How to Reduce Acne Scars (and Prevent New Ones from Forming)

how to reduce acne scars

Acne scars happen to nearly everyone. Sometimes even the smallest pimple can leave behind dark spots—or change the texture of your skin. The good news is that with the right products, treatments and some patience, they can be greatly reduced. Here are the five best ways to reduce acne scars.

1. Apply Aloe Vera

Beyond just soothing sunburns, the healing plant has been used in herbal medicine for over 2,000 years because it contains saponin that’s made up of antibacterial components. So while it's super hydrating (which is why our skin drinks it up after too much sun), it's also naturally antibacterial. Spot-treat your problem areas with an all-natural gel twice a day to soften any damage caused by acne.

Hampton Sun ($28); Zents ($33); Rejuvi ($27); Grown Alchemist ($59)

2. Use Vitamin C

It’s one of the most effective ingredients out there for brightening skin. Get a bottle of serum—or dilute a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice with water to make your own solution. When applied to scars, it gradually fades their appearance over time. The vitamin inhibits pigment production so you get a more even-toned complexion everywhere. Just be cautious around open wounds.

Neogen Real Vita C Powder Lemon ($20);Truskin Vitamin C Serum ($20); Maelove the Glow Maker Antioxidant Serum ($28)

3. Try Micro-needling

Collagen is a protein in our bodies that helps heal wounds. This treatment (either in a dermatologist's office or with an at-home roller) encourages your body to create more collagen by pricking hundreds of microscopic holes in the top layers of your skin. This, in turn, speeds up the healing of scars.

4. Wear Sunscreen Daily

This one is a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating: Applying sunscreen daily is essential. Luckily, the latest formulas are so lightweight and sheer, it’s hard to believe it’s even sunscreen. If you’re constantly exposed to the sun, the acne spots will only get worse. Keep brown spots at bay by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen under your makeup every morning—rain or shine.

Supergoop! ($12); Make P:rem ($32); La Roche-Posay ($36); Elizabeth Arden ($68)

5. Visit The Derm

Most scars should fade within two months, but for particularly stubborn spots, you might need to see a dermatologist. Between fillers (which are sometimes used to plump up a pitted scar) to fractional lasers (which break up pigmentation), there are plenty of options.

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