I'm in the same boat you are. I can't afford microdermabrasion and all that jazz. Nor do I have the time for "down-time." I have found that Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Acne Mark Fading Peel works quite well. It's in a little blue tube and is sold at drugstores for about $15. Be warned though, it is quite stinky but it's worth it. I don't use it as often as I should, but I definitely see results when I do use it. Hope this helps!!
some brands make a filler you can add if the scars are deep. This gives the skin a more smooth appearance. But, I would do a gentle exfoliation. It really depends on what type of scarring you have. Some scars can fade with a cream, I have even heard of using applecider vinegar on some acne websites. My daughter is on treatment right now for her ance, her face is looking wonderful and after a couple of years if the scars are still there we will go get her micro dermabrasion.
My cousin had it done, she had childhood acne scars -shes now 29- works as an RN and was introduced to this line of products and the blue peel. its considered to be plastic surgery so insurance dosent cover it (depending on your insurance, I have health net and it wasnt covered). however, it cost upwards of 2000$ depending on how many layers of this peel need to be used etc.
I have used the Neutrogena Acne Fading peel. It works well. They also make a Visibly Even peel, which I think fades the marks even better. I also use the lotion that goes with it. My marks have definitely faded. I just bought some Ambi fade cream. It is supposed to fade dark spots and even out your skin tone. I will let you know how it works! I got the formula for oily skin.