As if it’s not enough to deal with acne, sometimes our pimples leave behind acne scars that are extremely hard to hide even with concealers and take very long to heal.

With maskne becoming a common skincare woe due to mask-wear, most people are experiencing more breakouts than before. Knowing how to get rid of acne scars is just as important as learning how to cure acne.

Read on to get all the tips and product recommendations that can help you get rid of acne scars so you can start seeing a more even and radiant complexion.

What causes acne scars?

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Remember how you often hear the skincare advice of not picking at your pimples because it may lead to scarring. You probably already know that but you may not know why it does.

Acne is essentially an inflammation that causes a “wound” in your skin that needs to heal. When we pick at our pimples, it may either introduce more bacteria to the affected area, causing more inflammation or cause further damage to our skin cells if we are too harsh in the process.

Our skin responds to these damages by forming collagen to repair the skin cells and also producing melanin to protect the area.

When our skin produces too much collagen during the repair, it can result in a mass of raised tissue on the skin, known as keloid scarring. Asians, along with African-Americans and Hispanics, are predisposed to experience keloid scarring compared to other ethnicities.

On the other hand, when too little collagen is produced to fill in the loss of skin tissue, you may get an atrophic or depressed scarring, which look like pits.

Melanin produced to protect the affected area appear as “red” or “dark” blemishes. This can worsen if you’re exposed to UV rays without using sun protection.

For keloid scarring and atrophic scarring, you’ll find it hard to get rid of them using topical products. For keloid scarring, many may turn to laser treatments to smoothen out the look, while atrophic scarring can be made better with fillers, which can only be done at an aesthetic clinic. If you’re interested in in-clinic treatments, you can check out this acne scar removal treatment guide.

Skincare routine: How to get rid of acne scars

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Scars that are darkened by melanin, on the other hand, can be improved with a good skincare routine.

Exfoliate

Exfoliation can help brighten the appearance of your acne scars. This step is also an essential one when it comes to preventing pimples from occurring, so it’s definitely a good skincare step to adopt if you have acne-prone skin.

To learn more about how to exfoliate and the products to use based on your skin type, read our guide on how to exfoliate.

Spot correctors

Spot correctors are targeted treatments that help to prevent the overproduction of melanin and also break down clustered melanin. Many of them are used by those who suffer from hyperpigmentation but can work equally well on acne scars.

Sun protection

Exposure to UV rays without protection can darken the appearance of these acne scars as more melanin is produced to protect your skin from UV damage. Making sure you’re wearing sufficient sunscreen can help to prevent the appearance of acne scars from worsening.

Products to get rid of acne scars

Lancome Clarifique Intense Spot Eraser

Lancome Clarifique Intense Spot Eraser

Packed with resurfacing ingredients and vitamin C, this spot corrector improves skin concerns including dark spots, enlarged pores, and blemishes like acne scars.

It also helps to refine your skin texture so it appears smoother than before.

Retails for S$165. Click on the links to compare prices.

Lancome boutiques and counters
Sephora

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask

REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask

For an exfoliant with strong resurfacing benefits, try this peel mask.

Formulated with a cocktail of four AHAs, this eliminates dead skin cells so that acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and spots caused by sun damage.

Retails for S$65. Click on the link to check for promotions.

LookFantastic

Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector

Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector Cult-favourite

This popular serum is known for improving the appearance of dark spots, age spots, and acne scars, thanks to a proprietary brightening molecule in its formula.

Infused a blend of anti-irritants and soothing botanicals, it gets rid of damage caused by environmental aggressors to prevent the triggering of skin darkening in the future too.

Retails for S$150 (50ml) or S$115 (30ml). Click on the links to compare prices.

Lazada
Sephora

Indeed Labs Retinol Reface

Indeed Labs Retinol Reface

A super-concentrated night cream, this contains Retinol, Bakuchiol, and retinol-like Pepetides to fight signs of ageing.

While it is primarily an anti-ageing product, it delivers benefits for improving skin texture and acne scarring too. In other words, it’s a perfect moisturiser to go for if you’re trying to get rid of acne scars while on an anti-ageing routine.

Retails for S$30. Click on the link to check for promotions.

LookFantastic

Verso Dark Spot Fix

Verso Dark Spot Fix

Whether it’s age spots, sun spots, or acne scars, this is the fix-it-all solution to go for.

The concentrated product contains a high dose of Retinol 8 Complex, which stimulates collagen production while reducing the appearance of dark spots.

Retails for S$225. Click on the link to check for promotions.

LookFantastic

Caudalie Vinoperfect Instant Brightening Moisturizer

Caudalie Vinoperfect Instant Brightening Moisturizer Gentle formula

For something that’s ideal for daily skin maintenance, this is the ideal product to go for.

Enriched with Viniferine and Niacinamide, this dark spot-correcting moisturiser prevents all types of dark spots, including sun spots, ageing spots, acne scars, pigmentation marks, and even pregnancy mask.

It evens out your skin tone while offering instant hydration so your complexion looks radiant over time.

Retails for S$75. Click on the link to check for promotions.

Sephora

Thalgo Targeted Dark Spot Corrector

Thalgo Targeted Dark Spot Corrector

Formulated with marine skincare ingredients such as the Brown Algae extract and Date Palm extract, this treatment works by inhibiting melanin production and treating pigmented skin including acne scars locally.

You’ll love that it has a lightweight texture and delivers a sensorial application experience, thanks to the brand’s background in spa therapies.

Retails for S$82. Click on the link to check for promotions.

LookFantastic

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

This bestseller from Kiehl’s is formulated with Activated Vitamin C, a stable form of the well-loved skincare ingredient, to deliver skin-brightening benefits.

Besides eliminating the appearance of dark spots and evening out skin tone, it also prevents the formation of future dark spots and other skin discolourations.

This has a gentle formula that can be used twice daily.

Retails for S$94.

Kiehl’s boutiques and website