Acne can affect teens and adults to a variety of factors: hormonal changes, medications, diet and genetics. Acne can also cause scarring especially when breakouts are squeezed, picked and popped.
While some acne scars fade over time, others may be permanent. However, with some dermatologist recommended products that help to treat acne scars, the skin can lessen the damage caused by breakouts.
Types of acne scars:
Hyperpigmentation – This may be brown discolouration.
Depressed scars – Also known as atrophic scars, these include ice pick scars, boxcar scars and rolling scars.
Raised scars – These are also known as hypertrophic scars or keloid scars.
Unfortunately, topical treatments have limited use in treating acne scars. Physical acne scars treatments, like lasers, are often needed. However, thick and raised scars are treated with cortisone injections.
How to Choose the Best Products for Acne Scar Treatments?
types of acne scars
efficacy of the products for treating acne scars
any safety concerns patients should be mindful of
The 9 Best Acne Scar Removal Products
1. Dermatix® Acne Scar
Dermatix® Acne Scar is formulated with a combination of glycoprotein enzymes, hyaluronic acid and copper ions. This complex mix is beneficial in improving the appearance of acne scars by even out skin tone, deeply hydrating, stimulates collagen production and smoothens skin, calms irritated skin and is easily absorbed. Aside from providing optimal hydration and lightening effects, the scar enhancement gel improves oily, blemished and acne prone skin conditions.
– Innovative CPX Silicone technology and ActivGCS (snail slime extract) formulation
– Lightens dark marks and acne scars
– Prevents development of new acne blemishes and scars
– Anti-inflammatory, treats acne
CPX silicone, ActivGCS (snail slime extract), Vitamin E, Zinc Gluconate, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Massage Dermatix® Acne Scar twice daily over affected areas – once in the morning and once before bedtime – onto clean dry skin until fully absorbed. This may be followed by sunscreen and make up.
Price: SGD $21.50
2. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
– Clears and prevents breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads and blemishes
– Normalizing skin cell turnover and effectively targets two primary causes of Acne, clogged pores and inflammation
– Restores skin tones and skin’s surface
– Stimulates collagen production
Adapalene 0.1% (Retinoid)
Apply a thin layer of Differin Gel to clean, dry skin (full face) once daily morning or night, follow by your skincare routine and sunscreen.
Price: SGD $39.00
3. SkinBetter AlphaRet® Overnight Cream
– Significantly reduces the appearance of wrinkles in as little as four weeks, with little-to-no irritation.
– An ultra-hydrating blend of squalene, niacinamide, ceramides, fatty acids provide deep moisture to help counteract the dryness associated with traditional retinoid-based products.
– Combines two gold standard skin rejuvenation ingredients – retinoid and AHA (lactic acid) – joined together to create the revolutionary AlphaRet technology that works very well together.
– A potent blend of antioxidants helps neutralize free radicals.
Ethyl Lactyl (combination of lactic acid and retinoid), anti-ageing, reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
Glycolic Acid helps to increase the efficacy of Alpharet.
Squalene is a compound that is naturally produced by our sebaceous glands. It seals the outer layer to prevent loss of hydration and protects the skin without being too heavy or occlusive.
Ceramides and Fatty Acids are naturally produced by our body that forms a protective layer and intensively moisturise the skin and help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Niacinamide helps the skin produce more ceramides and reduce sebum production. Niacinamide can be beneficial to acne together with its anti-inflammatory properties.
Apply thin layer to entire face every other night or every two nights, follow by your skincare routine.
Price: SGD $190.00
4. SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense
– Reduces excess sebum production
– Decongests clogged pores
– Treats acne and reduces cystic acne
– Improves the appearance of blotchiness, blemishes, and uneven skin tone
– Diminishes visible signs of aging
– Prevents dark spots and hyper-pigmentation caused by inflammation or sun exposure
– Ideal for acne prone skin, oily, combination, and aging skin types
2% Dioic Acid is naturally derived from vegetables, this ingredient helps reduce excess sebum.
0.3% LHA (Caproloyl Salicylic Acid) a lipo-hydroxy acid, LHA, evenly exfoliates dead skin cells, decongests pores, and refines the skin’s texture.
1.5% Salicylic Acid (beta-hydroxy acid) refines pores and helps reduce the formation of acne.
3.5% Glycolic Acid and 0.5% Citric Acid. These alpha-hydroxy acids work synergistically for skin smoothening and minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Apply a thin layer on the affected area in the morning and night, follow by your skincare routine.
Price: SGD $178.00
5. Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting Liquid Exfoliants are gentler on delicate skin of the face & neck than an abrasive face scrub, which can cause micro-tears. A BHA leave-on exfoliator delivers hydration & can exfoliate directly inside the pore & improve how the pore works.
All skin types may use this product especially for those with normal to oily or combination skin, stubborn blackheads, and blemish-prone skin. All Paula’s Choice products are 100% fragrance free, clinically proven to be non-irritating, and never tested on animals.
– Clears & minimizes enlarged pores, blackheads
– Exfoliate dead skin cells
– Improves skin’s texture for radiant youthful even skin tones
– Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
Salicylic Acid (BHA) 2% penetrates pores to clear acne blemishes and shed dead skin cells.
Methyl propanediol hydrates while visibly enhancing the skin’s glow and the formula’s penetration.
Green Tea Extract is a potent antioxidant that soothes irritated skin while improving visible signs of aging.
Apply once or twice daily to entire face after cleansing, follow with your serum and/or moisturiser. Always finish with sunscreen on daytime.
Price: SGD $48.00
6. Murad InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment
A super-charged resurfacing serum to minimise post-blemish scarring. Murad’s InvisiScar Resurfacing Treatment has immediate and cumulative benefit – instantly ‘filling’ to unify texture while gradually lighten dark spots. It suits all skin types including sensitive skin. Murad’s Resurfacing Treatment is formulated without parabens, sulphates and phthalates.
– Reduces the appearance of acne scars
– Fills pitted acne scars
– Minimizes intensity of dark spots and red marks
– Can be used on old and new acne scars
Salicylic Acid Exfoliant (BHA) diminishes uneven scar texture and reveals a smoother complexion.
Centella Asiatica (Asiaticoside, Madecassic Acid, and Asiatic Acid) hydrates to support natural skin-barrier repair.
Hydroxytyrosol and Pure Vitamin C: Antioxidants that brightens and reduces the appearance of post-acne dark spots.
After cleansing, apply an even layer on affected areas daily, morning and night. Complete your morning skincare regimen with sunscreen.
Precautions: Stop using if any skin irritation.
Price: SGD $79.00
7. CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum with ceramides helps reduce the appearance of acne scars and visible pores while refine and improve skin texture. It is non-comedogenic, fragrance and parabens free.
– Formulated with encapsulated retinol to improve skin texture and improve smoothness
– Helps skin look brighter, smoother and more even skin tones
– Reduces the appearance of post-acne marks and visible pores
– Provides soothing benefits with niacinamide
Encapsulated Retinol resurface the skin surface
Licorice root extract is known to help brighten darker skin tones
Niacinamide helps to calm the skin
Ceramides: Essential for healthy skin, ceramides help restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier
Apply evenly to entire face daily in the morning and night, follow with your skincare regime. Always finish with sunscreen on daytime.
Price: SGD $34.90
8. Naturium Tranexamic Topical Acid 5%
This topical acid contains a high concentration of tranexamic acid to improve the appearance of PIH. It is perfect for those with sensitive, problematic skin. Naturium Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% is fragrance free, paraben free and dermatologist tested.
– Reduces the look of hyperpigmentation
– Targets uneven skin tone & uneven texture
– Calms & restores the skin barrier
Tranexamic acid, Kojic acid, Niacinamide
Apply an even layer onto entire face, avoiding eye areas, once daily morning and night. Follow with moisturiser and sunscreen. If mild sensitivity or redness occurs, reduce the frequency of usage. Shake well before use.
Price: SGD $44.80
9. Glytone Enhance Brightening Complex
Glytone Enhance Brightening Complex formulated with a synergistic combination of organic acids (glycolic acid and azelaic acid), it works to visibly diminish the appearance of discolouration and hyperpigmentation. The blend of gentle yet potent ingredients help to even and lighten your complexion.
– Improve the appearance of dull skin and unwanted spots for a more even, radiant tone.
– Leaves the skin soft and hydrated.
Glycolic Acid sheds dry, dead skin cells and encourages healthy cell turnover, allowing for better penetration and efficacy of other ingredients.
Azelaic Acid: diminishes the appearance of unwanted acne spots and brightens the skin.
Apply onto clean, dry skin daily morning and night, follow with your skincare regime and sunscreen during daytime.
Price: SGD $105.90
Apart using these products to improve acne scarring, there are a few other changes you may want to make to your skincare routine and scar treatment.
Sunscreen should be used daily for added protection. While some topical treatments may help to lighten the marks, with unprotected under sun, the marks can darken again.
Do not over apply
The number of applications per week varies based on the products. Avoid applying too much of products too soon. This will help to minimize skin irritation or dryness.
Cleanse and moisturise
In general, it is the best to cleanse prior to applying any leave-on or topical products, and apply moisturiser after use.
Talk with your doctor
If you are pregnant, be sure to talk with your doctor about the best acne scar treatments which products are safe to use and which you should avoid.