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Efua Oyofo: Tea Tree Oil, Papaya, Cocoa Butter & More! 6 Great Ways to Reduce Scars Naturally


 on there’s one question I get asked regularly, it’s how to reduce the appearance of scars.

For many women of color, scarring is a way of life. From acne scars and keloids to stretch marks and discoloration, it can be frustrating to realize that your attempts at smooth and even skin can be marred by something as trivial as a mosquito bite or a skin irritation.

Thankfully, mother nature has her ways of solving many of our skincare needs. She does this by ensuring that most of the products engineered to help get rid of scars, are rooted in flora or fauna-based products. These essential oils, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), and even foods, all help nourish and cleanse our skin and can be found almost anywhere.

One of the reasons that I like using natural products for getting rid of scars is because they feel completely natural and organic. I like knowing exactly where all the ingredients within some products come from, which is a great way to ensure your bodies get the best treatment.

To help get you on your way to even and beautiful skin, here are 6 items you can use by eating or applying them topically.

Aloe Vera

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Hello sunburn, meet your worst nightmare. Aloe vera (aloe barbadensis) is a great natural fixer for sun burns and irritation caused by the sun. The cooling feeling it gives is extremely soothing and it’s natural toxins help fade scars naturally.

I like using this to ease the irritation by topically applying it to the area affected. It soothes the pain and heals the redness and scarring the sun has caused.

Cocoa Butter

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With its intense chocolate fragrance, this is the great-smelling distant cousin of shea butter.

Also known as theobroma oil, cocoa butter is great for healing scars, especially those that are fresh. It also seals in moisture, so it works wonderfully as an alternative moisturizer.

Lemon Juice

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Even though I have never tried this personally, I’ve heard many amazing benefits of using lemon juice.

It can be used to fade scars due to its potency of citric acid. All you have to do is squeeze some juice from the lemon into a bowl, dampen a cotton ball with the liquid and apply to the affected area.

This can be very harsh, so it is advisable for you to dilute it with a little water, and stay away from sunlight for a while.

Papaya/Paw Paw

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Paw-paw, also known as Vasconcellea Pubescens, is nice, cooling and soothing.

This is regarded as a super fruit which helps aids clarity and skin. Paw Paw contains rejuvenating enzymes that exfoliate your skin to unveil the new layer of skin that is more even and clearer.

Tea Tree Oil

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Tea tree oil is an anti-fungal essential oil that works well on gradually removing newer scars.

Derived from the Tea Tree plant, it also has anti-bacterial properties and is great for reducing the effects of ailments such as athlete’s foot and dandruff. I use it to keep my scalp nice and clean.

Caution: It is worth noting that it should never be taken internally, under any circumstances.


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The lactic acid makes yoghurt quite good for your face, and your body.

Yoghurt is full of wonderful skin-saving ingredients such as Vitamin D, proteins, and probiotics (the good sort of bacteria). Lactic acid is a great alpha-hydroxy acid, and it works wonders at giving your skin a fresh, dewy glow.


Sharing is caring. Let us in on some of your favourite scar reducing treatments!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Julia Sunditskaya | Ang Hui Hoen | Aaron Hernandez | Olyina | Goldnetz

Beauty and curvy blogger, travel and experience lover, dedicated to promoting happiness and enjoying all of life’s wonders and inspirations. I write sometimes. Blogs: Dating While Nigerian - a collection of curated relationship stories about dating as Nigerians. The Beauty Project - A beauty and lifestyle columnist, celebrating beauty, from the inside and on the outside in all it's various forms. Instagram: @efuastar Twitter: @efuastar


  1. Damilola

    September 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I will vouch for lemon juice and papaya. However, not used directly bcos it’s never worked as effective. But there’s a natural products store in Massachusetts, that I go to. They sell it in bottles. Wonderful products. I don’t remember the last time I bought any name brand skin care from big companies.

  2. Funmilola

    September 25, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Thanks Efua for this, I use shea butter for my scars and it works…..but please where can one get cocoa butter?
    is it readily available in our local markets?

    • Adwoa

      September 25, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Since I moved to Naija, I get Cocoa Butter from Estella’s Pride. When I was in Accra, I used to get from my relatives in my hometown.

      Efua: Yup! Nice-write up.
      If Lemon Juice is too harsh, it can be mixed with a teaspoon of pure honey, and added to the affected area, and it should be left for about 15 minutes before its washed off.
      Nice read, Efua! ?

    • Efua

      September 26, 2015 at 2:05 am

      Hi there! Thanks for your feedback.
      Cocoa butter is hard to find tbh. Ghana has some. I believe Natural Nigerian and Olori stock it.

    • Mrs. T

      September 26, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      Yeah, Adwoa, I got some from Estella’s Pride last month. 1st time ever using it. It smells like chocolate, it’s unbelievable. Of course, I prefer the smell to Shea butter. But shea butter is damn good too. I use it for the whole house.

  3. Omooba

    September 25, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    I can definitely swear by aloe vera. I attended a University that had armies of sandflies. My ‘buttie’ Lagos skin had never experienced such. Unfortunately, I had skin that retained scars, no matter how little. I would itch and itch, and the bites would peel, and dry up into black scars. My legs were a mass of black scars. I remember a guy saying as I passed ‘Chai! Fine girl, see hin legs as dem spoil’.

    This went on for about two years.
    I had sisters who used to experiment with natural products, One day, I ‘followed’ them and blended a fresh aloe plant with my body lotion. After sometime, the lotion turned brown due to oxidation, and the fact that the aloe vera was no longer ‘fresh’. I didn’t ‘send’. I continued applying as usual.

    It was a classmate who drew my attention to my legs. I hadn’t even noticed that the scars had faded. All my friends started looking for fresh aloe vera. Lol. I still mix my body cream with aloe vera, and recently, shea butter…and I wear shorts 😀

  4. Adaeze

    September 25, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Great article! Very informative. Keep ’em coming!

    • Efua Oyofo

      September 27, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Thanks so much, Adaeze!! 🙂

  5. Efua

    September 26, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Thanks, Adwoa!

    Nice tip re. where to get cocoa butter. And thanks so much for the feedback!

  6. nuellavista

    September 26, 2015 at 3:32 am

    Truth is I use some of these stuffs without expecting a miracle, Shea butter does this, Aloe-Vera does that…etc
    I know they work wonders especially on some type of skin but I prefer to eat fresh, exercise and pay no particular attention to what’s working on what. For me that works better than all the rest.

    • Efua Oyofo

      September 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      This is a good point, but if you’re blessed with skin that tends to scar (as mine does) it’s nice to know that you can take control of that situation if you want to.

  7. Chicken pox

    September 26, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Hi Efua, thanks for this lovely article, i am however surprised you did not mention chicken pox; this is the cause of most scars on black skin, well, for some more than others. I have a skin that i jokingly describe as ‘unforgiving’ because it never lets hurts go, the scars remain. You can imagine my horror when i was afflicted by chicken pox 2 years ago at 28, and yes, the scars are still there till date. Luckily the ones on my face have cleared, and most of those on my legs but my back and my bum is another matter. I have tried so many products and in fact at one time was using shear butter as my body cream, day and night, but the scars are still there.
    Any special recommendations knowing chicken pox scars are especially tough?

    • Mrs. T

      September 26, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Squeeze Lemon Juice to your cream, add raw cocoa butter (you can melt it before adding it) as well as 2 teaspoons of honey.

    • chicken pox

      September 26, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Thank you Mrs. T, i will try it

  8. Tosin

    September 26, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    those first two – aloe vera and substitute shea butter for cocoa butter. if it’s the real thing not a chemical claiming to be, you’re all set. many more … honey?
    and for hot oil burn first aid, someone told me they broke eggs on him and so he didn’t suffer major scars. never heard that one, i’d heard of fresh ogi (pap, the uncooked ground corn paste)

  9. Chicken pox

    September 26, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    BN, please post my earlier comment, i really need an answer from Efua, abeg.

  10. Adanna

    September 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Tea tree oil is the truth. My 4year old recently picked ringworm from school right above his upper lip and in 24 hours of applying T.t oil, the ringworm began to shrink. Exactly 5days after, it is all gone- dried out and the dry skin coming off even as I continue to moisturise it to prevent him from itching it. His teacher asked me what the doctor prescribed and I told her “doctor mummy used tea tree oil’. The look on her face was priceless.

    • Efua Oyofo

      September 27, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Hi there!

      Chicken pox is a challenging one.. I have a chicken pox scar on my hand that I’ve never been able to get rid of, so I haven’t yet come across anything that can get rid of these once they’ve been picked, which most people tend to do.

      I’ll look into doing a post specifically on it (most likely on my site) once I come up with something.

    • Efua Oyofo

      September 27, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Oh great Adanna, I’m really happy to hear this. It’s been such a useful product for me.
      It’s also good for itchy scalps 🙂 (but dilute first!)

    • chicken pox

      September 28, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Thank you Efua, i look forward to the fruit of your findings!

  11. ATL's finest

    September 27, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Yes very nice!!! I have used it all..and it works great and Also very, tea tree oil is also great for Natural hair as well.. Kudos writer!

    • ATL's finest

      September 27, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      *Aleo Vera*

  12. monica

    October 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    This post is sooo informative! Please I have the saddest mosquito Bite scars on my legs and it’s really downing my confidence! I have no idea where to find this natural cocoa butter here in abuja. Please does any1 have an idea? And also any other tips that may be effective

    • anie

      October 8, 2015 at 1:04 pm

      Using the aloe vera would be fine, since it can be drying, you can add a tad bit oil. It is slow but you’ll see some changes

  13. awoyemi seun david

    August 31, 2018 at 10:22 am

    can dis treat Scabies

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