As many people know, living with acne can be extremely challenging.
What’s worse, even when zits and active breakouts subside, you are still left with scarring and discoloration, which can be just as stressful to deal with as acute acne episodes. Not only are scars difficult to handle, they can be a real blow to your confidence, as well.
Coping with acne scars can be a long and arduous battle, but it certainly helps knowing that all these imperfections can be at least partially minimized or, in some cases, completely erased. Another good news is that, when it comes to removing acne scars, there is a wide variety of options available, from simple at-home solutions to the more serious treatments conducted by medical professionals.
Which route you choose to go down depends entirely on your personal preference and the severity of your scars.
Cleansers Containing Salicylic Acid
If you have experience with treating acne and acne scars, then you probably heard many times how salicylic acid can be a miracle worker for treating this particular dermatological issue.
This is because this substance has the power to remove dead skin cells and boost cell turnover without causing skin breakage or rupture like traditional exfoliants.
A good way to target acne scars with this potent product is to include it in your cleansing routine.
Luckily, you can find a plethora of salicylic acid-infused face washes which can be applied all over or only on the targeted areas where your skin has experienced particularly bad acne episodes.
With consistent use, you can rest assured you will begin to see improvement regarding your scars, as well as reduced chances of breakouts and blackheads. Win-win!
Products Infused with AHAs and BHAs
Light exfoliation and promoting new cell growth can be crucial for fading acne scars.
And the most effective ingredients for these processes include alpha and beta hydroxy acids, which are becoming an increasingly present ingredient in toners, spot treatments and other types of skin care products.
The secret to popularity of acids is in their potent exfoliating performance, which still manages to be gentle on your skin and keep your dermis intact.
These powerful agents act by gently removing outer layers of the skin, promoting new cell growth and contributing to a more refined appearance of the skin.
Acids in skin care can be divided into two broad categories:
- Alpha hydroxy acids
- Beta hydroxy acids
Products containing AHAs, as they’re commonly abbreviated, are formulated to tackle uneven texture in skin, but also signs of premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
They can also gradually fade areas of hyperpigmentation, which are a common occurrence with people who have battled acne throughout their life.
On the other hand, BHAs can be of immense help to people whose complexion is marred with blackheads, acne and other imperfections.
There a couple of things you should keep in mind if you do decide to make acids a part of your everyday routine.
For one, never mix two types of acid in your skin care. If you want to try out different ones, you can try applying one in the morning, while using other as a part of your PM routine.
Due to their potent exfoliating capabilities, acids in skin care should always be followed with a protective barrier in form of high-SPF sunscreen at the end of your routine.
If you’re paying attention to trends in anti-aging skin care, chances are you’ve heard about the importance of having retinoids in your daily routine.
The name “retinoid” is a general term used to refer to a group of Vitamin A derivatives used in cosmetics.
Their immense power lies in the fact that they can notably accelerate regenerative processes in the skin.
Retinoids act by gradually removing dead layers of the skin and boosting production of collagen and new cells.
Due to their crucial role in cell renewal, they can be extremely beneficial for people who are looking to make their acne scars less conspicuous.
Products infused with retinoids can be purchased over the counter; however, if you want to go for a more powerful formula, consult your dermatologist to see if you can obtain prescription-strength retinoid.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind if you decide to start using retinoids as part of your daily routine.
Since they can have a drying effect on the skin, make sure you’re hydrating your cells regularly. Moisturizers enriched with hyaluronic acid, ceramides and humectants will not only hydrate your skin, but also keep the moisture firmly locked in your cells.
Regular use of retinoids can also make your skin more vulnerable to sun damage, which is the last thing you want if you’re looking to get rid of acne scars. This problem can easily be avoided by applying a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 at the very end of your skin care routine.
Vitamin C Can Help You Out, Too
If your acne scars tend to manifest themselves through dark patches and spots, then you are likely suffering from hyperpigmentation.
This occurs when there is an overproduction of melanin in the skin, causing certain patches to become more pigmented than its surrounding areas.
Past acne conditions are one of the most common causes of hyperpigmentation.
Luckily, these type of acne scars can also be made less visible.
And a crucial ingredient to help you in that combat will be Vitamin C, a nature-derived antioxidant with immense brightening properties.
This powerful component is capable of reducing scars and fading dark spots, contributing to a balanced and more evened out complexion.
If you want to incorporate Vitamin C into your day-to-day skin care routine, look for products that are formulated to contain a high concentration of this antioxidants to truly see the results.
Serums and spot treatments can be especially effective for this purpose, as they are densely packed with skin-brightening ingredients.
Vitamin C can be applied on your face as a part of your regular skin care routine; however, you should keep in mind that this substance is highly reactive to UV rays, which is why you should always layer your Vitamin C treatment with heavy-duty sunscreen. This will help put a hold on any potential flare-ups.
A Face Massage Can Do Wonders
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that face massage is an important ritual of every thought-out skin care routine.
After all, this is why aestheticians spend all that time soothing and rubbing faces of people who go in for a spa treatment.
And here are some more good news: not only are facial massages supremely relaxing, they can also help reduce the appearance of your acne scars.
That’s why it might be a good idea to set aside some me-time and really go in on stimulating your skin.
Picking the right base for your pampering treatments is important, since acne-prone skin tends to be on the sensitive side and any skin care irritant may further aggravate it.
It’s best to choose a formula that’s enriched with anti-bacterial, non-comedogenic ingredients such as:
- Aloe Vera (cools down the skin)
- Cucumber extract (soothes irritation)
- Pantothenic acid (helps repair the skin)
- Green tea (has brightening properties)
Warm up the product in your hands and begin to apply it on your face in circular motions, making sure you’re not tugging at your skin too vigorously.
The best time to perform a face massage is just before bedtime, so your skin has plenty of time to recuperate overnight.
You can do this once a week or whenever you want to pamper your face.
Sunscreen and Then Some
The focus of your acne scar-targeted skin care routine should also be on eliminating any chances that your condition becomes worse than it already is.
And environmental factors can certainly exacerbate scars, discoloration and other imperfections caused by acne episodes.
As you’re probably already aware, one of the most volatile outside factors for your scars is the sun.
The harmful UV rays it emits can deepen your already existing scars while also causing your hyperpigmentation to become more prominent.
Therefore, it becomes clear why sun protection should be one of your top priorities when building a quality skin care regimen.
The best way to shield your skin from the sun and keep the scarring at bay is to incorporate a heavy-duty sunscreen into your AM routine.
A high-SPF, broad-spectrum sun blocker should be applied at the very end of your skin care, just after moisturizer and before makeup.
If you’re worried about clogging up your pores and further aggravating your skin, you can always go for sunscreen powders, as they are less likely to cause irritation.
In most cases, home remedies and good skin care will suffice when dealing with mild acne scars.
However, if your problem is more severe than that, you can look into getting an in-office procedure.
One of the most common treatments for acne is microdermabrasion, which is performed with a machine that disperses super-fine aluminum oxide crystals onto the surface of the skin.
This helps remove the surface level of the skin and promote the growth of new tissue.
Since this is not considered to be a notably invasive procedure, it can even be done in spa’s and at dermatologists’ offices.
Microneedling has also become one of the most popular ways of dealing with acne scars and achieving smoother, brighter skin.
This technique works by creating mini-punctures in your skin, which then prompts your cells to recharge the tissue with elastin and collagen.
People with more severe cases of scarring might be advised to pursue laser treatments.
Laser procedures tend to vary; some work by resurfacing the skin, gradually erasing the outer layers and contributing to a more refined texture, while others act by altering the composition of the skin, without causing too much damage to its surface.
To find out which kind of treatment is preferred for your scar, it’s best to consult your dermatologist or other medical professional.
Prevention is Key
Getting rid of the existing scars is only half of the battle – the rest is all about making sure new ones don’t suddenly pop up.
This, of course, might require a couple of day-to-day tweaks.
First thing’s first – you should refrain from picking at your skin and squeezing out spots.
In a lot of cases, acne scars occur as a result of messing with the skin rather than breakouts themselves.
Because of this, it would be the best if you can keep your fingers away from your face at all times.
When choosing your skin care, avoid formulas that contain well-known irritants, such as parabens, fragrance and alcohol.
You should also steer clear of harsh physical scrubs (beads, nut shells, brushes and gloves), as they can rip the outer layers of the skin and contribute to more prominent appearance of the scars.
Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet can also help with diminishing acne scars.
For example, staying away from processed carbs and going for nourishing, antioxidant-packed foods like nuts, leafy greens and berries can do wonders for transforming your skin.
Vitamin E is especially beneficial for repairing the skin. If you want to infuse your meals with Vitamin E, here are some foods that are packed with this nutritional powerhouse:
- Mustard greens
Upping your everyday water intake can also boost the regeneration of the skin. Sipping on five to eight glasses of water a day will purify your body of toxins and contribute to healthier, more youthful-looking skin.
And with this, we’re rounding up our list of scar-eradicating methods you can pursue at home or with the help of a medical professionals. Armed with new knowledge, we are positive you will find the optimal solution for relieving your particular skin issues. Best of luck!