9 Best Serums For Fading Acne Scars

Acne scars are a common skin concern that can be even more difficult to treat than acne itself.

Acne scars show the damage inflammation has done to the lower layers of the skin, and this type of damage can be challenging to address because skincare products typically work on the surface layer of the skin and don’t really target the deeper layers below.

However, some ingredients with smaller molecules and the right formula can penetrate the skin and deliver great long-term results.

Which is why, when trying to address acne scars, you should always opt for a lightweight serum that can be easily absorbed by the skin and is also packed with beneficial active ingredients that will specifically target the issue that occurs much deeper than our eyes can see.

Therefore, in today’s article, we rounded up the nine best serums for acne scars that will help you improve this pesky condition while simultaneously nourishing your skin and addressing multiple other skin concerns in the process.

How I Reviewed Each Product

The main goal of finding the best serums for acne scars was to pick products that could improve the appearance of both new and old scars and are also suitable for various skin types based on their ingredients, consistency, and potential triggers.

When making this list, I also looked at whether the serums are suitable for acne-prone skin because you have to remember that you can’t treat acne scars with a serum that could potentially clog your pores. This is why choosing something that’s made with acne-prone skin in mind is the first step toward getting rid of acne scars.

Lastly, I also read through customer reviews to get a feel of how each product actually worked for other skin types, concerns, and as part of different routines.

With all that said, each of the product reviews below is a result of testing done by other members of the Good Glow team, and we made sure to only recommend products we believe will give you the best results for your acne scars.

Here are our eight recommendations of the best serums for acne scars.

Best Serums for Acne Scars Summary

Jump to Review
CLEARSTEM – Cellrenew Collagen Stem Cell Serum
Best Paula’s Choice Serum
Jump to Review
Paula’s Choice – RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (Amazon)
On a Budget
Jump to Review
Naturium – Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% (Amazon)
Vitamin C Serum
Jump to Review
No B.S. (Vitamin C&E Serum) (No B.S)
For Oily Skin and Acne Scars
Jump to Review
Galderma – Differin Resurfacing Scar Gel (Amazon)
For Dry Skin and Acne Scars
Jump to Review
Caudalie – Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum (Amazon)
After Microneedling
Jump to Review
COSRX – Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence (Amazon)
Retinol Serum for Acne Scars
Jump to Review
SkinMedica – Retinol 0.25 Complex (Amazon)
The Ordinary Serum for Acne Scars
Jump to Review
The Ordinary – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum (Amazon)

Best Overall:
CLEARSTEM – Cellrenew Collagen Stem Cell Serum

This botanical-powered serum is packed with ingredients that improve uneven tone and texture while also balancing oil production, calming inflammation, and targeting hormonal acne. It also provides anti-aging benefits.

GoodGlow Score

4.9 /5 5/5 Product Rating

Stimulates Collagen

Collagen stem cells increase collagen production and boost elasticity.



Saw palmetto, green tea, and reishi mushroom, which work together to balance oil production & regulate hormonal acne


Clean Ingredients

No hormone disruptors, no toxins, cruelty free, gluten free, vegan, and silicon free

Skin Type

For all skin types

Including dry, mature, sensitive, acne-prone, combination, and normal

  • Collagen Stem Cells – CLEARSTEM’s proprietary blend of stem cells is the main key ingredient that helps stimulate the skin’s collagen production. However the stem cells require activation in order for their collagen-stimulating effects to turn on. The green tea in CELLRENEW helps activate the stem cells.
  • Reishi Mushroom – Reishi mushroom is one of the most healing ingredients – both to consume and to apply topically. It works with your body to activate your skin’s natural healing process. It’s deeply hydrating, detoxifying, and helps improve skin firmness and texture.
  • Aloe Vera – Aloe vera is another powerhouse skincare ingredient! It’s known for its cooling, anti-inflammatory properties, which are key for relieving the skin redness and irritation caused by acne.

Water/Aqua, Hyaluronic Acid, Isopentyldiol Epilobium Angustifolium (Willowherb) Extract, Proprietary Collagen Stem Cell Formula, Proprietary Enzymes, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi Mushroom) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Extract*, Serenoa Serrulata (Saw Palmetto/Palm Fruit) Extract, Trifolium Pratense (Clover Flower) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea Leaf) Extract*, Citrus Grandis (Pink Grapefruit Peel) Oil, Frankincense Extract, Tasmannia Lanceolata (Mountain Pepper), Kunzea Pomifera (Emu Apple/Native Cranberry Fruit) Extract, Syzygium Luehmannii (Riberry Fruit) Extract, Curcuma Kwangsiensis/Curcuma Wenyujin Rhizome (Turmeric) Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B5). Certified Organic*

One of the absolute best acne scar serums is the Clearstem Skincare CELLRENEW Collagen Stem Cell Serum. This multi-tasking powerhouse not only fades scars, but also balances oil production and calms inflammation related to acne while providing potent anti-aging benefits. It can work as your all-in-one serum for achieving and maintaining a clear, calm, and youthful complexion.

This serum is formulated with reishi mushroom, which activates the natural healing process of your skin to improve the overall look and feel of your complexion. It detoxifies while hydrating and tackling uneven texture for a smoother complexion. Of course, as the name suggests, at the heart of this Clearstem serum are collagen stem cells, which work to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin to maintain a firm, youthful complexion.

In addition to these ingredients, this serum is packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients that minimize redness and irritation tied to acne, including aloe vera, turmeric, willowherb, saw palmetto, and green tea leaf extracts. Many of these botanicals also provide potent antioxidant protection, helping to protect against damaging free radicals.

Another reason why this serum is so beneficial is that it’s made to be safe for acne-prone skin, which means you don’t have to worry about it causing more breakouts. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, and made with high-quality, clean ingredients.

Clearstem Skincare CELLRENEW Collagen Stem Cell Serum Pros:

  • Fades acne scars while improving overall texture and tone.
  • Fights signs of aging for a more youthful complexion.
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, and made without toxins, silicones, or gluten.

Clearstem Skincare CELLRENEW Collagen Stem Cell Serum Cons:

  • Pricey.

Best Paula’s Choice Serum:
Paula’s Choice – RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

If targeting multiple skin concerns that range from acne, scars, uneven skin tone, texture, and even signs of aging is your goal, the Paula’s Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is the best serum to add to your current skincare routine.

GoodGlow Score

4.5 /5 4.5/5 Product Rating

Brighten and refine

Harnesses the power of hyaluronic acid to visibly refine large pores increasing the smooth firm appearance of skin while enriching the skin’s natural barrier layer


Light as air on the skin

Water-light texture that delivers heavy-duty antioxidants & skin-identical ingredients for anti-aging & skin-smoothing hydration

Skin Type

Skin Types

Normal, oily, combination, and acne prone


No fragrance, no parabens, no fluff

Science-backed formulas that target any concern from wrinkles to breakouts

Water (Aqua), Cyclopentasiloxane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Polysilicone-11, Polysorbate 20, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Hyaluronic Acid, Resveratrol, Niacinamide, Quercetin, Adenosine, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Phospholipids, Ubiquinone, Epigallocatechin Gallate, Sea Whip Extract, Bisabolol, Beta-Glucan, Phytic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol

Loaded with active ingredients, including antioxidants, melanin inhibitors, as well as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components, the Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate is a potent serum that leaves the skin with a more even tone, softened scars, diminished signs of damage, and a radiant glow.

Starting with the basics, a potent combo of resveratrol, niacinamide, and vitamin C works to brighten the skin and fade existing scars while also protecting the skin from further damage.

High-quality antioxidants such as ubiquinone, epigallocatechin gallate, and enisoneda, a cell-communicating ingredient that helps visibly repair skin damage and improve the appearance of scars, will deliver a potent boost of defense against further damage while also helping repair existing scars.

And lastly, skin-soothing bisabolol works along the superstar skin-calmer, beta glucan, to help keep any irritation at bay while also delivering much-needed moisture to dehydrated skin.

All this goodness with the lack of fragrance makes this serum suitable for even the most sensitive skin.

On the other hand, the lightweight yet hydrating texture that makes it sink into the skin like a dream and not leave the thinnest layer of greasiness on its surface screams suitable for all skin types, including the oiliest of them all.

And while it might be a little pricey, considering the ingredients and the action it aims to provide, the Paula’s Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is definitely worth the splurge and our top choice for a serum to help with scars.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum Pros:

  • It contains calming, soothing, and skin-repairing ingredients.
  • Excellent for active inflammation, acne, and discolored scarring.
  • Fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.

Paula’s Choice RESIST Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum Cons:

  • Pricey.

Best on a Budget:
Naturium – Tranexamic Topical Acid 5%

Hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and brightening, Naturium’s Tranexamic Topical Acid serum is an excellent budget option for anyone looking for a quick and effective dark spot eraser without breaking the bank.

GoodGlow Score

4.5 /5 4.5/5 Product Rating

Anti-aging, skin brightening

Naturium’s leave-on acid is formulated to help fade the look of dark spots & hyperpigmentation, improving skin discoloration without irritation


Powerful, non-irritating formula

Formulated with a potent level of tranexamic as well as kojic acid, niacinamide & licorice, which is naturally rich in glabridin, an antioxidant supporting brighter skin

Vegan - Clean Ingredients

Clean formulation, non-toxic

Cruelty free, paraben free, vegan, gluten free, fragrance free & non-toxic

Skin Type

Skin Type

Best for normal, combination, and dry skin.

Water, Isopentyldiol, Tranexamic Acid, Propanediol, Citric Acid, Kojic Acid, Niacinamide, Hydroxyacetophenone, Isododecane, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Panthenol, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Phytate, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopherol.

Naturium’s Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% serum uses a gentle and effective blend of amino acids, antioxidants, and soothing agents to target uneven melanin production in the deepest layers of the skin, soothe inflammation caused by acne, and brighten the overall skin tone.

The serum’s main active —tranexamic acid— is a super gentle amino acid often prescribed to patients that have experienced some skin trauma, such as post-surgery scars, burns, etc., to help with the healing process and prevent hyperpigmentation and discoloration.

It’s also an excellent choice for those with very sensitive skin as it’s much gentler than other dark spot-fading ingredients like hydroquinone or retinoids.

In addition to the main active, Naturium’s Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% serum also contains barrier-strengthening niacinamide and brightening licorice extract, which helps fade existing dark spots while preventing new ones from forming.

The serum itself has an oily texture and leaves a slight glow once applied and settled on the skin. It definitely doesn’t dry into a fully matte finish, so those with oily skin might want to watch out when using this serum in the mornings, as it’s going to make you glow even more.

Yet, despite the glowy finish, the Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% isn’t a greasy serum, and just the tiniest amount of it will leave your skin looking smoother and softer without necessarily feeling heavy and suffocating.

Lastly, the Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% serum doesn’t contain added fragrance and has no scent.

Naturium Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% Pros:

  • Lightweight and non-greasy.
  • Reduces the look of hyperpigmentation.
  • Targets uneven skin tone & texture.

Naturium Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% Cons:

  • Oily skin might find it greasy if a lot of product is used.

Best Vitamin C Serum for Acne Scars:
No B.S. Vitamin C & E Serum

With over 5,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, the No B.S. Vitamin C&E Serum is a customer favorite—and for a good reason. Packed with brightening, gentle, and antioxidant ingredients, this glow-in-a-bottle is loved by skincare enthusiasts and professionals in the industry alike.

GoodGlow Score

4.6 /5 5/5 Product Rating

Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps keep the skin hydrated and reduces inflammation

Fades Dark Spots

Vitamin C helps fade dark spots and promotes cell regeneration



Hyaluronic acid and vitamin e keep skin hydrated without clogging pores


Natural Antioxidants

Green tea & Ferulic acid help replenish the skin and protect from UV damage

Aqua/Water, Propanediol, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Glycerin, Tocopheryl (Vitamin E) Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract, Ferulic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Decyl Glucoside, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Arginine, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin

The No B.S. vitamin c&e serum is an affordable find packed with brightening, hydrating, and skin-soothing actives. I’ve been trying this the last few weeks and absolutely love it.

It has a lightweight consistency and a faint citrusy scent, making it a perfect option for all skin types, including oily and sensitive skin.

While vitamin C is the main ingredient in this serum, it also contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and green tea extract, an acne-fighting ingredient that has a pore-shrinking effect on the skin.

Frequently praised for its quick effectiveness and the results it provides after as little as one week of using it, the no B.S. serum is an easy-to-use option for brightening dark spots, redness, and blemishes.

No B.S. – Vitamin C Serum Pros:

No B.S. – Vitamin C Serum Cons:

  • None.

Best for Oily Skin and Acne Scars:
Galderma – Differin Resurfacing Scar Gel

Brightening and lightweight, the Resurfacing Scar Gel from Galderma’s Differin line is an excellent follow-up treatment for acne scars. Specifically formulated for those with oily skin, the lightweight gel quickly absorbs into the skin and can be used as a spot treatment or in larger pigmented areas.

GoodGlow Score

4.4 /5 4.5/5 Product Rating

Promotes surface cell turnover

To visibly improve uneven skin and delivers peptides to leave skin looking firm



Formulated with skin-soothing and moisturizing ingredients to support the skin’s moisture barrier and soften the appearance of scars and surface imperfections


Ingredient Callout

Non-irritating, fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, paraben-free and dermatologist-tested

Skin Type

Skin Type

Best for normal, combination, and oily skin. Suitable for sensitive skin.

Water, Dimethicone, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Bis-PEG-12 Dimethicone, Glyceryl Oleate Citrate, Ethoxydiglycol, Bakuchiol, Dextran, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Fruit Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Seed Oil, Asiatic Acid, Asiaticoside, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Ethylhexyl Olivate, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Squalane, Madecassic Acid, Tripeptide-1

Galderma’s Differin Resurfacing Scar Gel is an excellent serum/spot treatment for those who are dealing with the aftermath of acne.

The gel serum has a lightweight consistency that absorbs into the skin within seconds of applying it and leaves a smooth, non-greasy, but somewhat tacky layer on the surface.

The super short ingredient list features bakuchiol as a main active ingredient that targets discoloration and hyperpigmentation.

Additionally, bakuchiol is also a barrier-repairing antioxidant that can brighten the skin and even out the complexion after as little as one to two weeks of consistent use.

Lastly, the Resurfacing Scar Gel can be used on larger hyperpigmented areas, but due to the precise applicator, it can also be used as a spot treatment to fade and brighten hyperpigmented spots left by pimples or UV damage.

Differin Resurfacing Scar Gel Pros:

  • Lightweight and non-greasy.
  • It can be used as a serum or a spot treatment.
  • Affordable and long-lasting.

Differin Resurfacing Scar Gel Cons:

  • None.

Best for Dry Skin and Acne Scars:
Caudalie – Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum

Moisturizing, softening, and non-irritating, the Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum is a good choice for those with dry skin who want to minimize the appearance of acne scars and boost skin radiance.

GoodGlow Score

4.5 /5 4.5/5 Product Rating

Instantly nourishes dry and dehydrated skin

Leaves a beautiful glow on the skin once it settles

Clinically Proven

Proven to be 62x more effective

Than Vitamin C in correcting dark spots, acne scars, sunspots, brightening skin tone, and boosting radiance

Skin Type

Natural and effective on all skin types

Targets all dark spots (sun-spots, age spots, pregnancy, and acne scars)


Formulated without 90+ harmful ingredients

Free from: parabens, mineral oils, sulfates, phtalates, phenoxyethanol, animal ingredients + more

Aqua/Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cococaprylate/Caprate, Squalane, Palmitoyl Grapevine Shoot Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 Distearate, Bisabolol, Glyceryl Stearate, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Potassium Sorbate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Phytate, Sodium Hydroxide, Parfum (Fragrance).

Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum is a milky, lightweight serum that brightens the complexion while reducing the appearance of dark spots and discoloration left from acne.

The chief brightening ingredient in this product is Caudalie’s patented Vine Sap Viniferine, a powerful antioxidant and a less irritating vitamin C alternative that stabilizes the production of melanin and prevents dark spots from forming in the deeper layers of the skin.

Additionally, ultra-moisturizing and skin-softening squalane derived from olive offers a non-greasy layer of protection against moisture loss and subsequent dehydration, making it excellent for those with dry skin prone to acne and scarring.

All in all, this is an excellent serum that can be incorporated into your daily routine and used alongside other products in your skincare arsenal to address discoloration, redness, and UV damage.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum Pros:

  • Best for dry skin.
  • It contains a patented brightening ingredient that addresses hyperpigmentation, scarring, and UV damage.
  • Vegan squalane helps replenish the skin barrier and improve its function.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Dark Spot Serum Cons:

  • Pricey.
  • Not the best option for someone with active acne.

Best After Microneedling:
COSRX – Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

Plumping and healing snail mucin is everything your face needs after a microneedling session, and this particular pick from COSRX will help promote healing and get the skin back on track in no time.

GoodGlow Score

4.6 /5 5/5 Product Rating

Formulated with 96.3% Snail Secretion Filtrate

This essence repairs and rejuvenates the skin from dryness and aging. It improves skin vitality by reducing dullness and soothing dehydrated skin.


Fast absorbing natural and healthy glow

Guarantees long-lasting hydration without heavy feeling on the skin

Clinically Proven

NO Snails are Harmed

Snail Mucin is obtained in a safe and environmentally friendly way in a favorite environment of snails and then processed as a cosmetic material. 100% Natural, Hypoallergenic, Dermatologist-tested.

Skin Type

Skin Type

Best for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin.

Snail Secretion Filtrate, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Allantoin, Ethyl Hexanediol, Carbomer, Panthenol, Arginine

While strong actives such as exfoliating acids, vitamin C, and retinoids are effective for fading acne scars, they can also leave the skin feeling dry, irritated, and inflamed, which is why you should avoid them especially in combination with professional treatments such as microneedling.

Although super effective in minimizing skin texture and pitted scarring, this popular treatment delivers controlled trauma to the skin that will eventually help it rebuild itself but not without leaving it feeling raw and uncomfortable for the first couple of days.

Therefore, when looking for something that will give you the ultimate glow and help repair the skin post-microneedling, the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is definitely the product that needs to be on your radar. Microneedling typically takes 2-3 sessions to start showing results and you should make sure you are following your “post-microneedling” skincare routine for at least 30 days after your last treatment

The essence/serum contains 96% snail secretion filtrate, which helps hydrate, plump, and heal the skin that has just undergone this type of trauma. This action will accelerate healing and will ultimately work with the professional treatment to give you the best results possible.

Lightweight, gooey, and ultra-hydrating, the COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence sinks into the skin like a dream and works well for all skin types and skin concerns, including acne scars.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Pros:

  • Gentle, soothing, and suitable for all skin types.
  • It plumps and repairs the skin.
  • Works excellent alongside professional treatments such as microneedling.

COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence Cons:

  • None.

Best Retinol Serum for Acne Scars:
SkinMedica – Retinol 0.25 Complex

Moisturizing, plumping, and firming, the mildest of SkinMedica’s retinoid family works to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone and discoloration left from acne. Furthermore, and due to its skin-softening properties, the Retinol 0.25 is excellent for anyone dealing with those stubborn atrophic acne scars.

GoodGlow Score

4.7 /5 5/5 Product Rating

Key Benefits

Enhances skin tone, texture, and resiliency. Diminishes appearance of fine lines and coarse wrinkles. Enhances skin tone and texture.

Renews skin

Improve the appearance of skin with effective formulas that help address the many factors that lead to premature aging

Water/Aqua/Eau, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Glycine Soja Oil, Niacinamide, Polyacrylate-13, Squalane, Retinol, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-8, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Magnolia Grandiflora Bark Extract, Tocopherol, Tocotrienols, Ceramide 3, Bisabolol, Phytosterols, Squalene, Tocopheryl Acetate, Oryza Sativa Bran Cera, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Palmitate, Laureth-23, Trideceth-6 Phosphate, Sodium Hydroxide, Dicaprylyl Ether, Lauryl Alcohol, Polyisobutene, Dextran, Potassium Sorbate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

SkinMedica’s Retinol 0.25 Complex is a moisturizing retinol with a gentle and creamy consistency that contains barrier-repairing lipids and a couple of fatty alcohols that help soften the skin and strengthen the skin barrier to prevent dryness and dehydration.

It’s also the mildest of SkinMedica’s retinols, which means you are unlikely to experience the initial side effects of retinol use, such as redness, dryness, peeling, and flaking.

Besides that, the formula also contains brightening niacinamide and bisabolol, which are two antioxidants that work to even out uneven skin tone, fade hyperpigmentation, and discoloration left from acne as well as improve those pesky red spots that remain for a long time after a pimple has healed.

SkinMedica Retinol 0.25 Complex Pros:

  • It contains mild retinol concentration that won’t cause initial dryness, redness, and peeling.
  • Suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
  • It helps fade hyperpigmentation and even out uneven skin tone.

SkinMedica Retinol 0.25 Complex Cons:

  • Pricey.

Best The Ordinary Serum for Acne Scars:
The Ordinary – Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Serum

Balancing, soothing, and barrier-repairing, the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is a lightweight serum that has done wonders for those dealing with red and pigmented scars left from acne. Especially loved by oily skin types, this serum is bound to become a staple in your skincare routine after the very first try.

GoodGlow Score

4.5 /5 4.5/5 Product Rating


Hydrating and antioxidant niacinamide helps balance out oil production and reduce pore-clogging

Skin Type

Skin Type

Sensitive, oily, combination, normal. acne-prone, and mature skin


Niacinamide + Concentration of Zinc

To balance visible aspects of sebum activity, thereby reducing the appearance of textural irregularities, enlarged pores and visible shine

Ingredient Callouts

Alchohol-free, oil-free, silicon-free, vegan, gluten free, and cruelty free

  • Niacinamide: a vitamin, which can lighten skin blemishes and improve pore blocking.
  • PCA zinc: a mineral, which can control the oil secretion of skin.

Aqua (Water), Niacinamide, Pentylene Glycol, Zinc Pca, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Xanthan Gum, Isoceteth-20, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% is one of the most popular products by The Ordinary, and for a few good reasons.

The serum has worked wonders for many people dealing with discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and redness left from acne. But it’s also excellent for those who are dealing with active acne due to its ability to balance out oil production, soothe inflammation on the skin and improve barrier function.

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% has a lightweight, gel-like texture that sinks into the skin without a greasy or sticky feel. Its matte finish also makes it an excellent primer as it sits well under makeup and helps control excess oiliness throughout the day.

Pair all that with its ridiculously affordable cost, and you will get a cult classic loved by many.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Pros:

  • Excellent for active acne and inflammation.
  • Helps fade discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and red acne scars.
  • It has a matte finish and sits well under makeup.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% Cons:

  • None.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Vitamin C help reduce acne scars?

Yes, Vitamin C can help reduce acne scarring, dark spots, and inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Will acne scars go away on their own?

If you have infrequent acne breakouts your scars should typically fade within a few weeks. However, if you have frequent breakouts you may need to use a combination of skincare products and supplements to effectively fade your scars.

Originally Published: January 09, 2024

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sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi, I’m Sam Wood, the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach at GoodGlow, as well as a best-selling author for one of the top acne books on Amazon. I struggled with acne for over 10 years, and began studying the effects of diet on skin quality while pursuing a degree in Nutrition Sciences at the University of Missouri. After shifting from mainstream skincare trends to in-depth research in medical journals, I experienced significant personal success in managing my acne. This inspired me to start GoodGlow, where I simplify complex scientific findings into easy-to-understand advice. With over 10 years in the field, I’ve helped more than 2,500 people achieve clearer skin through natural, holistic methods, and I’m dedicated to personally assisting those seeking guidance on their acne journey.

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