How to Get Rid of Acne Scars: Treatment Options And Remedies

June 07, 2020 10 min read 0 Comments

how to get rid of acne scars

 By Kali Kushner


A lot of people get acne and a lot have an ongoing battle with acne.  Acne is common most especially during the teenage years and adulthood. Acne affects about 85% of the population between ages 12 and 25 years old, with some experiencing some degree of acne scarring, as a result. 

What Are Acne Scars?

Acne scars can appear due to the damage caused by acne.  Acne tends to leave behind texture changes, dark marks, and redness. Depending on the type of scar, it may remain there for several months, or even years. 

Treating and getting rid of acne scars is not that easy but don’t fret as you’re not alone in that journey.  Acne  can be due to a lot of factors which includes (but not limited to) hormonal imbalances in our body, problems with digestion or another underlying health condition. Our hormonal imbalances may cause the glands to produce more oil than it needs, thus clogging pores and leading the pores to become swollen and inflamed. 

Dealing with acne is only half the battle as an inflamed blemish will stretch our collagen fibers overtime and which can lead to long term damage on our skin’s surface. This damage may leave acne scars that appear and red or dark marks or scars with an uneven, pitted texture.

Acne scars can leave a serious impact on one’s self-confidence. It’s hard to look beyond the discoloration and uneven texture after having these acne scars, but no worries, there are several methods for getting rid of acne scars.

Top ways to get rid of acne scars Include:

  • Microneedling
  • VIiamin C Serum
  • Retinoids
  • Niacinamide
  • Laser Therapy
  • Chemical Peels or AHAs
  • Vitamin E




To help treat acne scars, you should focus on preventing the risk of hyperpigmentation. If acne is able to be managed sooner rather than later, the likelihood of acne scars appearing will decrease.  The tips below can prevent hyperpigmentation which are the dark spots that result from acne from forming or staying as long on the skin.


  1. Reduce Inflammation: Topical products like a sulfur mask helps fight acne while preventing future breakouts.  Eat a balanced diet rich with colorful vegetables and berries to increase your anti-inflammatory food intake. Watch the sugar intake as sugars promote inflammation. Getting regular moderate exercise and consistent sleep schedule helps to reduce inflammation too.
  2. Wear Sunscreen: Wearing sunscreen most especially during swimming helps reduce pigmentation on your skin. It can also help reduce the risk of permanent acne scarring. Existing scars can be worsened when breakouts or flare ups are being exposed to the sun without any protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  I recommend a sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30. 


There are usually two major steps in treating acne scarring:

  1. Reducing the redness and hyperpigmentation due to inflammation and excess melanin production.
  2. Breaking down scar tissue to Improve skin texture. 

Treating the inflammation alone can improve the overall appearance of your acne scars when you experience a lot of discoloration. These discolored marks may fade over time when you use sunscreen to prevent them from darkening. However you don't want to just wait it out, below are products and treatments that can get rid of acne scars fast. 


Products And Treatments To Get Rid Of Acne Scars

  • Rosehip Oil
  • Microneedling
  • Retinoids
  • Vitamin C Serum
  • AHA
  • Niacinamide


1.  Rosehip Oil


Rosehip oil works best for dark spots or discoloration but it won't do much for textured acne scars. It works because contains a lot of natural Vitamin A to promote skin cell turnover, and it has a high concentration on linoeic acid which helps with discoloration. Rosehip oil is promising in treating acne too. Rosehip oil is ideal for getting rid of hyperpigmentation, but it may not have an effect on ice pick, or rolling scars.

To use, apply a small amount little on the freshly cleaned skin twice a day for several weeks to see results on dark spots and discoloration.




Retinoid products have been considered a go to ingredient especially to those with moderate to severe acne. They promote cell turnover or shedding of dead skin cells and development of collagen.  Take note that retinoids are not as strong as prescription strength retinol so retinoids are what you find in drugstore skin care products. 

You may also apply retinoids once or twice daily for several weeks for you to improve scarring. Feel like you’re breaking out from retinol? You may check this article to tell if you’re purging or breaking out - How to Tell If You’re Purging or Breaking Out.




Microneedling is an acne scar treatment which uses very fine needles to prick the skin. Its purpose is to promote the generation of new collagen, which is the foundation of skin to push the old damaged skin out and fill in acne scars over time.

Microneedling treats various acne scars and is great for indented or pitted acne scars. It can even improve wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Microneedling promotes absorption of topical products and it is good to try with theBanish Oil which is a natural vitamin c serum for greater improvement of acne scars. 

For an at home treatment, you use smaller sizes like the Banisher 2.0  that can be done once a week or every other week.  Consult your dermatologist or go in for an in office treatment if you have deep ice pick scars that may beed a more aggressive treatment. 


4. Use AHA For Discoloration And Acne Scars

Glycolic acid is an AHA which stands for alpha hydroxy acid.  This AHA is one of the most effective AHA and the most popular ingredient for getting rid of acne scars. Glycolic Acid can also reduce hyperpigmentation, acne, and discoloration.  Glycolic acidis a naturally occurring substance which offers many benefits to the skin such as rejuvenation and exfoliation. This type of acid is mostly found in chemical peels and can be used in daily skin care products without causing much irritation with the right PH and concentration. This ingredient is also included in the BANISH Pumpkin Enzyme Masque.


Mandelic acid, on the other hand, is a more gentle counter part of glycolic acid.  Mandelic acids are safe options for treating acne scarring on dark and sensitive skin types. Use mandelic acid in a leave-on product or in a stronger formula as chemical peel.




As we say, Vitamin C is one good source when it comes to getting rid of acne scars for its wound healing, collagen production, and brightening properties. We all need Vitamin C as a component to healthy skin. This is a good source for treating acne scars as it is responsible for our skin’s health, elasticity, collagen synthesis and reaction to environmental stress as well. 

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to both prevent acne scars, and Vitamin C applied topically in the form of L-Ascorbic acid has been shown to reduce dark marks as well as stimulate collagen production. Apply a Vitamin C Serum daily and try not to apply it at the same time as a retinoid product for optimal effectiveness. 


6. Need Something Gentle But Effective on Acne Scars? Try Niacinamide


Also known as nicotinamide, niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B-3 which is also an essential nutrient when it comes to treating acne scars. Niacinamide works by lightening any dark marks, reducing inflammation and improving tissue regeneration.

Niacinamide has several benefits on our skin – it builds keratin which keeps our skin firm and healthy, acts as a lipid barrier, reduces inflammation that may help ease the redness from eczema, acne and other inflammatory conditions, keeps our skin moisturized, and regulates oil production.


What About Severe Acne Scars?

 The tips that we had earlier talks about mild to moderate acne scars but what if you have more severe acne scarring? If your acne scars are not responding to the above treatments, it’s best to consult with a dermatologist and set an appointment with them to talk about stronger acne scar treatments.

For severe acne scars we recommend

  • TCA chemical Peels
  • Azeliac acid
  • Laser Therapy





Your dermatologist may recommend chemical peels that contain acids with higher concentrations. These peels work in the same way as those kinds you use at home, only that they work on a deeper level.

There’s a light duty chemical peel for treating acne. These peels are the most superficial of all chemical peels but may not be effective for deep or severe acne scars. During this treatment, your skin is being exfoliated using an alpha or beta hydroxy acid mixture. Deeper peels such as TCA peels should be done by a professional and can improve moderate to severe acne scars with the proper aftercare and with supervision of a professional.  




Your dermatologist may prescribe azelaic acid which either comes in a gel or foam. Azelaic acid works by clearing bumps, lesions and swelling caused by rosacea (which is a skin disease causing redness, flushing and pimples on face). This acid falls under dicarboxylic acids and it works to treat both rosacea and acne as well as lighten dark marks by slowing melanin production and blocking any abnormal pigment-producing cells.



 This type of treatment can be painful and expensive and usually requires a consultation with a dermatologist before you can undergo laser resurfacing.

There are a variety of laser treatments but it can be costly and you may need several sessions to see lasting results.  



The best ingredients and vitamins for acne scars include:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Salicylic and Glycolic Acid
  • Zinc Sulfate
  • Retinoids

Acne scars can be really unique and stubborn and finding out what acne scar treatment works best for you would be somewhat like a trial and error. It may take just one ingredient or a combination of them to finally see the results you want to achieve. Provided below are some of the best acne treatments to look out for which can be bought at your nearest local beauty supply or drug store.


  1. Vitamin E: This Vitamin helps heal your skin by strengthening its protective barrier and improving the overall formation of healthy skin cells and tissues to help heal acne scars. It also works to combat any free radicals which can possibly damage your skin and speeds up wound healing.  
  2. Vitamin C:Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is good for treating and healing acne scars as it helps brighten the skin and creates an even skin tone or complexion. This vitamin also treats dark spots and sun damage by increasing collagen production and brightening the skin by targeting the uneven pigment. This is a water-soluble vitamin which is effective in clearing up your skin and can be found in citrus fruits.This is also one of the main ingredients included in theBanish Oil,Vitamin C Creme andVitamin C Beauty Elixir.
  3. Salicylic and Glycolic Acids: These two acids team up together in helping acne scars by renewing and refining your skin. The glycolic acid helps improve the appearance of your skin and scars in a shorter period of time. Both work as chemical exfoliants in speeding up your skin cell turnover rate and help in sweeping away the old scarring and hyperpigmentation.
  4. Zinc Sulfate: Zinc as a treatment for acne scars has become a debatable question among dermatologists. Zinc can help treat acne in two ways: oral treatment (supplement) or topically (serum or cream). Its anti-inflammatory properties are helpful in reducing redness and swelling. This ingredient is rich in Vitamin A which is essential for clear skin and quick wound healing.
  5. Retinols: Also rich in Vitamin A, retinoids help speed up your skin cell turnover and pull dead skin cells out of the pores. Retinol helps in preventing the skin’s pores from becoming clogged with dirt and oil. They both work in promoting collagen production as well as helping with brown, red and textured scars. They both are good for treating acne scars.


Using Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Acne Scars

Natural remedies for acne scars are

  • Aloe vera
  • Lemon
  • Baking Soda
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Honey

For a natural product lover, using household products to get rid of acne scars could give mixed results, but if your acne scars are mild and limited to hyperpigmentation or discoloration, home remedies for acne scars could work for you. . Below are the most common household products which can be used as acne scar treatments and getting rid of those acne scars.

 natural ways to get rid of acne scars




Aloe is one of the best household products anyone can use to treat their acne scars as it helps them to heal faster by strengthening their collagen structure. It can also speed up the healing process and reduce acne scar formation. This is one possible way of getting rid of your acne scars but works better for hyperpigmentation instead of rolling or ice pick scars. Aloe Vera has been a popular plant remedy or solution for many skin problems such as acne.


This household product is not just useful for baking, but also for treating acne scars as a natural exfoliator. Baking soda helps in reproducing cells by removing the uppermost scar tissue layer by layer.


  1. HONEY


Another household product that is good for treating acne scars, honey is considered as the queen bee of acne scar home remedies. Honey contains anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and healing properties which make it a perfect solution for treating both acne and scars and help skin to heal faster as well as prevent scars from forming on your face.


  1. LEMON

Lemon contains Vitamin C which has both acne and scar healing qualities to brighten your complexion and fade hyperpigmentation. This fruit helps reduce  redness which is often associated with acne scars, but because lemon can sting and cause photosensitivity, it is recommended to use with caution, stay out of sun, and dilute it before applying. 



This fermented vinegar has a lot of useful functions, including fading your acne scars, naturally exfoliating and shedding away dead skin cells and fading acne scars as well in the process. It contains Vitamins A, B2, B6, C and E along with the natural lactic and malic acids which are responsible for gently exfoliating the skin for an even toned complexion.


It takes a lot of patience and consistency to see positive results, no matter what products or options you choose in treating acne. Don’t be afraid to try different options should the first one fail. Keep the healing going with some emotional treatment as well. Acne does not only leave us with deep physical scarring but emotional scarring too.


Feel free to check out The Secret To Being Truly Acne Free to help you get started on your journey to being more compassionate and confident.


You’re still beautiful with or without acne.


Products I Used To get Rid Of Acne Scars


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