Looking for the Best Acne Scar Treatment? Here Are 8 Worth Considering

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Acne scars come in many shapes and forms, and, unfortunately, there isn’t a single ingredient capable of tackling all types of scars. Instead, the best acne scar treatment for you will be a formula that’s designed to deal with the specific type of scarring you have.

This could be surface blemishes (otherwise known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), atrophic scars (ie. ice pick scars) that look like small crevices in your skin, hypertrophic raised scars (aka. keloid scars), or, more often than not, a combination of the three. As a result, one acne scar treatment may not cut it – you might need to turn to two or three in order to really see results.

That’s where this list will prove to be invaluable. Below, we’ve gathered together the most effective treatments for various types of acne scars. Whether you’re dealing with a few barely-visible blemishes or full-on, severe scarring, these are the eight products to turn to.

Editor's Choice#2nd Best Choice#3rd Best Choice
Editor's Choice
Looking for the Best Acne Scar Treatment? Here Are 8 Worth Considering 1
Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment
Rating: 5 Stars
#2nd Best Choice
Looking for the Best Acne Scar Treatment? Here Are 8 Worth Considering 2
Shani Darden Retinol Reform
Rating: 4 Stars
#3rd Best Choice
Looking for the Best Acne Scar Treatment? Here Are 8 Worth Considering 3
Naturium Tranexamic Topical Acid 5%
Rating: 4 Stars

Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment

Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment

Let’s start with one of our favorites; Murad’s InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment. We love it for a couple of reasons – it’s one of the few acne scar treatments out there designed for all scar types, and it provides both instant and long-term results.

This is a formula that has been clinically proven to reduce scar size, depth, texture, and discoloration in eight weeks, thanks to its healing blend of salicylic acid, centella asiatica, and vitamin C. However, it also contains light-diffusing powders that blur imperfections, immediately brightening and evening out skin tone.

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Shani Darden Retinol Reform

Shani Darden Retinol Reform

You’ll find a long list of studies out there confirming how effective retinoids are when it comes to treating both atrophic acne scarring [1,2] and dark spots. Retinoids also happen to be one of the most popular anti-aging ingredients in the industry, meaning that there’s definitely no shortage of products containing various forms of vitamin A.

Out of the thousands available, our top recommendation would be Shani Darden’s Retinol Reform. Although marketed as an anti-aging serum, the 2.2% encapsulated retinol in this formula will treat acne scars and an uneven skin texture by speeding up skin cell turnover and boosting collagen production. As an added bonus, it’ll also help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles!

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Naturium Tranexamic Topical Acid 5%

Naturium Tranexamic Topical Acid 5%

If your acne scars have affected your skin pigmentation, then tranexamic acid is an ingredient you’ll want on your side. A relative newcomer to the industry, there are only a handful of brands that are using the ingredient in acne treatments, one of which is Naturium with their Tranexamic Topical Acid 5%.

In addition to tranexamic acid, this formula contains a cocktail of lightening and brightening ingredients, including kojic acid, niacinamide, and licorice root extract. Even better, its ingredients are gentle, safe for darker skin tones, and come together to form a skin-appropriate pH, making it suitable for more sensitive skin types too.

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iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance +

iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance +

It may be one of the pricier acne scar treatments out there, but the iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance + is a formula that you can count on. This serum is all about speeding up the natural healing of scar tissue, which is exactly what you want when trying to get rid of acne scars, no matter their type.

It contains a number of science-backed ingredients, from retinol and vitamin C to zinc sulfate and arbutin, plus a good helping of antioxidants to fight free radical damage and stimulate collagen synthesis. Even better, this serum will help to treat active acne too. Use it as an acne treatment for active breakouts and then continue using it once your skin has cleared to prevent future scarring.

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Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

You’re probably aware of how beneficial chemical peels can be when dealing with acne scarring. A chemical peel removes the outer layer of damaged scar tissue, revealing the healthier skin beneath. The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel replicates this process with its two-step formula that’s safe enough to be used at home and doesn’t call for any downtime.

Step one consists of a blend of four alpha hydroxy acids, including lactic acid and glycolic acid, and one beta hydroxy acid (salicylic acid). These help to clear away damaged and dead skin cells. The next step involves infusing your skin with a cocktail of lightening and brightening vitamins and antioxidants. There are 30 treatments in each box – designed to be used every other day, one box will last you for around two months.

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Biodermis Pro-Sil Silicone Scar Stick

Biodermis Pro-Sil Silicone Scar Stick

We haven’t mentioned any treatments specifically for hypertrophic scars yet – that’s because there aren’t many options. This type of scarring is usually best treated professionally, whether this may be through laser therapy, microneedling, or anything else.

However, before you give up all hope of an at-home cure, take a look at the award-winning, patented Biodermis Pro-Sil Silicone Scar Stick. It replicates silicone gel sheeting scar therapy, a method that has been effectively used for more than 30 years now [3]. Why don’t more people know about it? Because the experts don’t yet understand exactly how it works. Still, there’s no denying the results, and this unique formula, which contains medical-grade silicone as its active ingredient, gives you the chance to experience those improvements for yourself.

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Neutrogena Stubborn Marks PM Treatment

Neutrogena Stubborn Marks PM Treatment

We’ve already featured one retinol product, but, let’s face it, not everyone can pay such a high price for their skincare. Plus, skincare shouldn’t have to cost a fortune, which is why we had to also mention the Neutrogena Stubborn Marks PM Treatment.

This formula, designed for atrophic scars and dark spots/ skin pigmentation, contains retinol SA as its active, which is a highly stabilized form of vitamin A. You’ll notice that existing scars become slightly less visible after just one week of use, with results improving drastically by the 12-week mark. While you can use this product as a spot treatment directly on each scar, you also have the option of applying it all over your face to make the most of the retinol’s anti-aging benefits too. It’s suitable for every skin type, including sensitive skin and dark skin.

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Ambi Fade Cream

Ambi Fade cream

Designed for dark marks and normal skin types, Ambi’s Fade Cream stands out because of its 2% hydroquinone content – that’s the maximum you’ll find in over-the-counter acne scar treatments.

That said, hydroquinone is quite a controversial ingredient. While countless studies have found it to be effective at treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and atrophic acne scarring, there’s no hiding from its side effects. We also don’t love that this formula contains parabens. However, there are only a handful of effective hydroquinone formulas out there, and this is one that really does work, so consider it if all of the other scar-treating ingredients we’ve already mentioned haven’t worked for you. In our opinion, it’s a worthy last resort!

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FAQs

Clear face and skin with natural makeup

What is the most effective treatment for acne scars?

There isn’t a single treatment that’s most effective. Instead, you should be turning to a combination of proven scar-busting ingredients, including salicylic acid, retinol, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid.

Is salicylic acid good for acne scars?

Yes, salicylic acid works well at treating dark spots and acne scars, as well as congested skin cells.

How do I get rid of acne scarring fast?

No matter your skin type, the fastest way to get rid of acne scarring is to use a combination of methods. Mix skin lightening products with exfoliants that encourage the production of new skin cells. Don’t be afraid of professional treatments either – from laser therapy to microdermabrasion, these treatments often offer the most dramatic results.

Conclusion

When it comes to treating acne scars, trust us when we say that all of the above products truly are effective. However, they do all require one thing from you; consistency. Once you’ve chosen the most suitable product/s for the types of scars you have, make sure that you use those formulas regularly. Their effects will be cumulative, meaning that they build up over time, so stick with your chosen treatments for at least a couple of months for best results.

References

[1] https://www.forhims.com/blog/tretinoin-cream-for-acne-scars
[2] https://www.mdedge.com/clinicianreviews/article/189714/aesthetic-dermatology/topical-retinoid-found-effective-microneedling
[3] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/wound.2015.0625

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About Chanel Meekins

The co-founder and CEO of Pierre Michel Beauty, Chanel Meekins brings 20 years of experience in skincare and digital media to the table. She puts her knowledge to good use by overseeing the Pierre Michel Beauty blog, ensuring that every review and recommendation published meets the brand’s high standards, resulting in advice that people can truly depend on.