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Here Are Some Life-Changing Products For Acne Scars And Dark Spots

*Bookmarks for next doctor's appt.*

Before we even get into treating hyperpigmentation, we need to talk about the miracle preventative measure called sunscreen. And yes, we ALL need it! Board certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Michelle Henry told BuzzFeed that "One of the easiest, safest, and cheapest ways to reduce hyperpigmentation is through religious sunscreen use."

NBC / Via

Sunscreen prevents hyperpigmentation and keeps existing discoloration from darkening. To treat those uneven dark spots we already have, though, Dr. Henry — who has her own practice, Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York — gave us a variety of product and treatment recommendations for mild, moderate, and severe hyperpigmentation.

Nicole Ench / BuzzFeed

1. Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is an exfoliative wash that helps to shed hyperpigmented skin.

@mariobadescu / Via

Get it from Amazon for $16.

2. RoC Retinol Correxion Deep Wrinkle Facial Night Cream fights aging, but the retinol ingredient also works to gently fade dark spots.

@skin_wearurskin / Via

Get it from Amazon for $16.98.

3. In addition to vitamin C, PCA Skin C-Quench Antioxidant Serum contains glutathione, which helps to fade dark spots.

@estheticsby_aliciamarie / Via

Get it from the Beauty Place for $41.99.

4. iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance soothes and gently lightens uneven skin with vitamins C, A, and E, and kojic acid.

@hoaanhdao . vn / Via

Get it from Amazon for $148.

5. Skin Medica Lytera Skin Brightening Complex contains retinol, which exfoliates your complexion, and niacinamide and squalene, which hydrate the skin.

@ginalouise_cosmeticrn / Via

Get it from Skin Store for $117.

Nicole Ench / BuzzFeed

Once the pigment becomes a little darker, stronger (possibly prescription strength) treatments are needed to attain effective pigment reduction.

6. Ambi Fade Cream contains 2% hydroquinone, which stops skin from discoloring.

@kayleeryanbeaut / Via

Dr. Henry says that if a 2% formula isn't working, she will try a 4% hydroquinone gel on patients in her office. She likes the formulation because it absorbs readily and works quickly.

Get it from Amazon for $8.10.

7. Differin Gel is a potent anti-inflammatory so it helps to treat residual acne and gradually lightens dark spots.

@chicstylista / Via

Get it from Amazon for $12.88.

8. Vitalize Peel by Skin Medica has to be administered by a dermatologist or esthetician. It speeds up the lightening process through deeper exfoliation, and contains salicylic acid, lactic acid, and retinol.

Dr. Michelle Henry / Via SkinMedica

Dr. Henry recommends three to six treatments for significant results, and they range from $200 to $300.

Nicole Ench / BuzzFeed

When her patients present with "severe, disfiguring hyperpigmentation," she opts for more top-of-the-line treatments. Dr. Henry will often make a personalized compound (super-powerful prescription fade creams), including high percentages of hydroquinone, retinol, and a low dose steroid to be used for a short period of time. "It helps to speed up the lightening process two-fold," she says. And in some instances, she administers peel and laser treatments like the ones below.

9. Dr. Henry says the VI Peel is safe for all skin tones, and the unique blend of trichloroacetic acid, retinol, salicylic acid, phenol, and vitamin C help to restore evenness.

Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York

Dr. Henry says VI Peels usually ranges from $300 to 600, depending on the geography of the practice and if any peel-strengthening boosters are added.

The above photo is from Dr. Henry's practice, Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.

10. Aerolase LightPod Neo Laser emits energy at a rapid speed to protect the skin from excessive heat, which can burn the skin or exacerbate hyperpigmentation.

Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York

Dr. Henry says the treatment is safe and relatively pain-free on all skin types. It works well for hyperpigmentation and acne as well as ingrown hairs (which can lead to hyperpigmentation). Treatments range from $400 to $600.

The above photo is from Dr. Henry's practice, Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York.

11. Clear and Brilliant Laser creates small channels, allowing lightening agents to penetrate more deeply.

Dr. Michelle Henry / Via

Dr. Henry often applies nonirritating lightening gels after this treatment. Clear and Brilliant ranges from $600 to $1,000.

The above photo is from Clear and Brilliant.

May you shine and glow forever!

Always consult with a dermatologist before treating skin care concerns.