Almost everybody has a scar they’d really rather not see every day. I’ve got a few from the chicken pox I had 25+ years ago, one from accidentally stabbing myself while trying to whittle a piece of wood, another from a really bad steam burn I sustained while working in a coffee shop, and yet another from slipping on a dock and gouging my ankle. And those are just the ones I notice on a daily basis. So first of all, not great memories! And secondly, even though the scars are faded, they’re still a little unsightly.
If you have scars from cuts and scrapes, injuries, acne or surgery, chances are nobody else is noticing, but they can be annoying or make you self-conscious. While scars are inevitable (especially if you’re clumsy like I apparently am), there are a lot of natural remedies you can use to minimize their appearance. Note that it may take several consistent applications—daily is ideal—for results to be really noticeable.
12 Natural Scar Remedies
If you’re also battling stretch marks (aren’t we all?), here are some natural stretch mark remedies, too!
Especially helpful for acne scars, a cucumber mask or cucumber lotion can minimize inflammation and the appearance of scars of the face or body. Cucumbers have lightening agents as well as anti-inflammatory properties that will help reduce residual redness.
- 1 peeled cucumber
- 1 tablespoon organic Greek yogurt
Puree the cucumber and then mix in the yogurt. Apply to face or other affected areas and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
This essential oil helps treat dry skin, reverses signs of aging, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
3. Rosehip Seed Oil
Mix frankincense oil with another scar-fighting oil, rosehip seed oil, to make an anti-aging facial oil that also works on scars. Rosehip seed oil is high in essential fatty acids that heal dehydrated skin. It’s a “dry” oil, meaning that it soaks into the skin easily and doesn’t leave a greasy residue, so you can use it just about anywhere on your body.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Dilute ACV with anywhere from 1 to 4 parts water (depending on how sensitive your skin is) and dab or swipe on with a cotton ball to help fade scars and sun spots. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, try this wonder ingredient in an acne-fighting turmeric-ACV astringent, too.
5. Aloe Vera
This worked wonders on my ankle scarring—you can still see some discoloration but it’s not nearly as raised as it used to be. Among many other benefits, aloe reduces inflammation, swelling and redness.
6. Lemon Juice
Another great treatment for acne scars. Lemon juice helps fade any dark discolorations in the skin. Combine it with aloe’s inflammation-fighting power in an aloe-lemon face pack (you can use it elsewhere, too.)
7. Vitamin K Cream or Serum
Leafy greens are the best natural source of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. When it comes to skin, a topical application of vitamin K can help minimize spider veins, bruising, scars and stretch marks. Make sure to eat your kale and collards to promote healing from within, too.
8. Baking Soda
DIY beauty mavens swear by baking soda for discoloration and acne scars. It’s also a gentle exfoliant. Baking soda works like a magnet, pulling any ickiness out of the skin. Mix a little water with baking soda to make a paste and apply to wet skin, then let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. (Hold a warm compress on it for even better results.)
9. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is super soothing to the skin and helps scars disappear over time. You can simply open up a vitamin E capsule and apply the liquid to the affected area, or you can use vitamin E to make this homemade scar lotion, which also has coconut oil, frankincense, aloe, wheat germ oil, and rosehip—a scar-fighting powerhouse.
10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
EVOO helps loosens dead skin cells, and lighten and soften scars. You can even leave a little olive oil on the affected area overnight for extra moisturizing.
11. Cocoa Butter
In addition to working well for stretch marks, cocoa butter (go for organic, raw versions if possible) is a highly concentrated fat that penetrates deep into skin to heal, smooth and soften. This is a great remedy if you have larger scars.
12. Lavender Oil
In addition to helping treat burns, eczema and acne, lavender’s healing and soothing properties also help diminish scar tissue. Lavender is gentle enough that you can apply a couple drops to the affected area daily (do a small test patch on the inside of your elbow if you’ve never used it before). Bonus: lavender is great for anxiety and insomnia.