When looking to treat acne scars, it can be challenging to sift through the bevy of products on the market. Complicating the process is the list of over-hyped treatments not rooted in science. One of these such products is Bio Oil. Read on to learn about using bio oil for acne scars.

What Is Bio Oil?

This specialty skincare treatment claims to improve a variety of skin scarring issues. The formulation contains a long list of ingredients that may sound effective, but are mostly just fillers and inactive treatments. Marketed as a unique skin care treatment, Bio Oil is actually just a combination of common ingredients widely available elsewhere.

Bio Oil Claims

1. Improves the Appearance of Scars - Bio Oil claims to help to minimize the appearance of all types of scarring. The product also maintains that it improves the elasticity of the scar tissue present on joints and other areas of the body that are necessary for effective mobility.

2. Improves the Appearance of Stretch Marks - One of the most common scaring issues of the skin are stretch marks. Bio Oil claims that it improves the visible appearance of existing stretch marks.

3. Prevents the Formation of Pregnancy Stretch Marks - Because it claims to improve the elasticity of the skin, the makers of Bio Oil say that the product will help prevent stretch marks from forming in the first place.

Does Bio Oil Help Acne Scars?

Simply put, Bio Oil is not an effective treatment for acne scars. The main ingredient in Bio Oil is standard mineral oil containing vitamin E. It has been scientifically proven that vitamin E does not reduce the appearance of acne scars. In fact, in some cases, vitamin E can actually worsen the condition of the scarring. Because of this, it is not a good idea to use vitamin E and Bio Oil as acne scarring treatments.

Pros and Cons of Bio Oil:

According to beauty blogger Dan Thomas, there are no pros, and many cons to using bio oil for acne scars.


  • None


  1. Because the oil takes a significant amount of time to absorb into the skin, you run the risk of getting it on clothing and other materials. This can stain and ruin the fabric.
  2. There has been only one study conducted on the efficacy of Bio Oil. The validity of the study is immediately called into question because the manufacturer conducted the research.
  3. When measured on a per milliliter basis, the product is extremely expensive.
  4. The makers of Bio Oil market the product as a near medical treatment. However, Bio Oil is nothing more than glorified scented baby oil.

Despite the hype surrounding Bio Oil, it is not a proven product for the treatment of acne scars. Consumers can buy a bottle of baby oil enriched with vitamin C and see the same results. You will be better served by saving your money and investing it in tested and proven products. Thus, this run of the mill treatment is not the answer to your skin scar woes.

Proven Alternatives to Bio Oil for Acne Scars

There are many alternatives to bio oil. Published by Verwell, here are options that actually work (note: there are no mentions of Bio Oil or Vitamin E).

1. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

One of the most powerful skin care treatments on the market, AHAs are a leader in the fight against acne scars. The most commonly used AHA is glycolic acid. This acid speeds up the natural exfoliation process of the skin. AHAs remove dead skin cells and brighten the skin tone while also reducing the appearance of acne scars. Lastly, products that contain AHAs are available over the counter or through prescription.

2. Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone blocks the skin's production of melanin. This suppression causes the skin tone to begin to lighten, reducing the appearance of scarring. This product works best when looking to reduce the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone is available over the counter with a concentration of one to two percent. For stronger doses, patients can choose a prescription strength of three to four percent active hydroquinone. Some dermatologists mix the hydroquinone with additional lightening ingredients for maximum results. Lastly when using hydroquinone, it is important to only apply it to affected areas. 

3. Topical Retinoids

Powerful topical retinoids clear existing acne while also fading the dark scars left behind by severe blemishes. Retinoids are also used on areas of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation to speed up the natural fading process. Because of their strength, most topical retinoids are only available through prescription.

4. Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid increases the rate that cells replace themselves. This naturally-occurring acid also decreases inflammation of the skin. The product is primarily used to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Azelaic acid is available only through prescription. Many patients see the best results when combining its use with a treatment protocol including glycolic acid or topical retinoids.

5. Chemical Peels

As a common spa treatment, the use of chemical peels can prove extremely effective in reducing the visibility of scarring. Chemical peels use a solution of alpha or beta hydroxy acids to strip away old skin. This rapid and intense exfoliation reveals fresher and less blemished skin. Peels are usually done as a series of treatments. The different levels of strength make these peels versatile and able to serve a myraid of personal skin care needs.


Is Bio Oil a Scam?

Yes, Bio Oil is a scam in the skincare industry. The product contains vitamin E, which has not proven effective in helping to minimize the appearance of the scars.

What Is Bio Oil Made Of?

Bio Oil contains a total of 29 ingredients. Upon further inspection, four of these ingredients are plant extracts that are found in nearly every skin care product available today. Two of the ingredients are vitamins that are commonly used and reviewed on this site. Lastly, the main ingredient is the simple mineral oil found in baby oils. All of the remaining ingredients are fillers, fragrances, and dyes.

What About Bio Oil for Red Acne Marks?

Bio Oil and its active ingredient vitamin E will not improve the appearance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is advisable to stick to scientifically-proven treatment options. These options include AHAs and vitamin C serums designed to reduce the visible appearance of scars. Besides, there are many great options to help get rid of acne redness.

Why Are There So Many Good Reviews on Bio Oil?

It is challenging to have to sift through various product reviews in an effort to discern their effectiveness. The positive reviews about bio oil are purely anecdotal. In addition, there is no unbiased evidence that proves the effectiveness of any of the claims made by Bio Oil. Lastly, many of the promising claims could be through people paid by Bio Oil to promote the product.