The 2-Product Solution for Covering up Acne Scars—If You Want to, That Is

Photo: Getty/ Quim Roser
Despite what your Instagram Discover page may have you believe, hardly anyone on the planet has a perfectly even skin tone (without the use of FaceTune or a filter, that is). Whether it's old acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, sun spots, or something else entirely, most all of us have got a little somethin' somethin' going on when it comes to discoloration on our faces.

For me personally, it's the acne scars that have been on my cheeks since middle school, when I didn’t realize that ignoring my mom’s pleas to "STOP PICKING" really would have the lasting impact that she’d promised. I've tried multiple different lasers and pretty much every skin-care product on the planet to get them to go away,  and while they've certainly faded over time, I've learned to accept the fact that we're probably a package deal by this point. Most days I'm fine with it. Some days, though, I look in the mirror and feel horribly self conscious about them, and that's when the full-coverage foundation comes out.

While there are a number of skin-care solutions that can help you to actually treat pigmentation, if you want them to disappear this very moment (which tends to be how I feel about them), that's a task for makeup. To find out how, exactly, to get the most out using makeup to cover dark spots, I turned to celebrity makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic, who has hereby changed the way I conceal those frustrating acne scars for, well, ever.

The first step, he says, comes from proper preparation. "Start with a skin-care routine that calms irritation, especially if you experience any sort of redness," he says. "I would suggest using a gentle cleanser such as the Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Cleanser ($14), which uses natural oil extracts to help condition the skin. You can also incorporate a balancing toner and a lightweight moisturizer." Then, once you have a clean canvas, it's time for the technique.

A foundation-concealer combo is the one-two punch that will cover pretty much any situation on your skin. When it comes to covering old acne scars, however, it's all about application. "To cover old acne scars, apply your concealer in a circular motion and blot either with a pad or with your fingers to finish," says Dedivanovic, who likes to use customized pigment products like, No7’s Match Made Foundation Drops ($15), to deal with these types of marks. "Then, use a stippling or foundation brush to apply a liquid foundation for an airbrushed finish. Depending on the appearance of your scars you’ll want to customize your level of coverage," he says. After that, you can dust on a setting powder if you tend to get oily, but that's a totally optional step. And then, you're ready to go about your day.

If your acne scars are still bugging you, here's a derm-approved way to deal with them. Plus, other natural remedies for skin discoloration worth knowing about. 

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