How to Get Rid of Acne Scars — 25 Acne Scar Treatment Products

presley ann

Presley Ann

Stop! Before you even think about picking at your pimples, consider the consequences. You know the cycle: a fresh pimple emerges, you pop it, it leaves a scar that you frequently pick at, and boom—now you have a dark spot. The more you repeat this cycle, the more damage you cause to your skin. In which case, you may need some of these.

“Acne scars are the result of inflammation from acne blemishes,” says Alabama-based board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Corey L. Hartman. “Acne scarring may be rolling (superficial, longer depression in the skin), ice pick (very small but deep), atrophic (very superficial but very thin), or hypertrophic (thick scars raised above the skin),” adds NY-based board-certified derm, Dr. Elyse Love.

Now, I am not one to judge. I have picked my fair share of blemishes and have suffered the consequences. Actually, I’m still dealing with the consequences. So if you’ve gotten down and dirty with a zit or have just noticed post-acne dark spots, I am with you. Thankfully, ingredients like retinol, lactic acid, and kojic acid can help to brighten the area, while evening the texture of the skin to diminish the overall appearance of the pesky dark spots. Acne-fighting cleansers and fun LED devices can also help treat these areas. Scroll on for 24 of the best products for treating acne scars, according to dermatologists.

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1

Best Overall

Murad

InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment

2

Best LED Device

Solawave

Advanced Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy

3

Best For Body Scars

Topicals

Faded Brightening & Clearing Mist

4

Best At-Home Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare

Alpha Beta® Universal Daily Peel

5

Best Affordable Treatment

The Ordinary

Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

6

Best Drugstore Treatment

Differin

Acne Treatment Gel

7

Best Peptide Serum

Bliss

Bright Idea Vitamin C + Tri-Peptide Serum

8

Best Preventative Cleanser

CeraVe

Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser

9

Best Invisible SPF

Supergoop!

Unseen Sunscreen

10

Best Pimple Patches

Starface

Hydro-Stars Starter Pack

11

Best Retinol

ZO Skin Health

Retinol Skin Brightener 1%

12

Best For All-Over Brightening

Hyper Skin

Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum

13

Best Clean Option

Ustawi

Niacinamide Dark Spot Corrector

14

Best Multi-Tasker

La Roche-Posay

Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% Topical Retinoid Acne Treatment

15

Best Overnight Treatment

SkinBetter

AlphaRet Overnight Cream

16

Best On-The-Go Option

Nassif MD

Detox Pads Complexion Perfecting Pads

17

Best Clean Vitamin C Serum

Beautycounter

All Bright C Serum

18

Best Exfoliator

Clean & Clear

Acne Triple Clear Exfoliating Facial Scrub

19

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

SkinCeuticals

Silymarin CF

20

Best Collagen Booster

Glo Skin Beauty

Bio-Renew EGF Drops

21

Best At-Home Spa Treatment

Environ Skincare

Gold Roll-Cit

22

The Holy Grail Vitamin C

SkinCeuticals

C E Ferulic

23

Best Tinted SPF

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Face Sheer Tint SPF 30

24

Best For All Skin Types

Visha

Advanced Correcting Serum

25

Best For A Deep Clean

SkinCeuticals

Purifying Cleanser

How can I remove acne scars?

Topical treatments are great temporary fixes, but Dr. Elyse Love advises seeing a professional to begin your journey of permanently removing acne scars. “Treatment of rolling, ice pick, and atrophic scars require procedures that increase collagen production such as CO2 laser, fraxel, and/or microneedling with radiofrequency,” she explains. Meanwhile, hypertrophic scars require more attention: “Hypertrophic scars are classically treated with injections to soften the scars but laser treatments such as PDL, excel v, laser genesis, and CO2 laser can also be helpful.”

Can acne scars be permanently removed?

“The results of scar treatments are permanent (pending the acne is under control),” Love says. It will also take several treatments to bring you closer to the clear, even-toned skin of your dreams. Not to be confused with hyperpigmentation, acne scars are the “textural changes that develop as a result of severely inflamed acne nodules and cysts that occur deep in the dermis,” says Dr. Nassif.

What are the best products for acne scars?

When shopping for topical products to help treat your scars, Nassif says to check ingredient labels for exfoliating agents. “Look for a product with good concentrations of AHAs and BHAs like glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acid. A good retinol product would be a close second, to help boost skin cell turnover and collagen to help fill in the scarring,” he explains. Just be sure to always follow up with sunscreen.

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Why trust ELLE Beauty?

Nerisha Penrose is the Beauty Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Since joining ELLE.com in 2017, she has interviewed countless skincare professionals and has personally tested the latest and greatest products across makeup, skincare, and hair care.

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