If you’re struggling with acne – don’t worry – it’s a common issue for people of all ages, especially teens and women going through the menopause.
Acne happens when you’ve got a hormonal imbalance in the body. Any changes in your hormones cause glands to produce more oil than usual, which then causes your skin pores to get clogged up, allowing bacteria to grow.
So you know why it happens, but we all know it doesn’t end there. If you’ve tried to take things into your own hands, and got impatient, you’ll know that acne can sometimes leave scarring after a bad breakout.
Anyone who has experienced scarring will know that the marks don’t go away easily. They are usually red or brown with uneven, trenched texture to them, causing long-lasting damage to your skin. Sometimes scarring can be visible weeks or even months after your breakout, so finding the right products and remedies to treat your skin is key.
It’s best to steer clear or harsh chemical treatments and if you’re after more natural things to use, there are plenty of home remedies you can try, but ultimately you need to be patient.
Best natural remedies and beauty products to combat acne scarring
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is anti-inflammatory and has antibacterial properties so is a great tool in your acne scar treatment arsenal.
What to do:
- You’ll need the actual aloe vera leaf – scoop out the gel after you cut it open or you can use
- Apply the gel to the scars and massage it in.
- Leave it for 30 minutes. Rinse it off.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times daily.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel and 2 or 3 drops of tea tree essential oil.
- Apply it to the scar.
- Rinse it off with cold water after 10 to 15 minutes.
- Use once daily.
Buy now – PraNaturals Pure Aloe Vera Gel 200ml, £6.99
Lemon works as a natural bleach and helps lighten any kind of scars on your skin.
It removes dead skin cells, promotes new skin cell growth and improves skin elasticity.
What to do:
- Apply fresh lemon juice directly on to the scars using your fingertips or a cotton bud.
- Leave it for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with water.
- Repeat 1 or 2 times a day.
- Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and honey.
- Use a cotton ball to apply to the scars.
- Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Wash it off with water and pat dry.
- Repeat once a day.
- Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice with 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil.
- Apply to your acne scars before going to bed.
- Wash it off the next morning.
- Repeat daily.
Buy now – Biona Organic Lemon Pressed Juice, not from concentrate 200ml (pack of 6), £11.94
3. Coconut Oil
This is a rich source of vitamin E and fatty acids.
- Rub coconut oil into the skin
- Apply warm coconut oil to the scars
- Massage onto scars for 5 to 10 minutes
- Leave for an hour
- Rinse with warm water
- Mix lavender oil with 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Apple to area and massage in for a few minutes
- Leave for 20-30 minutes
- Rinse it off with warm water
- Repeat once or twice daily for several weeks
4. Vitamin E Oil
The oil is an antioxidant so helps repair the skin.
- Puncture the end of a vitamin E gel capsule.
- Take out the gel and apply directly on the scarred skin.
- Do this 2 or 3 times a day.
- Mix 1 vitamin E capsule contents with 1 teaspoon of castor oil.
- Apply it on the affected skin before bed.
- Leave it on overnight.
- Rinse it off the next morning – use warm water.
- Repeat daily.
Buy now – Holland & Barrett Vitamin E 100iu 100 Softgel Capsules, £5.99
5. Baking Soda
Baking Soda works as a mild exfoliant to help fade the scar tissue by layers.
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda into a bowl.
- Add water to make a thin paste.
- Apply the mixture on your acne scars.
- Leave it on for a couple of minutes, then rinse it off.
- Repeat once daily for several weeks to help fade your acne scars.
Buy now – Arm & Hammer Baking Soda 16 Oz, £3.88
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
The acidic property of apple cider vinegar helps lighten pigmentation in the skin.
It also stimulates collagen production, repairs cells and removes dead skin cells.
What to do:
- Mix equal amounts of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and water.
- Dip your cotton ball in it and apply it to scars.
- Leave for 5 minutes.
- Rinse it off with water. Repeat daily.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with half a cup of water and 2 tablespoons of honey.
- Use a cotton ball to apply it.
- Leave it or 10 to 15 minutes.
- Rinse it off.
- Repeat once daily.
Buy now – Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar 473ml, £6.99
5. Cocoa Butter
It gets easily absorbed into the skin locking in moisture. It helps regrowth of the tissue, reducing scars.
- Apply a small amount of cocoa butter directly on the scars.
- Massage in to help it get absorbed into the skin.
- Repeat daily before bed and wash it off the next morning.
Buy now – Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Lotion 250ml, £2.99
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Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is loaded with skin-healing properties. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder with a little lemon juice to make a paste.
- Apply it to the scars.
- Wash it off after 15 minutes with warm water.
- Pat your face dry and apply a moisturizer.
- Repeat twice daily.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt and 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin coconut oil.
- Apply it to scars. Allow it to dry.
- Using wet fingers, gently scrub it on your skin. Take a minute.
- Wash it off. Do it 2 or 3 times a week.
Buy now – Banjara’s Powder (Turmeric Kasturi Pack) 100g, £7.99
The honey has antibiotic and healing properties. It can help treat acne as well help clear scars.
What to do:
- Apply honey on the scars, cover it with a bandage or gauze and leave it on overnight.
- In the morning, wash it off with warm water.
- Repeat daily before going to bed.
- Crush 2 or 3 aspirin tablets into a powder.
- Mix it into 2 teaspoons of honey.
- Apply it on your scars and leave it for 15 minutes.
- Wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat once daily.
Buy now – Pure Gold Premium Select Manuka Honey 525+ Mgo 500g, £35.22
9. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is touted as one of the best remedies for acne scars. The natural astringent can help control inflammation, and decrease the redness. It can also decrease bacteria growth on the skin.
You can use gel, wipes and other beauty products such as facial toners as part of your daily skincare routine.
Buy now – Witch Doctor Skin Soothing Gel, £4.81
10. Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is an excellent beauty product that helps calm and repair the skin. The gentle facial oil also helps to exfoliate and brightens skin over time too.
High quality Rosehip oil contains essential fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants that promote skin rejuvenation and good health, ideal for combating scars and marks left by breakouts.
Buy now – Trilogy 100% Natural Certified Organic Rosehip Oil 20ml, £19.40
11. AHAs and BHAs
Using gentle exfoliators like AHAs and BHAs can do wonders for your skin. If you’re at sea when it comes to acronyms HA stands for alpha hydroxy acids such as glycolic and lactic acids which are anti-ageing. BHAs known as beta hydroxy acids, refers to salicylic acid, which is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Both naturally chemical exfoliants help to rejuvenate the skin without being harsh or damaging. Nowadays there are plenty of beauty brands who offer gentle AHA and BHA exfoliators that can be used regular in your skincare routine.
Buy now – REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic 100ml, £15
Dos & Don’t to avoid acne scarring
- Do not pop or squeeze acne spots – resist the urge at all costs no matter how juicy or ripe a pesky breakout looks. Touching the area can help spread bacteria and dirt across your face, which can lead to infection.
- Do use sunscreen to limit harsh sun exposure – even in the UK. UV exposure causes spots to darken so incorporating a daily moisturiser with SPF is an easy way to protect your skin. Products like Simple Kind to Skin+ Protecting Moisture Cream or more sensitive skin like Ambre Solaire’s are perfect for everyday use.
- Do try and use chemical free products where possible, natural ingredients like vitamin C aids inflammation and fades patches, so products like Viola Skin Vitamin C Serum are great to use regularly.
- Do go to a specialist and get regular facials. Talking to a dermatologist about your skin, can provide a wealth of advice if you’re at your wits end. Professional treatments such as Intense Pulsed Light Microdermabrasion are expert ways to reduce scars and wrinkles over time.
- Do drink plenty of water – it is one of the easiest and most effective ways to flush toxins out of your body and leave you with clearer skin. And it is free.