How to Get Rid of Red Acne Scars
There are many different types of acne scarring.
Types of Acne Scars:
Here are the different types of acne scars:
- Ice-pick scars – These scars are deep, narrow and pitted.
- Rolling scars – These are broad depressions with sloping edges.
- Boxcar scars – These are broad depressions with sharp edges.
- Atrophic scars – These are flat, thin or depressed scars.
- Hypertrophic or keloid scars – These scars are thick, lumpy and raised on the skin.
If your scars aren’t indented, as in the examples above, you may simply have leftover red marks from acne.
Many people have leftover skin discoloration in the form of red, white or other color variations on their skin leftover as acne scarring. Many people also get skin discoloration from sun exposure and other exposure to oxidants and pollutants in the air and from daily life.
Some people recommend covering your red acne scarring and skin discolorations using makeup such as concealer or other temporary skin color correcting methods. Sure, you can do this, but I personally prefer to correct at the root of the problem and brighten and heal skin for a color-correcting glow that comes from having healthy skin as opposed to trying to fake it through make-up, which never ends up looking quite real.
Ascorbic acid—also known as L-ascorbic acid—has the most skin-related research of any form of vitamin C. This is the most pure form of Vitamin C, and the form that oxidizes most quickly meaning it turns from its natural clear color to a light yellow or orange color in a few weeks or months depending on the amount of preservatives used, which is more quickly than other forms of more processed Vitamin C.
You want to use Vitamin C before it changes color to get the most benefit when it is at its freshest.
When properly formulated at a pH of less than 4 (2.6-3.2 is the ideal range), Vitamin C is an ingredient that helps create younger-looking, firmer-feeling skin while fading signs of uneven skin tone and spots. L-ascorbic acid also helps skin’s surface defend itself from free radicals and external stressors, which decreases the negative effects of exposure to the elements including the sun and other pollutants.
The best Vitamin C for acne scars is made with the most potent, fresh ingredients, including L-ascorbic acid as purest form of Vitamin C, and is not filled with chemicals or pre-colored with yellow chemicals and packaged to last for years sitting on store shelves.
Healthy skin contains high levels of Vitamin C, and this acts as a barrier between the skin and harmful outside elements, making it a great protectant from getting skin discoloration and aging.
Vitamin C for Red Acne Scars
In addition to protecting the skin from exposure, Vitamin C can treat discoloration on the skin to brighten and firm skin that already has acne red marks and discoloration.
Topical application of Vitamin C has been found in numerous studies to promote collagen production, skin healing, and reduce redness and other discoloration of the skin.
The Pumori study specifically found that, “Vitamin C is a naturally occurring drug with multiple desirable effects. With an excellent safety profile, it finds increasing use in photoageing, hyperpigmentation, tissue inflammation and promotion of tissue healing.”
Vitamin C has been studied extensively in the dermatology and skincare realm, and there are many studies including this one by Pumori Saokar Telang that found Vitamin to help fight photoageing and to help treat hyperpigmentation.
Pumori’s study specifically explains that Vitamin C is an active antioxidant found in nature, and that L-ascorbic acid (LAA) is the chemically active form of Vitamin C, which is also why it works so well and has been so extensively studied by dermatologists and skincare experts.
It is unstable when exposed to light, which is why it should be used within a few months of opening, and stored in a dark place in a dark container, and the fridge or a lower temperature when possible to keep it in its most stable form.
The study points out that Vitamin C is more effective when used in conjunction with ingredients such as Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid:
“Although Vit. C alone can provide photoprotection, it works best in conjunction with Vitamin E, which potentiates the action of Vitamin C four-fold. Hydrophilic Vitamin C helps regenerate Vitamin E, a liphophilic antioxidant. Thus, Vitamin C and Vitamin E together protect the hydrophilic and lipophilic compartments of the cell, respectively. Vitamin C and Vitamin E synergistically limit chronic UV damage by significantly reducing both cell apoptosis and thymine dimer formation.
A combination of 0.5% Ferulic acid (a potent antioxidant of plant origin) with 15% Vitamin C and 1% Vitamin E can increase the efficacy of Vitamin C eight-fold.”
The Pumori study goes into how Vitamin C also directly activates the transcription of collagen synthesis and stabilizes procollagen mRNA, thereby regulating collagen synthesis.
This means that Vitamin C regulates and helps promote the skin’s collagen building process, which helps the skin build new healthy collagen in the process of healing all types of skin discoloration and scarring, including acne scarring.
How much Vitamin C is needed to heal acne red marks?
The answer is that you want to look for a serum with the maximum 20% Vitamin C for maximum effectiveness.
The Pumori study explains that, “Having a higher concentration of Vitamin From a clinical point of view, it is important to note that the efficacy of the Vitamin C serum is proportional to the concentration, but only up to 20%.”
The study explains that Vitamin C is half gone from your skin after 4 days of its application, meaning it does stay in the skin for a few days after you put it on. This does not mean you need to apply it every 4 days however, as maximum photoprotection and positive effects can be achieved by applying every 8 hours as the study explains:
“The half-life in the skin after achieving maximum concentration is 4 days. A persistent reservoir of Vitamin C is important for adequate photo-protection, and can be achieved by regular 8-hourly applications.”
To summarize, you’ll want to get Vitamin C with the maximum effective concentration of 20%, and apply every 8 hours for maximum efficacy in helping heal skin and red acne marks as well as protect the skin from future environment and oxidant damage.
My personal experience with Vitamin C and red Acne Marks
I started with very deep, indented acne scarring, and used a combination of 1.5 mm derma-rolling and a light application ofcopper peptides for acne scars each night to help lessen the indentations of my scarring.
My skin’s discoloration, redness and lighter areas of acne scarring were still very visible even when my indentation had improved, so I started using a Derma-Pen in combination with a potent L-ascorbic acid Vitamin C serum on my red acne scarred areas.
The Derma-Pen helps the Vitamin C absorb more fully into the skin and into the deeper layers of skin, while stimulating the skin’s healing process on its own. Together, the Derma-Pen and Vitamin C helped the red acne scarred layers of my face and the lighter side of my face acne scars boost their collagen production and become smooth, healthy, level skin again.
I currently use the Vitamin C serum in my everyday protectant and healing skincare routine, and I love having bright, smooth skin again without the red acne mark scars that used to be present on my cheeks and other areas of my face.
Vitamin C was the only thing that helped brighten my skin and reduce its redness, as well as help heal the lighter indentations on the site of my face, and I love using it now in my everyday skincare routine.
Here is my face before and after using the Derma-Pen and Vitamin C on the lighter rolling scars and red scars on the side of my face: