Are you looking for the best ordinary products to erase your acne scars? If so, you’ll love these affordable products that really deliver.
Acne is an incredibly common skin condition. It is estimated that 80% of the population between the ages of 11 and 30 will suffer from acne. Of these people, 1 in 5 are likely to suffer from scarring as a result.
The Ordinary has a wide range of skincare products that are ideal to help with the appearance of acne scars. If you are concerned about the condition of your skin, we always recommend consulting with a dermatologist or other qualified medical professional before you start an aggressive skincare routine.
Before we jump into the best The Ordinary products for beating acne scars, let’s first look at what they actually are, so that you can better understand how to treat them.
What Are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are an unfortunate side effect of severe or cystic acne. They form as a result of inflammation in the skin’s epidermis as a blemish or pimple appears. The pore swells to accommodate the inflammation and pus, causing the walls to break down. Acne scars can range in severity from a small and shallow indent to damage that can last for many years.
The deeper scarring is commonly caused by the pimple’s pus seeping into the tissue surrounding it. This causes more widespread damage. Your skin will attempt to repair itself by generating new collagen fibers, however, these can be visually different from your overall skin tone.
These collagen fibers often resemble small bumps on your skin. This is a result of an overproduction of collagen. Indented acne scars form as a result of a loss of tissue.
There are 4 grades of acne scarring used by dermatologists to determine the severity. Grade 1 is also known as macular and refers to a flat, red scar. Grade 2 is mild acne scarring, something that can be covered with facial hair or makeup easily.
The third grade, moderate, is obvious at a social distance. It cannot be covered easily with makeup or hair. The final grade, 4, is also known as severe acne scarring. This is scarring that can easily be seen at a distance in excess of 50 cm and cannot be covered by hair or makeup.
What Are The Types Of Acne Scars?
1. Ice Pick
This is a type of scar that is wider at the top and becomes increasingly narrow as it burrows into your skin. This is one of the most common indented acne scars but is quite difficult to heal. These are most commonly seen on your upper cheeks and forehead, as the skin is thinner here.
Rolling scars are another indented scar form, typically seen on the jawline and lower cheeks. The skin is thicker here and more prone to these types of scarring. The skin may appear wavy or uneven around these scars, thanks to the sloping edges.
Boxcar scars are another type of indented scar. They typically have sharper edges that travel deep into the skin. You will most commonly see these scars on the jawline and lower cheek region.
4. Hypertrophic or Keloid
These are raised acne scars, formed by lesions of scar tissue rising off the surface of the skin. These are generated when the fibrous collagen tissues grow too much. These scars are often found on the jawline, chest, shoulders, and back. They can be tender, painful, and itchy.
Now that you know the different types of acne scars and how they form, let’s jump into the best The Ordinary products to beat acne scars for good.
Best The Ordinary Products For Acne Scars
The AHA 30% and BHA 2 Peeling Solution is a 10-minute highly potent exfoliating solution that works wonderfully for anyone with acne scars, as the product mimics an at-home chemical peel. If you know anything about chemical peels, you know how amazing they are at improving the appearance of acne scars and the skin in general! In addition to this, the product is also said to reduce signs of congested pores, textural irregularities, uneven skin tones, and early signs of aging.
Like the name suggests, the serum contains 30% alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, tartaric, and citric acids) and 2% beta hydroxy acids (salicylic acid). The solution also contains Tasmanian pepperberry, hyaluronic acid, black carrot, and vitamin B5.
Use it once or twice a week for the best results, and avoid at all costs if your skin is broken, or peeling skin as it can cause further irritation. When using, apply the peeling solution to dry skin on your face and neck, before allowing it to work for 10 minutes. Rinse off using lukewarm water.
Avoid using this product if your routine already includes everyday products with AHA and BHA (that you use daily), to avoid overkill. Using these acids too frequently can result in your skin barrier getting damaged, resulting in itchy, sensitive skin.
This Niacinamide serum is one of The Ordinary’s best-selling products, and for good reason! Niacinamide is a hero ingredient that not only fights acne scars: it also brightens the overall appearance of your skin, minimizes redness, minimizes pore appearance, regulates oil production, and smoothes textural issues on the skin’s surface. It’s an amazing product to keep in your skincare even after you’ve gotten rid of your acne scars!
For optimal results, use this product twice daily. However, if you have a ton of different serums in your skincare, you can choose to use it in the morning or night. Previously, it was thought that you couldn’t use niacinamide in conjunction with vitamin C, however recent findings have proved that this myth is in fact false.
The Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is a water-based serum that is very lightweight on the skin that is designed to reduce the appearance of dark spots and even your overall skin tone, making it ideal for acne scarring. It works by limiting the production of melanin, which is present in dark spots. This is great for inhibiting the formation of new pesty scars on your skin.
We recommend using this together with the Niacinamide serum for optimal results: Niacinamide is better at fading acne scars that are already present in your skin, while Alpha Arbutin is better at preventing the formation of any new scars.
This product can be applied twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. All you need to do is place a few drops of the solution on your skin and massage in. In the morning it is recommended that you also apply sunscreen to ensure your skin is protected from further damage.
The Glycolic Acid Toning Solution is mildly exfoliating, designed to improve the clarity and glow of your skin. Like we mentioned before, glycolic acid is one of the AHA acids used in The Ordinary’s AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution, so you can expect similar results from this toner, only milder and over the course of a longer timeframe.
Mainly, these effects are increased cellular turnover, resulting in clearer skin, better skin texture and faded acne scars and dark spots. This solution can also help to improve the appearance of congested and blocked pores and reduce signs of aging.
This product is best used in the evening, and should only be a used 2-3 times a week. If you search the internet, people typically recommend this toner to be used once a day, but this can be overkill, especially if you are using other acids in your skincare. If your skin can handle it, you can also try using it once per day (but watch out for any signs of over-exfoliation, such as peeling, dry skin).
This Salicylic Acid product is a clay mask that contains salicylic acid and vegetable charcoal. Salicylic acid, aka BHA, is a well-known ingredient that helps fight active acne by reducing swelling, clearing pores and encouraging cellular turnover. It also balances the levels of sebum on your face and smoothes and brightens your complexion. It’s one of the best known ingredients to fight acne and fade acne scarring and is often among many key products that dermatologists recommend for clearing the skin of acne.
Like any mask, you should use this product once or twice per week for optimal results. However, like we mentioned previously, salicylic acid is also in The Ordinary’s AHA 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution, so if you want to use both of them in your routine, a good idea is to use both once a week, 3 days apart from one another.
Ascorbic acid, also known as Vitamin C is a hero skincare ingredient that absolutely everyone should have in their skincare routine. While we typically recommend using a vitamin C serum that is 20% Vitamin C +E plus ferulic acid (as this is the most potent and stable form of Vitamin C), this Vitamin C serum from the Ordinary is a great affordable alternative if you don’t have the money for a serum like Timeless’s Vitamin C.
Now, if you’re a skincare fanatic, you’ll know that Vitamin C is a catalyst in collagen production, which means that it is necessary to build new collagen. Collagen, in turn, is the main building block for your skin. So, you can see why Vitamin C, both topically and orally is fundamental to good, healthy skin.
In addition to seeing an overall improvement in your skin’s brightness, expect to see a reduction in any dark spots, redness and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C also promotes wound healing and inflammation in the skin, so any new acne and acne scars will fade quicker.
We recommend using this product once a day in the morning (save your nighttime routine for retinoids or other acids), followed by sunscreen. All you need to do is place a few drops of the solution on your skin and massage it in.
The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a cream-based formula containing (you guessed it) azelaic acid. This often overlooked skincare ingredient soothes inflammation, making it ideal for acne-prone skin as well as rosacea. The acid can clean your pores from harmful bacteria that contribute to acne, as well as encourage cell turnover, which in turn helps to fade your acne scars sooner.
It is a very lightweight cream and is perfect for daily use, however, we must note that as azelaic acid can thin your skin, it’s extremely important to wear sunscreen with this product. Also, as Health Line notes, it typically takes some time to see results with azelaic acid, which is why it’s not usually the first ingredient that dermatologists recommend for fading acne scars.
As this product contains acid at a relatively high concentration, be mindful of using it, if you’re skincare routine already contains different acids as it may produce an adverse reaction.
This lactic acid serum is a relatively strong superficial peeling formula that is ideal to smooth textural irregularities and an uneven skin tone. It also promoted cellular turnover, reducing the appearance of acne scars on your skin, and it can also help to unclog pores and can help reduce signs of aging.
Lactic acid is an AHA, so if you already have your eye on other AHA-containing products from this list, we recommend you sit this one out, as using too many products with acids in your skincare can lead to your skin barrier breaking. If you still want the positive effects of hyaluronic acid (HA) in your skincare, such as more supple, bouncy skin, we recommend you add the skin-soothing Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 serum.
However, if you choose to trial this product, don’t use more than once daily. You can also dilute the strength of this formula using other products – this is a good way to allow your skin to get used to the acidity as you can increase the strength as your tolerance increases.
Now that we’ve covered the best products by The Ordinary for acne scars, let’s look at some other considerations that can help you get clear skin for good.
How Can You Further Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Acne Scarring?
- In addition to having a great skincare routine with ingredients that actually deliver, one of the best things that you can do to keep your skin in optimal condition is to wear sun cream. It is important to get sunlight as this allows you to take in Vitamin D, but excessive sun exposure can lead to acne scars darkening.
- You should not pick or squeeze spots or other imperfections on your skin. It’s tempting but will lead to additional damage to your delicate facial skin. This will make your skin become inflamed and this then causes further damage.
- Smoking will also worsen the appearance of acne scarring. Tobacco is known to increase the risk of scarring across your body. If you need another reason to quit, this is a good one.
- When you notice acne appearing on your skin, a great natural treatment is to use ice, in addition to all the great products from The Ordinary, of course.
Holding an ice cube over the acne to reduces the swelling, redness, and inflammation of the area. This happens because the cool temperature of the ice cube reduces blood flow and tightens the pores of your skin. This will further decrease the likelihood of scars forming on your skin.
To use this method, you should wrap an ice cube in a thin and clean cloth. Hold the ice cube over your acne for up to 3 minutes without a break. Take the ice cube off and allow the skin to settle and return to a more normal temperature for 5 minutes.
Finally, if you are suffering from chronic or cystic acne, do not just leave it. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more likely you are to develop scars. If you notice acne becoming a serious problem for you, we recommend consulting a dermatologist as soon as possible.
We hope you enjoyed this article about the best The Ordinary products for acne scars! If you’ve tried any of them yourself, let us know which ones performed the best for you.