Dealing with a breakout is bad enough, but it’s arguably even worse when the acne fades and leaves scars behind. Hyperpigmentation—the red spots left after a cyst or pimple heals—can take months to fade, leaving you with unsightly marks on your skin long after the original blemish is gone.
While these marks won’t go away completely until your skin has naturally shed and regrown, there are a number of natural treatments that can help to accelerate healing and ensure your scars fades more quickly.
1. Citrus juice
The citric acid in fruits like lemon or grapefruit is a form of alpha hydroxy acid—the main ingredient used in many commercial peels and scar treatments. It helps to remove dead skin, promotes cell turnover, and fades dark marks caused by scars or hyperpigmentation. It is also antibacterial, which will limit future breakouts.
You can use lemon or grapefruit juice to create a skin-brightening serum that will naturally fade acne scars and moisturize your skin. Simply combine two teaspoons of lemon juice with two teaspoons of organic vegetable glycerin and ⅛ cup of water, then apply the mixture to your skin using a cotton pad.
2. Witch hazel
Witch hazel extract is naturally astringent, which will heal skin and shrink inflamed pores. It helps to reduce redness caused by rosacea or hyperpigmentation, making scars appear less prominent while your skin heals. It also helps remove dead skin cells, which encourages the emergence of fresh, unscarred skin.
Scars heals naturally on their own as skin sheds and new, undamaged cells grow. However, this process can take time—sometimes much longer than you want to wait. You can stimulate the growth of new skin and help to minimize existing scars by exfoliating your skin regularly. The gentlest, most natural way to do this is with a soft cloth. Wet the cloth with just water (adding no products), and use the cloth to scrub your face using light pressure and gentle, circular motions.
4. Rosehip seed oil
Rosehip seed oil is full of vitamins and antioxidants that help to heal and regenerate skin. In particular, its vitamin C content lightens and fade scarring, while antioxidants like vitamins E and A encourage skin regrowth and lighten redness. Massaging rosehip seed oil gently into the skin can also help to soften and minimize raised or indented scars, though it will not fade them completely.
5. Fresh aloe
In the same way that aloe can help to heal your skin after a burn, it can promote the healing of acne scars. It is full of bradykinase, an active enzyme that rejuvenates the skin at the same time as reducing inflammation. Aloe also contains antioxidants, as well as natural salicylic acid. These compounds combine to heal and protect skin, reducing redness and fading any scars or hyperpigmentation that may occur.
For best results, avoid commercial aloe vera gel, as it often contains unnecessary additives and preservatives. Instead, harvest gel directly from aloe plants, or use organic aloe vera juice. Gently apply it to scarred areas using your fingers or a cotton ball.