We all suffered from uncomfortable, annoying acne to some degre during our teenage years. Often, it’s related to hormonal changes and really affects the way our faces look. But it’s equally unpleasant to reach maturity and be left with unsightly marks that show the permanent damage to our skin. These marks are left behind by the inflammatory process and show where the skin couldn’t heal properly.
To understand a bit more about acne scars and what causes them, it’s important to understand that spots form in the sebaceous glands of the skin. Oil and bacteria can accumulate in these glands, causing a blockage and inflammation. This process tends to primarily affect the face and back. Acne can either produce whiteheads or blackheads and can be mild or serious. The worst cases involve painful, pus-filled cysts, which form underneath the outermost layers of the skin.
These are the nodules that are most likely to leave scars. Squeezing, scratching and picking at these areas can spread the infection, causing uncomfortable, painful looking marks on your skin.
The different types of acne scars
Discolouration: Marks may be left behind, even when the spot or blackhead has disappeared. These marks are normally pink or brown. This pigmentation can make the skin look uneven and can take a long time to fade.
Pitting or indentation: When acne is sore and filled with pus, it causes damage to the skin. This hollowing effect is caused by attempts to squeeze spots rather than allowing them to heal naturally.
Natural remedies for acne scars
If you suffer from acne scarring, don’t despair. There are several natural remedies available. All of them contain natural substances that are commonly found in creams for these conditions – creams that are normally quite expensive. Bear in mind, though, that the results are not immediate. Have patience, be consistent and apply an appropriate amount each day, especially at night. In time, the uncomfortable scarring caused by acne will begin to disappear.
Aloe vera: The leaves of this plant contain a healing gel that has amazing regenerative properties. Aloe vera is renowned for its benefits for the skin – most notably for its ability to heal, diminish stretch marks and make burns and acne scars fade away. Usually, applying a teaspoon of the gel to your scars is enough. Let it sit on the skin for half a hour, then gently wash it off with warm water.
- Sodium bicarbonate: Widely known as baking soda, sodium bicarbonate is an outstanding exfoliant that fades mild scars and makes a perfect acne treatment. Simply moisten your face and apply a pinch of bicarbonate to scars. Let it remain on the scar for a few seconds, then rinse with warm water. The beauty of this remedy is that you only need to do it once weekly. You’ll soon see results. But be careful: too much bicarbonate can damage sensitive skin. A patch test on your hand is advised.
- Lemon: Lemon is perfect for lightening the skin, but it is best applied just before bedtime. Moisten a cotton pad with lemon juice and apply to scars for approximately 15 minutes. NB: never expose yourself to the sun while you have lemon juice on your face, as doing so can damage your skin. Always apply at night!
- Agave nectar: Agave is a relative of the yucca plant and is highly regenerative. If you have oily skin, for example, you can mix agave nectar with lemon juice and brown rice to make a scrub that is perfect for alleviating scars and dark spots. Apply the mixture to your scars and massage into the skin. Wash off with plenty of water and – voila! – bright, vibrant-looking skin.
- Rose hip oil: This oil is a regenerative powerhouse and is well known for its ability to sooth and help the body heal damaged tissue, clear stretch marks and reduce scars by creating new tissue. You can apply it before bedtime, but be sure to gently and thoroughly massage the oil into the skin. As a bonus, its fragrance is pleasant and relaxing.
- Tomato: Tomato is rich in beta-carotenes, so it’s the perfect plant for taking care of your skin. To fully benefit from its properties, cut a tomato into slices and leave on your skin for 10 minutes. If you have a little extra time, you could whip up an excellent tonic with tomato juice and cucumber. Blend one tomato with half a cucumber in a blender and, with the help of a cotton pad, moisten the affected areas with this splendid tonic!
Vitamin E: Indispensable in caring for our skin, this vitamin should definitely be in your bag of tricks. Interested in exploring its virtues? Find it at chemists or health food shops. Vitamin E is perfect for combating premature wrinkling, toning the skin and rejuvenating the skin to luminous health. With consistent, daily application, scars on the skin will disappear gradually through gentle massage. Vitamin E is your best ally in the fight against acne scars.