Oh, Acne. Just when you thought you had gotten rid of the last mark of confidence sucking skin, it leaves around a little token of “appreciation,” that blistering relative of acne: the acne scar. As if to add insult to injury, as if taunting you with its presence, it lingers for months or years before leaving. So how can we get rid of these delightful left over surprises? Lets get to it by getting some expert advice to begin. Dr. Ted Lain and Dr. Julia Tzu say, "Acne scarring develops when recurrent inflammation from deeper cystic lesions damages the collagen in your skin … Normal healthy tissue is then replaced by thinned-out scar tissue, which can manifest itself as depressions along the contour of the skin."
First it’s important to figure out what kind of acne scar you are dealing with. There are three different types of acne scars: Pitted or “ice pick” scars (these are deep, but small in diameter), boxcar scars (these are rectangular), and rolling scars (these look like hills and valleys). I am sure you are noticing that the red marked ones are nowhere on this list. Well, there is good news. Many people believe that the red marks (scientifically known as post-inflammatory redness) are acne scars when in reality they aren't. Dr. Lain points out that, “if the acne bump is gone but the persistent redness stayed, it may not be an acne scar, its just redness and it will get better.”
So, the best thing anyone can do to combat both your acne scars and this post inflammatory redness is to effectively treat any existing acne. "If you're dealing with mild to moderate acne which isn't associated with hormones, using an over-the-counter system will work for over 50% of people," says Dr. Lain. "Acne systems that use benzoyl peroxide or an alpha hydroxy acid tend to work well.” And if over the counter treatments are not your thing and you prefer a more au natural way, then you might want to try various oils and extracts.
Let talks about trees. The immune systems of tea trees are particularly effective at destroying bacteria. And the oil extracted from the tree possesses powerful anti-bacterial properties so that when used in skincare, its bacteria-fighting abilities are comparable to benzoyl peroxide, making it a perfect, natural alternative to chemical ingredients. In fact, just a small amount of oil will penetrate the skin to unblock the sebaceous glands, disinfect pores and dry out whiteheads, blackheads, and acne.
Keeping the theme of trees and their many purposes going, willow bark extract has also been known to be a natural form of salicylic acid – a BHA that is a natural exfoliant and is used in many acne treatments because of its ability to help shed dead skin cells. People have been using the white willow tree for centuries—long before the synthetic version of proven breakout solution was created. Willow bark extract works to slough off dead cells to keep your pores clear of debris (sometimes even better than salicylic acid, some experts say). You can add it to your routine to ease existing breakouts and avoid future ones.
Another great way to keep acne at bay is to complement you skin care regimen with calendula – also known as marigold pedals – and use it for it’s anti-inflammatory qualities. Calendula has been used as an herbal medicine for thousands of years, in the making of teas for calming the stomach. Nowadays it is more commonly used in small amounts to make creams for skin care. The very best time to use a calendula product to treat acne is when you have both acne and impetigo. This most commonly occurs when you have been a little too rough in trying to treat your acne. Perhaps you tried to pop a pimple and you only managed to break the skin around it. The first thing calendula does is to soothe your skin and then it does it job of keeping the irritation from getting worse, making it a pimple’s worst nightmare.
So if you are looking to start a better skin care regimen you might want to take a look at your local herb store for your skin remedies or try Live Botanical's Vegan Skincare line. Remember it is a must to also keep your hands off your face and wear a dedicated SPF before you introduce a good acne fighting system to your skin care routine. Make sure if you are using something like salicylic acid you are absolutely using that sunscreen as the acid can increase your skins sensitivity to the sun. There is no need to make matters worse. Happy clear skin, everyone. Go out and be your best self.