How to Clear Acne Scars

the pure life


Read this first! I want to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time: These tips are for how to clear acne scars. If you’re looking to clear active acne, first work through my acne-clearing guide, The Acne Protocol. Then join me back here in a few months :)

Let me start by saying I’m SO happy that you’re at this stage. While I know that dealing with acne scars can often be the last thing you want to do after dealing with acne for so long, this is still a stage to celebrate. Yay, you! 

But of course, I completely empathize with wanting to get rid of acne scars so don’t worry, I’ve got you. 

Here’s how to clear acne scars naturally…

1. Don’t Pick – use pimple patches!

I know, I know. I hate to take the satisfaction of popping a pimple away from you but you know I’ve got yours and your skin’s best interest at heart. Not only can popping your pimples spread bacteria and lead to more pimples, but it can break the skin and actually cause scarring. 

Here’s what to do instead. If the pimples are really bothering you, try icing your skin for a few minutes to help reduce the inflammation (ice rollers seem to be a fan favourite). My other trusty go-to is pimple patches! This can help cover up red, inflamed pimples while actually helping to clear the pimple, rather than making it worse. 

Pimple patches are seriously so good you can go out in public with them. So instead of popping your pimple and making it impossible to cover and causing acne scars, stick a pimple patch on and know you’re doing what’s best for your skin. 

2. Use a Vitamin C Serum, but…

This one is especially not for active breakouts as it can be triggering so best to wait until your breakouts clear. BUT, once your acne has cleared, vitamin C serum has some powerful benefits for clearing acne scars. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help with skin brightening as well as smoothing and firming the texture of the skin. It stimulates collagen and fights inflammation, two properties that are key for combatting acne scars. 

Here are my top favourite vitamin C serums for acne-scars: 

3. Do a Manuka honey mask regularly

If there’s one skincare practice I can’t live without, it’s my Manuka honey mask. I love it because it’s so gentle on the skin. It feels luxurious but packs a powerful punch when it comes to fighting both acne and acne scars. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • Anti-inflammatory: Manuka honey can help reduce inflammation in the skin (pimples are a result of skin inflammation!)
  • Antibacterial: Manuka honey’s low pH and antibacterial compounds can kill pathogens, including antibiotic resistant bacteria. This is important because bacteria in your pores can lead to pimples which of course puts you at risk for acne scars.
  • Micronutrients: Manuka honey is a good source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that nourish the skin.

Manuka honey comes from New Zealand, so make sure you get one that’s authentic. My fav brands are Wedderspoon and Comvita. Cover your face with either of these and leave on for 10-30 minutes. Repeat at least once a week! 

4. Consider facials

This one’s for the dedicated girlies who can commit to a splurge. I get it, this can be high commitment so don’t feel like you have to start here, but if you are ready to take on the cost, one thing that has worked really well for many of my clients in the past is micro-needling. 

Again, this is NOT for active acne. 

If you do decide to do this, make sure you choose a reputable company and read reviews. 

I also love red and blue light therapy – so investing in a few good sessions or an at-home mask could actually do wonders.

5. These foods help clear acne scars

Nutrition plays a vital role in clearing up acne scars, especially when it comes to the turnover rate and overall “glow” of your skin. Here are my top nutrition recommendations…

Antioxidant-rich foods to help fight free radical damage: tomatoes (specifically cooked), carrots, cabbage, sweet potato, berries

Vitamin C-rich foods: bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, camu camu berry powder

Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids: wild salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds

Try these delicious recipes for fighting acne scars:

6. Is SPF important for acne scars?

PLEASE – if you are going to commit to one tip today, let it be this. SPF is crucial when it comes to protecting your skin (especially if you are using active ingredients like vitamin C or chemical exfoliants), but it also will help to protect your scars from becoming darker.

My favourite acne-friendly sunscreens are:

  1. CLEARSTEM You Are Sunshine SPF (use “thepurelife” for 15% off)
  2. Supergoop! Sheerscreen

One last note on how to clear acne scars…

This tip can really help with your mindset. I would seriously recommend taking some’ before’ pictures before you start clearing your acne scars. If that sounds horrifying to you, you don’t have to look at the before pics right after you take them.

Instead, save them for 6 months down the line to see the progress you’ve made. Acne scars heal slowly so it can be nice to have a reference point to look back at so you can actually see the progress you’ve made.

If you’re still looking to clear your acne first, you need The Acne Protocol. It’s my guide to clear skin where I tell you EVERYTHING you need to know to be acne free.