How to Heal Acne Scars with the Best Products for Acne Scars
The past 4 years I’ve completely hated myself due to my acne scarring.
I’ve always been good at making friends. But I’ve literally made no new friends since my scarring. People go out of their way to reject and avoid me.
12 months ago I wanted to do something more than the creams I had been trying that only made my face white and oily, not changing the indentation amounts or actual scar appearances.
So I went to a professional clinic for a $300 micro-needling session still skeptical but at this point willing to do (& at this point spend) whatever it would take.
After the session I saw my red skin start to heal and I realized there was actually hope for my skin to heal before I thought maybe there was no hope.
How to Heal Acne Scars: At-Home Microneedling
After seeing my skin’s immediate improvement from my professional micro-needling session, I decided to do more research so I could capitalize on my skin’s healing by ordering the best topical healing ingredients to pair with the micro-needling sessions.
I used the professional clinic’s list of recommended healing topicals which included copper peptides, among a few other ingredients, as what I should look for in products to support the healing process & skin regeneration. I started doing research on all the products on the list, and ran into home acne scar remedy, micro-needling, during the research.
I’ve been using the best of the best products and home micro-needling for the past 12 months and my skin is finally healing and where I’ve wanted it to be for the longest time.
I’ve found my home micro-needling to be more effective than professional sessions when used slightly more aggressively in combo with the copper peptides – I can target areas more specifically and be a bit more aggressive than a professional clinic is able to.
How does Micro-Needling Work to Reduce Acne Scars?
Micro-needling can be done at home using a microneedling roller or a Derma Pen, and I’ve found success with both on different areas of my face, some have been more responsive to a roller, and some more so to a pen.
When my scars were incredibly deep, from a combination of huge inflammation and picking at them when new, the 1.5 mm microneedling roller and copper peptides helped me see the most progress, and then months later I switched to a shorter needle Derma Pen and Vitamin C to help smooth out the lighter indents and redness on my face.
Here is how Vitamin C Serum specifically works:
Vitamin C aids wound healing, protects against sun damage, evens skin tone, reduces wrinkles as well as lines and indents in the face and works to boost skin’s healing capabilities through collagen and other natural skin healing functions.
This is why it is so helpful for use on discolored areas of the face and areas of the face that have indentations.
I have personally seen great results on areas of my acne scarring that were discolored on my face and had light indentations when using a concentrated, L-ascorbic acid based, Vitamin C serum in combination with a Derma pen in my at-home treatment.
Here is how copper peptides work specifically:
Copper peptides’ effects on skin and healing have also been researched in-depth scientifically and have been found to, in a study by Pickhart and Margolino “stimulate blood vessel and nerve outgrowth, increases collagen, elastin, and glycosaminoglycan synthesis, as well as supports the function of dermal fibroblasts. GHK’s ability to improve tissue repair has been demonstrated for skin, lung connective tissue, boney tissue, liver, and stomach lining”
This means Copper Peptides are able to assist with tissue repair and are great to pair with micro-needling, because the micro-needling gives your skin micro-damages it is able to easily repair in a controlled way that promotes healthy skin healing. The copper peptides give your skin the proteins it needs to repair its skin in an effective manner and most aesthetic way possible.
Here is how microneedling rollers and Derma-Pens work:
Microneedling in the form of Derma-Rolling and Derma-Penning has been shown in scientific studies to reduce acne scarring and I have seen incredible results in my own personal experience as well.
The micro-needling works so well because it takes off the top layer of your damaged skin, allowing your newer, healthy skin a chance to be revealed underneath.
The micro-needling also allows the copper peptides to penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin to deliver its healing ingredients more effectively.
After 12 months of intensive micro-needling with copper peptides I’m finally loving and accepting my skin again, and it’s nice to be able to confidently look at and interact with people again, something I never knew if I was going to ever be able to do during the 4 years I had my deep acne scarring.
Here I’m sharing the exact process I’ve used to heal my scarred skin and how you can do the same. This is simply the process that has worked for me and is not medical advice or advice of any kind. You can consult a doctor to get official advice etc.
Best Products for Acne Scars
Here are the 9 best products for healing acne scars. These are the products I use in my routine and are the reason my acne scarring has healed.
Here are the best acne scar products along with explanations of how they work and why they are the best products for healing acne scars:
- Vitamin C Serum For Acne Scars: Vitamin C boosts collagen production and is great for lightening red acne scarring and removing discolorations from skin. It is great to use as a daily skin protectant that also draws out negative oxidants in the skin, and you can use it alongside a derma pen or derma roller for deeper results or on its own in your daily skin routine.
- Copper Peptide Cream:Note: You can’t use copper peptides and Vitamin C at the same time, you need to alternate days or use one at night and one in the morning, because their ingredients cancel each other out. I personally used copper peptides on my deeper scarred areas at night and then switched to Vitamin C in the morning as well as on more lightly scarred areas of my face and areas that needed color correction.
Copper peptides are skin building blocks and decrease in number in our skin as we age. Copper peptides have been clinically shown to increase skin healing, and I have found them to help my scarred, damaged skin both heal and peel off, as well as heal more effectively after microneedling either at home or at a dermatologist’s office.
- Derma E Gel: Derma E gel is a clear, thick gel that is formulated to help scars heal. I have found it to be great at keeping skin moisturized during the healing process post-microneedling, whether you micro-needle at a dermatologist’s or at-home.:
- Rosehip Oil: Rosehip Oil contains Vitamin A and is known for helping sun damaged and otherwise damaged skin heal. I love using rosehip oil in my daily moisturizing routine as well as to help keep skin moisturized during the micro-needling healing process
- Coconut Oil: I use coconut oil similarly to rosehip oil, for moisture during the microneedling healing process.
- Exfoliating Creams & Serums: Exfoliating creams like the Lac Sal acne scar cream help loosen damaged skin on the top layer and help the scarred skin slough off more easily. I like to use this cream when my skin is not in the micro-needling or microneedling healing process, but during the days during days or weeks I am not microneedling to help smooth and soften my acne scarring.
- Exfoliating Sprays: The ORG Mineral exfoliating spray helps peel off damaged skin layers to reveal healthier skin underneath. A week or so after fully healing from micro-needling, I like to use this spray to take off the extra damaged skin on my face to reveal much more smooth and beautiful skin underneath.
- Derma-roller and Derma-Pen for Microneedling: At homedermarollers for acne scars are the most effective at-home acne scar healing tool I use, alongside the copper peptide serum. My scars were very deep, so I needed the 1.5 mm derma-roller to break up the damaged scar tissue and help remove the damaged layers of skin so healthier skin could emerge underneath.
Combined, these are the most effective products for treating acne scars, and you can use them fully at-home or with a combination of in-person micro-needling appointments to help keep your skin moisturized and give it the nutrients it needs for the most effective skin healing.
I explain my full routine and how to use the products below.
How to use a Derma-Roller
Here’s what my micro-needling copper peptide process looks like.
You can see how bright blue the copper peptides are, and you can see the progress my skin’s scars have made from where they started (which the pictures are not even of their worse points) to where my skin is so much more healed and healthy today, with so many damaged layers gone and new skin healed thanks to this routine.
I had no hope for my acne scars before I started doing this and now people tell me all the time how good my skin looks and I finally feel confident again.
- At night, start with a 1mm roller if it’s your first time. Once your skin gets used to it and you know it’s working, you can move up to the 1.5mm, which is the deepest you’re supposed to use for at-home sessions. Roll the micro-needling derma roller device over the skin areas you wish to improve in all directions, from the side, top, bottom, diagonally, keeping the pressure steady and rolling back and forth around 5 times in each direction. Your face will be a little red at this point. Remember not to overdo it.
- After rolling the device your skin now has micro-tears and is starting to heal itself. It is also more receptive to topical ingredients at this point. Now you can put a thin layer of copper peptide cream onto the areas you derma-rolled. Don’t put too much, less is more at this point. It may sting a little, so be patient if it does. It will also be bright blue so this is best done while you are alone and before bed. Copper peptides are able to break down damaged collagen and help it come off to reveal healthy skin underneath, and it also has the skin building block ingredients that give your skin the boost it needs to repair itself by growing new skin and hair follicles. I see new white baby hairs on the areas of my face I use copper peptides on because my skin starts growing new skin and hair cells in these areas.
- Put your derma-roller into a 70% or more isopropyl alcohol cleaning solution overnight so you can use it again, up to 4 or 5 times before you need to unwrap a new one
- The morning after I wash my face and put Vitamin C serum and Derma E Gel on the areas that are healing so they stay moist and are able to continue healing at their optimal level. While my skin is healing I make sure to take extra good care of it so it has the optimal chance of healing as perfectly as possible.
- Every night I then put a thin layer of the copper peptide cream onto the healing areas to help the healing process as well, and put a Vitamin C serum on each morning.
- Depending on the size of the needle you used, how much pressure you applied and how deep you went, your skin may be red for a few days or more. Wait until your skin redness heals before doing any derma-rolling again. You should see improvement right away, even while your skin is still red, and while it starts to heal. It may take up to a month to start seeing real, marked improvements. After a few months you will start to see even more improved skin and positive changes. Be patient because you are working real-time with your skin’s healing schedule and trying to rush it will only make it harder for your skin to be able to fully heal in the long-run. The skin takes 27 days to turn over a full cycle of new skin cells, meaning you need to work on your skin’s timeline and not against it.
- Once my skin is no longer red, I put Lac Sal cream or serum depending on how thick I want the cream to be on it during the day and night for a few days to encourage damaged skin to slough off and exfoliate. Damaged skin is made up of a weaker structure than healthy skin, meaning when Lactic acid cream, like Lac Sal cream is placed over your entire face, the damaged skin is more affected and starts to come off, while the strong healthy skin stays put, which is what makes exfoliation so effective.
- Then I use O.R.G. exfoliating spray to literally take off layers of the dead, damaged skin, and you can see it coming off of your face.
- Finally you have a fresh new layer of skin, one layer closer to taking off all your damaged scar tissue and revealing your healthy face underneath. The skin heals in layers so each time a damaged layer peels off, you’re one layer closer to revealing your new healthy skin underneath as it continues to grow and regenerate.
- Then I repeat the derma-rolling copper peptide process outlined above to keep taking the damaged layers off my skin and giving it the nutrients it needs to heal the scarred areas on my face
Note: It is important you don’t have active acne on your face when you derma-roll, and don’t derma-roll on areas that are open wounds.
Final acne scar healing pic
Here is another healing pic, using just this derma-rolling and copper peptide / exfoliation treatment.
The picture is a side view of the healing from the rolling acne scars on my cheek, the side of my face, and my chin. This healing took ~ 2 months, the side of my face started out way worse but at that point I was trying to avoid taking pictures of it because I didn’t think it would ever heal and having pictures just made the scarring that much more real.
Crazy to see the progress from how bad it was in the first mirror selfie to how much better in just a few months.