Struggling to have clear, radiant skin? Here are some of best the ordinary products for acne scars.
If there is one thing that makes acne even worse, it is acne scars. I mean, wasn’t it enough that we could manage to make those big red pimples go away in the first place, that now we have to deal with its scars too? If you have dealt with acne and its scars, I bet you can feel the pain in my voice.
But don’t worry, there are solutions to where there is a problem.
The Ordinary is one of the most-hyped, strongly reputed, and trusted brands in the skincare industry, with highly effective, affordable products that not only bloggers but dermatologists love too.
And if you want to deal with scars and blemishes to get radiant skin, these are the best The Ordinary products for acne scars to this date. But before adding the products to the cart, check out precisely what you are finding products for.
What are acne scars?
Simply put, Acne scars are the pits, bumps, and indentations that remain when acne has healed. They are caused by various factors, including genetics, hormonal changes in adolescence or adulthood, picking at zits or popping pimples, skin damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and long-term skin conditions such as rosacea.
Now acne is of two types: Non-inflammatory, which is whiteheads and blackheads, and Inflammatory, which are pustules, nodules, and cysts. The inflammatory acne types leave acne marks or scars after their visit.
types of acne scars
1. ice pick
Commonly seen on areas with thinner skin, such as upper cheeks or forehead, and are one of the most common intended acne scars you’ll see. But unfortunately, they are pretty challenging to heal as well. Scars of this kind are usually wider at the top and become thinner as they burrow into the dermis layer of the skin.
This type of scar can be generally characterized by a shallow depressed area filled with epidermis cells. You can commonly find them around the jawline or upper cheeks since our skin is thicker.
Another type of intended scar is this one. It is a broad depression with steep edges into the skin and is usually seen near the lower cheek and jawline.
4. keloid / hypertrophic
It is a big raised acne scar commonly found on the shoulder, back, chest, and jawline. And they are pretty painful and itchy. When skin is injured, scar tissue is formed over the wound to repair and protect the injury.
Now that you know what type of acne scars are there, you might have judged what kind are yours to choose the best The ordinary products for acne scars.
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key ingredients for acne scarring
AHAs and BHAs
These are hydroxy acids that help cleanse the skin and shed away the dead skin cells to give a smoother layer of skin. They are the first choice of ingredients for anyone who wants to treat acne and its side effects, a.k.a, acne scarring and dark spots.
One of the most magical ingredients in skincare, it has to be a staple in your routine because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and brightening properties that treat acne scars by increasing the synthesis of collagen, along with anti-aging properties.
It may not treat active acne scars, but it is best used for post-acne hyperpigmentation and preventing acne in the long run. Not only that, it gives an instant boost of hydration, controls excess sebum, and gives a radiant, glowing complexion.
Besides being an antioxidant, azelaic acid is known for speeding up cell growth. That is why it is mainly used to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Quick Disclaimer: Please patch test any The Ordinary product before adding to your skincare routine because these products are indeed strong on the skin.
the best the ordinary products for acne scars
1. aHA 30% & BHA 2% peeling solution
Best for: Textural irregularities, dullness, and signs of congested pores
If there is one product you must have heard from The Ordinary that is as magical as it sounds, it must be AHA 30% + BHA 2% peeling solution.
It basically is a VERY strong water-based chemical exfoliant that works amazingly for acne scars and dark spots. It is a 10-minute weekly rinse-off treatment that you can use once a week on dry skin after cleansing (as recommended by me since it’s powerful).
As the name says, it has 30% AHAs (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) and 2% BHAs (salicylic acid) along with some wonderful hydrating, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and antioxidants like hyaluronic acid, Tasmanian pepperberry, black carrot, and vitamin B5 to soothe the skin after an intense exfoliation.
Trust me; you’ll see instantly smoother and brightened skin after using it once. But it is NOT for sensitive, peeling, or broken skin. I repeat, don’t take risks with this product.
It has many glowing reviews for its outstanding results against acne scars and textured skin, which I can back to a genuine one. If you are an oily acne-prone skin type, you cannot pass this one for your concern.
Hey, getting confused with all these The Ordinary products and don’t know how to use them together? Here’s your fuss-free guide to How To Layer The Ordinary Products!
2. glycolic acid 7% toning solution
Best for: Active acne, acne scars, dark spots, hyperpigmentation, signs of aging, textured skin
One of the best The Ordinary products for acne scars is this mild exfoliating toner that helps increase cell turnover and shed dead skin to give clearer, smoother, and texture-free skin. Not only this, it is a superstar product for active acne and hyperpigmentation.
This toning solution is jam-packed with glycolic acid, of course, which is a great AHA, along with Tasmanian pepperberry, ginseng root, and aloe to calm down the skin after exfoliation and reduce irritation. So it really is like The Ordinary’s peeling solution but in a milder, gentler formula.
Just use it 2-3 times a week at night consistently after cleansing the skin. Even though they recommend using it every day, I would not because these powerful ingredients can make your skin super sensitive and even more prone to acne and skincare.
3. alpha arbutin serum 2% + hA serum
Best for: New acne scars, hyperpigmentation, dark spots
This lightweight, water-based serum is perfect for skin sensitivity to chemical exfoliants. How alpha-arbutin works is by inhibiting an enzyme involved in the production of melanin – the color pigment in our skin. Therefore, inhibiting the production of this enzyme helps fade pigmentation and the formation of new acne scars and dark spots.
This serum is a powerful combination of alpha arbutin that helps lighten pigmentation (as we discussed) and hyaluronic acid that hydrates and plumps up the skin, along with increasing collagen production.
Now, this serum is not a chemical exfoliant, so it is safe to apply it twice a day. I recommend using excellent sunscreen to protect the skin from sun damage.
4. ascorbic acid 8% + alpha arbutin 2%
Best for: Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, radiant skin, dark spots, discoloration
I seriously swear by vitamin C in a skincare routine. I think it needs to be a must-have for everyone because, along with giving healthy, radiant, brightened skin, it also helps reduce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and melasma. In addition, since vitamin C inhibits melanin-color pigment in our skin, it is a hero ingredient in reducing dark spots, discoloration, sun spots, and uneven skin tone.
So this stable yet powerful combination of ascorbic acid (pure vitamin c) and alpha-arbutin serum is undoubtedly one of the great The Ordinary products for acne scars and a perfect fit for most people. If you are new to vitamin c, this serum is an ideal start due to its low concentration of vitamin c. But it goes exceptionally well for people fighting discoloration from acne scars too.
I suggest you use it once a day in the morning, topping it off with nice sunscreen.
5. salicylic acid 2% masque
Best for: Blemishes, active acne, acne scars, whiteheads & blackheads
I am a huge clay mask fan. They are the best for deep cleansing the skin and preventing breakouts. One such clay mask that I absolutely love and think is one of a kind is this one from The Ordinary.
It is a magical combination of salicylic acid and vegetable charcoal that helps you with smoother, brighter skin with consistent use. Salicylic acid is a BHA known for mildly exfoliating the skin, increasing cell turnover, and cleansing the pores of dirt and oil like they were never blocked. Together with vegetable charcoal, that absorbs excess sebum that can cause blackheads & whiteheads by cleansing the skin deeply.
You can use it once or twice a week at night because this masque contains BHA, which can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, which is exactly what we do not need.
6. azelaic acid suspension 10%
Best for: Active acne, redness, inflammation, signs of congestion, uneven skin tone & texture, signs of aging
This is an all-in-one brightening cream-gel formula with 10% azelaic acid, a naturally occurring acid in grains such as barley, wheat, and rye, and has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antioxidant properties that help brighten the skin tone and even out skin texture. It is usually suggested to treat rosacea and acne. Azelaic acid is an underrated skincare ingredient with similar effects (as in this study) as benzoyl peroxide, which we all know is a blessing for anything acne.
As this product is highly concentrated, it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun so make sure you apply a thick layer of sunscreen if you are using this suspension in the morning. However, I’ll suggest you use it in the evening just to be on the safer side.
That being said, azelaic acid is not the first choice of dermatologists for treating acne just because it is comparatively slower to work and the results take time.
7. lactic acid 10% + hA
Best for: Hyperpigmentation, signs of aging, acne scars, radiant complexion
If you think glycolic acid can be a little intense for your skin, this lactic acid and hyaluronic acid serum is a milder acid used for the same purpose. It is a gentle exfoliating serum that speeds up cell turnover to reduce the skin’s discoloration and acne scarring.
Moreover, it can diminish fine lines and wrinkles and give a healthy, even tone, texture-free, radiant complexion with regular use. The Tasmanian pepperberry in this serum is to calm down and soothe irritated skin, and hyaluronic acid is for the supple, hydrated, bouncy skin that we all dream of. Just use it once a day, ideally at night, and use sunscreen to limit sun exposure while using this product for a week afterward.
However, you are not advised to use this serum if you have sensitive, peeling or broken skin as it is a high-strength superficial peeling formula.
8. niacinamide 10% + zinc 1%
Best for: Post acne scars, fighting blemishes, radiant complexion, controlling excess oil, signs of aging
Let’s now talk about a skincare hero we all have heard about, and if you have tried it, you know it’s brilliant. Yes, it is niacinamide we are talking about!
If you are looking for something that could fight blemishes, clear out pores, control excess sebum, increase cellular turnover, and make acne scars disappear all in one, this Niacinamide and zinc serum is your answer. Not only this, it strengthens the skin’s barrier and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to give you smoother, younger-looking skin.
It is a pretty good product to keep in your skincare after you’ve gotten rid of acne scars, as it may not be as efficient as more potent chemical exfoliants.
Using it twice daily will give you the best results. And don’t worry, you can safely use niacinamide with vitamin c; as it turns out, your skin naturally possesses vitamin c, and if the two ingredients were not compatible, we wouldn’t be able to use niacinamide at all. So you just have to look for the proper techniques to follow. Here are some you can check.
9. granactive retinoid 5% in squalene
Best for: Multiple signs of aging, increase in collagen production, skin texture
Ask any skincare expert, and they’ll tell you that retinoids are a superstar anti-aging ingredient as they help speed up cellular turnover and increase collagen production that improving the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines considerably.
And you may not know this, but Granactive Retinoids are reputed to offer better anti-aging effects than retinol, retinyl palmitate, and many other non-prescription retinoids in the market, but without the irritation that comes hand in hand with retinol and other retinoids.
Said that The Ordinary’s Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane is a highly-stable, water-free solution in squalene base that works the same way. Squalene is an insanely lightweight, hydrating, and non-comedogenic ingredient that has anti-inflammatory properties.
Despite all of these positive effects, I think this product may not be the best The Ordinary product for acne scars as retinoid is better for anti-aging concerns than acne scarring ones. And the increase in collagen products may help get rid of acne scars, but it can take a lot of time and consistent application.
10. 100% organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil
Best for: Inflammation, acne scars, blemishes, signs of aging
You may not believe it, but Rosehip oil has been proven to be a great way to improve acne scars and blemishes. I have already mentioned it before in 5 home remedies to get rid of acne scars that Rosehip oil is jam-packed with linoleic acid, provitamin A, and vitamin C, making it a brilliant antioxidant-rich moisturizer with anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties.
It works wonders for skin pigmentation, discoloration, and collagen production that also helps reduce the appearance of acne scars in the long run. That being said, this rosehip oil is genuinely one of the better The Ordinary products for acne scars and hydration.
It has a natural SPF 15 that is just added protection for your skin from all the harmful UV rays out there. And even though it is an oil, it doesn’t feel like one after applying. It absorbs into the skin quickly and doesn’t trigger acne no matter what. It indeed is precious for all skin types, dehydrated skin.
These are every The Ordinary products for acne scars you’ll ever hear about or want to use. I hope I have made things clear to you and that you have chosen what you’ll add to your skincare routine for fighting acne scars.
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