You have popped your pimple despite being told not to. What now?

According to Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Pimple Popper says that how you treat a pimple will affect the formation of scar tissue. Before you swear off popping for good, you should also know there’s a huge difference between a true acne scar and an acne mark, which is what most of us call acne scars. A true acne scar is an indentation in the skin usually caused by picking at a pimple. A acne mark is post-inflammatory pigmentation.

Lee explains that acne marks are skin marks left after a breakout. They can be more pink or brown depending on the skin’s tone. These aren’t scars, but melanin deposits. They will fade as your skin cells renew.

Scars are caused by the body trying to heal an inflammatory zit. Even if you have the resolve to ignore the pimple, acne scars may still appear. They can also take longer to heal if the pimple isn’t treated properly. The scares will be more severe the more inflamed the pimple.

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Lee warns against popping your own pimples but she knows that we all do it. She knows best that pimple popping is a common obsession. You should only pop one if it is necessary. A white or yellow head will have the lowest risk of scarring as it is close to the skin’s surface. To speed up healing and avoid an acne scarring, you can use the appropriate products. Lee even has her own line of products. She recommends using salicylic acid cleansers, retinols and SPF to promote healthy skin and make pimple marks less noticable.

Lee says to look for ingredients that exfoliate the skin’s surfaces like glycolic acid or salicylic acid. Retinol also encourage cell turnover and renewal. Make sure to use SPF. The sun exposure will only make these marks darker.

A good skincare regimen is key to preventing acne marks. However, there are many products that can help reduce acne scars, marks, and discoloration. It’s important to note that people with sensitive skin or darker skin tones might want to avoid certain acids. They can cause unwanted discoloration.

We have compiled a list of top-rated products to treat acne scarring and dark spots. These include salicylic acid for deep cleansing pores, glycolic acids for exfoliating dead skin cells, and retinols to promote new cell growth.

Salicylic Acid Cleanser: Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser

Sephora has it available for $15

Salicylic Acid Cleanser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Deep Cleansing Foaming Cream

It’s only $23 at Dermstore

Salicylic Acid Cleanser Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil Free Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment Washer

It’s available for purchase at Ulta.

Glycolic/Salicylic acid Treatment: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Cream

Sephora has it for as low as $90

Glycolic/Salicylic Acid Treatment: Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads

It’s available at Ulta for $40

Glycolic/Salicylic Acid Treatment: Glossier Solution

Glossier has it for only $24

Glycolic/Salicylic Acid Treatment by Kate Somerville EradiKate Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

It’s available at Ulta for $58

Glycolic/Salicylic acid Treatment: Dr. Dennis Gross’s Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Pee

Amazon has it at $150

Retinol: Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Sephora has it for only $74

Retinol: Murad Resurgence Retinol Young Renewal Serum

Ulta has it for $89

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