My battle with acne finally came to an end as I left my teen years, but that excitement was soon overshadowed by the beginning of a new battle; getting rid of acne scars. Acne scars develop as a result of repeated inflammation caused by breakouts, which damage the skin’s collagen. Thinned out scar tissue then replaces the normal healthy tissue that was previously there. For those with deeper skin tones, like myself, these scars can take a lot longer to fade as the natural way our skin responds to inflammation is to create pigment. This is what causes hyper-pigmentation, something which I am currently trying to combat.
Science aside, here are the things I’ve been doing consistently in order to tackle acne scars.
Sun exposure actually makes you scars appear darker and makes them more prominent, which consequently means the scars will be harder to get rid of. I learnt this the hard way. I never knew how important SPF was, and my skin definitely suffered. If you want clear, scar and sun damage free skin, you need to wear suncream every single day, not matter what the weather is like.
Vitamin C builds collagen and promotes healing. It can also brighten hyperpigmentation and sun damage. This can also help reduce inflammation and the redness it causes. I have been using my Iluma serum, which I mentioned in my second skin struggles series post, and I can honestly say I have seen such a difference in my dark marks, specially my sun damage. You can also get some very highly concentrated vitamin C serums that are on the market, however make sure to do your research first before you go for the strongest one. I am yet to try a pure Vitamin C serum as I have really been enjoying my Iluma serum.
I used to be terrified when I heard the word ‘peel’ because of the videos I’d seen on Youtube of girls going for professional chemical peels and having the whole top layer of their skin peel off. But, there are many products which you can buy and use yourself which are just mild solutions that refine and regenerate the skin by increasing skin turnover. This is the process where new skin cells form, therefore evening out skin tone.
One product that really worked for me was the Image Skincare Peel. I only used it once, and my skin was grotty for a week, but once that skin shed, most of my scars were completely gone. Another product that I have been testing out is The Ordinary AHA 30% Peel+BHA Peeling Solution. However, as this one is more mild, you have to use it twice a week to see a difference.
Always make sure you are careful with the peels you use. If you are not used to them, make sure to start out with a very very very mild on in order to prevent further damage to your skin.
During my nerdy late night skincare research, which I carry out practically every night, I found that there are some key ingredients in skincare which, if used regularly, can combat scarring and hyperpigmentation. These are: retinol, Niacinamide, Alpha Arbutin, glycolic acid. Knowing this really helps when trying to figure out if a product is right for what you are after, so always make sure to read the ingredients list at the back rather than just what the product claims to do. Here are the serums that I’ve been using, which contain these ingredients, for about two weeks now and am slowly starting to see results from:
-The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%
-The Ordinary Niacinamide 10%+Zinc 1%
-The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2%+HA
(Also check out Tabie’s Blog: http://www.tabieledesma.wordpress.com)