Acne is a frustrating skin condition that can affect people of any age and skin type at any time of year. Scars are sometimes the unfortunate result. Even minor breakouts can leave a noticeable mark on women of colour, whose skin is often very dark, and on women of lighter skin tones as well, who may be left with red or brown acne scars. Facials for acne scars are a great way to restore your skin, fade blemishes, and get rid of pigmentation and texture issues for good, even though there are many topical acne creams, serums, cleansers, and treatments that can help with acne scars.
Past breakouts acne
First, if you still have scars from past breakouts, that’s okay. Most acne scars are not caused by a change in skin texture but rather by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown or red spots). Hyperpigmentation results from the body’s natural response to acne, which involves dispatching white blood cells, collagen, and melanin to the affected area to restore it to health. Your go-to esthetician can help you out at this point.
Experts say that facials clear out pores by deep cleaning the skin and exfoliating with the right product to eliminate dead skin. Facials help by thoroughly cleansing the skin and removing any impurities to reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Acne scars develop when an acne lesion damages the skin. Acne expert and licensed esthetician Sofie Pavitt explains that inflammation in the skin triggers pigment cells to produce melanin as a protective act, leaving a dark spot in its place. The skin’s cellular structure can be disrupted if an infected acne lesion is picked at or if it is a significant kind of pimple.
How exactly do facials aid acne scars?
According to estheticians, “Acne scars and other skin issues can be addressed with a combination of a thorough cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, and the application of targeted ingredients.” Kerry Benjamin, the esthetician and founder of StackedSkincare, claims that non-inflammatory acne scars can be effectively treated with professional exfoliation (dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and peels), steam, and extractions.
You should see an esthetician once every other week for extractions and professional exfoliation until the inflammation subsides if your acne tends toward the severe side (like cystic acne). Once your acne is under control, or if you have very mild acne, you can extend the time between treatments to once a month while maintaining your at-home routine.
Because of the long time it may take for acne scars and pigmentation to fade, Pavitt suggests a combination of treatments and continuing to see the same esthetician. Maintaining clearer skin over time requires a commitment to regular facials and additional at-home care.
Scars from acne can be reduced with chemical peels
Chemical peels effectively reduce the appearance of a scar caused by acne and are generally safe for most skin types. These treatments are exfoliators that use varying concentrations of natural acids to slough off the outer layer of dead skin. Your esthetician will determine the best peel for you (superficial, medium, or deep) based on your skin’s condition and type and will steer clear of potentially harmful acids.
The mildest peels are the superficial ones, also called light peels. Benjamin tells TZR that [superficial peels] remove the top layer of dead skin and give your skin brighter look, with even more texture in no time. They can be used to lessen the appearance of dry, flaky skin, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, mild acne scarring, sun damage, and the like.
Medium peels are more effective than superficial peels at treating acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles because they penetrate deeper into the skin. The most dramatic results for pigmented skin can be achieved with a deep peel, the strongest chemical peel available.
Most peels cost at least $200. (Depending on your location and esthetician). In the days following your treatment, it is important to protect your skin from the sun by wearing an SPF 30+ sunscreen and using a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. According to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, the peel should be repeated every four to six weeks for the best results.
Using an oxygen facial to reduce acne scars
In this facial, pure oxygen is infused into the skin while a hydrating and soothing serum is sprayed onto the skin in microscopic droplets, as described by Dawidowicz. “[Oxygen facials] are great for all skin types, but they’re perfect for sensitive skin because they’re anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.” Prices for facials usually begin around $100 but can go up depending on the esthetician you choose.
Scarring from acne? Try a HydraFacial
This is a suction facial, in which a machine applies hydrating and exfoliating serums to the skin simultaneously. According to Pavitt, “the machine’s nozzle pushes the serum into the skin and simultaneously sucks away the excess fluid, pulling dirt and dead skin away with it. Anyone, regardless of skin type or condition, can benefit from HydraFacial because of the abrasive tip on the machine, which effectively addresses texture and uneven skin. Depending on where you live, this therapy can cost anywhere from $150 to $300.
Acne scars and microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion facials are a form of superficial exfoliation that leave the skin feeling silky smooth and revealing a more uniformly radiant complexion. This painless treatment employs pressurized jets to quickly scour the skin with micronized crystals, making quick work of dry, dead skin cells and making it ideal for non-inflamed acne and textured skin. After a facial, your skin may look slightly flushed. A dermatologist or esthetician can perform the procedure, and prices typically begin at $75.
Is it safe to say that everyone can get a facial?
Even though facials are generally safe for all skin types, some people shouldn’t get them. Even people with darker skin tones can reap the benefits of a facial. However, procedures like laser surgery and extremely harsh chemical peels should be avoided. Physical exfoliation methods like microdermabrasion and HydraFacial should be avoided by patients with rosacea, severe acne, and extremely sensitive skin.
Can you recommend an excellent after-facecare routine?
Trying to treat acne scars without addressing the cause of breakouts is like washing a car when it’s raining. It would help if you took special care to use SPF and other preventative measures in your home after a facial to ensure that any new scars fade away quickly.
We suggest a gentle cleanser twice a day, a chemical exfoliator twice or thrice weekly, a vitamin C serum once daily, and retinol twice or thrice weekly to keep acne at bay, in addition to monthly facials. Using an at-home retinol treatment around five nights a week can dramatically improve the skin’s texture without the need for a spa or office visit. Yet, it is still important to seek professional treatments such as chemical peels that work deeper within the skin to affect.
Acne scars can be slow to fade, and that’s the most crucial thing to remember. In addition to using the right products at home and giving your skin time to heal between facials, you should also schedule regular professional treatments. And if you do get another pimple or acne scar, don’t give in to the urge to pick at it; instead, make an appointment with your dermatologist.