9 Products That Will Get Rid of Acne Scars In Record Time
Say hello to a beaming, even complexion thanks to this list of the best products for acne scars.
How to Fade Pesky Dark Spots
Whether you call them acne scars, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, the discolored marks left behind by acne are no fun to deal with. Once you've solved the battle of getting rid of those pesky pimples, working on fading the signs they left behind can feel like yet another puzzle. While acne pit scars — the ones that leave divots in your skin — can only be treated with medical procedures like fillers or microneedling, hyperpigmentation, aka "dark spots," have plenty of over-the-counter solutions. Scroll through for the best acne scar treatments and skin-care products to help you wipe away your dark spots in no time — with picks from SkinCeuticals, Pond's, CeraVe, and more.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
Vitamin C is a crucial ingredient in the journey to clear, spot-free skin, but not any old product will work. This vitamin C-vitamin E-ferulic acid blend is formulated to be as shelf-stable as possible, with the precise pH to be most effective. In fact, Skinceuticals holds the patent for this particular chemical composition, so you won't find an equally effective alternative anywhere else. Yes, the price tag might make you gulp, but it's high for a good reason — maintaining a patent while conducting R&D can get expensive.
Pond's Dark Spot Corrector
Right up there with vitamin C, niacinamide is a gold standard spot-fading ingredient, but (luckily) it doesn't have to cost as much as your mortgage. This popular acne scar cream by drugstore brand Pond's lists niacinamide as its third ingredient, meaning it makes up a significant percentage of the blend. It's under $10 a tub, so feel free to apply this product liberally and kiss those scars goodbye in no time.
Peace Out Microneedling Dark Spot Brightening Dots
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%
Lactic acid is a gentle alpha hydroxy acid that helps your skin cells turn over and reveal the fresh (unscarred) tissue underneath. This acne scar remedy can be used several times a week and, over time, you'll notice a brighter, clearer complexion. Since there's a chance your skin can become irritated with use, this blend from The Ordinary includes hyaluronic acid to help mitigate that risk.
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
The first step to fading acne scars is making sure your dark spots aren't darkening further. Sun exposure exacerbates hyperpigmentation, so a sunscreen or SPF-containing moisturizer is crucial. This top-rated sunscreen by EltaMD is not only a consumer favorite, it's dermatologist-recommended, too. Plus, it contains additional ingredients like niacinamide and hyaluronic acid that will proactively fade marks while it protects.
Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum
Retinol is another proven ingredient for promoting skin cell turnover, but its higher-grade version, retinoid, is only available with a prescription. Banish acne scars with this new product by Sunday Riley, which offers a high amount of retinol. It's perfect for those wanting to upgrade from a drugstore retinol, but not quite ready to make the jump with a physician-administered prescription.
Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector Face Serum
For a budget-friendly solution to acne scars, this serum from Neutrogena contains several dark spot-brightening powerhouses: retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid. It's gentle enough for all skin types to use daily. Amazon reviewers say that patience is key, but after a few months, dark spots will visibly lighten. Some shoppers even recommend using it on the back of the hands.
CeraVe Retinol Serum for Post-Acne Marks and Skin Texture
This serum from dermatologist-loved brand CeraVe is formulated to reduce the appearance of acne marks. Retinol helps turn over skin cells, evening out the skin tone with the help of niacinamide. Plus, ceramides hydrate the skin and protect its barrier. Several Amazon shoppers have called it their "holy grail," with many seeing an impressive decrease in breakouts and lingering redness.
Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2%
For those with sensitive skin, this simple niacinamide serum can work wonders. The ingredient has a wide range of benefits — brightening, hydrating, soothing, and treating acne all without causing irritation, Caroline Robinson, M.D., a dermatologist in Chicago, previously told Shape. Zinc reduces unwanted shine (a plus for oily skin), and hyaluronic acid helps seal in moisture. Nearly 4,000 Amazon shoppers have given this everyday serum a perfect rating.