How To Improve The Appearance Of Acne Scars
Every time a pimple pops up on your face, we know what you’re thinking: This is war. But it’s actually after you’ve conquered the enemy (with your arsenal of skin care products) that the battle truly begins. Eliminating these short-lived blemishes often leaves long-lasting acne scars which can be the most disheartening part of clearing away pimples. Read on to find out how to get rid of the look of acne scars and reduce the appearance of dark spots from acne.
What Are Acne Scars?
First of all, what exactly are acne scars and why do they mark the skin? Dermatologist Dr. Lily Talakoub explains that acne scarring occurs when “the skin displays an inflammatory response to previous acne (whiteheads, cysts, nodules, etc.) and physical intervention such as picking or popping.” Acne scars can occur in different forms and it’s not unusual to suffer from multiple types of scars.
The Most Common Types Of Acne Scars
Acne scars typically fall into two primary categories, with a third type — the raised keloid scar — appearing less commonly. The first category includes dark acne spots, often left behind as pigmented reminders of past breakouts. The second type includes depressed acne scars, which are indentations on the skin. These come in different shapes: rolling scars with a wavy appearance, ice pick scars that are deep and narrow, and boxcar scars with wider, more pronounced edges. Let’s unpack this more.
Dark Acne Spots
Dark acne spots, often called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), are flat spots of darker skin that stay after an acne lesion has healed. Dark acne spots tend to form when the skin’s natural healing process triggers the production of excess melanin (the pigment that gives skin its color) in response to inflammation. The discoloration can range in color from pink to red, brown or black, depending on your skin tone and the depth of the discoloration. The duration these spots remain visible can vary widely, from a few weeks to several months or even longer. PIH can develop in all skin types, but it tends to be more severe and longer-lasting for people with medium to dark complexions, according to Very Well Health.
Depressed Acne Scars Such As Rolling, Ice Pick & Boxcar Scars
Indented scars are caused when inflammation occurs in acne-damaged skin tissue. The lack of collagen causes the scar tissue to sink into the skin, resulting in textured scars. Ice pick scars are in the shape of a point and boxcar scars appear with a wider base. Rolling scars, on the other hand, are shallower and softer to the touch.
Fortunately, we have several products that help get rid of the look of acne scars. The Acne Advanced Treatment System, Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System and our Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum are all skin care lifesavers that can help the appearance of different types of acne scars, including dark spots and depressed acne scars. Keep reading to find out how to use them.
Product picks first
Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum
How To Improve The Look Of Dark Acne Scars
After a pimple heals, and a dark acne spot or “scar” is left behind, you can target these areas with specific treatments. Lead Skin Care Trainer, Natalie Pergar, tells us: “You want to look for ingredients that are going to brighten. This will help a lot with minimizing the appearance of darkness left behind by the acne condition itself.”
So, do acne scars go away? And how long will it take? Natalie says that, depending on the level of discoloration, it can take between three and six months to see visible improvements. But, using the right ingredients at the right time can make all the difference in accelerating this process. Ingredients to seek out include: zinc hyaluronate, arbutin, licorice root and antioxidants.
Here are a few skin care products she recommends adding to your routine to minimize the appearance of discoloration. The Acne Advanced Treatment System — especially the Acne Advanced Clarifying Hydrator — works powerfully at reducing the appearance of dark acne spots. Zinc hyaluronate is one of the key ingredients that reduces the look of irritation and scarring. Arbutin is the other potent element for targeting the appearance of acne-related dark spots. Working in tandem, these effective ingredients reduce the appearance of dark scarring caused by problem skin.
Aside from the Acne Advanced Treatment System, the Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System offers an additional way of reducing dark acne scars, using a blend of arctic berries, lingonberry seed oil and hibiscus seed extract. The system’s powerful blend of antioxidant-rich ingredients diminishes the look of these troubling marks and brightens the skin. In addition, mandelic and citric acid ingredients gently exfoliate and minimize the look of darker areas.
Another heavy-hitter skin care product, our Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum, also helps to balance and even out the look of skin tone. To lessen the look of dark spots, this powerful serum is formulated with Vitamin C from lemons and grapefruit and Vitamin E from avocados and kale.
The Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster-Serum is another effective skin care product for reducing the look of dark spots. This powerful booster-serum contains licorice and lactic acid to slough off dead skin cells for a more rejuvenated-looking appearance.
How To Reduce The Appearance Of Ice Pick Acne Scars
Depressed acne scars are the most difficult type of acne scars to treat. For ice pick, boxcar and rolling acne scars, you have to add regular exfoliation to your routine. Natalie’s top pick is our Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System. This three-step system exfoliates deeply to refine the texture of the skin. Potent ingredients like ground wild cherry bark and lactic acid remove dead skin cells and buff the skin’s surface, while hibiscus seed extract plumps and smooths out the look of the skin.
Use our Citrus & Kale Potent C+E Serum along with the Arctic Berry Peel & Peptide Illuminating System for extra intensity. Powered by Vitamin C to improve the look of elasticity, the serum also includes hydrolyzed botanical hyaluronic acid extracted from grass to deeply hydrate and keep the skin plumped for a smoother-looking complexion.
Additional Tips To Prevent Acne Scarring
In addition to these powerhouse products, here are more tips for preventing and improving the look of acne scars:
1. Visit A Spa
If you’re struggling with acne, be sure to visit an authorized Eminence Organics Spa. A trained esthetician can assess your problem skin and provide professional treatments, extractions or exfoliations, without the risk of scarring the skin.
2. No Touching Or Picking
Since popping pimples can cause scarring, avoid picking or even touching your blemishes. Picking can tear the skin and force bacteria, oil and debris deeper, which can cause scarring. Even touching your face may spread bacteria, which can trigger acne and lead to scarring.
3. Use SPF
Did you know dark acne scars can be worsened with exposure to the sun? Make sure you use SPF to protect against further darkening — explore our sun care options for more information about our SPF products.
4. Consult a Dermatologist
If you are prone to acne or scarring, consult a dermatologist who can provide personalized advice and treatment options.
What do you do to improve the look of acne scars? Visit an Eminence Organics Spa Partner near you to get a consultation.
This article was originally written in December 2017.