Was your high school nickname something along the lines of “pizza face?” Even if you got rid of the once-pesky cysts, acne scarring could still make you feel insecure about your appearance.
You could see a professional dermatologist. However, treatments such as microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing come with hefty price tags. Before you part with your hard-earned cash, try these eight natural remedies for acne scars that could keep more green in your wallet.
1. Lemon Juice
Did you know that retinoids are a synthetic form of vitamin A — the same nutrient responsible for improving your eyesight? Citrus fruits such as lemon are powerhouses when it comes to this vitamin. Cut out the “middleman” and go directly to the source.
However, please use caution with this acne scar remedy. Just like retinoids make you more sensitive to the sun, so can lemon juice. Some people have experienced blistering and burning after using this home remedy.
The wisest course of action is to spot-test it on a small area first. Add the juice of one lemon to a scarred surface and let it dry. Make sure you use plenty of sunscreen afterward. Watch the effects — if it works, you have an inexpensive way to lighten acne scars and dark spots.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar might help to stop trouble before it starts. It contains a substance called succinic acid, which suppresses inflammation from a bacterium known for causing acne. Therefore, this stuff may stop scarring before it starts.
To apply, mix one-part apple cider vinegar with two to three parts water, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Apply the mixture to the scar using a cotton swab or ball. Leave it on for about 5 to 20 seconds until it begins to tingle, and rinse.
Please note that this and other acne scar remedies on this list doesn’t work instantaneously. You might need a month or more of continued application before you get the desired results — keep at it.
3. Rosehip Seed Oil
Scars appear more visible because their darker pigmentation contrasts with the surrounding skin. Rosehip oil contains linoleic acid, which can help reduce hyperpigmentation in affected areas.
Additionally, rosehip seed oil helps to inhibit sebum production. This sticky pore gunk is the culprit behind blackheads and whiteheads. Therefore, regular applications could help reduce the chance of future scarring.
4. Salicylic Acid
When you find facial care products containing BHA, that’s a fancy term for a mild form of salicylic acid. Higher concentrations of the stuff appear in items like wart removers, so you know that this ingredient is potent.
However, some BHA products are mild enough to use, even on sensitive skin. Therefore, if you respond poorly to retinoids, give this alternative a try. You might find it’s precisely what you need to reduce scarring.
If lemon juice appears on this list, you almost know you will see these bad boys. These synthetic forms of vitamin A are specially formulated to permeate the skin’s surface more effectively and increase cellular turnover.
The downside? You might look worse before things get better. The internet abounds with advice on how to survive the dreaded “retinoid uglies.” At first, the peeling and redness you experience can make you feel like a teenager all over again. Some people even endure increased acne when they begin use.
However, if you stick with the program, you will adore the results. Those who stay the course report silky smooth skin that feels like a baby’s.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Pimples result from bacteria, so the best way to tame it is to kill those nasty germs. While it may seem counterintuitive to use oil as an acne scar remedy, destroying the root cause of your repeated breakouts is crucial to prevent future scarring.
Tea tree oil possesses potent antimicrobial action to obliterate acne at its source. Like any essential oil, you’ll want to dilute it with a carrier oil. Coconut is often too rich for acne-prone skin, although it may work for combination complexions. Argan is a wise choice that won’t clog pores.
7. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a miracle succulent in many ways. You can break off a leaf and apply the juice directly to wounds and minor burns to disinfect and speed the healing process.
It’s no surprise, then, that aloe also works on acne scars. It helps to boost the body’s immune response, which destroys the bacteria responsible for future breakouts. Additionally, it stimulates collagen and elastin fiber production, which you need to fill in pitted scars.
Finally, aloe helps to reduce inflammation. As scarred areas can look worse due to redness, this substance can cool the burn. Look for moisturizers containing it to help survive the “retinoid uglies” if you prefer a one-two combo natural acne scar remedy combo.
8. Improved Nutrition
The rumors are true — a single piece of chocolate won’t necessarily cause a breakout. However, nor should you live on Hershey bars. There’s no doubt that improper nutrition can worsen acne eruptions and delay the scar healing process.
Try to avoid ultra-processed foods — many contain unhealthy levels of white flour, sugar and salt. Likewise, cut back on alcohol and fried, greasy foods. Opt for a diet high in fruits and vegetables to get your vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients necessary for ultimate skin health.
Try These 8 Natural Acne Scar Remedies for Smoother Skin
Anything that blemishes your appearance can cause unnecessary stress. Try these eight natural remedies for acne scars and enjoy a smoother complexion before you know it.