Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.

Saved! Access Favorites in your account profile. Removed from my favorites

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Acne Scars

  1. Begin
    Opener (13)

    SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    This isn't news to anyone, but I feel it bears repeating: Acne scars suck. Anyone who has suffered from post-pimple hyperpigmentation knows this truth to be self-evident. And, post-puberty, they affect every age and skin color. They manifest as red or brown marks that can last weeks — and sometimes, for the really unlucky, months. As someone from that unlucky category, I can confidently tell you that I have tried every — and I mean every — remedy known to man.

    I'm also a realist: I know the only permanent ways to eradicate this woe immediately are lasers and Retin-A. But those options continue to be out of reach for the majority of those who are afflicted with this stupid, infuriating skin condition. (What? I'm not bitter.)

    That said, quite a few at-home, non-prescription products do a damn good job of fading those marks faster, to get you back to the even-toned complexion you had before that massive breakout. And, for the most part, they don't cost an arm and a leg. As anyone who has spent hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years in a fruitless effort to win the war on zits knows, that's a huge selling point. While these products, for the most part, have no real effect on actually preventing blemishes, we know that fading those dark marks is half the battle.

    Ahead, check out 17 tested scar lighteners that are the everyday heroes of our beauty arsenal. And, if I missed any, let me know in the comments what you swear by. Knowledge is power.

    The grown-up guide to dealing with acne. Read more from The Acne Diaries here.

    Begin Slideshow
  2. SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    0 of 19
    }

    The retinol in this night oil will help reduce the visibility of your dark spots over time while also working to help erase the acne you've already got.

    Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, $105, available at Sephora.

  3. SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    1 of 19
    }

    This one comes with a hefty price tag, but it's well worth the money. The serum targets spots fast and leaves your face with an immediate glow.

    Shiseido White Lucent MicroTargeting Spot Corrector, $130, available at Shiseido.

  4. SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    2 of 19
    }

    Products labeled as brightening — or, whitening in some Asian countries — often get a bad rep. But they're acne scars' worst enemies as they're formulated to rid your visage of pesky marks. This treatment from GlamGlow isn't necessarily something you can use every day, but you can whip it out weekly in addition to the other mainstays on this list.

    GlamGlow Flashmud Brightening Treatment, $69, available at Sephora.

  5. SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    3 of 19
    }

    One of the big issues with acne-scar treatments is that you have to do some serious sleuthing to find the right products — very few brands mention "acne scars" on their labels. Most use ambiguous descriptions and names that hint at brightening, evening the skin tone, or addressing hyperpigmentation.

    One of the few exceptions is this straight-to-the-point tube from Clean & Clear. It uses a known acne-fighting ingredient — salicylic acid — to help treat pimples and lessen post-breakout marks. A two-for-one deal, for the price of a coffee and a croissant from that fancy spot down the block — you can't beat that.

    Clean & Clear Advantage Mark Treatment, $7.97, available at Walmart.

  6. SHARE IT

    comments
    See All Slides
    4 of 19
    }

    Modeled after the most popular treatment in aesthetician-to-the-stars Kate Somerville's Beverly Hills clinic, the original DermalQuench Liquid Lift has the bonus, unadvertised side effect of minimizing the duration and healing time of zits.

    The latest iteration has the added benefit of retinol. While it's touted as a wonder anti-wrinkle ingredient, it's also less commonly noted for its hyperpigmentation-disappearing powers. The lightweight texture and unique delivery system also make it kind of fun to apply.

    Kate Somerville DermalQuench Liquid Lift + Retinol, $98, available at Kate Somerville.