When we breakout in acne, the concern is not only about treating the blemishes themselves but also the scars they can leave behind. As a former acne-sufferer myself, I understand the annoyance of these permanent marks. Even though my skin has been clear for years now, my scarring serves as a reminder of my days battling pustules, papules and cystic acne. Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of time to experiment with scar treatments. I had used both chemical and natural remedies and I have found that the natural stuff actually has worked better for me. Peels and silicon patches just did not do the trick or they had side effects that caused irritation or discomfort. In fact, some of the simplest treatments have been the best. So, here is a list of seven of my top natural scar treatments.
1. Rosehip Oil
Organic Rosehip Oil has worked wonders for many of my clients. Not only have I found it excellent for fading red or brown skin marks but also for general hyperpigmentation. It encourages microcirculation and collagen production as it is loaded with repairing Vitamin C. However, if your skin is still breaking out, alternate the Rosehip with Jojoba oil. Rosehip oil is stimulating and can prompt your skin to detox; so to prevent causing another break out. When choosing a rosehip oil, look for a bright orange coloured one. Pale rosehip oil is usually diluted or of poor quality.
Sometimes you’ve gotta go straight to the source and supplement with good old fashioned collagen. There is a debate about if collagen absorbs or if certain forms of it do or do not. I’ve contemplated this for a very long time, and despite all the arguments on both sides, I have to say that at the end of the day collagen works. I have seen it treat burns, skin marks and severe skin dehydration. My favorite type to use is marine collagen – and in a natural, anti-inflammatory base. Our Pure + Simple collagen is in a base of aloe, algae and honey, which hydrates to set the environment for healing as well as soothes inflammation (the cause of scaring).
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and skin rejuvenator. It supports collagen production and blood flow, which helps to rebuild tissue along with detoxifying the skin and encouraging cell turnover. I use vitamin C serum to treat acne scars but also for all signs of aging. However, if you have acne still, vitamin C is like rosehip oil: you must be careful as it is stimulating. In these cases, I would stay with a formula that is 3-5% vitamin C and use higher concentrations for fine lines etc.
4. Seabuckthorn Oil
If you can’t use rosehip oil, seabuckthorn oil is a good option as I usually find it fine on acne-prone skin. This restorative oil has been long-used for wound-repair and burn trauma demonstrating its healing and regenerating properties. I like both the seed and berry oil but keep in mind the berry oil is a much darker red colour that can stain your skin and sheets.
6. Lavender Essential Oil
If you just picked your face and see nail marks, use lavender oil. This essential oil is good for disinfecting and treating new wounds. It is one of the only essential oils you can apply straight onto your skin. I have used lavender oil many many times, especially after aggressive extractions with broken skin, using this 2-4 times per day for the next few days can really save you. But this is a treatment for acute, young acne scars – if the scars have been there for some time, it is not the best. Determine if your marks are “young” or “old”. Young are red or brown and can be helped by lavender oil if they are just newly made or cleared up by Organic Rosehip Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C or Collagen otherwise. Old scars are discussed next.
7. Machines: Microdermabrasion and IPL
When scars are whitish silver in colour or come in the form of pitted marks, they’re probably pretty old. Unfortauntely, these are harder to treat so you have to get out the big guns: machines. Pitted and silver scars must be deeply exfoliated (followed by the previously mentioned nourishing topicals). Extensive Seasalt Microdermabrasion or Laser/ IPL Treatments are the only really effective options.