How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

Let’s face it: The only thing more frustrating than your skin going through a rough patch with acne is a case that seems to permanently damage your skin. Acne scars can strike any skin type and at any age, leaving behind dark red or brown marks and an uneven, pitted texture. Depending on the severity, acne scars can last weeks, months—or longer.

If you’re seeing scars, there are things that can help. Skin resurfacing at your dermatologist’s office—which can include chemical peels, dermabrasion, lasers, or a combination of the three—is the fastest route back to a smooth complexion, and probably your best bet if you’re dealing with very deep pits. But there are also steps you can take at home to make these stubborn marks fade away.A good starting point is a fading cream that contains kojic acid, vitamin C, and lower-strength hydroquinone, says R. Sonia Batra, M.D., a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at USC Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles. “Then to really blend scars over time, retinol, which is a vitamin A derivative, can help promote cell turnover and collagen formation,” she adds. (Bonus: In addition to clearing acne scars, retinol can help prevent new acne from popping up in the first place, and it’s a potent anti-aging ingredient.)We asked top derms share how to shop the labels of products designed to get rid of acne scars. Their recommendations will help lighten up new or old scars and even prevent future problems. Warning: Flauntable, clear skin ahead.

1/7 Photograph courtesy of SkinMedica
SkinMedica Retinol Complex

Since you really need cell turnover to improve your skin’s appearance, a good retinol is important, Batra says. As long as your skin is tolerant of retinol treatments, this will revamp your cells in a hurry.

Buy now: $93,

2/7 Photograph courtesy of ProActiv
Proactiv Advanced Dark Spot Correcting Serum

Hydroquinone is a popular scar-diminishing ingredient, Batra says. It inhibits your body from producing melanin, which helps eliminate discoloration. This formula contains 2 percent of it, which is what Batra recommends you look for.

Buy it: $48,

3/7 Photograph courtesy of Neostrata
Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller

Rocking a scar that just won’t fade? The combo of retinol and vitamin C in this formula packs a double-punch of power against pesky scars.

Buy it: $70,

4/7 Photograph courtesy of Replenix
Replenix All-trans-Retinol Smoothing Serum

“This works really well,” says Shari Sperling, M.D., a dermatologist at Sperling Dermatology in Florham Park, NJ. It does wonders for angry-looking scars because it has anti-inflammatory properties like green tea, and the retinol plumps up your body’s collagen production.

Buy it: $76,

5/7 Photograph courtesy of Natural Escapes
Natural Escapes Anti-Aging Fading Serum

Since rebuilding collagen is key for battling back against scars, according to Angela Lamb, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, this bottle contains the ingredients that do just that—antioxidants, retinol, vitamin C and kojic acid. And if organic is your thing, this also happens to be all-natural.

Buy it: $50,

6/7 Photograph courtesy of NewGel
NewGel+E Advanced Silicone Gel

The medical-grade silicone formula seals up your scar so it can properly heal, while the vitamin E enhances moisture to help fade marks even faster, which is what makes it a favorite of Kim Nichols, M.D., a dermatologist at NicholsMD in Greenwich, CT.

Buy it: $33,

7/7 Photograph courtesy of MDSolarSciences
MDSolarSciences Mineral Beauty Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Prevention should also be part of your plan, Batra says. So the next time a pimple pops up, make sure you slather on a good non-pore-clogging sunscreen. “This will help prevent it from leaving a discolored mark that could last for months,” she says. “I prefer mineral sunscreens that contain micronized zinc oxide.”

Buy it: $37,

Source: How to Get Rid of Acne Scars

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