The war against acne may have been won, yet often the battle scars remain. Acne scars and red patches can be visible on skin for months – or even years – after blemishes have retreated. From laser, microneedling and peels, to skincare saviours, there’s a myriad of solutions to help fade acne scars into your past.
Before diving headlong into a solution, it’s important to first ensure that all active acne blemishes are completely cleared (or treatments can further irritate and damage the skin), and then determine what kind of scarring you have. Generally speaking, there are two groups of acne markings - acne scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Both require a different approach when it comes to fading.
These typically show up in the area where the blemish originally appeared. Scars occur when excess collagen forms under the surface layer of the skin in one particular area, leaving it rough and uneven, particularly if you’ve broken the cardinal rule of not touching, scratching or squeezing spots before they’ve had the chance to heal. Guilty? Don’t feel so bad, almost everyone has done it.
So, How Can We Fade Acne Scars Now?
If you’re seeking the dermatologist route, microneedling is often very effective. By making micro wounds in the skin, the production of collagen and elastin is stimulated, producing new, healthier skin cells that smooth out the skin’s surface. Looking for an at home solution? Try FaceGym's Hyaluronic Roller Dissolving Microneedling Tool that combines the power of pro-grade hyaluronic acid with micro-needling delivery.
Radio Frequency treatments are also extremely effective at tackling acne scarring. Try FaceGym's Radio Frequency Workout that combines FaceGym's Signature Sculpt Workout with full-face radio frequency. This is the ultimate session for skin tightening and facial rejuvenation. Radio frequency (heat energy) stimulates collagen and elastin production to increase cell turnover and immediately plump, tighten and lift skin. The results are visible - reduced puffiness, more even skin tone and texture.
Niacinamide For Acne Scars
Niacinamide (aka Vitamin B), can whip almost any skincare concern (including scarring and acne) into extinction. Niacinamide strengthens the skin’s lipid barrier by increasing the production of ceramides. Ceramides band together to form a protective layer that lock in the moisture skin needs to look plump and even, and lock out environmental pollutants that exacerbate the appearance of scars and pigmentation. Niacinamide is also the master of cell communication. It tells skin cells to turnover more quickly, making better, healthier versions of themselves to smooth out your complexion. Oils and serums infused with Niacinamide work wonders on scars as they both stimulate the production of collagen and boost hydration for a plumper, more even skin texture and tone. One we love in the FaceGym studio, is Allies Of Skin Triple Hyaluronic Antioxidant Hydration Serum.
What Is Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation?
Unlike acne scars, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a result of increased levels of melanin leaving a dark or reddish stain on the skin. So while pigmentation is not a scar, it can give the visible effect of scarring.
Vitamin C For Acne Scars
Vitamin C is not only a must-have to brighten, tighten and bring back your glow; it’s highly effective at fading hyperpigmentation. How? Vitamin C triggers your body’s natural response to heal itself by stimulating the production of collagen. New skin cells are free from melanin that create dark spots and patches. Vitamin C helps to prevent new dark spots from forming in the future by stopping environmental damage from reaching the skin.
The words ‘chemical peel’ or ‘acid peel’ may send you fleeing in the opposite direction. But don’t be afraid. Some acids are effective and gentle in the treatment of acne hyperpigmentation such as glycolic, lactic and mandelic acids. They are great for exfoliating the skin to fade discolouration. They work by dissolving the glue that binds dead skin cells together, allowing new, healthy skin cells to rise to the surface. If you’re on the hunt for an overnight serum, one of our FaceGym favourites is Allies Of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum. The mandelic and salicylic acids dissolve the bonds that bind dead skin cells to your pores, helping to fade hyperpigmentation and brighten the skin.
Vitamin A (retinol) is amazing at tackling scarring and pigmentation. It works by increasing skin cell turnover, so that healthier cells rise to the skin’s surface for a smoother, brighter complexion. Vitamin A is also extremely effective at removing dead skin cells that clog pores and dull the skin. One of our fave retinol-rich moisturisers is Royal Fern's Phytoactive Anti-aging Rich Cream. It’s packed with high-quality hyaluronic acid, vitamin A and vitamin C to help stimulate the production of collagen to boost skin’s elasticity and glow.
It goes without saying that using a broad spectrum sunscreen daily is essential to fading hyperpigmentation. Heliocare's 360 Mineral Tolerance Fluid SPF 50 is a genius at protecting skin with its photostable formula and 100% physical filters, giving broad coverage against UVB, UVA, IR-A and visible rays.
Acne scars may sometimes win the battle; but with a vitamin-rich skincare routine, you can definitely win the war.