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For those dealing with acne scars, finding the right moisturizer is essential. Below, we’ll talk a bit about how a moisturizer can help with these marks, and then go over our recommendations for the best moisturizers for acne scars.
Do Moisturizers Help with Acne Scars?
Yes and no. In general, for optimal skin health and quicker skin healing, balanced moisture levels are essential. This means that an effective moisturizer that works for your skin type is a key part of getting the best skin of your life, even if it doesn’t actually contain ingredients known to fade acne scars. However, there are moisturizers available on the market that contain ingredients that help with acne scars, such as retinol or vitamin C.
A few of the options below contain ingredients that are specifically known for minimizing acne scars, while others are just good for adequately hydrating and supporting acne-prone skin.
1. Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream
Neutrogena Moisturizer for Moisturization and Anti-Aging
This anti-aging moisturizer is a great way to add retinol to your routine, as the addition of moisturizing ingredients may help mitigate some of the irritation often associated with retinol. The cream contains retinol SA, which works to smooth lines and even skin tone. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which pulls moisture to the skin for healthy hydration levels.
May cause irritation
In addition to the hydrating benefits, hyaluronic acid has been shown to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, which makes this drugstore moisturizer even more effective for anti-aging. Even though the hydrating ingredients may mitigate the irritating effects of retinol, if you’re new to this skincare ingredient or have sensitive skin, you may want to start by using this cream every other day or every two days to see how your skin reacts.
This moisturizer contains retinol, an incredibly effective skincare ingredient that diminishes fine lines and wrinkles while also tackling sun spots and hyperpigmentation. It also contains lipo-hydroxy acid, which exfoliates, smoothes, and brightens. Sodium hyaluronate, glycerin, and other ingredients help soothe and moisturize the skin, which is excellent for also cutting down on irritation. This makes this cream a great choice for someone who is new to using retinol.
Since this cream already contains retinol, you should not layer it on top of products with other potentially irritating ingredients (like another retinol serum or exfoliating serum).
This product is one of the overall best La Roche-Posay moisturizers. It contains niacinamide, which helps soothe and reduce redness, as well as ceramides, which strengthen and hydrate the skin. Additionally, this moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it contains ingredients that are not likely to clog pores. This makes this moisturizer excellent for acne-prone skin.
May not be moisturizing enough for super dry skin
In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, this moisturizer contains prebiotics, which the brand says help restore the skin, and glycerin, which moisturizes.
This face cream contains a low concentration of retinol (0.01%), a skincare ingredient that is considered the gold-standard for fighting signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles. It also helps even skin tone and smooth texture, minimizing hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and acne scars. While the concentration is not super high, it is great for people who want to gently work retinol into their routine, but are worried about irritation from higher concentration treatments.
Some reviewers note it has a greasy texture
In addition to the retinol, this cream contains hyaluronic acid, which locks in moisture and plumps the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines. It also contains a blend of antioxidants that fight environmental aggressors to protect the skin.
What is the best daytime moisturizer for acne scars?
Since retinol makes your skin more sensitive to UV rays (and since the sun can decrease the efficacy of retinol), it’s best to stick to using products containing this ingredient at night. With that in mind, a great daytime moisturizer to use is the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer, which is lightweight but super moisturizing. Be sure to apply sunscreen, as well.
What is the best night moisturizer for acne scars?
Many of the products mentioned above can be used at night, but in particular, the options with retinol are great for nighttime use. Consider the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream, the La Roche-Posay Redermic R Retinol Cream, or the Paula’s Choice Resist Intensive Repair Cream.
What is the best drugstore moisturizer for acne scars?
Some excellent moisturizers you can get at the drugstore include the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream and the La Roche-Posay Redermic R Retinol Cream (if you’re looking for retinol options), as well as the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer.
The Bottom Line
Everyone needs to have an effective moisturizer in their routine, but it’s especially important for those looking to treat acne scars and achieve a clearer complexion. If you’re dealing with acne scars, consider trying out one of our recommended moisturizers.
About the author
Kyra is a content writer based in Los Angeles, CA. She works in the health and wellness sphere, and covers everything from beauty to skincare to fitness. She has been passionate about skincare since she was a teenager, and loves uncovering the absolute best routines and products available to help people reach their skin goals.