If you’re dealing with acne scars, Paula’s Choice has some of the most effective products to minimize their appearance. We’ve made a list of some of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne scars to help you achieve a clear, even complexion.

Before we talk about these products, it is important to understand the different types of acne scars and the appropriate treatments. Topical, over-the-counter products (like the ones mentioned below) tend to work best for treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). This type of post-acne mark is flat and untextured, but discolored, and is the result of melanin being overproduced in that spot. 

Many with acne-prone skin also deal with raised or indented acne scars. These types of scars typically can’t be fully treated with topical products, and instead require professional treatment. If you’d like to learn more about the best treatments for your specific acne scars, you can check out this comprehensive article.

The Best Paula's Choice Products for Acne Scars

Best Vitamin C Serum

Best Paula’s Choice Vitamin C Serum for Acne Scars

Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster

The 15% concentration of pure vitamin C in this serum helps brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for an even complexion.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Minimizing Hyperpigmentation and Brightening
Tested on animals: No
How to use: Massage two to three drops of the serum into clean skin. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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This lightweight serum is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne scars, as it contains a powerful concentration of antioxidant-rich vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It promotes the production of collagen, which in turn helps minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation while also providing anti-aging benefits[1].

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

In addition to vitamin C, this serum contains ferulic acid and vitamin E. These antioxidants protect the skin, and are also known to increase the efficacy of vitamin C[1].

Best Azelaic Acid Serum

Best Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Serum for Acne Scars

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster

The combination of azelaic acid and other brightening ingredients makes this booster one of the best Paula’s Choice products for hyperpigmentation.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Fading Hyperpigmentation
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the booster to affected areas or all over the skin. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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Azelaic acid is a super powerful but gentle skincare ingredient that has been shown to fade hyperpigmentation[2]. It also has antibacterial properties, which makes it an excellent choice for those still fighting breakouts. Additionally, azelaic acid works well layered with a variety of skincare ingredients, including BHAs, AHAs, and retinol, so it’s easy to add to a skincare routine.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

In addition to the azelaic acid, this serum contains salicylic acid, which exfoliates and further helps even out the skin tone. It also contains licorice root, which calms redness and brightens.

Best Retinol Treatment

Best Paula’s Choice Retinol for Acne Scars

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

This treatment is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne scars, because it combines retinol, which promotes the production of collagen, with hydrating and brightening ingredients for an even, smooth skin tone.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Fading Hyperpigmentation and Anti-Aging
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, massage a pea-sized amount of the treatment into the skin. Initially, limit usage to three times a week to allow the skin to adjust.
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Retinol is a well-studied skincare ingredient that has been shown to fade hyperpigmentation[2]. Additionally, it is a multi-tasking ingredient that can reduce the signs of aging (including wrinkles, fine lines, and sun spots) and minimize and prevent breakouts.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight
  • Non-greasy

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin types

This treatment contains vitamin C, which brightens the skin. Since retinol can be irritating, this treatment also contains licorice extract and oat extract, which soothe and calm redness.

Best Exfoliator

Best Paula’s Choice Exfoliator for Acne Scars

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

This gel exfoliant contains glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid, or AHA), a chemical exfoliator that sheds dead skin cells to reveal a smooth, even skin tone.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Exfoliating and Fading Hyperpigmentation
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply a dime-sized amount of the gel all over the face. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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Glycolic acid is an excellent ingredient for minimizing acne scars, because it promotes the production of collagen and speeds up skin cell renewal[3]. This gel exfoliant is also beneficial for those with aging concerns, as glycolic acid is commonly used to reduce the signs of aging, including wrinkles.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • May irritate more sensitive skin

In addition to the glycolic acid, this exfoliator contains soothing and hydrating ingredients, including chamomile, aloe, and green tea.

Best Peel

Best Paula’s Choice Peel for Acne Scars

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 25% AHA + 2% BHA Exfoliant Peel

This peel contains a high concentration of chemical exfoliators, which work to resurface the skin and unclog pores for an even complexion.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Exfoliating and Fading Hyperpigmentation
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the peel over dry skin. Leave on for ten minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water. Use no more than once per week.
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Chemical peels are often used by professionals to effectively reduce the appearance of acne scars and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation[4]. While this peel is not as strong as a professional treatment, it is one of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne scars. It contains an effective blend of AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid) and BHA (salicylic acid), which resurface the skin for a more even complexion.

Pros

  • Fragrance-free
  • Resurfacing

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin

Since the chemical exfoliators can be irritating, this peel contains soothing ingredients, including chamomile, licorice extract, and allantoin. This peel is potent, and you should patch test prior to using (particularly if you’re new to acids).

Best SPF for Protection and Prevention

Best Paula’s Choice Daily Sunscreen

Paula’s Choice Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense SPF 30

This lightweight, tinted product uses mineral sunscreen to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can worsen hyperpigmentation.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Sun Protection
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After applying a moisturizer, apply the sunscreen all over the face, neck, and chest.
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Sunscreen is a crucial part of any skincare routine, and is especially important when it comes to hyperpigmentation, because it prevents it from getting darker and increases its likelihood to fade[5]. This product contains mineral sunscreen (instead of chemical sunscreen), which is particularly beneficial for sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Matte finish
  • Lightweight
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

  • Some reviewers noted it leaves a white cast

This sunscreen contains bisabolol and willow bark extract, which calm the skin and alleviate redness. It also contains a blend of antioxidants to further protect against environmental aggressors.

FAQs

How do you get rid of acne scars overnight?

Unfortunately, there isn’t an overnight cure for acne scars. You’ll first need to determine what type of acne scars you’re dealing with, and then turn to a consistent, targeted skincare routine (or professional treatments, in some cases) to minimize the scars over time.

Is Vitamin C good for acne scars?

Vitamin C (which is found in the Paula’s Choice C15 Super Booster) is great for minimizing the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, because it promotes the production of collagen.

Is Paula’s Choice good for acne?

Paula’s Choice offers a variety of products that are great for minimizing and preventing breakouts – which in turn will minimize the risk of acne scars. If you want to learn more about the best Paula’s Choice products for acne, you can read this guide

The Bottom Line

Those with acne scars will be able to achieve a clear, even complexion using products from Paula’s Choice. Keep in mind that, if you choose to add some of the best Paula’s Choice products for acne scars to your routine, you should introduce one product at a time – particularly since this list contains a lot of active treatments. That way, you can see how your skin reacts to it, and then can add more products if necessary.