Acne Scars vs. Dark Spots: Understanding the Key Differences for Flawless Skin

Acne breakouts can be frustrating, especially when they leave marks on the skin. While researching solutions to eliminate these pimple remnants, you may have come across the terms “acne scars” and “dark spots.” In the world of skincare, these terms have entirely different meanings, and it is crucial to understand the difference between them to treat them effectively.

In this article, we will explore the key differences between acne scars and dark spots and offer helpful tips to rejuvenate and renew your skin, brought to you by the skincare experts at Desert Med Aesthetic in Indian Wells, CA.

What are Dark Spots?

When you hear “dark spots,” think pigmentation. Pigmentation is the result of your body producing melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. When the skin becomes inflamed due to a pimple or any other irritation, your body produces more melanin in a process known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

It’s important to note that dark spots can be caused by mild to moderate acne breakouts, but acne isn’t the only cause of these spots. Pigmentation can also be a result of sun exposure, stress, pregnancy, and even hormonal changes. Dark spots are usually flat, while acne scars can be raised and uneven.

Dark spots are a common skin issue that can affect people of all ages and skin tones. These discolored patches can be found on the face, hands, arms, back, and shoulders – areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. The color of dark spots can vary from light brown to dark brown and can range in size, but are often the same texture as the surrounding skin and are not painful.

What Causes Dark Spots?

There are several different causes of dark spots, including sun damage, hormonal changes, medication side effects, inflammation, wound healing, irritation, and diabetes. Let’s explore each of these in more detail.

Sun Damage

Sun damage, also known as sunspots, solar lentigines, or liver spots, is one of the most common causes of dark spots. When skin is exposed to the sun or tanning beds, it can increase the production of melanin, resulting in the formation of dark spots. The areas of the body that receive the most sun exposure, such as the face, hands, or arms, are most susceptible to developing sun spots.

Hormonal Changes

Melasma is a skin condition that results in small patches of skin discoloration. It is more commonly found in women, particularly during pregnancy, and is thought to be triggered by hormones.

Medication Side Effects

Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), tetracyclines, and psychotropic drugs, can increase skin pigmentation and lead to the development of dark spots.


Inflammation on the skin can cause dark spots to form. Inflammation can occur due to a variety of reasons, including eczema, psoriasis, injury to the skin, and acne.

Wound Healing

Dark spots can remain after a wound, such as an insect bite, burn, or cut, has healed. These spots may fade over time.


Cosmetic skin or hair products can sometimes irritate the skin, resulting in the formation of dark patches.


Diabetes can cause areas of the skin to become darker, including conditions such as acanthosis nigricans (darkened, velvety skin) and shin spots or diabetic dermopathy, which can be mistaken for age spots.

What are Acne Scars?

Acne scars are different from dark spots as they run deep into the skin, altering the skin texture. The factors that cause acne scars have damaged the skin at a more critical level.

There are several types of acne scars, including boxcar scars, ice pick scars, and rolling scars.

Boxcar Scars: These scars are depressed, meaning they sink deeper into your skin, usually forming a rectangular or boxy shape. They occur due to collagen loss or overproduction.

Ice Pick Scars: These scars have the appearance of being damaged by an ice pick and tend to be small but deep. They result from further infection by dirt or bacteria, causing tissue destruction.

Rolling Scars: Rolling scars don’t have sharp edges like boxcars or ice pick scars but look like cellulite or an orange peel. They occur when the top layer of skin (epidermis) has been damaged.

In conclusion, understanding the difference between acne scars and dark spots is crucial to effectively treating them and achieving flawless skin. Desert Med Aesthetic in Indian Wells, CA, is here to help you rejuvenate and renew your skin with expert skincare advice.

Benefits of Essential Oils and Carrier Oils

Hyperpigmentation, scars, and dark spots can significantly impact your facial complexion and skin tone. Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can help you minimize their appearance and improve your skin’s health. This guide will show you how to create your go-to DIY face serum for hyperpigmentation, scars, and dark spots using natural ingredients like essential oils and carrier oils.

Essential oils not only have a lovely aroma, but they also have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that can nourish your skin deeply. In this DIY face serum, you will need two carrier oils – rosehip oil and jojoba oil – and four essential oils – rose otto, sandalwood, frankincense, and lemon essential oils. Additionally, vitamin E oil will provide a skin-boosting effect.

Rosehip Oil

Rosehip oil is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps even out your skin’s pigmentation and dark spots. It also stimulates collagen production, which leads to cell turnover, resulting in faded scars.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil closely resembles your skin’s sebum, making it a fantastic natural moisturizer. It is also a natural humectant, meaning that it attracts water to your skin’s outer layer, keeping it plump and hydrated.

Rose Otto Essential Oil

Rose otto is a luxurious essential oil that is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin. It increases collagen production in your skin, maintaining its soft, supple, and hydrated state, and minimizes the appearance of dark spots and scars. Rose otto also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that keep acne and redness at bay.

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is another luxurious oil that is excellent for sensitive and mature skin. It cleanses and soothes your skin, keeping your pores pure and free of irritation. Sandalwood targets scars, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin and has astringent effects that promote youthful-looking skin.

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is incredibly healing for all skin types and breaks up scar tissue when used on the skin, making it useful for scars such as acne scars, keloids, and more. Frankincense also reduces uneven skin, hyperpigmentation, and dark spots and has astringent properties that tighten skin pores and firm sagging skin.

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil brightens your skin and reduces hyperpigmentation. It promotes collagen production, reducing scars and dark spots, and when used in a diluted form, it exfoliates dead skin cells, revealing fresh new skin.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E, also known as the “beauty” vitamin, is great for overall beautiful skin. It is a potent antioxidant that fights pro-aging free radicals and supports new cell growth and cell regeneration, reducing scars and dark spots. Vitamin E is also extremely moisturizing, preserving your skin’s moisture content, keeping it soft and supple.

DIY Face Serum Recipe

Here’s the recipe for the 2% essential oil dilution, which is the recommended dilution rate for adults (24 drops of essential oil in 4 tablespoons of carrier oil, or 2 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil). If you have sensitive skin, use a 1% dilution (1 drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil).

Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation, Scars, & Dark Spots with this Easy DIY Face Serum”

Do you suffer from hyperpigmentation, scars, or dark spots on your face? If so, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on expensive skincare products. You can make your own face serum with just a few simple ingredients. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a DIY face serum that will help you achieve clear and radiant skin.


  • 2 tablespoons of rosehip oil
  • 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil
  • 6 drops rose otto essential oil
  • 6 drops lemon essential oil
  • 6 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 6 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • ½ teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 2 oz glass dropper bottle
  • Small funnel for transferring

Essential Oil Dilution This DIY face serum uses a 2% essential oil dilution rate. This means for every 1 teaspoon of carrier oil, 2 drops of essential oil are added. If you have sensitive skin, you can use a 1% dilution, which is only 1 drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.

How to Make the Serum

  1. Use a small funnel to transfer the rosehip oil and jojoba oil into the glass dropper bottle.
  2. Add the essential oils, drop by drop.
  3. Cap the bottle and roll it between your palms for about 15 seconds to combine all oils.
  4. Store in a cool, dry, and dark place.
  5. To use, apply a few drops of the serum on a cleansed face at night time before bed.


  • Always do a patch test before applying the serum to your skin.
  • Lemon essential oil is photosensitive, meaning that exposing your skin to sunlight while wearing it can cause skin irritation. For this reason, stick to using the serum only at night time.

Get Radiant and Clear Skin with this DIY Face Serum

Conclusion This DIY face serum is a simple and affordable solution to get rid of hyperpigmentation, scars, and dark spots. With just a few ingredients and a few drops of essential oils, you can achieve clearer and more radiant skin in no time. Give it a try and let us know in the comments below how it works for you!