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Saying Goodbye to Acne Marks: Tips and Skincare Treatments That Work

Curated and medically reviewed by Dr. Ganesh Gandhale , On August 1, 2023

how to remove acne marks

An acne outbreak can be unpleasant, causing various issues, and its aftermath is equally undesirable. The skin often displays texture irregularities and discolouration, which many of us have experienced. Acne scarring is a common consequence of dealing with acne breakouts, further adding to the frustration. These scars manifest as blemishes, including bumps, indentations, and red or brown dark spots, which are far from desirable.

It is essential to understand the distinction between scars and marks and whether they can be treated. Fortunately, all the answers you seek can be found here.

What is Acne?

Acne is a prevalent skin condition characterised by the blockage of skin follicles due to a combination of oil and dead skin cells. It is most commonly observed among teenagers due to increased sebum production by the sebaceous glands. However, acne can affect individuals of all ages, including adults in their 40s and 50s.

The primary cause of acne lies in the obstruction of pores by excess sebum and dead skin cells. Each pore is connected to a sebaceous gland that produces sebum. When these pores become clogged, it creates an environment favourable for the growth of bacteria called Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). In response to the presence of these bacteria, the body’s immune system triggers inflammation, leading to the development of common acne symptoms such as whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples.

Acne Scars

Pimples not only cause immediate distress but also leave behind lingering marks that can worsen the issue by affecting the skin’s support system.

The size of a pimple determines the size of the scar it leaves, especially when severe or moderate acne damages the deeper layers of the skin, resulting in visible scars on the face. Popping pimples, despite the warnings against it, can lead to permanent scars, even from minor breakouts. Severe or moderate acne weakens collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to indented scars that become more noticeable over time.

Identifying the type of acne scars is crucial for determining appropriate treatment methods. Atrophic scars, resulting from the destruction of collagen during the healing process, can be categorised into rolling scars, which have gently sloping edges; boxcar scars with distinct boundaries and rectangular depressions; and ice pick scars, which are deep and narrow excavated pores. There are Hypertrophic scars; Cystic acne often causes raised scars characterised by noticeable protrusions on the skin. Scar tissue forms as a result of cystic acne, leading to the replacement of the original cyst. These scars, which are relatively uncommon, typically appear on the chest, back, or jawline.

Acne Marks

The variations mentioned above primarily concern the skin’s texture, specifically indentations or protrusions. They are commonly classified as mild, moderate, or severe scarring resulting from either excessive or insufficient collagen production. However, acne can also lead to a different type of scarring called “acne marks” or “macular acne scars.”

Individuals who experience acne often express concerns about post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) or dark marks. These marks typically appear as light or dark brown discolourations and are commonly seen following mild to moderate acne breakouts. Melanin production is triggered during the healing process of acne, but it eventually fades away.

Acne marks can be classified into Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and Post-inflammatory erythema (PIE). PIH refers to red marks that appear on fair skin, while PIE manifests as brown marks on darker skin tones. Both types of marks are caused by inflammatory acne, with PIH resulting from excessive melanin production and PIE caused by the dilation of blood vessels during the healing process. The appearance of PIE tends to worsen as the skin becomes thinner during healing.

Notably, these dark marks left by acne are not considered scars and can be treated relatively easily. With proper treatment, achieving clear and even-toned skin is possible.

Treating Acne Marks

Acne marks and acne scars are different. Acne marks are temporary discolourations caused by inflammation and usually fade within 3-6 months. On the other hand, acne scars are permanent in most cases and alter the skin’s texture, resulting in indentations or raised bumps. Treating scars requires deeper interventions. Seeking early treatment and preventing acne through proper care is crucial. Consulting an Ayurvedic Physician for acne scars is recommended. 

Now that we have understood Acne Scars; Let us look at some effective ways to eliminate these acne marks by incorporating home remedies!

A. Cleansing the Right Way

Washing your Face

Properly cleansing your face involves more than just choosing the right product. Follow these guidelines for effective face washing:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before applying the cleanser to prevent transferring dirt and bacteria.

2. Rinse your face with lukewarm or cold water before applying the cleanser to prepare your skin.

3. Gently massage the cleanser into your skin using your fingertips for 3 to 5 minutes to remove impurities and enhance absorption.

4. Rinse your face with cold water and pat it dry with a soft towel or washcloth, avoiding vigorous rubbing.

5. Wash your face twice a day, morning and night, and after heavy sweating. If you perspire heavily, promptly cleanse your skin to prevent irritation.

By following these steps, you can effectively cleanse your face and minimize the negative effects of perspiration on your skin.

Choosing a Cleanser

Choose a gentle, non-soap cleanser to keep your skin clean and prevent breakouts. Commercial cleansers can sometimes be harmful, so opt for non-soap cleansers that are free of irritating chemicals. Look for natural and chemical-free cleansers. Avoid astringent cleansers if you have sensitive skin to prevent dryness and irritation. Use oil-free, non-abrasive facial wipes as a quick alternative on busy days. 

DIY Cleansers

1. Orange Peel

Using dried orange peel as a natural cleanser can do wonders for your skin. It’s packed with vitamin C, which boosts collagen production and helps repair skin cells, ultimately reducing the appearance of acne scars and blemishes.

If you have oily skin, orange peel is especially great because it removes excess sebum. Plus, the essential oils in the peel provide natural hydration for your skin.

To get started, ensure the peel is fully dried, then grind it into a fine powder using a coffee grinder or food processor. Mix half a teaspoon (around 1 g) of the powder with one teaspoon (4.9 ml) of milk, coconut milk, or yoghurt. Gently massage this mixture onto your skin, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and rinse off with cold water.

The coolness of the milk or yoghurt helps reduce inflammation and slough off dead skin cells, giving you a fresh glow.

2. Milk

As part of your natural cleansing routine, plain full-fat milk is fantastic for washing your face. The lactic acid in milk is a gentle and natural exfoliant, removing dead skin cells and promoting a more even skin tone. It may also help minimise scars and blemishes.

All you need to do is 

  • take a cotton ball and soak it in about one tablespoon (15 mL) of milk. 
  • Massage your face in circular motions for at least 3 to 5 minutes, making sure to cleanse your pores and get rid of dirt effectively.

If you want an alternative to cow’s milk, coconut milk is a great option. It contains medium-chain fatty acids that have antibacterial and antiviral properties. This substitution can be particularly helpful in preventing pustules and cysts. You can usually find coconut milk in the East Asian section of your local supermarket.

For inflamed pimples or oily skin

  • mix one tablespoon (15 mL) of milk with about a teaspoon (around 3 g) of rice or gram flour. 
  • Gently massage this mixture onto your skin using your fingers.

Once you’re done, rinse your face with cold water and pat it dry with a soft washcloth. Enjoy the refreshed feeling!

B. Exfoliating the Right Way

Exfoliation is essential for reducing acne scars and hyperpigmentation by removing dead skin cells. It helps prevent clogged pores and acne recurrence. Consult an Ayurvedic physician before adding exfoliating products to your skincare routine. Dry or sensitive skin should exfoliate once or twice a week, while oily or thicker skin can exfoliate daily.

A gentle microdermabrasion cloth is a great exfoliation tool. Made from microfibers, it effectively removes dirt and oil from pores without causing friction or excessive pressure. After cleansing your face, gently dry it with a soft washcloth. Then, massage your face with the microdermabrasion cloth for 3 to 5 minutes. Don’t forget to wash the cloth with soap and let it dry after each use.

DIY Exfoliators

1. Neem and Turmeric

Try making a neem, turmeric, and honey mask for potential acne relief. Neem’s natural oils show promise in addressing acne, and when combined with turmeric and honey’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be even more effective. 

  • Blend turmeric powder, neem leaves, and honey to create a paste. 
  • Apply it to your face, leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off.

2. Sugar

You can make your own skin-enhancing exfoliator using sugar, a fantastic natural ingredient. Sugar scrubs effectively remove dead skin cells and clean out your pores, rejuvenating your skin’s deeper layers.

Whether you go with regular granulated, brown, or organic sugar, they all work well for sugar scrubs. Brown sugar is the gentlest, while regular granulated is a bit coarser but still fine. Organic sugar is the coarsest option.

To make your scrub, 

  • mix ½ cup (100 g) of brown sugar, two tablespoons (30 mL) of glycerin, 1⁄3 cup (79 mL) of coconut oil, and two tablespoons (30 mL) of sweet almond oil. 
  • For a nice scent, add a few drops of lemon or lavender essential oils. 
  • Combine everything in a bowl and transfer it into a jar.
  • When using the sugar scrub, gently massage a small amount onto the affected area for 3 to 5 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Remember to keep the scrub in a cool, dry place for no more than 2 to 3 weeks.

C. Moisturising Right 

To combat dryness and improve the appearance of scars and blemishes, use a non-comedogenic moisturiser containing anti-inflammatory plant extracts like chamomile, green tea, aloe, calendula, or oats. 

Apply moisturiser regularly, especially after cleansing or exfoliating, and look for products with alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, citric acid, or tartaric acid) to reduce the appearance of scars, blemishes, and wrinkles. Additionally, consider using products with hyaluronic acid, a natural humectant that helps retain moisture and prevent signs of ageing. Find hyaluronic acid in lotions, toners, and facial mists available at pharmacies and cosmetic stores.

Natural Moisturisers

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a natural ingredient that’s great for reducing scars. You can find it in moisturisers or as a gel. Just apply it regularly to minimise the visibility of scars.

2. Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is awesome for scar treatment. It’s packed with vitamin E and fatty acids that fight inflammation and bacteria. Apply a few drops twice a day to combat dryness and promote cell repair. If you have oily skin, use it sparingly, like twice a week, to avoid clogged pores and more breakouts. Get it at most food stores, but skip it if you have nut allergies.

3. Honey

Honey is a sweet remedy for scars. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, so it can improve their appearance and reduce inflammation. Just apply a thin layer and cover it with a bandage. Manuka honey is the best kind for scar reduction. Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with an Ayurvedic professional before using honey for this purpose.

D. Eating Right

1. Hydrating

Drinking enough water is essential for healthy skin. When you’re dehydrated, it can make your skin dry and affect its ability to heal, including acne scars. Hydration also improves skin elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and acne scars. Aim to drink at least 8 ounces (240 mL) of water every 2 hours and aim for 64 to 128 ounces (1.9 to 3.8 litres) of water per day. If you have caffeinated drinks, drink an extra 8 ounces (240 mL) of water for each cup of caffeine.

2. Cut Back on Sugar and Dairy

Reducing sugar and dairy in your diet can have a big impact on acne. The combination of sugar and dairy can be harmful to your sebaceous glands, leading to acne. Indigenous populations who consume traditional diets without sugar and dairy have been found to have acne-free teenagers. Chocolate may also worsen acne, so consider cutting back on it to see if there’s an improvement.

3. Get Your Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamin E

Include vitamin E-rich foods in your diet as it acts as an antioxidant, protects against acne-causing factors, and supports skin health. Good sources include vegetable oils, almonds, peanuts, spinach, and broccoli.

  • Vitamin C

Boost your immune system and collagen production with vitamin C. Incorporate foods like peppers, citrus fruits, spinach, and strawberries into your diet.

  • Vitamin A

Enhance collagen production and protect your skin with vitamin A. Eat foods like salmon, carrots, leafy greens, and yellow/orange fruits. Be cautious with high doses of vitamin A, as they can have harmful side effects.

Remember to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before making any significant changes to your diet or vitamin intake.


In conclusion, achieving clear and even-toned skin free from acne marks is possible with dedicated skincare and lifestyle choices. Understanding the difference between marks and scars allows us to customise our approach for effective treatment. Simple adjustments like proper hydration and dietary changes, such as reducing sugar and dairy, can make a significant difference.

Skincare treatments like creams, exfoliation, and natural remedies rich in vitamins E, C, and A, can fade acne marks and promote skin renewal. Consistency and patience are vital during the treatment process. Let’s embark on this journey armed with knowledge and a commitment to self-care as we welcome a brighter, more radiant complexion. Complement your skin care with personalised solutions backed by Ayurveda by Modanci.


1. What are acne marks, and how do they differ from acne scars?

Most of the time, the terms Acne Scars and Acne Marks are used interchangeably. More often than not, types of Acne Marks are counted under Acne Scars. Acne marks do not cause any indentations or texture changes in the skin, but they are visually prominent, causing an uneven skin tone. On the other hand, Acne Scars affect the Texture of your skin; they occur in the form of indentations and protrusions.

2. Can all types of acne result in marks, or only certain kinds?

Regardless of its type, acne often leaves a lasting reminder on your face, whether in the form of acne marks or scars. The presence of marks or scars varies from person to person and depends on the specific case. It’s important to note that all types of acne can potentially leave marks if not scars.

3. What are some effective treatments for acne marks?

The fading of acne marks can vary from person to person, and it typically takes approximately 3 to 6 months for these marks to vanish in most individuals. But you can always expedite the process with a skincare regime and Ayurvedic remedies. Explore personalised solutions at Modanci. 

4. Can chemical peels or microdermabrasion help with acne marks?

Yes, both chemical peels and microdermabrasion can help with acne marks. Chemical peels exfoliate the skin and promote cell turnover, while microdermabrasion removes dead skin cells. These treatments can improve the appearance of acne marks, but it’s best to consult an Ayurvedic Physician for personalised advice.

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August 1, 2023
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    Sharvari Dandekar
    Sharvari Dandekar
    Naturopathic Physician | 2 Years
    Sharvari Dandekar
    Naturopathic Physician | 2 Years
    I'm Sharvari Dandekar, co-founder and Product Formulator at Modanci. With a strong background in business management and a deep passion for holistic well-being, I embarked on an incredible journey of creating customized, natural skincare products. As an aspiring naturopath, I explore nature's abundant wonders, harnessing its power to promote wellness in every individual. I have studied organic skincare formulation which helps me to expertly blend the finest natural ingredients to create customizable ayurvedic health care products. At Modanci, we all are dedicated to crafting formulations prioritizing potensified, natural, and organic ingredients and delivering outstanding results for our valued customers.
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