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How to Fade Acne Scars

Try these tips for pimple maintenance and scar prevention at home!

Written by: 100% PURE ®
Main_ woman with acne scars

One of the greatest skin care conundrums of all time: how to fade acne scars. While scars have been long stigmatized as a flaw or sign of poor health, scar tissue is perfectly normal – and is an unavoidable part of your body’s healing process.

However, those who wish to diminish the appearance of acne scars do have a few options for lessening their appearance. Without further ado, here’s how to fade acne scars not with a dermatologist, but with accessible products that can safely help to diminish hyperpigmentation.

What are Acne Scars?

Scar tissue can form over all kinds of wounds. In the case of acne scars, tissue forms when a clogged pore is especially deep – potentially dealing damage and irritation to the epidermis.

Luckily, our skin has special collagen fibers which help repair the skin by essentially creating a new patch of tissue, resulting in a scar.

While almost everyone has acne scars to some degree, many choose to remove them via laser treatments from a dermatologist or esthetician. These skin care professionals know how to fade acne scars (and even remove them altogether) through the use of a special laser, which gently removes the top layer of acne scar tissue.

The catch is that these treatments can easily set you back a couple thousand dollars. While some may swear by their benefits, this method isn’t financially viable for everyone.

That being said, it should be noted that typically, acne scars will fade over time. But if you’re hoping to hasten the healing process on a budget, fading acne scars with natural, botanically derived ingredients may be a doable option.

The Do’s and Don'ts of Pimple Extraction

Now, before we discuss how to fade acne scars, let’s first discuss one of the main causes: popping a blemish too soon, too harshly, and without any bacteria prevention. Experts suggest using a warm compress to gently encourage the pimple to erupt on its own, but do not recommend attempting to extract cysts or nodules at home.

The safest thing to do with a pimple or blackhead is to simply leave it alone. But we’re often tempted to extract those pimples, in order to get that pimple gone fast.

On those occasions where you can’t seem to resist temptation, try following these guidelines on how to safely extract a pimple:

  1. Is your pimple ready to pop? In other words, is there a visible white head at the peak of the blemish? If you don’t see a distinct whitehead, or are dealing with millia, nodules, or cysts, stop right here. If your pustule looks ready to pop, you can go ahead with the steps below.

  2. Start with clean hands! It’s easy for bacteria on your fingertips, palms, and under your fingernails to spread to your dermis. So always wash your hands before touching your face.

  3. Thoroughly wash away makeup, sunblock, and all other impurities from your skin with a gentle cleanser.

  4. Apply a warm (not hot), wet washcloth to the pimple for 10-15 minutes. Follow with a cool, cloth compress for 30 seconds to calm inflammation.

  5. Repeat the previous step 3-5 times a day until the pimple has popped. A warm compress is meant to soften skin enough to encourage the pus to release on its own, meaning you won’t have to pop it with your fingers.

  6. Once the pore is cleared, cleanse with an antibacterial toner to reduce the amount of bacteria entering the open pore. Our Tea Tree & Willow Clarifying Astringent uses willow bark and witch hazel to balance oil and shrink pores, while rosemary and neem supply nourishing components to reduce skin damage.

Botanical Ingredients for Fading Acne Scars

Now that we have a better understanding of how to safely extract pores, let’s explore plant-based ingredients to try when attempting how to fade acne scars at home!

Sake is one of our favorite ingredients for fading acne scars, and this is largely because of kojic acid. Kojic acid is a special byproduct of carefully fermented fungi, which can also be found in soy sauce and other fermented foods or fungi.

Matsutake mushroom

Matsutake Mushroom
While mushroom extracts may seem like a novel ingredient in clean skin care, ancient remedies founded in Japan, Korea, and China have used mushrooms to fade acne scars for centuries.

Our Dark Spot Remover features matsutake mushroom extract, which can help lessen hyperpigmentation while balancing skin tone.

Kojic acid works its wonders on the skin by inhibiting the production of tyrosine, an amino acid responsible for the synthesis of melanin – aka the pigment in our skin that causes a darkened color. While kojic acid is a useful byproduct for fading acne scars, it can also be useful against other forms of discoloration like age spots and sun damage.

The leaves of bearberries contain arbutin, a natural skin brightening compound that can gently bleach dark spots while delivering a potent dose of protective antioxidants.

If you’re looking for a versatile product that contains bearberry, try the Fermented Rice Water Cleanser. This daily cleanser can help fade acne scars over time using bearberry, to help with sunspots and free radical damage. Additions of sake and licorice nurture and naturally brighten the skin.

Licorice Root
Amongst its numerous benefits, correcting hyperpigmentation might be one of licorice root’s predominant strengths, as it can both inhibit melanin production while fighting free radicals.

Licorice root is one of our favorite skin care ingredients, especially for when it comes to fading acne scars. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s featured in several of our legacy skin care formulas, including our Ginseng Collagen Boost Mask and Dark Spot Remover.

Spot Treating Vs. Full Face Application

When deciding how to fade acne scars, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of fancy acids, pens, and masks. To get on the right track for your skin, start with one simple question: do you need a full face or spot treatment product?

The answer will depend on your unique skin and preferences.

A spot treatment such as our Dark Spot Remover is ideal for adults that are concerned about post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from breakouts.

On the other hand, a full face treatment in the form of a Brightening Serum can have its own set of benefits, especially if you’re looking to gently balance a complexion affected by multiple scars or spots.

This brightening serum contains the winning combo for fading acne spots: bearberry extract, kojic acid, and licorice root. A bonus is that it also contains glow-boosting antioxidants like lemon juice and cranberry, making this serum doubly useful for skin that’s become dull and tired.

Keep up to date with a guide to natural acne treatments, how sun damage affects acne, and big differences between salicin and salicylic acids!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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