I had dealt with acne and acne scars for almost 8 years and tried every possible acne scar remedy, medicine and product that there is. I researched a lot on how to get rid of the acne permanently and saw a medicine named ‘Accutane’ which apparently everyone sweared by to get rid of the acne permanently. I looked up a few videos on Youtube and found that there is a course of 5-6 months of Isotretinoin which can eventually clear up the acne but it needs a doctor’s prescription and a few tests that needs to be performed before doing the medication course.
I went to Dr Nivedita Dadu who’s based in Rajouri Garden in New Delhi and asked her for a prescription of Isotretinoin after sharing my acne history and all the things I’ve tried so far. She suggested a few tests which I got done and was prescribed Isotretinoin 20mg and a few other acne care products to keep my acne under control which had a salicylic acid face wash, kojic acid cream and a clindamycin gel.
Coming to how I got rid of acne scars – while I was on the medication, I didn’t use much products as I wanted to keep the routine as simple as possible as Isotretinoin makes skin sensitive and some products/ingredients can make the skin red and burnt. You are not supposed to wax your face, shave your face or use any acid based product on your face while you are on Isotretinoin.
Products I Used to Get Rid of Acne Scars
I started with azelaic acid which is a very gentle acid while I was on my fifth month of Isotretinoin, Pixi glow tonic which is a glycolic acid toner and Biotique depigmentation face pack.
These were the three products I started using on my 5th month of being on Isotretinoin and saw a huge improvement in the color of my scars, they went from severe red to mild red in just a few months. I’d give the credit to Pixi toner, The Ordinary Azelaic Acid and the Biotique face pack after which I went on to explore a few more products from the brand The Ordinary and purchased a few of their products that people raved about – rosehip oil, vitamin C%, niacinamide, alpha arbutin, aha bha peeling solution and salicylic acid. I’d be sharing the ones that helped me get rid of the scars and not all the products I’ve tried from the brand.
After using these 3 products for almost 3 months along with the Clindamycin gel for active acne and Kojic Acid prescribed by my dermatologist, I gradually built my skin care routine and incorporated products one by one starting with The Ordinary vitamin C 23% (I’ve already used a less concentration of vitamin C earlier so I didn’t have to worry about using 23% vitamin C, in case this is your first time using a vitamin C product, please start with a low concentration).
This vitamin C is hands down my favorite vitamin C product I’ve tried so far, I’ve tried the Klairs vitamin C serum, The Ordinary L ascorbic acid powder and Cipla vitamin C serum and this one beats them all.
I mostly use it at night since it piles up if I use it with other products or I use it as a one minute mask when I feel I need the extra boost in my skin care routine. This has made the most improvement in my acne scars, it smoothed my skin texture and reduced the indented scars a bit. It also gets rid of redness, hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
The next product I used was niacinamide, also from the brand The Ordinary and this is my most favorite product from this brand. I had open pores and closed comedones which thankfully Isotretinoin helped a lot with but didn’t fully treat which is when I heard that niacinamide helps with open pores and closed comedones, I immediately bought it and included it in my routine.
I use niacinamide on days when I don’t use vitamin C as both of these ingredients can clash and reduce the efficiency of the other ingredient. Niacinamide usually goes first on skin after cleansing and toning and should be used on dry skin as it can pile up on damp skin.
What niacinamide did for me was unbelievable – it made my skin super smooth and glowy like I’ve been taking facials daily, my blackheads were gone, closed comedones were nowhere to be seen and I totally give this product the credit of reducing the appearance of my pores (which isn’t really possible as pores don’t open and close) but this product did something which made my skin smooth and poreless and cleared most of my acne scars and pigmentation around the mouth.
I’m sure it sounds like an The Ordinary post but trust me it’s not, I keep raving about this brand because this is the only brand that has helped me get the skin I always wanted.
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
Like I said I started with Pixi glow tonic which showed amazing results but I halfway stopped using it and went on to The Ordinary glycolic acid toner which has 7% glycolic acid whereas the Pixi toner has 5% glycolic acid content, I knew my skin could tolerate acids well so I needed to move to a higher concentration and I instantly fell in love with the results of The Ordinary glycolic acid toner as my skin looked brighter, softer and much clearer when I started using this toner.
It’s like seeing instant results with The Ordinary toner, I felt Pixi helped me a lot to reduce my acne scars but I needed something strong to treat my stubborn acne scars. The Ordinary toner (even though it’s high in acid content) feels gentle on the skin and doesn’t sting. I’ve gone over two bottles of The Ordinary glycolic acid toner already and would be repurchasing it until I find a better alternative. I use it twice a week at night after cleansing my face, I like to take it easy on my skin with acids as excess use of acids can damage the skin barrier which is hard to repair, been there, done that so I try and go easy with acids and like to use more gentle products on my skin.
The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
The other product that helped me get rid of my scars is the Arbutin serum by The Ordinary, I’ve gone over 6 bottles of it already and I’m not kidding on how much I love this product, it didn’t show any results up until one month but I keep a lot of patience when using new products and give the product at least 3 months time before tossing it up, it was at the end of first month I saw a huge improvement in my skin, it could be from using all the products I’ve mentioned so far or just by arbutin which is hard to tell but this is the only product I’ve never stopped using, to date this is the only product I always use day and night cause whenever there’s a new scar left by a pimple, I see it fading much fast if I’m using the arbutin serum. It also helped me with the skin texture, my skin texture improved a heap by the glycolic acid toner and arbutin serum.
The Ordinary Aha 30% and BHA 2% Peeling Solution
The last products that really helped me improve the indented scars and skin texture are Derma Roller and The Ordinary AHA 30% BHA 2% peeling solution. I use the peeling solution once a fortnight and keep it on for 10 minutes and it does help a lot in smoothening out the skin texture and improving the appearance of indented acne scars. My makeup goes a lot more smoother now that I don’t have skin texture and my skin feels clear and super smooth the next day, it also helps with hyperpigmentation.
Derma Roller for Acne Scars
The biggest difference that was made in my acne scars was by a derma roller, I started derma rolling back in 2018 with a 0.025mm needle derma roller when Banish sent me their acne scar removal starter kit and I then moved on to using 0.05mm derma roller and years later, I upped it to 1mm which I now use once a month. I get the derma roller from Amazon, make sure the derma roller has 192 needle and is made up of titanium alloy, sterilise it with Isopropyl Alcohol before and after use. If you want to know how I derma roll at home or what products I use before and after dermarolling, let me know in the comments, I’ll share the post on how to derma roll at home.
There’s still quite a bit of texture on my skin and I’m considering getting a professional derma pen treatment done by a dermatologist but so far I’m happy with the results and how far I’ve come with my skin with trial and error.
You can buy all the mentioned products from CultBeauty or Instagram page CosmeticHub