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Arrivederci Acne Scars!

Dear Sugar
I am trying to overcome acne so I wash my face everyday with a cocoa butter bar and I use cocoa butter lotion. I've also cut out all sodas from my diet because I've heard they contribute to oily skin. Since I've started this regimen, my skin has cleared some, but I still have random scattered pimples.

However, since I do have less pimples than before, I've been noticing that now I these scar type dark spots on my face where my old blemishes once were. They make it look like my skin is marked and infected. My mother has recently purchased a bleach cream that is supposed to get rid of these kinds of dark spots, but I am reluctant to use it on my face because I have worked so hard to get my skin to the place it is now.

Since my skin is still not 100% pimple free, I'm wondering what you think my next steps should be to try and attain clear skin. Do you think that I should try this bleach cream? Also, should I be continuing my use of cocoa butter bars and lotions? Imperfect Illy

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Dear Imperfect Illy
I can completely understand your reluctance to try a bleaching cream. Sensitive skin can have bad reactions to new products, especially strong products which can cause swelling, redness and even itching.

Most bleaching creams contain an ingredient called hydraquinone and should only be used on a short term basis. Another less toxic bleaching agent is called kojac. You can look to see if the cream that your mother bought has either of these ingredients in them.

Also, I suggest that you consult a specialist about your skin. Make an appointment with a dermatologist or facialist so that you can have a hands-on personal assessment of your skin. A doctor will be able to identify the correct products for your condition.

Something to consider is that if you are planning to get pregnant in the near future, it is important to avoid bleaching creams. Although there is no bad press about bleaching agents and fertility, there is suggested evidence that links birth problems with these agents. You never know, so I would not chance it. I hope this helps. Good luck.

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