Acne scars are probably one of the most annoying side effects of having acne because it could literally be years since your last breakout and still, the acne scars remain! I know perfectly well how THAT feels, and I’m sure many of you do too.
So how do you treat acne scars without all the chemicals and invasive treatments?
Well firstly, we need to identify which type of acne scar you have as it plays an important roll as to which treatment works best. As far as natural scar treatments go, they really only make a significant difference for “pigmentation” acne scars, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see at least some improvement in other types of scars as well! So don’t lose hope!
Natural ways to Get Rid of Acne Scars for Good!
The Types of Acne Scars
Type 1 - Pigmentation Scars (hypo/hyperpigmentation)
This type of scarring is the most common, and chances are if you have acne, you’re quite familiar with it already. Pigmentation scars are characterized by either a light or dark discoloration (usually red, brown, or whitish depending on skin tone) that is left behind once a pimple has healed. If left untreated these can be quite stubborn to get rid of and can even be permanent. However, most usually fade away anywhere from days to months depending on how fast you jump on healing them. Some can even heal and disappear on their own.
Type 2 - Hypertrophic and Atrophic Acne Scars
Hypertrophic – raised scarring
• Keloid- raised bumps that are firm to the touch
Atrophic- indented scarring
• Ice Pick- Scars that look just like it sounds that were caused by deep infections. They often appear like large deep pores.
• Boxcar- Look like chickenpox scars
• Rolling- a rolling, “wave-like” formation on the skin usually on the cheeks
Both of these types of scarring can take some real effort to get rid of. The good news is, there are ways to improve their appearance at the very least.
It’s all about…
Timing Your Acne Scar Treatments
The best way to prevent acne scarring to begin with is to treat them before they have the chance to leave their memory behind. And what I mean by this is to treat your acne scabs fast! You can refer to my article about how to do that here: Acne Scabs Bringing You Down?
Of course, a lot of us already have some scars or haven’t treated the scabbing or infection yet, or maybe we’ve got some old scars to begin with (you can learn other remedies to get rid of these here and here). Just do your best at keeping any scabbing moist.
Once the scab has come off (I know, ew) or the infection has healed up a bit, you can start to apply some natural acne scar treatments that are actually quite effective.
Natural Oils for Acne Scars
I'm going to list these oils from most effective to less effective based on my own personal experience. So here goes!
• Tamanu Oil - A murky (kinda smelly) green colored oil that come from a Polynesian tree known as Beauty Leaf (sounds convincing already!). It is highly nutritive, particularly in oleic and linoleic acids, making it well balanced for all skin types. Tamanu oil is also highly anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-neuralgic. It also contains rare lipids that are perfect for healing acne and acne scars.
How to use Tamanu Oil
For scars, simply apply it straight from the bottle twice a day to healing acne and hyperpigmentation. It even softens old scars over time with continued use because of its ability to regrow, repair, restructure, and rehydrate damaged tissue. Pretty kick ass if you ask me!
I have been using Tamanu oil with rose hydrosol for a few months now and I have to say, my deepest acne scar is really softening around the edges, making it appear less indented. It’s not completely gone, but heck, any improvement is welcome in my book.
Here are a few more benefits of Tamanu Oil
1. Prevents further hyperpigmentation from the sun
2. Reduces acne and stretch marks
3. Highly moisturizing
4. Very calming for red, irritated skin
5. Soothes wounds and burns
6. Heals aged sun damaged skin
7. Improves skin texture and elasticity
Tamanu Oil is known to work particularly well for dry itchy skin types. You can get my favorite one here.
• Argan Oil - Argan oil is a golden (also kinda smelly) oil that hails from Morocco. It contains the highest concentration of Vitamin E than any other natural oil making it perfect for neutralizing free radicals and skin regeneration. Argan oil is highly anti-oxidant and is quite good at reducing the appearance of age spots and wrinkles to boot.
How to Use Argan Oil
Use it as you would Tamanu oil by dabbing a few drops onto hydrosol misted skin and massaging it in twice a day.
Other Benefits of Argan oil include:
1. Prevents and reduces stretch marks
2. Deeply hydrates the skin
3. Improves skin texture
Argan oil is particularly good for those who have dry, sensitive, or easily irritated skin. This is my favorite brand of argan oil.
• Rosehip Seed Oil - Rosehip seed oil is a luxurious oil pressed from roses that grow in the Andes Mountains. High in Vitamins A and E, rosehip oil is incredibly regenerative, especially for damaged tissue. Applying it to scars stimulates the skin to produce collagen and elastin which improves scar texture and appearance. Over time, rosehip seed oil will lighten and improve hyperpigmentation so it’s easily one of my favorite oils to use as a daily serum.
How to use Rosehip seed oil
Massage a few drops into moist skin as a spot treatment or an allover moisturizer. To help dissolve rough scars, apply it at least twice per day. Results can be seen after just a few weeks of use.
Other Benefits of Rosehip Oil
1. Improves and prevents stretch marks
2. Protects against UV damage and sunburn
3. Heals scars from acne, surgery, and burns
4. Prevents and reduces signs of aging
5. Improves eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis
6. Improves the appearance of undereye circles (especially when mixed with everlasting essential oil)
You can get my favorite rosehip oil here.
• Vitamin E Oil - Definitely a more widely available oil, Vitamin E oil is great for preventing hyperpigmentation scars. I personally haven’t had a ton of luck with Vitamin E oil healing already existent scars, but it is certainly worth using when the affected area is still healing ( like an acne scab for example) or when there is fresh hyperpigmentation.
If you’re looking for even better results, I highly suggest taking Vitamin E internally whether you’re using it topically or not. When present in the body, Vitamin E is quite involved in the healing process by increasing the formation and arrangement of collagen.
How to Use Vitamin E oil for acne scars
Since Vitamin E oil is viscous, it can be a bit much to put on the skin unless mixed in a thinner oil. However, I have found that putting just a drop on the end of a clean q-tip works great at delivering the perfect amount of oil to a healing scar.
Vitamin E oil by itself is not antiseptic or antibacterial, so if you put it on an infected pimple, it could trap the bacteria inside. Vitamin E oil is best used on freshly healed acne with pigmentation scarring. get my favorite one here.
• Calendula Infused Oil - Not only is calendula a beautiful garden herb, but also a powerful healer when it comes to any type of scarring by stimulating collagen production. This minimizes their appearance and helps give even terrible scars a smoother appearance in a few weeks. You can get dried calendula flowers here.
Other Benefits of Calendula Infused Oil
1. Disinfects and heals minor wounds
2. Helps heal cuts, scrapes, chapped or chafed skin more quickly and efficiently
3. Heals rashes
4. Naturally treats dandruff and cradle cap
5. Dissolves bruises
6. Soothes sore muscles
8. Highly regenerative
9. Soothing for irritated and inflamed skin
Have you tried any of these oils for acne scars? If so, what were your results?
You may also enjoy reading:
Healing Acne The Herbalist’s Way – Cleansing the Liver
Natural Acne Spot Treatments That Really Work!
6 Skincare Tips That Cleared My Acne Naturally
Is Your Conditioner Causing Your Acne or Backne?
10 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Acne
Thyme Serum for Acne Free Skin
Essential Oils for Hormonal Acne
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