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If you’ve suffered from acne then you know first-hand how detrimental it can be to your confidence. On top of that, many people experience acne scarring – indented and seemingly permanent reminders of a painful skin condition. But the good news is, they’re definitely not permanent!
We’ve got all the information on acne scarring to give you the inside knowledge on what it is and what different types there are. We’ve also taken a look at the best acne scar creams on the market and have compiled a list of our top 7. So read on to get clued in on how to get rid of those scars for good.
What are acne scars?
Acne scars are the lasting marks, indentations and uneven pigmentation left over from acne breakouts. Every 3 in 4 people will experience acne in their life, and a large number of those people will end up with some form of scarring, whether it’s severe or barely noticeable it’s definitely going to affect your confidence. In fact, according to this medical publication, around 95% of acne sufferers will have some form of scarring – that’s a huge majority!
Acne scars are usually formed from bad breakouts, burst cysts (for those who’ve suffered from cystic acne) and pimples that have been popped and/or picked at – which is always a bad idea! It’s most common that sufferers of severe or cystic acne will experience these scars, but it can affect anyone who’s had acne in their life.
To clarify, acne scars are not the fresh marks made right after popping a pimple that usually fade in a week or so. We’re talking about the scars that have been there for months and just aren’t fading. They will generally be dark red or brown, some can even be raised. Here are the different kinds of acne scarring:
- Boxcar – Broad, box-shaped scars that are depressed into the skin.
- Ice pick – Deep holes in the skin (look like they could have been made with an ice pick).
- Rolling – Smooth-edged scars that look like tiny valleys and hills.
- Keloid – Bright pink or red scars, often inflamed.
As we mentioned above, around 95% of acne sufferers will experience acne scarring, which isn’t great but it means that’s there’s been a whole heap of research into the cures for it! There’s loads of options available today which means there will be something to suit absolutely everyone. Here’s some of the best ones:
- Topical retinoids/scar creams – Acne scar creams might be the easiest way to get rid of your scarring. Usually, the product will be able to speed up the cell regeneration of the area you apply it to. This means that the top layers of your skin will be shed to make way for the new, healthy layers. Eventually, your scarring and pigmentation will be less noticeable and may even disappear altogether! All with a simple cream that you can incorporate seamlessly into your everyday skin routine.
- Dermatologist treatments – A dermatologist is someone who deals with all things skin. They’re professionals who can offer treatments to suit you and your needs. Some of these treatments are chemical peels, fillers, dermabrasion, microneedling and more. The focus of these treatments is to boost the collagen production in your skin so that it plumps out the affected area. Meaning the indentations in your skin will be a thing of the past.
- Natural remedies – This is a great option for the more sensitive skin types and for those with mild scarring. Natural remedies may take a little longer than others but if you stick at it, it will all be worth it when you start seeing great results. Honey, lemon, coconut oil and tea tree oil can all offer great alternatives to commercial products and their (possibly) harsh chemicals.
How acne scar cream can help get rid of acne scars
As mentioned above, acne scar creams are a great, easy way to get rid of acne scarring and pigmentation issues. You simply incorporate one into your daily routine, or use it every other day, and soon enough you’ll be seeing your skin looking fresher and more flawless than it has in years.
They’re also a great option if you don’t have the money to splurge on expensive dermatologist appointments and treatments. There’s so many acne creams on the market that you’ll have no trouble finding one that suits your budget and your lifestyle – a treatment you can do yourself in the comfort of your own home.
How to choose the best acne scar cream
When picking an acne scar cream, there’s a few things you should consider:
What are you buying it for?
There’s usually two main types of acne scars that need to be treated. There’s the pigmentation issues and then there’s the actual scarring. So be sure to pick a product that targets either one of these main issues, or both, depending on what you’re needing it for.
Keep in mind, it won’t be cheap
It is possible, but rare, to find a cheaply priced acne scar cream. However, in most cases, it’s not going to work as well as the higher priced creams. As with almost all products, the more expensive ones will have better quality ingredients for targeting your scarring so you might want to splash out. After all, if anything is worth splurging on, it’s your face and skin!
Get the right ingredients
Depending on what you’re getting your scar cream for, pigmentation or scarring, you’ll need to look out for certain ingredients. Vitamin C and any antioxidant-rich ingredient will both be great for pigmentation restoration whilst vitamin E, benzoyl peroxide and glycolic and lactic acid are all excellent and common ingredients for reducing the appearance of scars. And as always, be sure to read the label carefully before you purchase it to make sure there’s nothing you’re allergic or intolerant to in the formula.
Get a cream that works for your skin type
You’re going to have either dry, oily, combination or normal skin. You need to find a product that will not only reduce scarring, but nourish your skin in the process. Because of the harsh nature of acne scar creams, if you’ve got dry or oily skin you may find that your skin gets worse respectively. So if you’ve got drier skin, find a product that moisturizes deeply and vice versa with oily skin.
7 best acne scar creams
So now you’re loaded with all the knowledge you need to be able to pick a great acne scar cream and start down the track to scar-free skin. Here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for, our top 7 acne scar cream picks and why we recommend them.
DHC Renewing AHA Face Cream
Don’t let the price scare you too much on this one, apparently a bottle will last for a good 6 months. This product may come with a bit of a price tag but it’s got a whopping 10% concentration of lactic acid in it. Meaning that it’s going to gently burn off the first few layers of your skin and increase your cell production to get all those healthy, new cells to the surface of your skin so they can plump out your scars. You may get a bit of flakey skin at the start of using this product, due to the quick cell turnover, but this should stop within a couple weeks.
- 10% concentration of lactic acid
- Reduces scarring, evens out pigmentation, reduces wrinkles
- Not very moisturising
- May cause flakey skin in the first couple weeks of use
Price: $40.38 (1.5 fl oz) on Amazon
Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenating Exfoliator
This is another product that will last around 4-6 months, so you don’t need to worry about the price point. Vasanti has created a scrub that will exfoliate your skin to reveal glowing, radiant, healthier skin underneath. It’s said to cure everything from scarring and pigmentation issues to large pores and dull skin. Sounds great, right? Even better, they say that it can even be used on sensitive skin – this might be due to it being a 99% natural ingredient product. You’ve got vitamin E and B, aloe vera, coconut, papaya and more.
- 99% natural ingredients
- Says it’s okay for sensitive skin
- Exfoliation and moisturization
- Paraben free
Price: $34 (120g) on Amazon
This product is a great budget-friendly option and comes straight from a company that is known to deal with stretch marks, scarring of all kinds, pregnancy scarring and more. It’s basically a miracle oil. Bio-oil is most commonly used for pregnancy stretch marks but can be used on all skin marks you wish to fade away. It’s gentle due to all the great natural ingredients and super moisturizing because it’s an oil. It’s got lavender, sunflower and rosemary oil in it to assist with this. Best used on drier skin as it’s an oil.
- Lots of natural ingredients
- Well-known product for fading scars
- Results may take a little longer as it’s a very gentle product, will need consistency and perseverance
- Not good for oily skin
Price: $7.59 (2 oz) on Amazon
Scarguard MD Liquid, SG5 Technology Scar Treatment
This product might be expensive, but it claims to heal raised scars (like keloids), new scars, old scars and actually prevent further scarring through it’s clinically proven formula. You brush it on, it dries clear and then you’re good to go, it can even be worn under makeup. It takes about 2-4 months to see any changes but some customers have even reported seeing reductions in scarring within a couple days. There’s cortisone for reduce inflammation, silicone to shrink scar tissue and vitamin E to soften and moisturise the scarred area.
- Deals with all kinds of scars and pigmentation
- Can be worn under makeup
- Dries quickly on skin
- Very expensive on Amazon (not as expensive on other sites)
- Results may take 2-4 months
Proactiv+ Advanced Dark Spot Correcting Serum
Everyone knows about Proactiv, they’re superstars in the acne realm and have been for years with their great products that have helped countless sufferers with their acne problems. This serum claims to fade even the darkest of spots and pigmentation problems. It has less of a focus on scarring though, so this product will be suitable for those who are only looking to cure uneven skin tone. However, it does have 2% hydroquinone which is a popular ingredient that inhibits melanin production and so will help to lighten scars (but not fill them out). If this is what you’re after, then Proactiv is a well-known brand to put your trust in.
- Well-known brand
- Best at lightening scars and healing uneven skin tone
- Paraben free, non-comedogenic, dermatologist tested
- Won’t fill in indented scarring
Price: $47.45 (1 oz) on Amazon
InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum 20%
This is a great product that’s suitable for all skin types. It’s got a heap of great ingredients to fight off acne scarring and signs of aging. There’s 2% salicylic acid, 2.5% retinol, vitamin C (as the name suggests) for a heap of antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, rosehip oil, argan oil and much more. You’ll need to be patient to see results with this one, but it will be worth the wait – your skin will be more youthful and flawless than ever before!
- Lots of great ingredients
- Suitable for all skin types
- Great price
- Results may take a while
- Best used on newer scarring, won’t be as effective on older scars
Price: $16.75 (1 oz) on Amazon
Amaira Advanced Scar Vanishing Cream
This powerful product is basically a showcase of Mother Nature’s best scar-fighting, skin-nourishing ingredients. Shea butter, cucumber extract, green tea, avocado pit extract, aloe vera, bentonite and so much more. Even though it’s a product packed with natural ingredients, users have claimed to see dramatic results in as little as two weeks – that’s why it’s topped our list as number one choice for fighting acne scars. It’s also super-moisturizing and comes with a 45 day money back guarantee, so all bases are covered here, you can’t go wrong!
- Loads of great, natural ingredients
- Contains antioxidants
- Money back guarantee
- See results within 6-8 weeks
- Encourages cell renewal
- Not many reviews on Amazon
Price: $29.97 (1 fl oz) on Amazon