When it comes to how to prevent acne scars, there are five mistakes you need to stop making. Find out what they are below!
If you’ve ever struggled with acne (of any kind), you’ve also probably come across the dreaded acne scar (as if acne wasn’t bad enough on it’s own). But what you may not realize is that some of the things that you do can actually determine the severity of acne scars and whether they even appear at all. So, we’re breaking down the most common acne mistakes that lead to acne scarring.
1. You pop your pimples
This is probably the biggest crime you can commit with acne. Trust me, I know how tempting it is to pop your pimples. Just this once, you think, it’s going to go away cleanly. But it won’t! Popping a pimple can do a ton of damage that we don’t even realize because we can’t fully see it. First, it can force the infection deeper into the skin, which will make it more difficult to treat. It can also spread the infection to other parts of the skin which were not originally irritated. And finally, as an attempt for the skin to heal itself, it will produce additional collagen, thereby causing the skin surface to cave giving you an acne scar.
Instead of popping a pimple, try using a pimple patch like the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches. These sticky hydrocolloid patches adhere right to the zit and suck out the offending gunk without drying out the area, leaving you with smooth, clear skin instead of a nasty scar.
2. You skip the sunscreen
Some people are really afraid of wearing sunscreen when they have acne or acne-prone skin, and this is usually because sunscreen is thought of as pore-clogging and therefore prone to causing additional acne. It also has a tendency to feel greasy and heavy which really isn’t what you want if you’re dealing with breakouts. There’s also a misconception that the sun will dry out your acne, which is entirely false.
But it’s especially important to wear sunscreen if you’re prone to acne scars following acne. The infrared light from the sun can actually inflame acne even more, irritating the skin and creating a deeper skin. Additionally, UV rays from the sun stimulate melanin production in the skin and break down collagen, meaning dark spots and scars that are exposed to the sun without sunscreen may just get darker. The Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen is a great sun protector for oily or acne-prone skin because it’s lightweight and hydrating but still has SPF 50 and won’t leave you feeling greasy or sticky.
3. You obsessively clean your pores
Satisfying as it may be, clearing out pores using your fingers can be extremely irritating and traumatizing for the skin thereby causing scarring. Your best bet? Have it done by a professional who knows how to use the metal instruments and understands how best to extract the gunk out.
If you’re still hellbent on doing it yourself, definitely check out the Skinmiso Comedo Remover and Nose Pack. Prior to using the remover, make sure that you clean the tool with alcohol as well as try putting a piece of tissue paper between the metal and your skin to ensure clean extraction and avoid too much irritation. And if you’re dealing with small blackheads, read how to remove them the right way and calm your pores after the extraction.
4. You only deal with active acne
Sometimes acne scarring occurs without you doing anything to your skin. What then? We reached out to dermatologist, Michele Farber of Schweiger Dermatology Group who told us, “acne that is more inflammatory, think deeper red acne cysts, is more likely to scar than non-inflammatory acne even if you leave your acne alone. Bad scarring acne may have a genetic component, so if family members had scarring acne, stay on top of treating early for good outcomes.” She added that one of the biggest acne mistakes that she sees is people “being inconsistent about acne treatment” and “not treating acne early,” as well as picking.
The real solution to acne scars, is trying to avoid acne as much as possible.Try using the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Cleansing Foam, Dr. Oracle A-Thera Toner, or the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Cream. These products are gentle enough for daily use and help to keep break outs at bay before they even occur.
5. You don’t exfoliate
Exfoliating is key when you’re trying to fade some of your pigmentation from acne. When done correctly, physical exfoliation sweeps away dead skin and excess sebum to leave you with brighter, softer, and smoother skin. It can also reduce the appearance of pores and help you prevent additional breakouts. Chemical exfoliants and acids can also work to soften the appearance of acne scars. The COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion and Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner as well as the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks are great chemical exfoliators which will help heal your acne scars without being too harsh and drying on the skin.
The Bottom Line
It’s the little things that make all the difference. Acne scars can be evened out at brightened and even avoided with little changes made to your routine; it’s just a matter of being conscious of what you do in your life that might be causing traumatic damage to your skin.