How I'm Fading (And Hiding) My Acne Scars

This is the skincare regimen that's been working for me. It's not cheap, but it gets results.

My struggle with acne scarring is not news. I've been battling these pesky red marks for years. I guess I just have the type of skin tone that holds on to scars forever.

I am rarely ever seen without at least a thin layer of foundation. I realize that sounds kind of pathetic, but without makeup I feel like the focus is on the constellation of scars on my skin.

I've been taking Spironolactone for a few months and it has really quelled the breakouts (except for the post-period honkers I get without fail). But my skin still doesn't look "clear."

Since I don't feel confident about the state of my scars, I've been going balls to the walls with my fading regimen. I've tried everything: fancy dermatologist peels, facials, daily peel pads, at-home peels... you name it.

Here's a picture of my scars in January, for reference. I've chosen not to show the scars on my forehead because I'm really self-conscious about them even with their fading. I know you guys will understand.

Lately, I've found a few amazing products that I think are really making a difference in my scars. There has been significant fading. It's not perfect by any means, but with products like this you must be patient. You can't expect results in a week or two. Fading takes at least a month. Here's my routine:


Every morning I gently cleanse with Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Oil Cleanser. It smells great and it doesn’t strip my skin.

Two or three times a week, I swipe a Zelens PHA Bio-Peel Resurfacing Facial pad across my clean, dry skin. I like these because they're not too aggressive and they use polyhydroxy acids, which contain antioxidants, as well as the trusted alpha and beta acids often found in at-home peels.

After cleansing and/or peeling, I use a pump of Sunday Riley's Good Genes Treatment, which was recently reviewed by Taylor. It's expensive, but it makes my skin sing. The licorice and lactic acid help fight hyper-pigmentation, while arnica keeps my skin from feeling irritated. If I had to choose only one product to take to that oft-mentioned deserted island, this would be it. My skin may not be porcelain-like, but it definitely glows when I use this.


At night I use the oil cleanser and a Konjac Cleansing Sponge, which gently removes makeup and the gunk I've accumulated during the day. I had a Clarisonic and found that it was just too much for my skin, even with the gentlest brush head and a lenient schedule.

After cleansing, I apply a thin layer of Dr. Perricone's Blue Plasma. I had been using Perricone's Vitamin C Ester first, but I read that you should apply the most watery layer of skincare first for better absorption. Blue Plasma is considered a daily peel, but it never stings, tingles, or makes my skin red and irritated. With daily use, it resurfaces skin, hydrates, and smoothes out wrinkles. It has a thin, watery consistency but it's really powerful: my skin feels energized, clean, and calm when I wake up. Salmon egg enzymes help sweep away dead skin, but the product does have a slightly fishy odor. The smell fades quickly, though.

After Blue Plasma dries, I use a thin layer of Vitamin C Ester 15, which is small in size (you get four tubes), but great in might when it comes to fading scars. When asked about the product's efficacy, Dr. Perricone said, "Vitamin C Ester possesses superior ability to stimulate growth of the cells (fibroblasts) that help produce collagen and elastin, [which are] the strands of tissue that give the skin its strength and flexibility, which may help reduce the appearance of scars." Using Blue Plasma and Vitamin C Ester 15 in conjunction every night has definitely helped my skin turnover much more quickly than it ever has before. I think the Vitamin C has aided in clearing up some slight sun damage, too.

A new product that I'm testing is Lancôme DreamTone Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector. I can't speak to its benefits quite yet, but it seems to be working just as well as its partners in my routine. (I use it as accompaniment to the Perricone cocktail.) I like that the peachy tone helps counteract sallow, dull skin. There are three shades: light, medium, and dark.


I hate feeling like I'm wearing a mask of makeup, but I do wear quite a lot of face makeup in my day-to-day life. I just don't LOOK like I do, thanks to these great products.

First, I apply a thin layer of green primer to counteract any redness. I like Pixi's Mini Redness Reducing Primer. My scars feel less obvious immediately after application.

Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation is a new favorite. I love it because it's pigmented enough to cover really well, but it doesn't feel heavy. It's the perfect fusion of dewy and matte, and the oil-free formula agrees with my skin. It's not cheap, but a little goes a long way. I apply four small dots--one on my forehead, each cheek, and chin--and then blend in circular motions using Urban Decay's Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush.

To set the liquid makeup, I buff a little powder foundation across my entire face with an old Bare Minerals brush that I’ve lovingly kept alive with frequent washings. L'Oreal True Match Gentle Mineral Makeup covers well without being cake-y. Once I’m done buffing, I spritz my face with a setting spray to really “melt” the makeup into my skin and keep all my work in place.

For stubborn scars, the best concealer of all-time is Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer. A pot will last you YEARS, making it worth its weight in gold. My scars are light enough now that I don’t use it on the reg, but it’s the first thing I reach for when I need extra coverage.

So this is my intensive routine. I know it sounds like a lot, but it’s working. I don’t feel as ashamed of my scars anymore, which is HUGE.

Do you guys use any great anti-scarring products? I’d love recommendations, tweaks, anything!