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How to Get Rid of Redness From Acne

We step you through how to get rid of redness from acne with a skincare routine designed to help fade red marks left behind by pimples.

Why red acne scars happen

Acne often leaves red and/or brownish dark spots behind.

The red acne marks are known as Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) and the brownish marks are Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

The red acne marks are the result of damaged or dilated capillaries near the surface of the skin due to the inflammation caused by breakouts.

On the other hand, the brown marks are caused by an excess production of melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour) also triggered by acne inflammation.

External factors, mainly sun exposure, can exacerbate the appearance of both PIE and PIH.

Unlike some acne scars that change the texture of the skin’s surface, red acne scars are usually flat and textureless.

Will red acne scars go away? Yes, these marks are temporary so they will fade over time. However, there are a few things you can do to speed up the turnover of skin cells so they fade faster. 

What ingredients help with red marks

Working out how to get rid of redness from acne means choosing skincare ingredients that help lighten discolouration and exfoliate the skin.


Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is definitely one to look for on the ingredients list for skincare to tackle red acne scars.

A potent antioxidant, niacinamide helps repair damage and encourages the production of new skin cells. It helps with reducing redness, inflammation, and evening out the appearance of acne marks.

study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science showed the topical application of niacinamide offered significant improvements in the appearance of skin discoloration while also reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Niacinamide really is a fantastic all-rounder. In addition to minimising red acne scars, it can balance oil production, neutralise free radical activity, target ageing concerns, and increase skin hydration.

Non-irritating, niacinamide is generally well tolerated by all skin types, even sensitive skin.

We recommend Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum

This serum offers the super skincare combination of hyaluronic acid (a super hydrator!) and niacinamide which work in tandem to hydrate, heal and improve the appearance of skin tone.

Pomegranate extract

The extract of the gorgeous pomegranate fruit offers significant benefits for reducing red acne scars.

It’s brimming with Vitamin C (a key ingredient to tackle red acne scars) which helps to lighten marks and promote skin regeneration.

Pomegranate extract has been shown to boost blood circulation to speed up wound healing and the repair of damaged tissue.

Rich in plant polyphenols (micronutrients packed with antioxidants) the extract also works to neutralise free radical activity to protect skin from external aggressors such as UV damage.

We recommend: Pomegranate Brightening Serum

This purifying brightening serum helps improve dull, uneven skin tone and skin discolouration including red acne scars.

Alongside pomegranate extract, the serum contains potent skin brighteners; bearberry extract, ethyl ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), Kakadu plum, and Liquorice extract.

Pomegranate Brightening Serum is ideal for most skin types.

Glycolic and Lactic Acid (Gentle chemical exfoliants)

Glycolic and lactic acid are gentle chemical exfoliants that can help speed up the rate at which red patches fade.

Chemical exfoliants work to remove dead cells from the skin’s surface by dissolving the 'glue' that holds them together to reveal the fresher, brighter skin beneath.

Over time, skin tone becomes smoother and the appearance of acne-related red marks may be minimised.

We recommend: Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum

With the 10% Fruit Acid Combination (BHA’s), 5% Glycolic Acid (AHA) and 5% Lactic Acid (AHA) this regenerative charcoal serum speeds up the cell renewal process, helping to minimise the appearance of red acne scars and promote a soft and smooth complexion.

Skin care routine for getting rid of red marks

Find out how to get rid of red acne scars with our step-by-step routine for reducing the appearance of post-breakout redness.

Step 1: Cleanser

The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Brightening 100ml

A gentle cream cleanser ideal for all skin types wanting to address acne red marks, hyperpigmentation, dullness and uneven skin tone.

With key lightening ingredients Kakadu Plum plus other plant extracts to calm and protect this antioxidant-rich cleanser balances and brightens skin for an illuminated, even complexion.

How to use The Uncomplicated Cleanser plus Brightening

Use the cleanser in your morning and evening routine. At night, we recommend a double cleanse. If you wear non-tubular mascara, we also suggest using an eye makeup remover first.

Apply a pearl-sized amount of the cleanser to damp hands and massage gently into skin with an upward motion.

Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water or remove with esmi's Microfibre Facial Cleansing Mitt.

Step 2: Exfoliation

The frequency for exfoliation after cleansing (usually 1 - 3 times a week) will depend on your skin type and the product you use.

Detoxifying Exfoliating Charcoal Serum (chemical exfoliation)

How to use the Detoxifying Exfoliating Serum

Using the dropper, apply a pea-sized amount to your charcoal brush or fingers and massage into freshly cleansed skin, avoiding the under eye area.

Leave for 5-10 minutes before wetting the charcoal brush or fingers and massage around the face to remove any softened dead skin cells before washing off.

Gentle Foliants (Chemical and physical exfoliation)

The Gentle Foliants formulations are a combination of both chemical and physical exfoliation. You’ll find an option for all skin types including:

How to use the Gentle Foliants

Apply a pea-sized amount of the product to damp, cleansed skin. In small, circular motions, very gently apply the exfoliant to skin.

Massage around your face to remove build-up and allow enzymes to deeply cleanse pores. Don’t apply too much pressure.

Leave on for 2–5 minutes and rinse with cool water or with your dampened esmi Face Mitt

If you have any questions about the right choice of exfoliant for your skin type or how often you should use it, reach out to our team of skin care experts.

Step 3: Skin Treat Serums

How to get rid of pimple marks as quickly as possible? With the right combination of serums!

Using Pomegranate Brightening Serum and Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum can help speed up the improvement of acne redness. We suggest using the Hydrating Serum in your morning routine and Brightening Serum in your evening routine.

How to use Pomegranate Brightening Serum and Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum

Use the dropper to apply an amount smaller than a pearl on cleansed skin and gently massage in. Allow the serum to absorb before applying other products.

Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum can be applied around the eye area.

If you have sensitive skin, start by using the Pomegranate Brightening Serum every second night for 2 weeks, gradually increasing to every night.

Follow the serum application with a Skin Treat Facial Oil or Skin Mylck moisturising lotion and Skin Shield Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 in your morning routine.

Visit our Pigmentation Shop by Concern for more product recommendations and to learn more about treating scarring and pigmentation. 

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