How to Get Rid of Red Acne Scars

Acne can wreak havoc on your skin, and not just in the midst of a breakout. Many people experience scarring after the acne has cleared. The type of acne scarring depends on the individual, the type of acne that develops, and how you treat it.

Normally, the light red or brown marks left behind by a breakout will clear naturally on their own. Red acne scars are commonly found on the face but can also appear on the shoulders or back. When it comes to severe acne, the resulting scars can create craters in the skin—both boxcar and ice-pick scars—which can be harder to heal.

Concerned about permanent scarring? It’s most likely to happen if you pick or squeeze your pimples. So, remember to let the treatments do their thing and keep your hands away.

If you struggle with acne-related scarring, calming the redness of these scars is the first step in reducing their visibility and fading them completely over time.

how-to-get-rid-of-red-acne-scars_woman with red acne scar and some pigmentation touching side of her face with her fingertips_1080x800how-to-get-rid-of-red-acne-scars_woman with red acne scar and some pigmentation touching side of her face with her fingertips_1080x800

How to get rid of acne scars: temporary options

Whether you have a hot date, a major life event, or just a day when you want to feel great about yourself, it makes perfect sense to want a fast solution to red scarring. To safely eliminate redness, try dabbing a few anti-redness eye drops directly on the affected areas. The drops won't damage or irritate your skin or cause more breakouts. The effects should be fairly immediate. Then, pop on a green-based colour-correcting primer and your favourite foundation.

Of course, these are quick fixes. If your skin is very inflamed, you’ll need the assistance of a specialised treatment.

Acne spot treatments act fast to shrink and soothe blemishes and red pigmentation. To reduce acne redness quickly, try Murad Blemish Control Rapid Relief Spot Treatment 15ml to reduce blemish size and redness fast.

How to get rid of acne scars: permanent options

Concealer is great, and a spot treatment that works immediately can feel like something of a miracle. But red acne scars tend to linger.

Left alone, red acne scars can take around 3 to 6 months to completely fade. But by consistently using targeted products, you can speed up the healing process. For deeper scars like ice-pick scars or boxcar scars, it’s recommended to see a professional for a stronger treatment.

To get rid of red acne scars with skincare products, focus on products that encourage healing and rapid exfoliation to get rid of that damaged scar tissue. Here are our favourite products to remove red acne marks.

Retinol is everyone’s favourite active ingredient for tackling acne scars and pigmentation. La Roche-Posay Redermic Retinol B3 Serum is great for newbies wanting to dip their toes in the Retinol pool. Use in the evening to visibly resurface and renew the look of red acne scars and dark spots.

If your skin is feeling sensitive or sore from breakouts, it’s important to use products that get rid of the redness of scars and don’t make skin more reactive. NIOD Non-Acid Acid Precursor uses Amino Isolates and Probiotics to exfoliate and resurface the skin, helping brighten red acne scars without causing harsh reactions.

Night moisturiser for blemish-prone skin

It’s important to keep red acne scars hydrated. Even if you have ongoing breakouts, continue to moisturise day and night to prevent the irritation and dryness that can slow healing time. Avène Cleanance TriAcnéal Expert is an evening moisturiser that specifically targets adult acne, blemishes, and marks. Formulated with Retinaldehyde, a Vitamin A derivative, this cream for acne redness helps unblock pores and reduce residual marks from breakouts.

Night moisturiser for blemish-prone skin
Soothing moisturiser to repair the skin's barrier
Soothing moisturiser to repair the skin's barrier

Another moisturising option is Dermalogica UltraCalming Barrier Repair. Formulated with Evening Primrose Oil, Oat Kernel Extract, and Ginger Root, this treatment helps soothe redness and inflammation while hydrating the skin. Apply this moisturiser daily with your other treatments or serums of choice.

Reduce redness in sensitive skin

A natural option to get rid of red acne scars, Pai Instant Calm Redness Serum contains natural anti-inflammatories to help protect against flare-ups while also helping repair damaged skin. This serum for redness and acne is formulated to soothe skin that’s prone to irritation and to help strengthen surface blood vessels to help alleviate redness.

Reduce redness in sensitive skin

Multitasking Société Brightening Serum focuses on the prevention and reduction of pigmentation, inflammation, and signs of ageing. This gel serum nourishes and conditions all skin types for long-term improvement. Apply morning and night over face and neck.

If you suffer from chronic redness, Aspect Red-Less 21 could be your new boo. This anti-inflammatory serum has been designed for red acne flare-ups, providing instant relief to irritated and reactive complexions. This antioxidant facial oil can be applied as part of a morning or evening skincare routine and should be concentrated directly on the affected red acne scars.


Do you have severe scarring? We suggest consulting with a dermatologist or skin specialist. Professional options like lasers can remove significant scarring and redness.

Depending upon the size of the affected area, you might need just a few treatments. Though pricier than store-bought remedies, laser treatment is a permanent solution that can save you money in the long run.


Want to know more about how to heal acne scars? Check out these helpful guides...




Brand and product inclusions are at the sole discretion of Adore Beauty. We do not seek or accept payment from brands or individuals listed in our guides.




Need a recap? Here's the Best Products to Get Rid of Red Acne Scars
    • Avène Cleanance TriAcnéal Expert
    • Dermalogica UltraCalming Barrier Repair
    • Pai Instant Calm Redness Serum - Sea Aster & Wild Oat 30ml
Add To Bag