How do acne scars form and why do you get them?
It's important to note that when people refer to "acne scars," they're generally talking about one of two things. True acne "scars" tend to be pitted scars, like little dents in the skin, and are the same colour as your flesh. The little red or dark brown spots often left behind after a pimple, often called scars, is actually called "post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation," a dark pigment left behind following inflammation. Fortunately, the latter aren't too difficult to treat topically! Pitted acne scars are the result of the inflammation that occurs when we have a really deep pimple, which can cause a sudden loss of collagen. What's left is a small indent in the skin- a pitted acne scar. Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs as our body tries to heal a wound- in this case, a pimple. As our body works to heal the spot, it can produce cells with more melanin in them, with melanin being what gives our skin colour. This leads to small, dark spots after a breakout, which are often worsened if the follicle wall breaks. It can do this naturally through swelling, or it can be forced if we pick at or squeeze the pimple.
How can you prevent acne scars?
Prevention is always better than cure! It's far easier to prevent dark spots and scarring before they occur than it is to try and deal with them after your breakout has cleared, so we recommend taking a few precautions the next time a pimple arises.
1. Try to treat your acne as quickly as it arrives. This is easier said than done, and serious cases of acne will require a prescription treatment from a dermatologist, however some breakouts can be dealt with naturally, at home. We recommend having some great acne-fighting products on hand just in case- a purifying cleanser, like the Weleda Blemished Skin Purifying Cleanser, a blemish controlling serum, like Mukti Blemish Control, and a fast-acting spot treatment, like the Andalou Blemish Vanishing Gel, are all incredible natural formulas worth having handy.
2. Don't squeeze or pick your pimples! As tempting as it may be to try and speed the process along with your own two hands, keep in mind the scars you could be left with. While your pimple may disappear faster, the spot left in its place could last far longer if picked and squeezed.
How to treat acne scars
If you've still found yourself left with an acne scar, don't fret- there are ways in which some scars can be treated topically. The 100% Pure Dark Spot Remover is a long time favourite here at Nourished Life, and it's a great serum for pigmented acne scars. This serum is a natural alternative to harsh chemical based skin lighteners, using Ferment Sake and Matsutake Mushroom to brighten the complexion and fade the appearance of dark spots- including those left behind after a breakout. Serum Factory's Pimple Punch Supercharged Serum is another effective option for during and after a breakout, containing 7 potent actives that are clinically proven to treat blemishes and acne by reducing the production of excess sebum, fighting acne-causing bacteria and calming inflammation. It also includes Vit-A-Like, a natural alternative to retinol for acne scars. Vitamin C is a winning ingredient for acne scars, as it's a proven complexion brightener. We love the Andalou Probiotic + C Renewal Cream, which is perfect for those with normal and combination skin types wishing to brighten and even out their overall skin tone.
Shop our full range of natural acne care online now.