Best Exfoliators for Acne Scars

Whether you’ve tackled your acne head on and have got it under control, or are still waging the war against blackheads and painful pimples, anybody that has suffered with acne knows that it can really leave it’s 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 damage to veins, glands and tissues around spots 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 five 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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Best Exfoliators for Acne Scars - Comparison Table

Best Exfoliators for Acne Scars - Reviews

Whether your skin is oily, dry or a combination of both, this retinol serum from Luminositie is exactly what you’ve been looking for. Suitable for all skin types, it uses retinol to help stimulate collagen and promote skin cell turnover, which in turn leads to the healing of scars and clearer looking skin.

Requiring only a pea-sized amount of product each time you use it, this super-serum gets straight to work the second it touches your skin, unclogging your pores of dead skin cells and impurities, and leaving it feeling amazingly clean. It’s also really quick to absorb, and won’t leave behind any sticky residue.

This serum also contains hyaluronic acid, which is renowned for its healing abilities and, along with the retinols, doesn’t only help to reduce the appearance of acne scars, but also helps to combat any signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Using this serum will also help your pores absorb any products you use after it, such as moisturizers and creams, meaning that your skin gets the full benefit from them without any going to waste.

It’s also 100% cruelty free, meaning that none of the ingredients contained in this amazing serum have been tested on animals.

Pros

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Stimulates collagen production and skin cell turnover to effectively fade acne scars
  • You only need to use a pea-sized amount each time, meaning it’ll last longer and give you great value for money
  • Unclogs pores from impurities and helps to reduce the tell-tale signs of aging
  • Helps your skin absorb other products more easily, without leaving a sticky residue

Cons

  • This serum doesn’t have the classic ‘scrub’ feeling that most exfoliators have

Infused with collagen and stem cells, this Himalayan salt scrub from M3 Naturals is a great choice for clearing your skin and reducing the appearance of acne scars.

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 promoting it’s 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • The salt in this exfoliator may be too rough and abrasive for use on dry or sensitive skin types

Made using all natural ingredients, this microdermabrasion scrub from DRMTLGY will effectively reduce the appearance of acne scars as well as gently unclog your pores from dead skin cells, excess oils and other impurities. 

Containing glycolic acid that has been naturally derived from sugar cane, this exfoliator will loosen and lift dirt from your skin whilst simultaneously encouraging skin cell growth and regeneration, helping to heal scars and reduce the signs of aging.

This microdermabrasion scrub also contains apple extract and lemon extract, both of which are packed full of vitamin C and help to effectively remove oil from your skin, even out your complexion and fade acne scars.

On top of all of this, it also contains green tea extract which has a high antioxidant level, and will not only help with improving your complexion and skin tone, but will also help reduce any puffiness in the eyes - ideal for helping wake you up in the morning!

Pros

  • Made using only natural ingredients
  • Contains naturally-derived glycolic acid to clear out pores and encourage skin cell growth
  • Uses apple extract and lemon extract to feed your skin with vitamin C
  • Also contains green tea extract that helps to reduce eye puffiness
  • 100% cruelty free

Cons

  • Customers have noted that, although a little of this exfoliator goes a long way, you do need to use quite a lot water to emulsify it in your hands

If you’re looking for a skin care 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 from 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, and at how well it helped to fade and remove acne scars.

Pros

  • Provides powerful exfoliation without being overly abrasive or damaging to skin
  • Gently buffs away impurities and deeply cleans your pores
  • Encourages skin cell regeneration and growth to help fade acne scars
  • Minimizes pores to prevent pores becoming clogged and leading to breakouts

Cons

  • Unlike some other exfoliators that are creamy, these crystals need to be mixed with a facial cleanser to be used

If you have dry, or sensitive skin, then this is the exfoliator for you! 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 it’s 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 it’s 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 amongst 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 towards healing and fading acne scars.

Pros

  • Specifically designed for dry and sensitive skin types
  • Contains sugar for a gentler abrasive texture
  • It’s 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.

Cons

  • 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

Best Exfoliators for Acne Scars - 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 skin care, 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.

Skin Type

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 it’s 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 that 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.

Ingredients

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 skins from the face, which in turn stimulates collagen and skin cell regrowth, helping to heal and eventually fade acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles.

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 which 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.

Abrasion

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. 

Fragrance

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, and are fragranced with 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.

Price

The cost of a good exfoliator pays for itself once you see it’s 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

What causes acne scars?

Acne scars are caused by irritation to the veins, tissue and glands that surround blackheads and pimples. This is why it’s really important that you don’t pick, scratch or squeeze any spots that come with an acne outbreak. Instead you should use an appropriate cleanser and exfoliator for your skin type. 

What’s the best ingredient for getting rid of acne scars?

There are several ingredients that are fantastic for helping with acne scars, and each plays a different part in the healing process. However, if we were to break it down to just one, then glycolic acid would be the one to choose. Glycolic acid helps to remove dead skin cells and stimulates collagen growth, which then results in the fading of acne scars, discoloration and evens out your skin tone.

How often should I exfoliate to help with acne scars?

As with all things in life, exfoliating is about balance. Too much exfoliating could cause further damage to your skin, whereas not exfoliating often enough will leave your pores clogged up and result in more outbreaks. Exfoliation only needs to be carried out 2-3 times per week, and this will give you sufficient deep cleaning. However, if you feel like you need to exfoliate more than this, use a gentle exfoliator that either uses sugar or is non-abrasive.

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