This Serum Could Help Fade Those Pesky Acne Scars

I've used serums off and on in the past. I always start because I randomly think I should to amp up my skincare routine with a good serum. I always quit because I don't feel as if I can tell much of a difference — but I realized I might have misjudged the stuff. I decided I wanted to track the results of a serum to see how my skin actually changes, and for this little experiment, I used the Clarins Mission Perfection Serum. After all, unlike acne treatments that either do or do not zap zits or makeup removers that either do or do not take off waterproof mascara, serums treat and/or prevent concerns that require more time to address like hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and radiance.

This serum, which is formulated for all skin types, ages, and ethnicities, is meant to help target dark spots, discoloration, shadows, and dullness. After repeated use, skin tone should be evened and radiance restored. I've always been a little hesitant towards brightening treatments (products that aim to even the skin tone) because many work by actually bleaching or lightening the skin. But because the Mission Perfection Serum claims to even skin without altering one's natural skin tone, I was willing to see if I'd finally found the answer for my leftover acne marks and dull skin.

Clarins Mission Perfection Serum, $42, Amazon

When integrating a new skincare item into your regimen, I've found that it's good to use it for at least two weeks before deciding if the results you're seeing are the ones you want. However, according to Paula's Choice, results still might not be apparent for six to even 12 weeks, depending on the product. So to test the Clarins Mission Perfection Serum, I used the moisturizing yet lightweight (with a delicious, nectar scent BTW) serum twice a day for a little over one month without changing any of my other skincare products. Would it address my skin's discolorations, shadows, and dullness to restore radiance? Read on to find out.


My camera was definitely playing nice with me. The discoloration on my cheeks from my battle with teenage acne is more apparent in person than in this photo, but this is the area I was most concerned with. I did not consider the discoloration on the side of my nose when evaluating this serum because that area is due to broken capillaries rather than hyperpigmentation.

Day 3

Of course there wasn't a noticeable change after only three days. As much as we might want them to, overnight miracles don't really exist in the world of skincare.

Day 6

Again, in under one week, there wasn't much change to mention.

Day 9

By day nine though, I did start to feel as though the scope of my shadows was starting to shrink. Some of the discoloration that I was familiar with on my temples (although this discoloration was much less than that on my cheeks) seemed to recede back to my cheeks. So my main area of concern was now where one might normally apply blush and bronzer instead of blush, bronzer, and highlight.

Day 12

Still seeing progress...

Day 15

Halfway through the month I was feeling pretty pleased with my results. Yes, they were subtle, but they were there.

Day 18

But then that time hit and my skin had to deal with some new breakouts...

Day 21

...And the resulting pigmentation.

Day 24

But the serum seemed to help my skin more quickly overcome the fresher acne marks...

Day 27

...And by day 27 I was mostly back on track.

Day 30

By the end of the month, yes, the discoloration in my cheeks still needed a bit more work.

Day 33

But I can't deny that by the time the 33 days were up, my complexion had lost some of its shadows and dullness and was recharged with some radiance.

It's important to remember that targeting issues like hyperpigmentation and fine lines can take time. Yes, I saw some results after one month, but I expect my skin will only continue to improve with another month on a complete and consistent regimen. This is especially because I'm still prone to acne; so even though my existing marks take some time to fade, this serum has already proved that it can help quickly fade new acne marks to keep my skin clear from more discoloration than what I already have. And even though I'm totally okay with the scarring and discoloration I earned as a teen, I do still crave even and problem-free skin. So I'll continue with this mission to perfection.

Images: Miki Hayes; Courtesy of Clarins