19 Best Acne Scar Treatments Products For Smooth, Clear Skin

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woman with no acne scars

With acne sometimes comes acne scars, which are natural and common. However, that doesn’t mean we want these scars to remain, whether on our face or body. While there is no cure-all acne scar treatment, there are lotions designed to clear up scarring, and the ingredients in these lotions make all the difference.

"If you are sensitive to benzoyl peroxide (it can cause an itchy red reaction on the face in some people), stay away from spot correctors as that is the predominant ingredient in them," says Kavita Mariwalla, MD, FAAD from Mariwalla Dermatology.

But there are other ingredients that aren't as harsh on the skin. “Salicylic acid is a fabulous way to combat acne in all skin types and can be found in a wash or in a lotion. If you tend to get small acne bumps known as comedonal acne, try OTC Differin lotion which is a retinoid. In general, those are strong enough to cause the skin to purge out those small bumps (which means it will be a little worse before getting better), and then prevent them from recurring,” Dr. Mariwalla add.

RELATED: How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars

Contrary to what some people may think, having acne still means you need to moisturize. However, there are some precautions to consider.

According to Dr. Mariwalla, “Be sure not to use a heavy cream. Try a moisturizing gel or even a serum. A hyaluronic acid serum is ideal for acne=prone skin because it won’t typically make you break out.”

With that in mind, these 19 products can help you treat acne scars at home.

1. Kate Somerville Anti Bac Acne Clearing Lotion

Anti Bac Acne Clearing Lotion is clinically proven to target pores to help clear existing acne, minimize excess oil production, and eliminate blackheads. Using an ultra-fine delivery system, benzoyl peroxide is delivered via a microscopic particle to affected areas, without over-drying.

(Sephora, $42)

2. Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment

Vichy Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Acne Treatment is an acne treatment moisturizer for adults with acne-prone skin. This new formula with Air Licium and Phe resorcinol technology acts on the appearance of pores and shine. With salicylic acid to treat, blemishes disappear, leaving your skin looking radiant and beautiful.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

3. Elina Organics Omega Serum

The Elina Organics Omega Serum contains wild cod collagen, an antioxidant powerhouse that acts as a filler for scars. The serum promotes collagen regeneration and helps to firm, calm, and rejuvenate. Layer it with your nightly moisturizer following exfoliation, and it helps your skin maintain its elasticity, increases hyaluronic acid production, and enhances skin hydration.

(Elina Organics, $52)

4. Georgia Louise Stem Cell Renewal Elixir

A powerful plant-based stem cell formulation decreases the appearance of fine lines, and softens and rejuvenates the skin. Stem cells help to support the longevity of aging skin by encouraging the regeneration of new skin cells, which stimulates the production of collagen in the skin.

(Knockout Beauty, $160)

5. Environ Intense C Boost Mela-Even Cream

Mela-Even Cream contains the lipid forms of the antioxidant vitamin C and E, which help to reclaim the appearance of healthy-looking, luminous skin. Not only does it help reduce scars, but it also helps to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and fine lines, and assists in maintaining a healthy skin appearance while supporting its natural sun defence against the harmful effects of UV rays.

(Check prices and reviews on Rescue Spa)

6. Murad Post-Acne Spot Lightening Gel

This is a powerful skin lightening treatment gel featuring hydroquinone that rapidly reduces post-acne skin discoloration and helps combat breakouts. Willow bark and tea tree leaf extract help treat blemishes and reduce irritation as AHAs exfoliate to restore clarity and tone. This works best with normal, oily and combination skin types.

(Visit Murad for pricing.)

7. Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment

This treatment fights the main causes of acne by regulating skin cell turnover and reducing inflammation deep in the skin to clear and prevent pimples, blackheads and clogged pores. Differin contains the first OTC Rx-strength acne-fighting retinoid. It’s gentler on your skin, while still effective, giving you the clear skin you want.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

8. Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector

Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector instantly brightens skin, with a high-potency fast absorbing formula that delivers the highest concentration of Vitamin C. With highly concentrated Accelerated Retinol SA, this advanced corrector works to renew the look of skin, brightening tone and helping fade stubborn dark spots and discoloration.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: How To Get Clear Skin Fast: 15 Tips For A Smooth, Acne-Free Complexion

9. SkinCeuticals Protect Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50 Plus

Formulated with state-of-the-art UV filters, this high protection moisturizing sunscreen helps prevent UV induced collagen breakdown and UV-induced dark spots. It protects skin from UVA and UVB rays, is easily absorbed into the skin, and comes in a lightweight formula.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

10. Nia 24 Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum

Nia 24 Rapid D Tone Correcting Serum visibly diminishes the appearance of dark spots and discoloration to significantly improve brightness, clarity and tone. Vitamin C normalizes pigment production while increasing collagen and providing antioxidant protection. Willowbark extract exfoliates dull, dead skin cells while betaine smoothes the skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

11. Instytutum Flawless Pads

These powerful, easy-to-use pre-soaked pads are formulated with glycolic, lactic, citric, hyaluronic and salicylic acids, plus Pro-Vitamin B5 and Niacinamide that reduce pore size, fine lines, and wrinkles, and improve skin tone, texture and luminosity. Purslane Extract acts as a strong soother, itch reliever and antioxidant, and also promotes collagen production and cell turnover.

(Knockout Beauty, $79)

12. Sobel Skin Rx 4.5% Retinol Night Treatment

This pro-level retinol night treatment is formulated with 4.5 percent retinol in the patent-pending SB-100 delivery system, arguably one of the highest concentration in any over-the-counter retinol product. Retinol is the gold standard in treating acne scars by stimulating cell regeneration for brighter, more even skin. Clinical results show that 90 percent of subjects noticed an improvement in skin texture.

(Sephora, $105)

13. Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion

A medicated formula that exfoliates and reduces excess oil that can lead to breakouts. It unclogs pores and controls excess shine. Ingredients salicylic acid and acetyl glucosamine help clear dead skin cells that can contribute to clogged pores. Lamincaria Sacharina extract helps reduce shine and addresses future breakouts.

(Sephora, $17)

14. FRESH Umbrian Clay Oil-Free Lotion

A unique and highly effective oil-free, non-comedogenic, lightweight moisturizer for combination to oily skin. Using clay that is mined in Umbria, Italy, it helps regulate sebum production, absorb impurities from blocked pores, calm flare-ups, and neutralize excess acidity on the skin which purifies and brightens the skin. This lightweight lotion gently hydrates, tones, and balances the complexion.

(Sephora, $38)

15. Kiehl's Breakout Control Acne Treatment Facial Lotion

This is a redness-reducing lotion to help correct and prevent future blemishes. It helps to correct and prevent future blemishes, while reducing the appearance of dullness and rough texture. Formulated with acne-clearing salicylic acid and pine bark extract, this lotion calms and soothes redness and evens skin tone for a clearer complexion.

(Sephora, $50)

16. Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2

A gentle, oil-free exfoliating lotion for dry or combination skin. Developed by Clinique's dermatologists, the smoothing formula whisks away flakes and refines pores to reveal a clearer complexion. The cool, refreshing formula removes dead cells from the surface of the skin helping moisturizer and makeup to apply evenly.

(Sephora, $17)

17. Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion

This lightweight, oil-free moisturizer helps reduce shine and refine the appearance of pores for smoother skin texture without causing blemishes. Retinol supports natural cell turnover to help keep pores clear while hyaluronic acid and honey extract hydrate. Allantoin and arnica soothe, smooth, and condition skin.

(Sephora, $42)

19. Origins A Perfect World Age-Defense Treatment Lotion with White Tea

This moisturizing treatment helps surround skin in an age-defending protective bubble. Silver tip white tea and revitalizing trehalose serve up an extra helping of hydration. It leaves skin soft and prepared for treatments to follow.

(Sephora, $27)

19. Image Skincare Clear Cell Medicated Acne Lotion

Fast-acting benzoyl peroxide attacks acne-causing bacteria to treat blackheads, blemishes and clogged pores at the source, and helps to control excess oil that can become trapped in pores and cause new breakouts. Botanical brighteners battle redness from existing and past blemishes, helping to fade the appearance of acne marks and reducing irritation from active breakouts. Antioxidants defend against the effects of free radical damage.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: 18 Best Pimple Patches To Heal Acne Overnight

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.

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