Summer is here, and let’s face it, the sun beats down on our skin all day long and by the end of it we have an oily cake look because we are too embarrassed to let our scars and dark spots show by going out of the house without foundation. So, we have compiled a list of the top drugstore products that will completely fade any acne marks and dark spots you’ve been dealing with since your teenage years of picking at your face!
- Scar Preventing Sunscreen: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen $32.00
When trying to heal a scar, the sun is your enemy and sunscreen is your hero. Why? Because UV rays cause excess melanin (pigment-containing cells) to flood the area, causing spots to look more pronounced. To protect your face—and keep dark patches from getting, well, darker—try this sunscreen that’s completely sheer and caste-free, making it perfect for every skin tone.
- Spot Fading Cleansing Bar: Urban Skin RX 3 in 1 Even Tone Cleansing Bar $12.99
This cleansing bar kinda, sorta, really does it all: It dissolves dirt and oil on contact, it doubles as a spot-brightening mask (just leave the suds on your skin for three minutes before washing off), and it gently exfoliates dry patches and dark patches as you rub it around. With ingredients like kojic acid and niacinamide—two of the best, and most gentle, skin brighteners, this cleanser will help you fight dark spots from the moment you start your day.
- Brightening Serum: Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum $80.00
Massage a few drops of this serum over your clean, dry skin every morning to boost your skin’s natural protection against UVA/UVB rays and infrared radiation (heat)—both of which create dark spots and worsen acne scars. This cult-favorite serum also contains a huge dose of vitamins C and E and ferulic acid that work together to noticeably brighten your skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Resurfacing Pads: Cane + Austin Acne Retexture Pad $60.00
Note: These pads are not for the sensitive skinned, so keep reading if your face routinely stings. These resurfacing pads, which contain five percent glycolic acid and two percent salicylic, not only help fade existing acne scars, but also prevent future blemishes from popping up and ruining your day. Gently swipe one of over your clean face, two to four times a week, for an overall brighter complexion.
- Scar Fading Peel Pads: Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel $88.00
Each of these exfoliating peel pads are pre-soaked with with glycolic and lactic acids that work to soften skin, smooth fine lines, and boost cellular turnover. This combo not only combats hyperpigmentation on your face, but helps your body churn out brighter, newer skin at a faster rate. Swipe one over your clean, dry skin two nights a week, the follow with a moisturizer (they can be drying).
- Illuminating Serum: Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense $98.00
Spread a thin layer of this brightening serum all over your face morning and night; expect to see an improvement in the evenness of your skin tone in just a few weeks. Its key ingredient is tranexamic acid, a topical lightener that works to diffuse hyperpigmentation without burning your skin off.
- All in One Retinoid: Differin Acne Treatment $28.99
It brightens! It kills zits! It smooths scars! It totally resurfaces your face to give you the skin of a baby! IT’S DIFFERIN! This over-the-counter retinoid (an umbrella term for all vitamin-A derivatives, including retinol) is the only active ingredient that’s proven to speed up your collagen production to increase cell turnover, and, in turn, give you the skin of your dreams. It can be irritating at first, so start slow: Apply a thin layer to clean, dry skin one night a week for a week, two nights a week for two weeks, three nights a week for three weeks, and then every other night indefinitely.