Get rid of acne scars and dark spots once and for all with these powerful, supercharged serums. These acne scar removal picks from dermatologists will give your skin the perfect smooth finish you've always wanted.
If you have acne-prone skin, it can feel like you're constantly playing Whack-a-Mole by tackling new or just-beneath-the-surface breakouts with a combination of acne-fighting cleansers and spot treatments. It gets especially frustrating, though, when you try to target other skincare concerns you might have (think hyperpigmentation, dullness, or signs of aging), only for those treatments to trigger a new batch of pimples.
One of the most common skincare concerns people with acne struggle with is getting rid of acne scars and dark spots. While retinol and vitamin C serums can do wonders to smooth the complexion and brighten the appearance of acne scars, not all formulas are gentle enough to be used on skin that's particularly pimple-prone or currently breaking out. So we reached out to dermatologists to find out which vitamin-packed serums can help banish acne scars without causing a cycle of new ones for you to deal with. Here, their top product picks.
InstaNatural Niacinamide Serum
A good way to treat stubborn acne scars is with a serum that targets redness and discoloration, such as this one with the B vitamin niacinamide from InstaNatural. "This serum helps fade both redness and dark discoloration in areas of acne scarring," says Kaleroy Papantoniou, MD, a dermatologist based in Brooklyn, New York.
Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum
Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist based in New York City, also favors serums with niacinamide, especially this one from Olay. "It helps even skin tone and improve fine lines, as well as helps with the hyperpigmentation that can result from acne," she explains.
SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector
William Kwan, MD, an ethnic skin expert and dermatologist based in San Francisco, likes this powerful serum to target discoloration from old breakouts. "It contains salicylic acid, which is helpful in treating acne and gently exfoliating, and a proprietary lightening agent to even discoloration," he says.
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Daily Retinol Moisturizer
Some acne scars are more dimpled than they are discolored. For those, Dr. Kwan likes this retinol cream from Neutrogena. "Retinol helps stimulate collagen, which may reduce the appearance of pitted acne scars," he explains.
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
Ava Shamban, MD, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and founder of SKINxFIVE, recommends this popular vitamin C serum to help brighten the appearance of discoloration. "Vitamin C, especially combined with other antioxidants, will stimulate collagen to help lift up depressed acne scars," she says.