Best Exfoliators for Acne Scars
Whether you’ve tackled your acne head-on and have got it under control with an exfoliator, or are still waging the war against blackheads and painful pimples, anybody that has suffered from acne knows that it can really leave its mark on your complexion.
Acne scars aren’t necessarily the usual sort of scar your skin might get from a cut or a scrape but actually refer to any sort of mark that has been left behind after a breakout, and are caused when veins, glands, and tissue around blemishes are damaged through touching, scratching and squeezing.
To help get acne under control, a good exfoliator is an essential part of your beauty regime. However, in serious cases of acne, you need something that is not only going to clear out your pores and leave your skin feeling fresh and clean but will also help to reduce the appearance of any existing acne scars.
Luckily, such exfoliators are available and contain amazing ingredients to help fade scars, even out pigmentation, and leave your complexion looking smooth and clear.
However, as with all beauty products, there are a plethora of options to choose from, which can make finding the perfect exfoliator for your individual needs a bit of a minefield. But fear not, we’ve stepped in to save the day and have listed four of the best below, along with a useful buying guide on what to keep in mind before settling on your decision.
So sit back, relax, and join us as we go on our journey of the best exfoliators for acne scars.
In a hurry? Our top pick below will get your skin looking clear and scar-free in next to no time.
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In a hurry? This is our Winner!
WINNER: Paula’s Choice Liquid Salicylic Acid Exfoliant
- Ideal for those looking to unclog pores, reduce their appearance, smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, brighten and even out skin tone, and combat blackheads and sebaceous filaments.
- Stands out due to its optimal pH range (3.2–3.8) of salicylic acid, enhancing its efficacy. Unlike other products, it is a leave-on formula without harsh scrubbing beads, making it gentle and lightweight.
- Chemical exfoliants can give you irritation or redness if you have super sensitive skin. If this applies to you, give it a patch test!
- It’s easy to over-exfoliate with this product, especially if your skin routine’s already packed with a few other exfoliants. So, give it a try on its own, and, of course, always listen to your body.
Bottom line: Gradually introduce the exfoliant into your routine. Give it a shot once or twice a week at first, then gradually increase frequency. Allow time for your skin to adjust, use a gentle cleanser, apply SPF during the day, and wait before adding moisturizer for optimal results.
#2: M3 Naturals Himalayan Salt Scrub
The purpose of the added collagen and stem cells is to provide a boost in the skin’s own natural collagen production, as well as promote its longevity, resulting in an even complexion that is free of scars, discoloration, lines, and wrinkles for a longer period of time.
The natural Himalayan salt provides the abrasive, scrubbing texture that exfoliants are best known for, and it has been infused with lychee and sweet almond oil to thoroughly cleanse your pores, without any risk of your skin drying out.
As well as being a fantastic exfoliating agent, Himalayan salt also has antibacterial properties, meaning that it will kill off any acne-causing bacteria lurking in your pores and on your skin, and reduce your chances of further breakouts.
- Infused with collagen and stem cells to help promote skin cell turnover and heal acne scars
- Also helps to promote your skin’s collagen longevity
- The exfoliating texture effectively removes impurities and smooths the skin
- Has natural antibacterial properties to help prevent future breakouts
- The salt in this exfoliator may be too rough and abrasive for use on dry or sensitive skin types
#3: NeedCrystals Microdermabrasion Crystals Scrub
If you’re looking for a skincare product that will provide you with gentle, but powerful exfoliation for healing and reducing the appearance of acne scars, then these microdermabrasion crystals from NeedCrystals could be exactly what you need.
With a spa-like feel, these exfoliating crystals will buff your skin, and gently clean out dirt and impurities from your pores. The 120 grit, pure white aluminum oxide crystals also help to encourage skin cell growth and regeneration, which helps with the fading of acne scars and fights the signs of aging.
These microdermabrasion crystals also help to minimize the size of your pores, which means there is less of a chance of dead skin cells and excess oils getting trapped and causing acne outbreaks in the first instance.
Customers that purchased these exfoliating crystals were amazed at how clear their skin was after using, them and at how well they helped to fade and remove acne scars.
The product stands out in its category with a 100% positive review sentiment, scoring 9.81 out of 10 based on consistency, effectiveness, fragrance, overall satisfaction, packaging, portion size, quality of material, and value for money.
- It offers spa-quality skin care and effective exfoliation at home
- Provides powerful exfoliation without being overly abrasive or damaging to the skin
- The crystals are fine and work well to exfoliate even hard-to-reach areas
- It doesn’t cause dryness or redness, even with increased usage
- The product is made of a single, natural ingredient – Corundum crystals
- Residual crystals may remain on the face, hairline, or neck even after rinsing multiple times
- Unlike some other exfoliators that are creamy, these crystals need to be mixed with a facial cleanser to be used
#4: Era Organics Microdermabrasion Facial Scrub
Designed specifically with these skin types in mind, this microdermabrasion scrub from Era Organics will gently remove blackheads and clear your pores of all impurities.
Using sugar as its abrasive agent rather than rougher ingredients such as salt, it provides soft but effective exfoliation that won’t irritate or damage any existing pimples whilst ensuring a deep clean.
Natural ingredients including aloe vera, manuka honey, and vitamin C bring healing properties to this scrub and help to even out skin tone, and its two-in-one formula allows you to use it as a face mask as well in order to reduce the appearance of acne scars and the signs of aging.
It also uses cehami among its ingredients. This is a flower that originates from Australia and has fantastic, natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It also has cellular regeneration properties, so adds an extra bit of punch to healing and fading acne scars.
- Specifically designed for dry and sensitive skin types
- Contains sugar for a gentler abrasive texture
- Its natural ingredients include aloe vera, manuka honey, and vitamin C which help heal scars and even out skin tone
- Also contains cehami, a powerful natural ingredient that has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and cellular regeneration properties.
- As this exfoliator has been designed for dry and sensitive skin types, it may not be powerful enough to tackle acne scars on oily skin
Our Buyers Guide
Everybody is different, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for you. This is especially true when it comes to skincare, so it’s worth considering what your own specific needs are before deciding on a product.
We’ve put together some key points to think about before settling on an exfoliator, so that you can find the perfect one that won’t only assist with healing and fading your acne scars, but will also help to prevent any future breakouts.
When researching the perfect exfoliator, the first thing you need to consider is your skin type. Rarely is there a ‘one size fits all’ product, and every different skin type has its own requirements.
If you have oily skin, whether naturally consistent or sporadic through hormonal imbalances, you’re better off going for an exfoliator that won’t just be able to deep clean your pores but will also help to remove any excess oils and restore a good balance to your skin’s natural moisture barrier.
For dry and sensitive skin types, a gentler exfoliator will cause less irritation and damage to your skin, and will also have soothing, healing ingredients such as aloe vera and vitamin C that will encourage skin cell growth and moisturize.
Nearly 40% of patients that received a Glycolic acid chemical peel (35% concentration) showed drastic improvements in acne scars.The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology
When it comes to fighting against acne and helping to eradicate existing acne scars, there are some fantastic ingredients that really help to get the job done quickly and effectively.
Glycolic acid is one of these amazing ingredients. It works by removing the outermost layer of dead skin from the face, which in turn stimulates collagen and skin cell regrowth, helping to heal and eventually fade acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles.
To take things further, a recent study by The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology demonstrated that nearly 40% of patients that received a Glycolic acid chemical peel (35% concentration) showed drastic improvements in acne scars.
Another fantastic ingredient to look out for in an exfoliator to help fade acne scars is hyaluronic acid. This helps to increase the level of moisture in your skin, and even out skin tone resulting in a clearer complexion.
You may also find retinol listed in the ingredients of some exfoliators. Retinol is a form of vitamin A and is super effective in promoting skin renewal and collagen production. It also helps to stimulate the production of new blood vessels, so not only will it help with fading acne scars, but it also helps to balance skin tone and improve discoloration.
There are also a variety of natural ingredients contained in exfoliators that work really effectively for healing and fading acne scars. Aloe vera has natural healing properties that will clear up any outbreaks, and ingredients such as cehami will help skin cells regenerate and grow.
Exfoliators also use different abrasive agents in them to help buff away dead skin cells and impurities and, depending on your skin type, you need to give some thought to which would be best for you.
Skin care products that use salt as their abrasive agent are better suited to oily skin, as they will be able to effectively clear away excess oils whilst simultaneously getting deep down into the pores and clearing them out.
For sensitive skin types, exfoliators that use sugar for abrasion will be far gentler but will also still be powerful enough to give your skin a really good clean.
You may also find microdermabrasion crystals as an option when you’re shopping around for an exfoliator. These crystals are typically made of aluminum oxide and provide gentle abrasion, so are also great for sensitive skin types.
Bear in mind, however, that microdermabrasion crystals need to be mixed with a cleanser and won’t be a creamy product that you apply directly to your skin out of the tub like other exfoliators.
There are also non-abrasive serums available, which are ideal if you have particularly sensitive skin or don’t like the rough, scrubbing texture that exfoliators ordinarily have. A fantastic thing about using a serum is that not only will it clear out your pores, but it will also help your skin absorb any products you use after it more easily.
Give some thought to the sort of scent, and the power of it, that you would like your exfoliator to have as well.
Some are designed to help your skin feel energized and awake by using fragrant scents like mint, lemon, or grapefruit. However, these are fairly powerful smells and may stick with you for the majority of the day.
Of course, if you don’t mind that, then this isn’t an issue. However, if you would prefer an exfoliator that won’t leave a scent behind, then try looking for a more neutral, clean fragrance such as cucumber or aloe vera. There are even non-fragranced exfoliators available that won’t leave any trace of scent on your skin.
The cost of a good exfoliator pays for itself once you see its amazing effects on your skin. However, as with all things, it’s worth setting yourself a budget before shopping around.
Prices really do vary from brand to brand, but you still can get a really good exfoliator that will help with acne scarring, without having to spend a fortune.
By researching all of the points above, you can be sure that you’re paying for the product, not for the brand, which can save you a great deal of money.
Frequently Asked Questions
We know, you might have some questions. And, gladly, plenty of other readers have done the job for you. So, here are some of the most common questions we’re asked.
Don’t see the answer you need? Feel free to comment below or contact us at [email protected]; we’ll be happy to take care of you!