When it comes to our skin and preventing blemishes, there's not a lot we won't do. But, just because we do our due diligence doesn't mean our skin always cooperates. For all the cleansers, lotions, and potions we slather on, sometimes we can't control what happens and we're left with pesky pimples and the inevitable marks they leave behind.
Acne scars can range anywhere from hyperpigmentation on the skin (red or brown spots) to raised hypertrophic scars (those are the ones that leave the skin looking bumpy and textured). Oftentimes, these mark stay put on your skin long after the initial pimples have passed, causing your skin to look spotted even when you're not suffering from a breakout.
So, how do we prevent them or, at the very least, get rid of them? According to Dr. Dennis Gross, the best way to prevent acne scarring is to prevent acne in the first place. Easier said than done, right? "If you are past that point," says Gross, "avoid scarring by treating the acne as soon as it develops and do not squeeze, pop, or prod at pimples, to avoid inflammation." Note to self: Stop doing that, no matter how gratifying it may be. Fortunately, there are now tons of treatments and products out there to address this issue.
Photo: Courtesy of YSL
Gross tells us that along with non-invasive laser treatments we should "look for ingredients with skin lightening and anti-inflammatory benefits, such as retinol, vitamin C, bearberry, mulberry, licorice root extract, and azelaic amino acid." He also warns you to stay out of the sun: "UV rays in sunlight can cause acne scars to darken and may even slow down the healing process," says Gross, "That is one of the many reasons why I stress the importance of wearing sunscreen 365 days a year."
So, what specific products should you stock up on to save your skin from these annoying marks? We've long been fans of Gross' eponymous line and his new Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution is developed just for this type of issue. "Together, ferulic acid and retinol are proven to decrease the hyperactive production of pigment, which will lighten red or dark acne scarring." We're also huge fans of the Glow by Dr. Brandt's Ruby Crystal Retinol Hydracrème which is almost as effective as its prescription counterpart and works to illuminate the skin and smooth out any unwanted texture. If you're plagued by leftover dark spots, Clinique's Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is a tried and tested choice. The serum works to improve the clarity and evenness of your skin over time. But hey, patience is a virtue, right?
Dr. Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution, $85, available at Dr. Dennis Gross; Dr. Brandt Ruby Crystal Retinol Hydracrème, $65, available at Sephora; Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, $49.50, available at Clinique.
Photos: Courtesy of Sephora