideal skin health and maximize the effectiveness of the elimination of dark spots, it is crucial to choose the right component for your skin type.

Here is an inclusive list of diverse skincare ingredients for addressing dark spots:

The Power of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant known to brighten the skin and fade dark spots to provide overall radiance for those with dull or uneven skin tone. You can find vitamin C in face masks, creams, and serums.


Niacinamide is suitable for all skin types and is known to soothe irritation, minimize pores, and reduce redness. Niacinamide can be found in serums, moisturizers, and toners.

Exfoliants - AHA, BHA, and Their Benefits:

AHAs (glycolic acid) and BHAs (salicylic acid) exfoliate the skin by removing dead cells, unclogging pores, and reducing the appearance of fine lines and dark spots. While oily and acne-prone skin tends to benefit the most from these exfoliants, they are suitable for all skin types in moderation. Exfoliants are available in cleansers, serums, and peels.

Retinoids (Vitamin A Derivatives):

Retinoids are best suited for aging or mature skin and are known to stimulate collagen production and fade dark spots. You can use prescription-strength retinoids or over-the-counter creams and serums. Generally, it is best to apply retinoids in your evening skincare routine.


Arbutin is effective in addressing hyperpigmentation and reducing melanin production. It is an ingredient found most often in creams and serums and is especially suited for those with sensitive skin.

Licorice Root Extract:

Licorice root extract soothes irritation, fades dark spots, and provides anti-inflammatory benefits to help achieve a more even complexion. It is available in serums, creams, and toners, and is suitable for all skin types.

When adding a product to your skincare regimen, remember to follow these general rules:

  • Always start with clean skin. Use a gentle cleanser before applying any skincare product.
  • Allow each product to absorb fully before applying the next one.
  • Apply products from thinnest to thickest consistency such as serums before moisturizers.
  • When layering serums, “less is more.” Apply a pea-sized amount and only use one to two serums during your AM and PM routine.
  • Follow the specific instructions on the product's packaging. Some ingredients may be recommended for morning or evening use, while others can be used both day and night.

woman applying a skincare serum to fight dark spots

Professional Treatments for Stubborn Dark Spots

Professional treatments offer effective solutions for addressing stubborn dark spots caused by pimples, especially when over-the-counter products yield limited results. These treatments, performed by trained skin care professionals or dermatologists, target deeper layers of the skin to accelerate the fading process and restore a more even complexion. Here are some of the most popular and professional treatments for stubborn dark spots that dermatologists may recommend: 

Chemical Peels:

Chemical peels can address dark spots caused by pimples, as well as other various skin concerns, such as fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin texture. During a session, a chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing it to exfoliate and peel off. This reveals a smoother, more even-toned complexion. Chemical peels range in intensity and multiple sessions may be required based on your skin’s needs.


Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive treatment that renews the overall skin tone and texture. A small instrument that gently sands the skin to remove the thicker, uneven outer layer is used. This procedure treats uneven texture, photoaging, acne lines, fine lines, and pigmentation. Microdermabrasion is considered safe for all skin types and treatment is usually painless. Depending on the severity of the dark spot, treatment may be needed every two to four weeks until satisfied.

Laser Therapy:

Laser therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to target specific skin concerns. These focused beams of light work to break down pigmentation, eliminating dark or colored spots. Treatment can address concerns such as pigmentation, acne scars, wrinkles, and even unwanted hair. The number of sessions needed will depend on the specific concern and the type of laser being used.

Fractional Radiofrequency (RF):

Fractional radiofrequency is a skin rejuvenation technique that uses heat energy to stimulate collagen production and improve skin texture. This treatment is minimally invasive. Most patients need three to five treatments before seeing results. 

Microneedling with Serum Infusion:

Microneedling is considered safe for all types of skin and complexion concerns, such as pigmentation, dullness, acne scars, fine lines, enlarged pores, and dark spots. This treatment involves the use of a device with fine, sterile needles to prick the skin, encouraging collagen production. This procedure is usually less than 30 minutes and may require multiple sessions for best results.


Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses extremely cold temperatures to address various skin concerns. During treatment, liquid nitrogen is applied to the dark spot for five seconds or less, causing the darker skin to peel away. The number of sessions will depend on the severity of the dark spot.

Home Remedies that Make a Difference

Home remedies can offer a natural and budget-friendly approach to addressing dark spots caused by pimples. While they might not provide as rapid results as professional treatments, some home remedies have been found to have mild lightening and brightening effects on the skin. These home remedies can make a difference in fading dark spots: 
  • Aloe Vera: Choose aloe vera gels or spot treatment creams, as they contain soothing and anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce the appearance of dark spots caused by pimples.
  • Lemon Juice: To gradually brighten dark spots and reduce the appearance of blemishes, apply diluted lemon juice as a spot treatment directly onto dark spots with a cotton pad and rinse off with lukewarm water after five minutes.
  • Turmeric Paste: Turmeric paste is used in face masks and is an age-old remedy known to help with discoloration and hyperpigmentation by brightening the skin.
  • Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil can help soothe inflammation and reduce the appearance of blemishes. Often found in diluted forms, tea tree oil is a popular choice for spot treatments or incorporated into skincare products, offering a gentle and effective solution for clearer skin.
  • Honey: Mix honey with green tea or turmeric paste to create a face mask that helps fade away dark spots and brighten the complexion.
  • Papaya: The papaya fruit contains papain, an enzyme that helps lighten dark spots and brighten the skin. Utilize papaya masks or peels by incorporating them into your skincare routine.
  • Rosehip Oil: This essential oil contains vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids that are known to correct dark spots and reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.
It is important to note that the effectiveness of home remedies can vary depending on individual skin types and the severity of dark spots.

[ comfort zone ] Dark Spots and Conscious Skin Science

At [comfort zone], we avoid harmful substances like silicones and artificial colorants. In an effort to exemplify conscious skin science, our products are vegan-friendly, clinically proven, and dermatologically tested for a clean and effective skincare experience.

Take a look at our skincare products that target dark spots:
  • Luminant Serum: Specifically crafted to target imperfections and provide noticeable results, giving you the radiant complexion you've always desired.
  • Luminant Cream: Effectively addressing all forms of hyperpigmentation. Its lightweight texture, enriched with illuminating powder, caters to all skin types and tones, ensuring a luminous and even complexion for everyone.
  • Skin Regimen 15.0 Vitamin C Booster: Suitable for all skin conditions, this plant-based, vegan-friendly formula is designed to illuminate dull skin, minimize dark spots, and correct a lack of firmness.
  • Skin Regimen 1.5 Retinol Booster: This retinol booster is created with a natural alternative to vitamin A that gently promotes skin regeneration to reduce signs of aging and dark spots.
  • Sublime Skin Corrector: ​​This dark spot remover cream is specifically designed to help promote a balanced, even skin tone and reduce signs of aging. It contains all-natural key ingredients that are free from mineral oils, parabens, silicones, and artificial colors.

Pick the treatments that will work for you

Dark spots caused by pimples can not only impact your skin’s appearance but also your confidence. To effectively treat the formation of dark spots, it is important to choose products tailored to your unique skin needs. Discover [ comfort zone ]’s selection of skincare products designed to enhance your skincare routine and achieve your skin goals.

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