Whether as a result of your teenage years, or hormonal yo-yos, acne isn’t easy to put up with. In addition to the spots and blackheads it gives us, acne sometimes leaves us with lasting souvenirs: usually on the face, acne scars can be very visible. But how can we avoid them, or get rid of them completely? Here’s our guide!
Acne scars: a unique case
A scar is a mark left behind from a fight between our skin cells and an aggressor: this could be a cut, burn, scrape or, when it comes to acne, a spot. In any case, scars are different from normal skin tissues, richer in collagen, which helps to heal the injury. With different success rates… The repair work will be more or less visible on the skin according to the depth of the injury and how well the skin has regenerated itself.
What’s specific about acne scars? The origin of the wound: inflammation which has destroyed the cells underneath the skin. To begin with, hypersecretion of sebum and obstruction of pores causes blackheads to appear. Some bacteria gets involves and… Voila: we’ve got red, inflamed spots. The more severe the acne, the deeper the spots go, and the more cells are affected. And logically, the skin’s ability to repair itself is compromised: the microbes involved in the inflammation slow down the healing process, which in turn hinders the production of new fibres.
Acne scars generally take one of two forms:
- pigmentary scars, red on light skin, clear or brownish on dark skin: abusively labelled scars, they are traces of the inflammation that has overstimulated the melanocytes.
- Atrophic or sunken are the most common acne scars: small depressions in the skin that the collagen fibres haven’t managed to fully heal. They form little craters, usually concentrated but shallow, and they give a textured effect to the skin. They can also be deeper. Infection, injuries, severe acne, and your genetics will affect how likely you are to have them. But don’t give up just yet!
To treat your acne scars, treat your skin
What’s most important if you want to avoid acne scars, is to adopt good habits for dealing with blackheads and spots, because (almost) everything is dictated before the scars begin to form.
Take care of your spots: touch them less to heal them better
When we have blackheads and spots, there’s just one thing we want to do: get rid of them as quickly as possible, any way we can. Bad idea! And not only for avoiding scars. Bad treatments and impatient gestures are at the root of issues of sensitive, dry, or scarred skin. Yes, your skin needs to be stripped of its imperfections. But gently.
Forget about picking, playing, and popping. If not, then you’re guaranteeing yourself sores, infections, and scars… By touching your skin, you’re spreading bacteria, making your acne worse, and increasing the risk of scarring. Come on, you can do it! Resist the temptation… The less you touch, the fewer marks will be left.
The solution: a shocking AND profound action, targeting spots with an anti-imperfections serum to treat and refine the skin without drying it out. A few drops of our Game Over in the morning and evening before you apply your moisturiser will correct imperfections and help your skin get ready to heal itself better. It regulates and purifies thanks to the presence of Kalahari melon, anti-inflammatory, and sebum-regulating ylang-ylang, as well as antimicrobial and astringent marula oil. Special mention goes to lavender essential oil: astringent and healing, antimicrobial, and respectful to the skin, which is absolutely essential for the skin to heal itself.
Cleanse and regulate your skin gently and thoroughly
If you have acne, your spots tend to take up all of your attention. But don’t forget the rest of your skin! A thorough, but gentle, routine is absolutely essential in order to avoid infections and prevent spots forming on top of other spots – which are much harder for your skin to heal.
Forget everything that’s too aggressive: no deep exfoliation, no scrubbing. Why not? Doing this will maintain and even worsen inflammation. Be wary of how your skin rebounds after the initial feeling of lightness and cleanliness passes. Leave behind overly aggressive products like conventional anti-acne cleansers – that’s right! They’re full of irritants (alcohol, peroxide, perfumes), occlusive ingredients (silicones, petrochemical oils) and sulfated agents (SLS and SLES) which are all capable of cleaning a car motor – your skin’s hydrolipid film won’t stand up to them! Not the ideal fix for spot-prone, dry or oily skin which struggles to heal itself.
The solution: cleanse your skin morning AND evening by hand, without scrubbing hard, with a gentle and natural gel cleanser. The anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and astringent plant-based active ingredients are ideal for thoroughly cleansing and regulating your skin while respecting its protective film. You’ll find hamamelis, capucine, alpine bearberry, thyme, and rosemary in our sulfate-free, purifying and regulating gel cleanser Gentle Angel. Boost its action by rinsing with soothing and regulating hydrolats: antibacterial and purifying tea tree or green tea, or regenerating and astringent lavender, which you’ll find blended into our Flower Power.
Strengthen your skin: natural active ingredients to boost regeneration
To heal your skin well, in other words, to fight inflammation and rebuild itself, your skin needs to be in top form. So, get it equipped! Natural active ingredients are the best of the best to reinforce the skin’s ability to regenerate.
Forget all of the products which dry out your skin. Your skin needs the exact opposite!
The solution: soothe, and hydrate your skin and provide it with (good) fats. Yes, even oily skin needs fat to be able to build a strong hydrolipid film to protect itself. With fatty acids similar to those that occur naturally in our skin, plant oils are able to rebalance the skin without making it greasy. Don’t skip this step! Particularly in the evening: our skin regenerates overnight.
Musk rose oil boosts the healing process especially well. Jojoba oil, non-comodogenic, very close in composition to our skin’s natural sebum, as well as antibacterial is a precious protector, hemp is super repairing and good at reducing inflammation. By using them alongside essential oils (antibacterial lemon, healing carrot), you’re giving your skin everything it needs to rebuild itself. You’ll find all of these in Glow Up, our facial hydrator for normal to combination skin. With its light texture, it hydrates, detoxifies, and strengthens the skin without over-greasing it. When you have breakouts, you can boost its power by adding a drop of our purifying and regulating plant oil blend.
Adopt a lifestyle that prevents acne scarring
A few good habits can make all the difference.
Be very careful about sun exposure, UV rays intensify inflammation, and emphasise the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Always protect your skin. You should also pay attention to the composition of your sun cream: acne makes your skin very permeable, and irritants can worsen inflammation.
Foods which are rich in zinc help spots to heal: pop lentils, seafood, and mushrooms on the menu. mettez lentilles, fruits de mer, champignons au menu. On the other hand, some foods can provoke or help maintain acne: refined sugars (sugar, bread, pasta, white rice) and saturated fats favour sebum production. Eat lots of wholegrains (which are also rich in zinc), fresh fruit and vegetables, good fats from oleaginous fruits (walnuts, hazelnuts) or olive oil.
Can we get rid of acne scars that are already there?
Even when following these rules, acne scars can still set in. So what can we do about them?
For spots of hyperpigmentation, patience is important: they will disappear over time. But you can speed things up and improve the appearance of recent scars, by adapting your skincare routine.
You need strong and targeted action with a unifying serum, like Light Up: it contains helichrysum and lavender essential oils which are anti-inflammatory and good for fighting scarring, lemon floral water which is antiseptic and fights hyperpigmentation. These are active ingredients which fight scarring, hyperpigmentation, and redness. The star ingredient, musk rose, contains vitamins A, E, C, and K, which stimulates skin cell-production, soothes redness, hyperpigmentation, and scarring. Jojoba, pomegranate, and andiroba oils are also great for reducing scarring. Flaxseed oil and macadamia nut oil, as well as calendula extract, also work wonderfully on existing scars.
Finally, don’t forget to hydrate! What do we suggest? During the scarring phase, add a few drops of our regenerating and revitalising plant oil blend into your facial hydrator: healing and regulating pracaxi, grape, or kukui nut, which are all rich in restructuring linoleic acid, and healing and toning prickly pear…
For scars, as for spots, results come slowly but surely. But don’t get too excited: real, deep, and old acne scars won’t disappear completely without medical intervention, laser-therapy, or infrared exposure, which all carry secondary risks that can be just as visible on the skin as the acne scars themselves… In short, for acne scars, it’s better to prevent them than to heal them!
This post is also available in french.