What is the best way to deal with acne? Leave it alone!
As satisfying as popping a pimple can be, remember that while acne comes and goes, once a pesky scar is formed due to messing with your zits, the harder it will be to reduce or remove it.
Using a deep cleansing and moisturizing routine works best to keep acne at bay in the first place, but for those of you who have already noticed some scarring, do not fret - there are a number of ways to treat acne scars successfully.
This non-invasive procedure is practiced in both beauty salons or dermatologist offices, and it involves using a jet of microscopic abrasive crystals across the entirety of your face.
The aim of microdermabrasion is to remove the superficial layer of dead skin cells - once this happens, your skin perceives it as an injury, thus encouraging the production of new, healthy cells to ‘heal’ it.
There are multiple microdermabrasion techniques; some use very fine crystals, while others may utilize a diamond tip pen, and there is also the option of removing loose cells via a tiny facial vacuum or scalpel - your beautician or dermatologist can help you pick the right method for your skin!
Also known as the purest form of Vitamin A, retinol is a miracle worker for all skin types. While focused on reducing superficial scars (such as red blotches left behind by blemishes), it has the added bonus of unclogging your pores! Retinol works by encouraging the shedding and rebuilding process of cells, causing a high cell turnover which improves your skin’s overall appearance. However, keep in mind that using retinol will only work on surface lesions, but the following solutions are designed for deeper scars.
AHA + BHA CHEMICAL PEELS
Similar to microdermabrasion, facial peels involving AHA and BHA components work to remove the outer layer of dead skin, and help restore your skin’s smoothness, making them the perfect solution for buried wounds. Let’s dive into the ingredients: AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are water-soluble, are naturally found in fruits, milk or sugar cane, and work to diminish hyperpigmentation, therefore gently brightening your blemish scars. BHAs (Beta Hydroxy Acids) are oil-soluble, and are used primarily to lessen acne signs or sun damage, and act deep into your skin to remove excess oils and unclog your pores. AHA and BHA chemical peels are best administered at a reputable dermatologist for the best results, as their active ingredients could make your skin more sensitive.
It sounds a bit scary, but this non-invasive, non-ablative (meaning less likely to wound the skin) procedure is revolutionary when it comes to diminishing deep facial scars. Celebrity endorsed, IPL laser treatment therapy has an anti-inflammatory role, and can deal with the acne-causing bacteria straight from inside the skin. Certain types of laser procedures will have added bonuses, such as encouraging collagen production for a speedier recovery, but keep in mind that very deep lesions might be reduced in size, yet not completely vanish. However, this is not a one-time-only solution - in order for laser therapy to have a lasting effect, repeated sessions will be required.
SPF is known for its protective properties again sun damage and skin aging. However, if you are prone to popping your zits (which is bound to leave your face with hyperpigmented scars), or are currently using a scar-treating regimen that makes your skin more vulnerable to harmful rays (such as retinol, laser treatments or the AHA+BHA peels mentioned above), you will want to offer your skin a protective barrier against the sun. Spots and scars can get worse without appropriate sun protection, so applying a high-SPF cream (ideally 50+) that shields you from both UVA and UVB rays is definitely recommended.
Once you embark on this healing journey, remember this - it is important to be realistic when it comes to your results. While hyperpigmented or shallower acne scars can be easier to treat than deeper ones, everyone’s experience is different. Find the treatment that works best for your skin, schedule, and budget, and stick to it. Whether you’re using products, procedures or a combination of both, you will eventually see positive results!