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Whether your skin is chronically greasy or pretty much flawless, we all face persistent zits now and then. The worst of them leave topical red or dark scars long after they clear up. Rather than camouflaging these marks with caked-on makeup for the rest of your life, clear them with over-the-counter products designed to lighten even the reddest scars. Those scars aren't going to vanish on their own, so pick up a topical cream and send them packing.
Take it from a pro: this over-the-counter topical cream is your BFF when zapping zit scars. Diane S. Berson, board member of the American Acne and Rosacea Society and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, told "Allure" magazine's Brooke Le Poer Trench that applying cortisone cream to topical acne marks twice a day for a week will shrink and fade those pesky dark spots.
Neutrogena Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Gel
Neutrogena, an affordable drugstore skincare and cosmetics line, focuses on making your skin look its best. Its Rapid Clear 2-in-1 Fight & Fade Gel helps fade scars left in acne's wake. It also helps shrink existing pimples before they take on a life of their own. "Allure" editor Catherine Gambrell says this tube of gel contains 2 percent salicylic acid to sap oil from the offending pimple, and glycolic acid to encourage cell turnover and fade the spot. It won an "Allure" Best of Beauty Award in 2010 for its scar-fading power.
Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Lotion
Clinique Acne Solutions Emergency Lotion is a product for women battling acne and post-acne scars. It makes pimples vanish and whisks away dark spots and scars from acne. Dot it onto old scars to fade them and onto existing or new zits to keep future scars at bay. "Allure" writer Caroline Murray says it "reduces redness, diminishes the look of scars, and helps prevent future breakouts." What more can you ask for?
Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Complexion Correction Pads
"Allure" writer Kate Sullivan recommends Peter Thomas Roth Gentle Complexion Correction Pads for waging war against acne marks. The solution-soaked pads are designed for convenience, with major scar-blasting power. When swiped over your face nightly, they can help erase scars left behind by blemishes. Sullivan says, "The glycolic acid promotes cell turnover and there's salicylic acid in these too, which ... can discourage any plans the zit has about coming back."