There are things that cause acne scars that you already know about (like popping your pimples), but then there are other things you probably never ever knew could cause those annoying marks. And you probably do them a lot. Read up!
Acne is irritating enough, but when you add acne scars into the mix it becomes downright frustrating. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding acne scars, including myths about how to treat them.
Hyperpigmentation can seem almost unavoidable but that isn’t true. There are several ways we could be protecting our skin from acne marks. Here, we’ve broken down four things you may be doing right now that increases your chances of getting acne scars.
You skip sunscreen
When you’re suffering from acne, the scar you get after is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation at its core is caused by an overproduction of melanin which then results in a dark patch of pigment. When it comes to acne, this occurs as a result of an injury to the skin. This injury and the inflammation that comes with it increases the melanin activity. This results in acne marks.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when treating hyperpigmentation is disregarding the use of sun protection. UV exposure can actually increase your chances of getting post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is because UV rays actually stimulate melanocyte activity which exacerbates hyperpigmentation. To avoid this, you should be using sun protection every day, even on top of that pimple.
Many people avoid sunscreen because they think the ingredients in it will cause them to get acne, but it’s all about finding the right sunscreen for your skin type. Once you do, you’ll be able to stay committed to using it on a regular basis.
The Dr. Oracle A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50 was made with acne-prone skin in mind. The light refreshing gel-cream texture won’t clog pores or leave a heavy, greasy finish behind. Instead, it absorbs quickly into the skin leaving behind a soft matte finish. This sunscreen is also formulated with centella asiatica to soothe inflammation and bamboo water to add a boost of hydration. The lightweight texture, plus the soothing formula, will help reduce irritation and inflammation. As a result, this helps to avoid hyperpigmentation.
Another option is the Tony Moly Tako Pore Sebum Sun Stick. Sure, this sunscreen is downright adorable, but it also packs a punch of SPF50 protection. It’s formulated with combination and oily skin types in mind. This means there will be no shiny, greasy residue left behind after application. It’s infused with marine extracts and calamine to soothe and hydrate the skin. The easy application and soothing formula make it a go-to for acne sufferers or oilier skin types.
No matter which sunscreen you choose, make sure to use it every day. This will help prevent acne marks and irritation which will only make your skin worse in the long run.
Using chemical exfoliators is an excellent way to treat acne and keep it at bay, but using them more than necessary could cause irritation and actually cause acne scars to form in the first place. Again, post inflammatory acne occurs as a result of an injury to the skin. The inflammation that comes with acne can increase melanin activity and leave you with a flat, discolored spot.
Exfoliating with chemical exfoliants to treat hyperpigmentation is common because they slough off dead skin cells to reveal smoother and brighter skin. But don’t do this too much. This overuse can actually damage your skin’s moisture barrier, leading to red, sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Instead of barraging your skin with irritating chemicals 24/7, choose gentle exfoliators that won’t bother the skin. The Neogen Dermalogy Real Cica Pads do just that. These pads come pre-soaked in a solution of centella asiatica and hyaluronic acid to soothe inflammation and irritation. They also contain PHA, which is a much gentler exfoliator that you can use on a regular basis. This formula helps to gently exfoliate the skin and treat and prevent acne.
The COSRX PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream is another excellent choice. This refreshing cream contains 50% coconut fruit extract, 2% niacinamide and 3% of PHA. This gentle cream will help to slough away dead skin cells without irritating the skin. This moisturizer and exfoliator combo is perfect for when your skin is feeling congested. Plus, the gentle formula will help to avoid irritation.
You’re using heavy makeup
Most people’s first thought when they have a fresh acne scar is to use whatever makeup they can to cover it up. Usually, this means using fuller coverage foundations to conceal blemishes. But this could actually irritate your existing acne and exacerbate the chance of getting acne scars once a pimple has healed. Typically, heavier foundations can contain ingredients that increase inflammation and irritation. Remember: Hyperpigmentation can occur as a result of any type of injury to the skin which causes inflammation. This means you should avoid anything that could cause your skin to become more inflamed or irritated.
We know it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to abstain from makeup when they’re dealing with acne, so we suggest using the COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patches on your active spots to protect them from irritation. These handy patches are like Band-Aids for your acne. They protect your blemishes from any outside bacteria, as well as from your prying hands. They create a barrier between the outside world and your pimple. This means you can pop one on and it’ll protect your spots from a potentially irritating foundation.
You could also use the Lioele Gold Snail BB Cream. This BB cream is super lightweight so it won’t further aggravate your existing acne. The lack of irritation will decrease your chances of getting hyperpigmentation later. The BB cream also contains snail mucin, so it not only covers up any blemishes but also helps heal them. Plus, it contains SPF50 to protect your skin from sun exposure which could make your scars worse.
You only treat the acne while it’s there
Most people only care about the acne while it’s there but don’t do much about acne when they don’t see it. This is a mistake. One of the smartest things you can do to keep your skin clear is to treat it before, during, and after acne occurs. This method will keep your skin clearer longer and avoid acne marks before they can start.
The Dr. Oracle A-Thera Toner and emulsion are great options for acne-prone skin. The toner is formulated with bamboo water and green tea extract to treat, soothe and hydrate the skin. The formula will keep excess sebum at bay while also giving the skin a nice dose of nourishment. Using this on a regular basis will help to soothe and hydrate skin.
You can then follow up with the Dr. Oracle A-Thera Emulsion. This lightweight cream is perfect for oilier skin types. It provides hydration without leaving the skin feeling weighed down. It also contains bamboo extract and green tea to balance and soothe skin. Together, these products help to hydrate, balance, and calm the skin. They also help to keep excess oil in check which keeps acne at bay. Having a routine in place to prevent and treat acne will help to keep your skin clearer in the long run. By doing this, you can avoid unnecessary blemishes and acne scars.
Acne scars are a hassle, and some things are out of control, like your disposition to get to get them. But there also some things you do that could be causing you to get acne scars in the first place. Make sure to keep these tips in mind at all times. Acne scars can stay the heck away from your life.