Your Definitive Guide to Fading Acne Scars
As if getting a breakout isn't annoying enough, that lingering mark it leaves behind long after it subsides always proves to be even more obnoxious. "Acne scars are a two-part issue—color and texture," says Lisa Goodman, PA, of Los Angeles' Goodskin clinic. "The reason there are so many options for acne scar correction treatments are because thre are different types of acne scars, and relative strengths and weaknesses to all modalities to correct and improve them." Though the dark spots left behind eventually do fade on their own, we know all too well the struggle of having to conceal them for what seems like weeks on end, leaving us to seek out alternatives to help speed up the process.
Dermabrasion continues to be one popular method in Goodman's offices for scar revision, and although it's an older method, it's classic for a reason. "As opposed to microdermabrasion, dermabrasion uses a rotating diamond-tipped wheel to remove the epidermis layer of the dermis," she explains. "There is far less chance of losing pigmentation to your skin over other alternatives, and a much smaller window of redness. I incorporate it regularly for acne scarring and scar revision." A newer treatment Goodman practices is that of the CO2 laser, which uses carbon dioxide in conjunction with a laser to vaporize away the layers of skin, though keep in mind that you'll have slightly longer downtime with this treatment than dermabrasion.
If indented scars are your issue, seek out treatments and products to help restimulate collagen production. Lasers or LED facials that use blue and red lights would be your best bet. "It's not immediate and you have to seek continuous treatment to achieve your desired result, but it's one of my favorite methods for effecting skin," Goodman explains. "When you try and spot treat an acne scar, the skin is already a different texture from the rest, so sometimes, you need to consider treating the skin as a whole so you can get your complexion to its optimum equilibrium for continuity purposes." The treatments will kick-start your collagen production, and over time, those annoying marks will start to fill in and blend with the rest of your skin.
In addition to the recommended in-office treatments, Goodman outlined a few of her favorite at-home remedies below. Keep scrolling to shop each one, and to find out more about the products!
Tria Age-Defying Laser
Although the Tria Laser is designed to fade premature signs of aging, it works wonders at making those stubborn dark spots completely nonexistant and resurfacing areas with indented scars. "I was so impressed with this device, I decided to sell it in my own office, and it's one of the most popular items with my patients today as far as at-home use," Goodman tells us. "It stimulates collagen back to its original state, which is great for anti-aging, but it's also great at creating and building new skin that will better eliminate anything older or dormant."
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum
Goodman notes this nourishing face oil as one of her favorite natural remedies, with the bergamot peel oil ingredient, which inhibits melanin production while fading existing spots, in particular being the hero of the mixture.
Tammy Fender Skin Tone Brightening System
The addition of licorice root in Tammy Fender's two-step formula is gentle enough to counter hyperpigmentation on any complexion type—even if you're the type who prefers Twizzlers—and also helps to block out free radicals.
Biologique Recherche Serum Pigm 400
Another of Goodman's favorite spot-fading formulas, Biologique Recherche's Serum will completely fade any signs of hyperpigmentation within just a few weeks, while imparting an otherworldly glow.
RoC Multi Correxion 5-in-1 Daily Moisturizer
Though Retinol is fantastic for counteracting any discoloration, the ingredient can often be too aggressive for sensitive skin types. That's why we love RoC's Daily Moisturizer, which packs just enough punch to impact dark spots, but balances the potent element with extra-hydrating ingredients like glycerin. Better yet, the SPF 30 acts as armor against external factors that could trigger melanin production.
La Roche-Posay Mela-D Pigment Control Serum
Infused with both kojic and glycolic acids, uneven tone should fade dramatically after two weeks of use, and will be completely gone within eight weeks.