SO, YOU’VE managed to get shot of that pesky pimple. But, what should you do with the discolouration it’s left behind? Whether you call them acne scars, dark spots, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, fading the red facial marks brought on by acne can prove an immense challenge.
And, while it’s always best to consult with your dermatologist, thankfully, there are over-the-counter products that can help manage and treat the common skin concern. From the radiance-renewing power of CeraVe’s SA cream to the smooth-as-silk Brightly Serum by Harley Street’s Dr Sam Bunting, here are Glass’ top products for helping fade, soothe and protect post-acne scarring.
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner
To ensure your acne-fighting products are working to their full potential, prep your skin beforehand. This nourishing toner, enriched with 80% Jeju green tea extract, soothes, refines, and protects skin from damage while helping it better absorb the other products in your routine. Simply splash a good amount onto a cotton pad and swipe gently across the face.
£18 for 200ml at Beauty & Seoul
Augustinus Bader The Cream
A delightfully decadent solution to those pesky red marks, Augustinus Bader’s award-winning The Cream diminishes the appearance of dark spots with vitamin E while helping skin cells return to their optimal function, ensuring pigment isn’t overproduced.
£205 for 50ml at Augustinus Bader
CeraVe SA Smoothing Cream
This TikTok-viral cream is hyped for a reason. Developed with dermatologists, the surprisingly rich formula exfoliates with salicylic acid while retaining the skin’s natural moisture with hyaluronic acid and urea. Gentle smoothing with zero irritation or dryness; it’s a real winner.
£9 for 177ml at Lookfantastic
Good Light Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion
This wonderfully hydrating milky toner not only makes a gorgeous addition to your vanity but leaves skin supple and luminous with redness-reducing meadowfoam seed oil and natural AHAs.
£15.80 for 100ml at Good Light
Vegan by Happy Skin Pineapple + Vitamin C Day & Night Moisturiser
Full of natural antioxidants and radiance-restoring oils, this feather-light cream provides a boost of hydration with vitamin C rich pineapple extract, carrot root extract, and evening primrose oil, gently softening hyperpigmentation to reveal a healthy-looking glow.
£29.90 for 50ml at Vegan by Happy Skin
Some by Mi Galactomyces Pure Vitamin C Glow Serum
This glow-boosting serum by K-Beauty’s Some by Mi was made with acne troubles in mind. Formulated with potent plant extracts, niacinamide, galactomyces, and antioxidant-rich vitamin C, you won’t be waiting long for visible results with this undeniably effective formula. Perfect for pairing with your favourite daily SPF.
£24 for 30ml at Melon & Starfish
Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum
Even out any lumps and bumps with this beautifully formulated brightening serum from Tatcha. Aside from the eye-catching packaging, this gentle yet effective oil-free product boasts a powerful mix of 20% vitamin C and 10% AHA that softens the skin leaving it enviably smooth and even-toned.
£64 for 30ml at Tatcha
Dr Barbara Sturm The Good C
This skin-friendly vitamin C formula from Hollywood-favourite Dr Barbara Sturm is as good as it gets when it comes to evening out the complexion. Containing an optimal 5% vitamin C – boosted in absorption by the inclusion of zinc – this luxe serum helps reduce pigmentation, improve overall tone and protect skin from damaging free radicals that worsen existing scarring.
£110 for 30ml at Dr Barbara Sturm
The Nue Co Topical-C
Mixed in with your favourite moisturiser, toner, or just plain water, this powdered vitamin C boosts collagen, fights sun damage, and fades pigmentation. It’s as effortless as it is effective.
£40 for 15g at The Nue Co
Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
A cult-favourite from K-Beauty giant Cosrx, this pore-clearing liquid works to gently exfoliate the skin, promoting a clearer complexion and reinforcing the skin’s natural barrier. Carefully build up from once a week to using BHA two to three times a week to minimise texture and eradicate blemishes.
£26 for 100ml at Skinlibrary
Dermatica Azelaic Acid 20% Cream
Produced naturally by yeasts that live on the skin, azelaic acid should always be a go-to for treating acne and the marks it leaves behind. The most potent formula of its kind, Dermatica’s 20% Cream has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties making it highly effective in refining skin texture and treating blemishes. Apply twice daily for optimal results.
£19.99 for 30ml at Dermatica
These adorable spot patches – made from hydrocolloid, an ingredient used in surgical dressing – accelerates the skin’s healing process by absorbing bacteria and reducing inflammation, shrinking spots overnight and minimising the scar left behind.
£11.99 for 32 patches at Starface
Decorté Whitelogist Brightening Correcting Serum with Kojic Acid
Housed in a glittering silver bottle, this ultra-luxe serum by Decorté is formulated with kojic acid and a nourishing Bright Concentrate Complex that effectively targets and diminishes discolouration. Gently blend this potent formula into the skin both morning and night for lustre-restoring results.
£126 for 40ml at Decorté
Dr Sam’s Flawless Brightly Serum
Formulated with a potent elixir of actives that glides across the skin like satin, the Flawless Brightly Serum by Dr Sam’s – the eponymous line founded by Harley Street dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting – provides everything you need to tackle uneven tone in one convenient bottle. It makes the perfect daytime serum that adds that extra bit of pop to your morning routine.
£44 for 30ml at Dr Sam Bunting
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
No morning routine is complete without sunscreen. This velvety antioxidant-rich multitasker by Supergoop! leaves a weightless primer-like finish that soothes and protects blemishes from sun-induced skin damage with broad-spectrum SPF 30.
£30 for 50ml at Cult Beauty
Pai British Summer Time SPF 30
Navigating the realm of SPF with hyper-sensitive skin can be a daunting task. Thankfully, British Summer Time – a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen by organic skincare brand Pai – is ideal for all skin types. Made with non-nano zinc oxide, this reef-friendly formula also deflects blue-light and infra-red to ensure reactive, scar-prone skin stays protected and happy all day long.
£39 for 75ml at Pai Skincare
Ren Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30
Boasting SPF 30 with UVA, UVB, and blue light protection, this mattifying vegan sunscreen by Ren uses 22% non-nano zinc oxide to gently but effectively protect against sun damage. Made with even the most sensitive skin in mind, the formula elegantly sits on the skin’s surface, acting as a barrier that protects and soothes uneven skin tone.
£32 for 50ml at Ren Skincare
by Joshua Hendren