By Abby Vinas
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First came the annoying ordeal of a breakout, with inflamed acne lesions popping up all across your complexion. After trying countless acne treatment methods to keep your blemishes at bay, you’re now left with scars and evidence of acne’s lasting tenure on your skin. Can you catch a break? In short, yes.
If this sounds like you, and you’re constantly wondering how get rid of acne scars, don’t abandon hope just yet: clearing your complexion is possible. True, the leftover vestiges of your blemish battle is frustrating, painful, and for some, embarrassing—but there is relief. This post offers some insightful tips on how to get rid of acne scars once and for all. A few of your scars will fade on their own, but other raised and depressed sections of your skin will need a little extra work.
It may take time, but discovering how to get rid of acne scars isn’t as impossible as you think; solutions ranging from natural, DIY home remedies for acne scar treatment to professional-grade procedures are available. So what works best? In the end, only your unique skin can say, but we do have a few suggestions (hint: they don’t involve expensive fillers or lasers). If you want to learn how to get rid of acne scars effectively and affordably, keep reading and start saying sayonara to unsightly scars.
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Topical Acne Scar Treatments
Scars are varied and complex, and learning how to get rid of acne scars requires trial and error. There are a variety of ways to do so and each corner has a different proponent. However, before you go jumping on the bandwagon for the latest cure-all, we suggest breaking down the various acne scar treatment methods into their disparate parts.
Using Household Products
If you love going au naturale as much as we do, you’ll probably be happy to hear that common household items can be helpful for how to get rid of acne scars. Don’t believe us? Take a look below.
- Baking soda: This common household item has hundreds of uses, including acne scar treatment when applied to the face. The sodium bicarbonate crystals gently exfoliate skin to slough off dead cells; just add enough water to make a paste and leave the mixture on for two minutes.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice for acne promotes healing and revitalizes the skin. Apply a dab or two to lighten scars and make them less noticeable.
- Vinegar: Skip the chemical facials from expensive estheticians and use vinegar instead; it acts as a mild peel that removes the epidermis (outermost layer of skin) to turn over old skin cells with fresh, healthy ones.
- Tea tree oil: Are you an essential oil enthusiast? Grab your tea tree oil and apply it over scars to make them smoother and heal faster. Added bonus: it smells great, too.
- Aloe Vera: Head outside and break off a leaf from your Aloe Vera plant. Gently massage the gel into your skin for dual-action healing and moisturizing
- Coconut oil: At the top of the list for natural healing products is coconut oil, whose essential fatty acids will work wonders as long as it’s worn on your skin. No need to wash it off; simply melt some into the palm of your hand and slather on the creamy goodness.
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Give these items a go and see if they help your acne scars. If natural methods don’t seem to do the trick, it might be time to step it up using an over-the-counter (OTC) product to get rid of acne scars.
Using Top Skincare Ingredients
Look beyond the promised claims of exfoliants, creams, and serums and read their labels instead; there are several ingredients incredibly helpful in your quest for clear skin.
- Vitamin C: Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is a time-released powerhouse ingredient that’s good for immunity and restoring the health of your skin. It simultaneously promotes wound healing and stimulates collagen synthesis. Among other benefits, it’s been shown to brighten dull skin and lighten brown spots.
- Vitamin E: This fatty vitamin is an antioxidant packed with skin-protecting properties. It helps seal cracks in the epidermis to repair the damaged skin barrier and improve the appearance of scars after the initial wound has healed.
- Glycolic acid: A true magic maker, glycolic acid is the smallest acid in size, meaning it’s able to penetrate deeply into the skin’s pores to do its work. It breaks apart the cellular glue holding dead skin cells together to reveal a fresher, brighter complexion. It also promotes cellular turnover by boosting collagen and elastin, helping your skin regenerate and repair itself.
- Retinol: Find yourself a super strength/low-irritation product containing retinol—a vitamin A derivative great for speeding up the cell turnover rate. Dab some of this efficacious cream on your hyperpigmentation spots to see a more even skin tone.
- Zinc sulfate: This is one of the ultimate minerals for those wondering how to get rid of acne scars. Zinc’s anti-inflammatory properties can reduce the swelling and redness of your bumps and blemishes. It also promotes faster wound healing, in addition to aiding vitamin A transportation throughout the bloodstream. Find it in your fruits and veggies or listed as an ingredient in a potent product.
Explore ways to get rid of acne scars using these ingredients. There are plenty of options for application because they come in many shapes and forms. A gentle cleanser should be used twice daily—at morning and at night—to apply active ingredients in small doses. Exfoliants can be your best friend but they can also be your worst enemy; exfoliating too often or too intensely could irritate your complexion and worsen the inflammation of your scars.
Start by exfoliating once a week and gradually build up your skin’s tolerance. Consider creams or serums applied as a spot treatment; they usually come in high concentrations and are best left on overnight to fully absorb into the skin.
How To Prevent Acne Scars
While you’re discovering the best method for how to get rid of acne scars, remember that most healthcare professionals stress that prevention is key. Here are three tips to help prevent acne scars from forming:
Sunscreen is absolutely imperative to reduce the risk of acne scar treatment. When your skin experiences a flare up or breakout, be sure to never leave the house without some solid UV protection. The damage caused by the sun’s harmful rays will worsen your existing scars and can make pimples stay long past their welcome.
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If you minimize redness as soon as possible, you might avoid having to figure out how to get rid of acne scars in the first place. Apply spot treatments like salicylic acid for acne to any new breakouts as soon as possible; while crushed aspirin might be a skincare myth, icing your painful blemishes can bring down painful swelling.
Practice Proper Hygiene
No matter what, do not pick, pop, or poke your skin, as suggested by the Office of Women's Health. You’ll only traumatize it further and prolong your healing by rupturing cellular walls. Keep your hands off your face except for when you’re washing it (remember, twice daily!) and applying your skincare products.
Can you get rid of acne scars? Yes, yes you can. Red residue, deep craters, raised bumps and dark spots are no match for your determined willpower. Put your pimpled past behind you and start seeking out these ingredients for how to get rid of acne marks. There are many solutions and what works for someone might not be the right solution for you. Don’t give up; how to get rid of pimple scars is not a one-size-fits-all answer. Stick with it, and don’t let your scarring stand between you and the confidence you deserve.
If you’ve exhausted this list of helpful ingredients, it might be time to head to the dermatologist and see what medical acne scar treatments are available for your complexion. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are a wide range of options out there, and the American Academy of Dermatology breaks down many popular ones. But before you go shelling out the big bucks on expensive procedures, test out these scientifically-backed ingredients used to get rid of acne scars. Give your product a bit of time to do its work before tossing it out and moving to the next one. Patience and perseverance are key here, so try not to feel jaded or dejected during your journey. A beautiful complexion awaits beneath those scars, and using these active agents can help you seek it out.
Abby Vinas has long been an active member of the holistic health community, advocating in favor of its benefits to both our physical and emotional well-being. Her commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle has made her an authority on self-care practices. Abby is passionate about fitness, nutrition, and proper skincare, and is also an avid lover of avocado toast and dog-petting.