By Alexa Santory
Getting Rid of Acne Scars: A How To Guide
Who else loves picking at their face?? Honestly, we all need to stop doing it but we understand it’s hard sometimes. The momentary satisfaction of popping a pimple is never worth it compared to how long it takes for the scar to fade. Luckily for us, there are a few ways to speed up the process — some more invasive than others (we’re looking at you derma rolling) but still super effective.
Oils for Acne
Sounds like some kind of sick, pore clogging joke right? Don’t be fooled, not all face oils are created equal. While you’ve probably been told all your life to avoid oils if you have acne prone skin, I’m here to tell you that information is false. You absolutely can use oil if you have oily or acne prone skin. You just have to find the right one. My absolute favorite oil in the world is rosehip oil, mainly because of its skin evening properties. Rosehip oil has a certain type of essential fatty acids that turn into prostaglandin, a compound that helps the body regenerate cells and tissue. So any oils that increase cell turnover are the ones you wanna look for. The great thing about rosehip, though, is that it nourishes the skin and leaves it feeling baby soft too! Another great oil for acne scars, and a cult favorite at that, is tea tree oil. It’s a rather intimidating oil that has a very strong, distinct smell. While it’s not unpleasant, like any other essential oil, it’s super strong and you have to spot test it and dilute it before you apply it to your skin. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, so it stops future breakouts in their tracks. It also unclogs pores and soothes any pimples you may already have. Lavender oil can also, surprisingly fade acne scars. It has a bunch of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Since it’s generally used to calm the mind and body, using lavender oil can also help relieve some of the stress that can lead to breakouts. It’s a win-win!
Chemicals come in handy sometimes and one of those times is to help us fade our stubborn acne scars. Physical exfoliation is excellent for obvious reasons: it gets rid of dead skin, it improves the skin’s texture, and it leaves the skin looking brighter. Sure, it can help fade acne scars but let’s be honest, it takes pretty damn long to see any real difference. Chemical exfoliants do everything physical ones do with the added bonus of speed -- how quickly they fade acne scars. There are two kinds of chemical exfoliants found in skincare: AHAs and BHAs. Alpha hydroxy acids, specifically glycolic acid, have both scar fading and anti-aging properties. Beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic acid, contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Both are excellent for stimulating cell turnover, preventing future breakouts, and reducing the appearance of even your most stubborn acne scars after a few weeks. Our Serengeti Papaya Ultra Illuminating face mask uses the power of papaya to help even out and brighten the skin’s appearance. Papaya naturally contains BHAs, which helps to gently slough off any dead skin cells and reveal a brighter, more even skin tone. There’s also a ton of vitamin C, a super powerful antioxidant that adds a layer of protection to keep the skin from damage!
A multi-use, multifaceted spice that you can use for everything from seasoning your food, to calming down your tummy, to…. fading acne scars. Turmeric has been used to centuries in Indian culture to lighten the skin, especially areas where the skin tends to be darker, like armpits. This in mind, why wouldn’t it be an awesome remedy for fading acne scars too? The anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric help clear out the pores and calm the skin down from the inside. Turmeric contains circumin, a compound that gives turmeric its distinct yellow color. Circumin helps inhibit pigmentation, which helps fade scars and even out the complexion. It’s awesome for reducing inflammation both inside and out and consuming turmeric can have some pretty positive effects on the skin too! Try a turmeric mask with 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric and the juice of half a lemon. Mix the powder and the lemon juice together till it forms a spreadable paste, then apply it to clean skin, and leave it on for 30 minutes. Make sure to spot test it first! The acids in the lemon juice help to gently exfoliate the skin. Consistent use of this all-natural, super inexpensive mask will reduce the appearance of acne scars and gradually brighten the skin over time. Always use sunscreen after a mask like this since lemon makes the skin more photosensitive!
The moment you’ve all been waiting for… a breakdown of the mystery shrouding the concept and execution of the skincare treatment known as derma rolling. In case you weren’t sure, this is what your typical derma roller looks like.
I know, it looks like some type of medieval torture tool but this little guy is actually super effective for healing and fading acne scars, both old and new. The first time I ever heard of derma rolling, I was scrolling through Instagram when I stumbled on a photo set ranking skin care routines by the amount and types of products you used. Derma rolling was level 4 -- expert. Being the skincare freak that I am, I had to Google it immediately. What I found simultaneously shocked, intrigued, and motivated me. Shocking because derma rolling requires you to literally stab your face with teeny tiny needles… needles terrify me. Intrigued me because of the effectiveness of derma rolling was obvious and almost guaranteed. Derma rollers help create micro-punctures in your skin to send collagen and elastin production into maximum overdrive. Imagine, using a bunch of tiny needles to stab your face...so your face can fix itself. Iconic. Derma rolling (aka micro needling) uses our body’s regenerative powers to transform the texture and appearance of our skin -- a true testament to how amazing the human body is in its ability to fix and heal itself. All it needs is a little stab. Derma rolling is also effective for increasing the absorbency of products into your skin. Serums and moisturizers are able to penetrate deeper and deliver more targeted results. After derma rolling, your skin develops tiny scabs that eventually fall off to reveal a more even skin tone. Acne scars honestly stand no chance against derma rollers -- collagen is gonna win every time. Putting the skin to the test like that is going to shock it, but in a good way. And even though it’s a bunch of needles on a little rolling thing, it’s not as painful as you’d imagine. Some people even find the feeling rather soothing. Pain tolerance aside, the results are pretty amazing. Derma rolling may seem like extreme skin care, but it’s been around since the early 1900s. It’s been gaining popularity again more recently because of the Instagram crowd but real skincare OG’s know the procedure of micro needling by a derm is gonna result in smoother, tighter, more even skin. Don’t let the tiny needles intimidate you. If other scar fading methods aren’t working for you, or you just wanna speed up the process, give it a shot! I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Plus, it’s the perfect skincare tool for this ~spooky~ Halloween season.
The Streets Are Talking
If you've got sensitive skin, try this mask for its healing and soothing properties.
"I love this mask. It’s gives my skin a soft baby pink glow. While it dries on my skin, washing it off doubles as an exfoliation. It definitely makes my pores appear smaller."