How Do Acne Scars Occur?
Acne scars are caused when a breakout deeply penetrates the skin and damages the tissue beneath it. Facial scars can sometimes feel more distressing than acne itself, but there are certainly ways to minimise them if you're struggling with a breakout and to help skin cells rejuvenate in order to heal existing scar tissue.
Scarring commonly occurs when you squeeze your spots, so it's important to try and avoid doing this. Picking at acne can cause damage to the small veins, glands and tissues surrounding the site of the spot, so as tempting as it can be to mess with the skin, it's much better not to touch it.
Acne Scar Treatments
When it comes to getting rid of acne scars, there are a wide variety of treatments available - from home remedies to professional options. Private treatments to improve the appearance of scars can begin at a few hundred pounds and run well into the thousands. Laser treatment, surgical subcision and dermabrasion are the most commonly offered clinical options. This course of action can feel extreme and there are simpler, less expensive treatment options you might like to try at home first.
Prevention is always better than cure, so working to minimise acne in the first place is really important. A healthy diet, stress management and a basic exercise routine can be the simplest beneficial actions to balance hormones, reduce inflammation and promote healthy looking skin.
Cutting out common trigger foods such as dairy and sugar can work wonders or you might like to try a specific dietary skin cleanse plan like the one outlined in my book Radiant.
Acne affects 85% of us at some stage in our lives, so it might be that despite implementing these changes your skin still flares. My scar minimising oil is a natural blend of vitamin E, rosehip and avocado oils - formulated to work on existing scar tissue. Massage in to scars morning and evening for at least 3 months for optimum results.
Here are some other natural options to offer your skin a little extra TLC and minimise the scars caused by acne.
Home Scar Treatments
When it comes to treating acne scars, prevention is always better than cure, so ensuring you're getting adequate levels of Zinc is really important for your skin. An essential nutrient it's responsible for keeping the immune system strong, alongside cell growth and hormone function.
Acne sufferers in this study were shown to have significantly lower levels of zinc in their system than those with clear skin.
Nuts, seeds, legumes, whole-grains and mushrooms are all fantastic sources of zinc. Tofu, lentils and pumpkin seeds would all be good food choices when it comes to ensuring you get your recommended daily intake.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV is a popular and inexpensive acne scar treatment you can try at home. Not only have the organic acids within this simple kitchen cupboard ingredient proven effective in killing the bacteria that exacerbates acne, the succinic acid in ACV has also been shown to suppress inflammation which could prove helpful to prevent scarring. It's important to buy an organic version 'with the mother'. As 'the mother' is believed to be rich in health-boosting natural protein, healthy bacteria and acetic acid.
To create a simple ACV cleanser, mix 10ml with 30ml of water. Shake together well and apply to acne scars using a soft cotton wool ball. Let sit for 30 seconds before rinsing with warm water.
Tea Tree Oil
By far one of the better known natural essential oils for treating acne, Tea Tree Oil is renowned for its ability to battle bacteria and reduce skin inflammation as demonstrated in this study.
Whilst it might take a little longer to demonstrate beneficial results on acne scarring, applying a diluted tea tree solution to your face each morning has been shown to offer improvements over ninety days.
When you think of Matcha Tea, your mind probably goes to that mid afternoon pick-me-up, since most of us have only even thought to drink it. But Green Tea has demonstrated heaps of anti-inflammatory properties which makes it great to apply to acne scars to help reduce the redness in scars.
Green Matcha Tea is gentle for all skin types and this mask is designed to exfoliate and eliminate dead cells, which then rejuvenates underlying skin to help improve the texture and tone of acne scarring. Check out my Vegan Matcha Mask for a soothing home remedy.
Gently Scrub Scars
Before I begin I must stress the word gently here. Harsh exfoliation can do more harm than good, so take it really easy. The process of exfoliation removes the top layer of dead skin cells, and it's believed to help in the treatment of acne scars through removing dead inflamed tissue and encouraging the growth of calm, healthy skin.
Skin scrubs are really simple to make at home using kitchen cupboard ingredients. I particularly like oat based scrubs for the face as they're gentle and not too abrasive. Check out these simple scrub ideas to slough away cells and revitalise skin.