Just Say NO to Acne Scars
Acne is like that annoying relative who always seems to pop in at the worst moment and, while you insist you’re on your way out, plops down on your sofa and launches into a story that goes on for days. Worse, she always leaves a mess behind.
Craters. Pockmarks. Dark patches. Red patches. Tell-tale signs that acne has been visiting. (By the way, you’re out of chardonnay.)
It’s time to take a stand.
The best way to reduce acne scarring is to reduce acne. Or better yet, eliminate it. To win this battle, you have to employ a careful strategy. Scorched earth tactics like over-drying, too much abrasion, popping and picking must be avoided.
Take action at the first sign of a breakout. If you feel a new pimple developing, go get some ice. Not for cocktails. For your face. Rub ice directly on the erupting pimple for a few minutes. Do this daily until the blemish retreats. This reduces inflammation and redness and helps products penetrate the skin to work more effectively. It also has the effect of slightly disturbing the top layer of skin to encourage cell turnover.
Employ acids. Glycolic, lactic, and salicylic are all your allies. These acids are formidable frontline defenders that will exfoliate the upper layer of dead skin and encourage cell regeneration to clear blemishes and avoid scarring. Vivant’s Normalizing Tonic with witch hazel, glycolic acid and lactic acid is a great choice for all skin types. For combination or oily skin try Vivant’s 9% Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Toner. Mandelic acid has the added benefit of being a natural skin lightener.
Don’t give scars a chance to form. Stimulating cell regeneration will help thicken skin and avoid unsightly divots. Retinol products are essential for this process. They also refine pores, bring impurities to the surface, and encourage overall healthier, more even-toned complexion. Try Vivant’s Derm-A-Gel® correcting serum with vitamin A (Retinol), kojic acid (a natural skin lightener) and lactic acid to help exfoliate, brighten and smooth skin.
Cleanse religiously, but not roughly. Don’t confuse abrasion with exfoliation. You want to remove the top layer of dead skin to stimulate cell regeneration and pull dark pigmentation up and out, but you don’t want to damage or irritate skin in the process. In other words, don’t scrub like you would your kitchen floor on a dateless Friday night. Opt for cleansers with mildly exfoliating ingredients like Vivant’s BP 3% Acne Wash, which provides gentle, anti-bacterial cleansing to flush out impurities, peel away impactions, refine pores and minimize scarring.
To fade pink or red marks left behind by inflammation, Vivant’s Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser or Mandelic Acid 3-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser will help fade and reduce redness, boost cell turnover and return skin to a brighter more even complexion. Follow with Rejuv Rx Peptide Concentrate to enhance firmness and elasticity while reducing inflammation and redness.
Target the enemy. Spot treating blemishes will help reduce inflammation, reduce healing time and minimize scarring. Your best weapon is Benzoyl Peroxide. It’s long been the gold standard in the fight against acne. You can thank Dr. Fulton for that. He developed the stabilized form of benzoyl peroxide that has made it as indispensable as a casserole at a Baptist picnic. Vivant’s BP 10% Gel Medication is your go-to complexion corrector and scar preventer.
Try not to pick, poke or pop. Improper extraction can spread bacteria and cause breakouts to worsen and scars to form. However, if done properly and at the right time, extraction can speed healing, stop tissue digestion and reduce scarring, but this is something best done in a dermatologist’s office.
Shun the sun. That suntan may make it appear that the dark reminders of an acne breakout have faded. They haven’t. They’ve just blended in as the rest of your skin got darker. When your tan fades, the scars won’t. In fact, they’ll likely be darker than before. The moral of that story is always wear your sunscreen.
When it comes to avoiding acne scarring, prevention is key. Be targeted and consistent in your approach and you will prevail.