9 Super-Effective Acne Scar Remedies
Nearly all of these lovely remedies have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can quickly neutralize and heal active breakouts. Some remedies have exceptional wound-healing capabilities, while others excel at exfoliation and promoting skin cell turnover. These actions reduce the formation of scars and hyperpigmentation.
Love simple DIY? Many of the treatments below can be combined into face masks, spot treatments, serums and moisturizers to give you powerful acne- and acne-scar reduction. Helpful recipes and links are provided below.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Why it works: This multitasking oil is a potent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant. Vitamin C fades hyperpigmentation and scarring, while also promoting collagen production. Collagen is necessary for wound healing and tissue repair, and can help speed up acne recovery.
How to use it: Rosehip seed oil works well as a spot treatment and in serums, and can be applied directly to the skin.
Here is a super-simple and effective DIY serum using rosehip seed oil and just two other ingredients.
Why it works: This Polynesian oil contains calophyllolide, a potent anti-inflammatory, as well as antibacterial and pain-reducing properties. Tamanu stands above other natural plant oils as an effective scar-reducer for stretch marks, wounds and acne.
How to use it: This oil can be applied directly to the skin as a spot-treatment. Find unrefined, organic Tamanu oil here.
Why it works: Retinol, like vitamin C, supports collagen growth, which reduces the appearance of scars. It promotes skin cell turnover and new cell growth, which can also diminish scars. There is some chance of irritation and sun-sensitivity, so start slowly and be sure to use sunblock.
Why it works: Baking soda is a gentle exfoliator that can help uncover new, healthy skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great overnight spot treatment. Because it is naturally drying, baking soda can help dry up active breakouts, as well.
How to use it: Mix about a teaspoon with your daily facial cleanser for a gentle scrub, or make a paste with a small amount of water or rose water for a spot treatment.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Why it works: The succinic and lactic acids in apple cider vinegar (ACV) promote cell turnover and the removal of dead, hyperpigmented skin cells. ACV is antiseptic and astringent, making it great for acne-control.
How to use it: Dilute with water or raw honey in a 1:1 ratio, and apply it to skin as a treatment mask. Rinse off after 10 minutes.
Why it works: Aloe vera has been shown in several studies to accelerate wound healing, and to decrease the size and severity of scars. It is very soothing to burns and is hydrating, as well.
How to use it: Aloe is so versatile and well-tolerated by all skin types, that it can be used in many different ways to treat acne scars. Use in combo with several other remedies on this list for a powerful acne-scar treatment. Here is a list of 10 aloe vera masks for acne scars.
Why it works: Turmeric is a relative of ginger and contains curcumin, one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances found in nature. Curcumin is great for acne and resulting scars because it reduces inflammation and bacteria, and promotes collagen growth.
How to use it: Turmeric can be mixed with aloe vera in a 1:1 ratio and used as a spot treatment or a face mask. Or mix with honey–1 teaspoon of turmeric and 3 teaspoons for honey–in this recipe. Apply to a clean face, leave on for 10 minutes and rinse.
AHA’s and BHA’s
Why it works: Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are natural acids that do several things well. They exfoliate, promote cell turnover, decrease discoloration, brighten skin, and shrink breakouts. AHA’s, such as glycolic and lactic acids, are better-suited for dry, mature skin, and BHA’s (salicylic acid) work well with sensitve, acne-prone and oily skin. AHA’s and BHA’s can also work well in the same product for multiple skin issues.
Try this AHA/BHA combo for hyperpigmentation: Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 PIGM 400
Tea Tree Oil
Why it works: This essential oil is antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic. It has wound-healing properties, and can reduce blemishes and acne scars. Apply this at the first sign of a breakout.
How to use it: Use as a spot treatment; combine 1-2 drops with equal drops of jojoba, sweet almond oil, or rose water and apply to the skin. Or combine a few drops of tea tree oil into your favorite face mask.