While you’re working on point #4 (repair past damage), you should also work on preventing future damage! What are a few ways that you can protect your skin?
*Actively try to break your bad habits! Easier said than done, I know, but maybe start imagining what your skin will look like later if you pick that pimple or forgo the sunscreen or lay out to tan. Think long-term instead of what is easier/convenient/tempting in the moment. Habits are tough to break, which is why we are saying to actively try.
*Be Sun Safe (sunscreen, stay in the shade, wear protective clothing). Sun damage is one of those sneaky ways that skin becomes damaged. Even if you do not burn, UV rays are breaking down the collagen & elastin in your skin, creating dark spots, and potentially causing skin cancer to grow even if these effects do not show up noticeably until 20 years later. Sun damage can also cause or exacerbate existing hyperpigmentation problems. Scarring, like tanning, is caused by the skin producing excess melanin to protect itself. Protecting the already damaged skin can keep the area(s) from getting darker.
*Actively try to keep your acne in check. Acne is unfortunately not one of those “one and done” kinds of skin problems. If you are acne prone, avoid future potential acne scarring by caring for your skin properly by using skin care products tailored to acne (usually containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide), moisturizing your skin (to keep the skin from producing more oil), etc.