I'm of the belief that a scar is a symbol of your strength in getting through whatever challenge caused it. That said, for those who are looking for scar fading remedies, there are options — and some of the best are surprisingly accessible. If you're not sure which balms, creams, gels, or pads are best for you, it pays to do a little research before you begin shopping.
Scars form because of tough fibrous tissue that heals over an injury or wound. They’re a natural part of the healing process, but if you'd rather speed up the evidence of surgeries, break-outs, or accidents, the right ingredients can help. Those who are wondering how to remove and fade scars should aim for ingredients that boost cell turnover, keep the skin hydrated, reduce inflammation, and nourish the area with essential vitamins. This will not only reduce current redness and irritation, but will also encourage the skin to heal itself long-term.
As always, check ingredients lists for your known irritants, and start to narrow down options that way. Much of your scar-healing journey will have to do with preference; some people don't mind the dewy consistency of a natural gel, while others prefer to keep the area covered with a scar healing sheet. Whichever you prefer, here are 10 remedies you can use to help treat your scars quickly, conveniently, and effectively.
1. The Best Lightweight Healing Gel
If you dislike the feeling of a sticky residue, this scar-fading gel aims to heal scars with its restorative and natural formula — all while remaining lightweight and non-sticky.
Ingredients like Quercetin (a natural anti-inflammatory found in onions) and Kakadu plums (an Australian plant full of vitamin C) reduce the appearance of scars, no matter the cause. Hydrolized collagen creates epidermal growth by regulating the skin's cell production, and its formula is safe for sensitive-skin. Though it says it can take up to 12 weeks to start working, fans of this product report serious improvement in just a few weeks. Reviewers also say, "it's not greasy or slimy" and it "absorbs quickly."
2. The Best Natural Scar-Healing Balm
If you’re looking for something that prompts healing using ingredients from nature, this Scar Fade Balm is a fan-favorite. It’s great for acne scars, sun spots, and surgical scars because its lavender, shea butter, and Tamanu oil formula hydrates skin as it heals. Reviewers of the balm say it reduces both discoloration and texture, and its herbal, aromatherapeutic scent smells great, too.
"I have noticed the scar is no longer as raised as it once was and in person you can definitely tell it’s gotten smaller," one reviewer raves. "I can’t wait to see what happens as I keep using it."
3. The Best Cream For Acne Scarring
When discoloration is your primary concern, this Organyc Skin Whitening Cream is specifically made for the red spots and bumps left by severe acne. It uses an antioxidant compound found in red grapes to reduce melanin, and it won't leave your skin smelling like harsh chemicals because of its vitamin-packed, botanical formula. A clinical study found 85 percent of people had brighter skin after using the cream, and users say its fragrance-free formula lightens other dark spots on their bodies, too, producing a subtle glow just after applying.
4. A Fading Cream For Sensitive Skin
Many scar remedies may contain extracts and concentrated ingredients that are too harsh for sensitive skin. Instead of irritating ingredients, this scar treatment cream utilizes a gentle formula which soothes skin using flower extracts and aloe juice. Because it’s specially formulated for all skin types, it can be used on even the most gentle areas, like on scabs left by mosquito bites.
"This has changed my skin," says one reviewer. "I kept reading great things about it and thought I would try it out. I started using it for my dry skin and it’s helped so much. I have sensitive and super dry skin that gets deep cystic acne on my chin and cheeks from PCOS. It not only cleared up the scarring, but my cystic acne is all gone."
5. The Best One-Ingredient Remedy
Science has shown that topical emu oil has a positive effect on wound-healing when used after the initial inflammatory stages. In other words, it's especially effective for scars. This pick from InstaNatural is entirely pure and contains only AEA-certified refined emu oil. As a result, it's absolutely packed with healing and anti-inflammatory fatty acids, which help to speed along rejuvenation and keep the area well-moisturized.
It's a great all-around product for various beauty-related issues (like hair growth, nail health, and dryness and discoloration), but reviewers really love it for scars: "The older scar was somewhat faded to begin with and has now really started to disappear, and the newer one, which was lumpy and bright pink, is now much smoother and lighter in color," says one buyer.
6. The Most Travel-Friendly Remedy
Lemon is another effective ingredient when it comes to treating dark spots and scars because it’s rich in vitamin C and has astringent qualities. While this lemon butter cream is made for cuticles and nails, its list of natural ingredients (like lemon oil, beeswax, rosemary extract, vitamin E, and almond oil) make it a pleasant pocket-size fix ideal for healing scars. Users say the compact tin lasts longer than you'd think, and its high-moisture formula easily slides on for simple application. Best of all, it's easy to travel with or keep in your desk at work, so it's never far when it comes time for reapplication.
7. Silicone Sheets For Protecting New Scars
Newer scars need a safe environment to help them heal, and that’s why this silicone gel scar sheeting is ideal for post-surgery treatments, specifically. It protects scars from germs and outside contact while the permeated surface still allows healing skin to breathe and retain moisture. Application is easy and effortless, and sheets can be cut for a custom-fit shape that lasts up to 24 hours at a time. You can get them in various colors, and reviewers say, "I truly wish I had known about these for my first [two] surgeries."
8. The Best Wound-Healing Supplement
When it comes to scars, healing them from the inside-out can be a great addition to topical treatment. Grape seed extract boosts the healing of wounds because it enhances the growth of epidermal tissue, and these capsules from Purethentic Naturals contain nothing but grape seed — no fillers and no unnecessary ingredients. Added bonus: It’s great for your immune system, your cardiovascular health, and even PMS. Of course, check with your doctor before implementing any supplemental changes in your diet.
9. The Best Vitamin For Skin Rejuvenation
While many sources suggest vitamin E for scar-healing, science has actually shown that there is no evidence to support it — and it could potentially even worsen the appearance of scar-tissue. Vitamin A, on the other hand, helps in the rejuvenation of skin tissue, and if you’ve got a deficiency, it could delay the healing of a scar.
These vitamin A drops are a great dietary supplement because they’re free from common allergens (like gluten, casein, and corn) and they’re easy to administer. Just put a few neutral-tasting drops into anything you happen to be eating or drinking, and reap the benefits of smoother skin. One user even said her oily, acne-prone skin appeared clearer days after use.
10. The Best Healing Clay Mask For Scarring
Many people use it for its pore-cleansing and complexion-clearing abilities, but this healing clay mask also remineralizes the body with calcium and silica. As a result, reviewers say it "truly works at improving the appearance of acne scars," and some have even had success healing scars elsewhere on the body. The best part? Your scar-healing journey is going to feel like a spa day administered right from your home. One user said acne-related scars around her T-Zone and mouth healed up after two uses.
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This post was originally published on 2/16/2016. It was updated and republished on 6/18/2019.