Next time your are at the pharmacy looking in the acne section you will find that most over the counter medications are either salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid. The latter is one to pay close attention to, part of the reason is that it has been clinically proven to even out skin discoloration, provide a firmer and smoother looking complexion to the skins surface.
Glycolic acid comes from Alpha Hydroxy Acid group. What makes this component so effective is that fact it is the smallest in size of all the aphla hyrroxy family. This allows it to penetrate deeper into the skins surface.
In addition it promotes collagen and elastin to be produced in greater quantities. This is what causes the firmer and smoother complexion in the skin. While this glycolic acid has been proven to have geat benefits on the fight against acne scar removal, in greater quantities it can have alternate effects. You might have heard of glycolic acid chemical peels.
When applied at a higher concentration: 70% or above it will in fact burn off the top level of the skin forcing it to regenerate itself and therefore remove acne scars. Over the counter medications never have more then 10% and you can see now the marginal difference between the two. Chemical peels are to be applied by dermatologists, doctors, or trained professionals in the field and require supervision, during and after application. During extended use of alpha-hydroxy-acids the skin will tend to be more sensitive to ultra violate light and a sunscreen is recommended during the treatment.
You might also want to look into over the counter cleanser with glycolic acid already in them, as well as exfoliating beads to aid in removing the dead skins cells on the surface of the skin. Most importatly is to avoid over cleaning as it might cause irritation and aggravate acne even more.