The 14 Best Acne Scar Treatments of 2023, According to Dermatologists



Acne is no one's best friend. In fact, it is the enemy whom we are plunging into the vast abyss. But sometimes there's nothing we can do about it—even if our dermatologists strongly advise us not to, we still get breakouts.


The worst part? You'll be left with unwanted scars that may last for a long time, depending on the severity of your acne. "The success of any acne scar treatment really depends on the severity of the scar," says Dr. Jennifer Chwalek a board-certified dermatologist and trained board-certified skin surgeon at Unionderm, told the New York Post. "The earlier you start treating acne (and scarring), the easier it will be."

Do you want to take away the most important thing? Get acne under control before it scars. (Related: Best Acne Body Washes and Best Acne Spot Treatments). "For minor pigment changes and/or minor texture changes , scarring can be permanently treated and/or improved (provided the acne is under control; otherwise it will just create more scarring)," adds Dr. Chavalek added. "As scars become deeper (such as ice pick) and more severe, they sometimes become more difficult to remove permanently, although we can often improve their appearance."


Previously, the New York Post shopping team asked several board-certified dermatologists and certified skin care experts to hand-pick 14 of the best treatments for acne scars. Additionally, we've put together a detailed FAQ section to answer your acne-related questions.

1. La-Roche Posay Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% Topical Tretinoin for Acne Treatment. "Effaclar Adapalene Gel 0.1% is an over-the-counter retinoid that can produce collagen and improve acne scars,"


Ryan Turner, a board-certified dermatologist who practices cosmetic dermatology, surgical dermatology, and laser surgery, told Washington post". Plus, the formula has over 6,000 positive reviews on Amazon alone and is fragrance and oil-free to prevent irritation, making it especially suitable for sensitive skin.

2. SkinCeuticals Advanced Scar Control: "This powerful gel uses silicone as the active ingredient to improve acne scars," says Dr. Rahi Sarbaziha, an integrative aesthetic doctor in Beverly Hills, told The Washington Post. “Silicone has been proven to help seal scars and help restore the skin barrier to ensure even skin texture. While it's a treat, this product helps treat new and fresh scars - ideal if you've been suffering from acne flare-ups for a while.


3. Proactiv Acne Scar Gel: "This acne scar gel contains bakuchiol because it's a plant-based alternative to retinol, which improves collagen production without causing irritation," says Dermatology, MD a double major in dermatopathology Brendan Camp, MD, a nurse practitioner and dermatology patient at MDCS Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, told The Washington Post in recommending the product.

Not only is Proactiv a household name (when it comes to treating acne), but this travel-friendly tube can be used daily as needed and also helps treat old and new scars.


4. Naturium Multi-Bright Tranexamic Acid Treatment 5%: “Naturium Multi-Bright Tranexamic Acid 5% is a combination therapy that, in addition to harnessing the properties of tranexamic acid to treat hyperpigmentation and redness, also contains kojic acid and arbutin to further combat hyperpigmentation ,” explains Dr. Naturium Multi-Bright Tranexamic Acid 5%. turner. In addition to the beautiful bottle this formula is a great beauty product for under $25, and it meets many of our criteria: paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, It is said to be suitable for many skin types.

5. Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Enhancer: "This acid booster uses azelaic acid to even skin tone and appearance," notes Dr. Sarbaziha. "This is a good option for patients looking to reduce hyperpigmentation and mild post-acne blemishes." The formula also has a lightweight, oil-free, creamy gel texture to give your scars the extra moisture they need.


6. Olay Vitamin C + Peptide 24 Brightening Serum “Vitamin C with antioxidant properties, peptides that promote collagen production, and vitamin B derivative niacinamide that improves moisture and soothes the skin are all included in this brightening serum. Essence "Included," says Dr. Camp Highlights. Plus, this serum has a subtle citrus scent, feels ultra-light, and leaves no greasy or sticky residue.

7. CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM “CeraVe PM contains nicotinamide, which reduces PIE and PIH,” says Turner. "The benefit of this product is the moisturizing properties of its ceramide and hyaluronic acid ingredients, which help restore the skin barrier." This product remains one of our most used products (even for basic skin care, not just acne scars) and comes from one of the best skin care brands we've ever tested.


8. ISDIN Melatonik Night Recovery Serum "This hydrating serum contains a powerful blend of three repairing ingredients—vitamin C, bakuchiol, and melatonin," says Sarbaziha. "It restores color and elasticity to the skin, helping to restore the skin's long-term health." You can rest assured you'll be delighted with this luxurious formula. The 3-in-1 formula contains three ingredients that brighten (vitamin C), anti-aging (retinol) and soothe (melatonin).

9. Ordinary azelaic acid suspension 10% "This cream contains azelaic acid, which is known for its ability to smooth texture, minimize discoloration, and reduce inflammation," Camp says. Not to mention, how could you live without this great helper for under $15?


10. SkinMedica Anti-Aging Retinol Complex 1.0 “SkinMedica Age Defense Retinol Complex targets anti-aging effects, but the retinol complex stimulates collagen production to reduce acne scars,” notes Turner. Plus, we found the balanced formula—specifically designed to have anti-aging and regenerative, collagen-building properties—to be extremely enjoyable and worth the investment.

11. iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance Plus “Infused with ingredients like kojic acid to fight hyperpigmentation and antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E to protect against free radical damage, this lightweight serum is marketed to treat a variety of skin concerns, These include acne, rosacea and acne. Contact skin dermatitis and insect bites," Kemp explains. Still, this versatile treatment deserves a spot in your skincare collection.


12. Differin Scar Removal Gel "Differin is a mainstay in acne treatment, and this particular gel contains the natural active ingredient backuchiol, which uses retinol-like properties to stimulate collagen to fight acne scars," says Turner. Coincidentally, according to Turner, the same goes for ISDIN's Melatonin (listed above). Another fun fact: Differin has the same active ingredient as the La Roche-Posay product mentioned above: adapalene.

13. Mederma Advanced Scar Gel "Granted, this particular product is more of a general scar treatment, but it can include acne scars, surgical scars, and scars from burns or cuts," says Turner, recommending Mederma Advanced Scar Gel. "The texture can be sticky if not massaged into the skin sufficiently." Not to mention, this skin protectant is available at many online retailers and comes in a travel-friendly tube that can treat acne on the go.


14. Versed Dark Spot Gel Beyond Sight Versed Out of Sight Dark Spot Gel is an affordable skincare product for correcting dark spots and fading acne scars that contains tranexamic acid, one of today's hero ingredients for lightening pigmentation. "It's enhanced with ingredients like kojic acid, niacinamide, and licorice root to fight unwanted pigmentation through multiple mechanisms," comments Turner. "As a bonus, it has a precise applicator to focus on dark spots."

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