Skincare Routine for Acne Scars

Acne scars can be a persistent and frustrating skin concern, but with the right Skincare Routine for Acne Scars, it is possible to significantly reduce their appearance and achieve smoother, clearer skin. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the most effective steps and products to incorporate into your daily regimen to help fade acne scars and promote a healthy complexion.

Table of Contents

    Understanding Acne Scars

    Acne scars form as a result of the skin’s natural healing process following a breakout. They occur when the skin produces too much or too little collagen during the healing process. There are several types of acne scars, including:

    1. Atrophic Scars: These are depressions in the skin and are subdivided into ice pick, boxcar, and rolling scars.
    2. Hypertrophic Scars: These are raised scars that occur when the skin produces too much collagen.
    3. Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): These are dark spots left on the skin after a pimple has healed.

    Daily Skincare Routine to Reduce Acne Scars

    1. Gentle Cleansing

    Start with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. Look for cleansers containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid, which help to exfoliate the skin and prevent clogged pores.

    Recommended Products:

    • CeraVe Renewing SA Cleanser
    • La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser

    2. Exfoliation Skincare Routine for Acne Scars

    Exfoliation is crucial for removing dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover. Use a chemical exfoliant containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic acid or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) like salicylic acid. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week to avoid irritation.

    Recommended Products:

    • The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
    • Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

    3. Toning

    Toners help to balance the skin’s pH and prepare it for the next steps in your routine. Choose a toner with soothing ingredients like witch hazel or rose water to calm the skin and reduce redness.

    Recommended Products:

    • Thayers Witch Hazel Toner
    • Pixi Glow Tonic

    4. Serums and Treatments

    Incorporate serums that target acne scars. Look for products containing vitamin C, niacinamide, retinoids, or hyaluronic acid. These ingredients help to brighten the skin, increase collagen production, and improve overall skin texture.

    Recommended Products:

    • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
    • SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
    • Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% (retinoid)

    5. Moisturizing

    Moisturizing is essential to keep the skin hydrated and to support its natural barrier. Choose a non-comedogenic moisturizer that suits your skin type. Ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid are beneficial for all skin types.

    Recommended Products:

    • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
    • Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel

    6. Sun Protection

    Sun exposure can worsen acne scars and PIH. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning, regardless of the weather. Sunscreen protects the skin from harmful UV rays and prevents further darkening of scars.

    Recommended Products:

    • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
    • La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Sunscreen SPF 60

    Types and Categories of Acne Scars

    Types and Categories of Acne Scars

    Atrophic Scars

    • Ice Pick Scars: Deep, narrow scars resembling punctures.
    • Boxcar Scars: Broad, rectangular depressions with defined edges.
    • Rolling Scars: Wave-like scars caused by subcutaneous tissue damage.

    Hypertrophic Scars

    • Keloid Scars: Raised, thickened areas of skin resulting from excessive collagen production.

    Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)

    • PIH Spots: Darkened patches of skin that form after an acne lesion heals.

    Symptoms and Signs of Acne Scars

    Visual Indicators

    • Discoloration: Red, brown, or dark spots where acne lesions once existed.
    • Texture Irregularities: Depressions or elevations in the skin surface.

    Physical Sensations

    • Tenderness: Scars may be sensitive to touch.
    • Itchiness: Some scars may itch during the healing process.

    Causes and Risk Factors

    Biological Factors

    • Genetics: A family history of acne can increase the likelihood of scarring.
    • Skin Type: Individuals with darker skin tones are more prone to PIH.

    Environmental Factors

    • Sun Exposure: UV rays can worsen the appearance of scars.
    • Pollution: Environmental pollutants can irritate the skin and exacerbate scarring.

    Lifestyle Factors

    • Diet: High sugar and dairy consumption can trigger acne.
    • Stress: Stress can lead to hormonal imbalances, increasing acne severity.

    Diagnosis and Tests

    Dermatological Assessment

    • Visual Examination: Dermatologists assess the type and severity of scars through a thorough skin examination.
    • Skin Imaging: Advanced imaging techniques can help visualize deeper scar tissue.

    Patient History

    • Medical History: Understanding past acne treatments and skin reactions is crucial.
    • Lifestyle Review: Evaluating diet, stress levels, and Skincare Routine for Acne Scars.

    Treatment Options for Acne Scars

    Treatment Options for Acne Scars

    Topical Treatments

    • Retinoids: Promote cell turnover and reduce hyperpigmentation.
    • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): Exfoliate the skin, improving texture and tone.
    • Silicone Gels: Effective for flattening and softening hypertrophic scars.

    Medical Procedures

    • Laser Therapy: Reduces scar depth and pigmentation.
    • Microneedling: Stimulates collagen production to improve skin texture.
    • Chemical Peels: Remove the top layer of skin, reducing scar appearance.

    Home Remedies

    • Aloe Vera: Known for its healing properties, it can soothe and reduce scar visibility.
    • Honey: Has antibacterial and healing properties that help fade scars.

    Preventive Measures

    Early Intervention

    • Proper Acne Treatment: Timely and effective acne management can prevent scarring.
    • Avoid Picking: Refrain from picking or squeezing acne to reduce scar formation.

    Skincare Routine for Acne Scars

    • Gentle Cleansing: Use mild cleansers to avoid irritation.
    • Regular Exfoliation: Helps in removing dead skin cells and promoting regeneration.

    Personal Stories or Case Studies

    Case Study: Sarah’s Journey

    Sarah struggled with severe acne and subsequent scarring. Through a combination of medical treatments and home remedies, she successfully reduced her scars, boosting her confidence.

    Case Study: John’s Experience

    John’s battle with hypertrophic scars led him to discover silicone gels and laser therapy, which significantly improved his skin’s appearance.

    Expert Insights

    Dr. Emily Ross, Dermatologist

    “Consistent skincare and professional treatments tailored to individual skin types can make a significant difference in managing acne scars.”

    Dr. James Carter, Plastic Surgeon

    “Advanced procedures like laser therapy and microneedling offer promising results for severe acne scars, but they should be administered by experienced professionals.”

    Additional Treatments for Acne Scars

    1. Chemical Peels

    Chemical peels involve applying a solution to the skin that causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off, revealing new, smoother skin underneath. They can be done at a dermatologist’s office or using at-home kits for milder versions.

    2. Microneedling

    Microneedling is a procedure that involves using fine needles to create tiny punctures in the skin. This process stimulates collagen production and can significantly improve the appearance of atrophic scars.

    3. Laser Therapy

    Laser treatments use focused light to target scarred areas. Different types of lasers can be used depending on the scar type and skin tone. Laser therapy can be very effective but typically requires multiple sessions.

    4. Dermal Fillers

    For deeper atrophic scars, dermal fillers can be injected to raise the depressed areas and create a smoother skin surface. The results are temporary and usually last between six months to a year.

    5. Topical Retinoids

    Topical retinoids can be very effective in treating acne scars. They work by increasing cell turnover and stimulating collagen production. Prescription-strength retinoids tend to be more effective than over-the-counter options.

    Lifestyle Tips to Support Your Skincare Routine

    1. Healthy Diet

    Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants can support skin health. Foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial.

    2. Stay Hydrated

    Drinking plenty of water helps to keep the skin hydrated and supports its natural healing processes.

    3. Avoid Picking at Your Skin

    Picking or squeezing pimples can lead to further inflammation and increase the likelihood of scarring. Always resist the urge to touch your face unnecessarily.

    4. Consistent Skincare Routine

    Consistency is key when it comes to seeing results from your Skincare Routine for Acne Scars. Stick to your regimen and be patient, as it can take several weeks to months to notice significant improvements.

    My non-toxic skin care routine to eliminate acne scars and pigmentation

    If you’ve ever struggled with acne, you know how great it is to finally have clear skin. But even after acne has healed, many of us still want to get rid of hyperpigmentation and acne scars. Depending on how noticeable your pimples are, they can be just as irritating as the pimples themselves.

    I struggled with acne in middle school, high school, and early college, but once it finally cleared up, I turned my attention to acne. scar. My hormonal cystic acne left me with numerous depressed scars and hyperpigmentation. Some parts were less noticeable, others were more noticeable, and that really took a toll on my self-confidence. I’ve gotten pretty good at hiding my scars with makeup, but I don’t need it anymore. I wanted to erase my scars and pigmentation and finally forget about my acne journey.

    Over the years I have tried various methods of removing scars. I started with topical medications and bought every over-the-counter and prescription product I could get my hands on. This started long before I realized the importance of using non-toxic beauty products, so I tried everything I could. I was pretty fearless. There was a pattern of products either not changing at all, or making things worse. Some products literally burned my skin, while others left stains on my skin for a long time. For example, when I used a cream containing hydroquinone to remove redness, a bright white ring remained on my skin for a long time (I did not expect my skin to become any whiter!). Various dermatologists told me the “best” products, but I didn’t see any improvement.

    My non-toxic skin care routine to eliminate acne scars and pigmentation

    After wasting too much money on products that never worked, I moved on to more aggressive treatments like physical skin peels, stronger chemical peels, and laser treatments. I started getting microdermabrasion and chemical peels fairly regularly, and then tried microneedling. Microneedling has given me great results. I then looked at different types of laser treatments, including Fraxel, IPL, Smoothbeam, and Clear + Brilliant. I have tried every type of laser except CO2, which I avoided. I wrote about my experience with Fraxel in this article.

    After receiving a series of consistent treatments, I wanted to give my skin enough time to truly regrow before deciding whether to undergo further treatment. After 5 or 6 Fraxel treatments while “waiting for it to be over” the results were not much better than consistent microneedling treatments, but microneedling treatments are much cheaper I noticed that. Then I discovered derma rollers. I wrote about this here. I immediately fell in love with derma rollers. Because you can achieve similar results to microneedling at a much cheaper price. Plus, I had complete control over where I applied it and how much pressure I applied to my skin, rather than having someone else do it for me. I have reliability issues when it comes to my own skin.

    I haven’t had laser treatments for about 2 years, but during that time I switched to non-toxic beauty products. Heading into this transition, I had the idea that I would probably never find a safe, non-toxic skin care product that would noticeably improve my scars. This is because they believed that nothing natural could be strong enough. But as I continued to try new products, I was happy to discover that I actually found a lot of non-toxic skin care products that gave me better results than any other $100 cream, serum, or scrub.

    My non-toxic skin care routine to eliminate acne scars and pigmentation

    Since I no longer actively fight acne, my skin care routine is now all about maintenance. When I eat something my body doesn’t like or when I’m detoxing, I get acne here and there, but my skin is usually clean. My main focus is to remove pigmentation and scars left by acne and prevent signs of aging. I have tried many products and treatments, but the regimen I am currently using is definitely the most effective I have ever used. Using these products together over an extended period of time produced better results than multiple laser sessions. However, that’s the point. It takes consistency and patience. Unfortunately, scars don’t disappear overnight. The top layer of skin must continue to be removed because new skin will grow in its place.

    While a high protein anti-inflammatory diet plays an important role in promoting healthy new skin cell growth, I want to share with you all the products I have used to improve my acne scars and pigmentation that have given me the best results. I have deep scars that still haven’t gone away (they’ve gotten smaller, but they were deep to begin with and will probably never go away completely), as have all my other scars (even after lasers) which are now basically imperceptible to me. These aren’t the only products I use in my daily skincare routine, but they are the main ones I want to share with those who suffer from scars and pigmentation.

    1- Dermaroller

    I’ve written about my dermarolling routine before. Check out that post for more information on dermarolling. Lately, I’ve been trying to do this once or twice a week, focusing on certain areas that need extra attention. I know this isn’t technically a product, but this is a crucial step in getting rid of my scars, as I truly believe the effects of the product are much better than if I hadn’t dermarolled before applying it. I only dermaroll my skin if I feel like it’s completely β€œhealed” from my last session. Aggressive dermarolling may cause your skin to become red or rough. Therefore, it is important to give the skin time to recover between sessions. I always recommend starting with a derma roller with the shortest needles before increasing the needle size. Dermarolling gave me the same results as microneedling at home. After cleansing and drying your skin, roll with a derma roller for the next step.

    2. Alitura Naturals Clay Mask

    I use this mask 2-3 times a week and it is the most effective mask I have ever seen if you want to get rid of scars and pigmentation. It’s not the kind of mask you’d wear on a girls’ night out just because it smells nice. This mask works for #WORKS. Mix clay mask powder and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl to form a paste and apply to clean skin until dry. Mixing it with apple cider vinegar will make the mask even more effective. However, if you want a less strong but still effective effect, you can also mix it with water. We recommend starting with water and only using ACV if your skin can tolerate it. I’ve had many peels and laser treatments over the years, so my skin can withstand just about anything.

    After putting on the mask, my skin does feel a little stinging, and when I take it off, my face is quite red. This is because the mask actually stimulates blood flow to your face. It is effective. Also, it is very strong so I always keep it away from my eyes. If you try this mask with ACV and find it too much, I recommend wiping the mask off and just using plain water with powder. For additional benefits, you can also add essential oils to the mask mixture, such as clary sage, blue tansy, frankincense, and lemon. I can’t say enough about this product. Be sure to listen to my podcast episode with Andy Hnilo, founder of

    Alitura Naturals (Episode 135). If you want to know more about how and why he developed this mask, it helped him remove large scars to heal wounds. The face of a seriously ill person after a traffic accident! Although the ingredients are all natural, this mask (mixed with ACV) gave me better results than a dermatologist’s chemical peel. Keep in mind that after such treatment, it is normal for the skin to become slightly red and irritated for a day (or more) before it recovers. Modifications and repairs. This also means that it’s especially important to be gentle with your skin in the days that follow.

    3. Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel

    I think this is a product that every woman needs in her skincare arsenal. This is a super gentle AHA/BHA peel that stays on the skin to reduce age spots, scars, fine lines, and skin texture. It’s made with 15 plant acids including glycolic, lactic, and malic acids to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, as well as hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids to soothe the skin. This peel is also very gentle, so feel free to leave it on overnight or use it several times a week. If you are just starting out, we recommend using it only once or twice a week. You can use it every other night if your skin tolerates it better. But in my opinion, most people will be fine if they eat it twice a week.

    This makes my skin softer and more radiant, while the texture and red spots slowly fade over time. When applied as a clear serum, it is absorbed into the skin while you sleep. You may feel a slight tingling sensation when you first apply it. After it is absorbed and dried, you can add moisturizers or other serums on top, which I will explain next. For me, this is definitely a divine product that I would recommend to all women. Even if you don’t have acne scars, this is a game changer in preventing signs of aging and it’s so gentle that anyone can use it and get benefits. I think it also works well in preventing acne. If you’re aiming for clearer, more radiant skin, grab this product!

    4. Clearstem Skincare

    Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel has been absorbed, apply a thin layer of Clearstem over it. This is also a non-toxic product and the results are truly amazing. I use Clear Stem every night and also in the mornings when I feel like my skin needs a little more TLC. This is a lightweight serum specifically designed to fight acne and aging, with stem cell properties that help reverse scarring. If nothing else has worked against acne, our dermatologists usually prescribe the active ingredient isoretinoin, a vitamin A derivative. About 80% of all patients recover after 4 to 5 months with this drug (the version available at is called Accutane), but usually You should be prepared for serious side effects.

    This product makes me feel like I’m doing a million amazing things at once. Prevents acne, prevents fine lines and wrinkles, heals scars, and moisturizes the skin. I love this product because it is very moisturizing on my skin, not greasy at all (I have oily skin) and absorbs completely so it doesn’t leave any residue or product feel on my skin. love. You can easily apply other products or makeup over it. This is also not a moisturizing lotion, but a thin serum.

    A small amount is enough to spread over the entire face, so one bottle lasts a long time. I also used it on other wounds on my body. It helped me get rid of a large scar I had on my knee since I was 10 years old. Collagen stem cells help in general skin healing. So if I have a rash or spot, I try to use this product in the morning and at night to help it heal faster. The two main ingredients are green tea extract and mushroom extract, which act as adaptogens to balance hormones in the skin and hair follicles. I love this because it makes my skin so soft and smooth within hours and with regular use I get incredible results. The combination of Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel and Clearstem has been a game changer for me. These two products work truly magically together. Nothing leaves skin looking softer and brighter than this duo. (If you’re interested in Clearstem, use my discount code “Wellness” to save $15!)

    5. Beautycounter #1 Brightening + Vitamin C Facial Oil

    Lastly, I apply Beautycounter’s Brightening Oil, which is my favorite facial oil. Just apply a thin layer or two all over your face. This blend of vitamin C and citrus oils promotes the growth of new skin cells and reduces the appearance of scars and red spots over time. This oil moisturizes and soothes the skin, especially after previous use of effective products. Vitamin C is essential to your skin care routine if you want to support collagen production and improve skin texture and tone. I also love the citrus scent. I think this oil is great for soothing the skin and reducing blemishes, as well as helping to prevent acne. This is the perfect facial oil for my oily skin and my skin has become less oily after using it regularly! I use this oil every night.

    These are the most effective products I’ve found to reduce scars and pigmentation naturally, and they’re all non-toxic and safe for your skin. However, as with all products, don’t expect to see amazing results immediately after just one or two uses. After doing this routine regularly for at least a month, I saw great results on my hyperpigmentation, and the more I continued with it, the better it got.

    To summarize, I use Dermaroll 1-2 times a week, Clay Mask 2-3 times a week, Beautycounter Overnight Resurfacing Peel almost every other night, Clear Stem daily, Brightening I use the oil every night. The way I use my products is on the days I do my derma roll, I also use the mask, resurfacing peel, clear stem, and no. Use 1 bottle of brightening oil. It’s like an at-home facial for targeted scar treatment. Apart from that, this formula can also help with many other skin problems besides scarring. Skin becomes brighter and smoother overall, preventing signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. These products are also effective against acne.


    By following a structured and consistent skincare routine, you can effectively reduce the appearance of acne scars and improve your overall skin health. Remember to choose products that are suitable for your skin type and address your specific concerns. Additionally, consider professional treatments for more stubborn scars. With dedication and the right approach, achieving smoother, clearer skin is within reach.