These milder acne products contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. They curb oil and speed up skin-cell turnover. As these cells slough off quickly, they take dark spots right along with them. Although these products are considered mild, they can still leave your face raw and painful. These side effects often clear up within a month.
When milder acne meds fail to clear up spots, you may need to turn to stronger products made with tretinoin and clindamycin. One of the primary roles of retinoids such as tretinoin is to speed up skin-cell turnover. And while clindamycin's main job is to kill skin bacteria that are key culprits in acne breakouts, it also dries out your skin. As the skin dries out, it peels or flakes off, thereby removing discoloration and evening out your skin tone. The peeling can be very uncomfortable. Follow your doctor’s advice if you use them, and contact your doctor about changing the medication or application schedule to minimize side effects.
These cosmetic products may be made from various acids, including alpha hydroxy acids, beta hydroxy acid or trichloracetic acid. The acids are derived from fruit peel, milk, sugar cane or salicylic acid. When applied, they remove the outer layer of your skin, or the epidermis, to give way to newer, healthier skin cells. Chemical peels come in a range of concentrations; the higher the concentration, the greater your risk of suffering side effects such as pain, blistering and permanent skin discoloration. Chemical peel virgins should consult a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist or start with a very mild peel — about 10 to 15 percent concentration.
In your zeal to zap zits and diminish discoloration, you may be tempted to use acne products more often than recommended. Resist the temptation. Overuse will only make skin irritation worse. Give the products time to work and return your skin to its pre-acne state.