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What Do Acne Scars Look Like? The Good, The Bad, The Not So Ugly


If you do not have a reddish, ruddy skin tone, you probably would never think it would be highly beneficial, but it is. I have skin that turns red at the slightest provocation – the sun, heat, embarrassment, anger – you name it.

My skin is also sensitive and reacts to everything. Truly, everything. Further, I am covered in freckles. What is the benefit? Even at my worst, most hormonal point of life, when I had tons of acne, scarring never really showed up on my skin. The natural redness and freckles just kind of covered everything up. The most I dealt with was what is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, also known as the red spots after acne is gone. Acne scarring can be brutal on clear complexions, so I have had good cause to praise my ruddy Irish skin tone.

My brother, on the other hand, has beautifully clear skin, but he suffers from scarring anytime he picks at his face. It shows up loud and clear, and he has tried everything to treat it. After years, we have narrowed down the best at-home remedies. 

Table of Contents: 

  • What Do Acne Scars Look Like? 
  • 5 All-Natural Ways to Treat What Acne Scars Look Like
  • The Benefits of At-Home Remedies
  • Products to Help Treat Acne Scars

What Do Acne Scars Look Like?

As opposed to my post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is typically red spots or dark splotches, acne scarring is defined by dents or depressions in the skin. It looks like indentations or dips, often gathered in groups on the cheeks, but it can happen anywhere on the body and can even show up as a single depression. Since 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 get acne, and one in five of those people get acne scarring, it is good to know you are far from alone. 

Acne scars occur because your skin is trying to heal itself. When you have acne, your body recognizes it as a wound. To heal, your body produces collagen. When it produces too much collagen, you end up with scar tissue, and when it produces too little collagen, you get the indentation. 

Often, acne scarring will resolve itself, but sometimes, it needs a little help. 

5 All-Natural Ways to Treat What Acne Scars Look Like

Acne scarring, if it is deep, may require laser or chemical treatment to fully resolve. You can decide to undergo treatment or to live with the scarring long-term. For more shallow depressions or to make deep depressions shallower, all-natural methods can work wonders. 

1. Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil is a little-known remedy in the west, and it is highly effective at treating acne scarring. Black seed oil is great for wound healing and evening out your skin tone. 

2. Rosehip Seed Oil

I love rosehip seed oil for direct application. Studies have shown it to be effective at healing scar tissue and wound healing, and it smells great to boot! Apply twice daily and watch the magic happen. 

3. Aloe Vera

I have said it before, and I will say it again: keep an aloe vera plant in your kitchen window. This at-home remedy is one of my favorites, and it is very well known for its healing properties, which also apply to scarring. Apply it directly to the skin. 

aloe vera, face, girl with aloe vera

4. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice as a home remedy for scarring, acne, skin lightening, and more has been around since I was a kid. I have had friends who swear by it. It makes sense that the acid in lemon juice would perform at least as well as that in vitamin c serums, so it is worth a try. Apply sparingly and only once a day to ensure you do not overdo it with the acid on your face. 

5. Honey

Honey is a miracle worker for wound healing, and it is another home remedy I always have on hand. It has been studied in abundance and shown to heal everything from burns to scars to herpes! Apply directly to scars as an overnight treatment. 

The Benefits of At-Home Remedies

Did you know that the people of Germany see the doctor and use medical services far less frequently than the rest of the western world? Many people believe this reality is due to an abundance of at-home remedies that the German people have held onto from their ancestors. Of course, there is nothing wrong with seeing a doctor if you feel you need to, but great benefit lies in having a plethora of remedies on hand at home. You can treat yourself more quickly, potentially catching an illness or infection before it gets worse. Also, you can prevent illness and infection from occurring. Finally, you save money by not having to use up deductibles and copays when you visit the doctor. Again, if you have an emergency, acute pain, or chronic condition you have been unable to treat, see a doctor. Otherwise, it cannot hurt to try your hand on at-home remedies. 

Products to Help Treat Acne Scars

Below you will find links to several products that can help ameliorate the depressions and indentations left by acne scarring

Deep Cleansing Face Washes

Browse the collection of face washes with vitamins and minerals to help heal wounds and acne scars. In particular, check out the face washes with built-in brush for gentle exfoliation. 

ACV face wash with brush, face wash, Apple Cider Vinegar

Essential Oils

I love essential oils for direct application and for mixing into my at home healing potions. 

Face Masks

A great face mask can go a long way toward exfoliating and healing damaged skin. Check out your options here. 

Activated Charcoal Face Mask, WOW skin science 

Ubtan Face and Body Scrub

For acne scarring or other small wounds on the body, this face and body scrub will get you fully exfoliated and feeling smooth and clean. 

ubtan face scrub, WOW skin science

Take your time reading the descriptions and ingredients in these products. Wow Skin Science offers a range of creams, oils, scrubs, butters and more that are all natural, plant based, and cruelty free. You can feel good about your investment for more reasons than one. 

Shanna Mendez

Shanna Mathews Mendez is a freelance writer and blogger on topics related to self-care, naturopathy, female empowerment, and motherhood. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and children, where she enjoys traveling, being active outdoors, and studying herbalism and plant-based remedies in her free time. Drawing on her graduate degree in comparative literature and her own life experiences, she is currently writing her first book. She can be found online at her website

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