Before you learn how to score an even and smooth complexion, let's discuss the difference between acne marks and acne scars. Acne marks are results of pigmentation caused by inflammation. These can be treated with the use of brightening skincare products. Acne scars, on the other hand, are indentations and bumps that are often brought about by severe acne. Exfoliating products will improve the skin texture, but you may need a more aggressive dermatological procedure to make them go away for good.

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But if you still want to take matters into your own hands, here's a simple guide that will reduce the appearance of acne marks and acne scars:

1. Go easy on the cleansing.

The last thing you want to happen is to irritate your acne marks. Use a gentle cleanserpreferably one with a low pHto clear dirt while maintaining your complexion's barrier.

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TRY: Hada Labo Hydrating Facial Wash, P385, Watsons

2. Take advantage of actives.

The best ingredients to brighten acne marks and treat breakouts are actives such as retinol, glycolic, salicylic, and azelaic acid. Add-ons like niacinamide and vitamin C work to fade pigmentation.

TRY: Inkey List Glycolic Acid Toner, P790, Sephora.ph

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3. ...but don't go overboard!

While using actives is vital to improving the texture of your skin, you must not overdo it. For example, applying retinol and glycolic acid products consecutively will over-exfoliate the skin, eventually damaging it. If you want both in your routine, use them alternately. For example, retinol days are M-W-F; glycolic days are T-Th-S. You can let your skin rest on Sunday.

4. Moisturize.

Help your complexion heal faster by using a moisturizer that's infused with skin-repairing ingredients like snail mucin, green tea, or Centella Asiatica. These will also strengthen your skin barrier.

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TRY: A'pieu Madecassoside Intensive Cream, P995, BeautyMNL

5.  Wear sunscreen.

Using actives in your evening routine makes your skin more sensitive to the sun. Prevent irritation and further darkening of acne marks by applying sunscreen every morning.

TRY: Belo Sun Expert Tinted Sunscreen, P449.75, Watsons

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