Healthy Skin: How To Treat Your Skin After Acne

Acne can affect people of all ages at any point in their lives. Some adults need years to clear up acne completely. Unfortunately, getting rid of painful pimples and blackheads isn’t the end of the battle.

Many people have to deal with acne scars and marks. As you can understand, they don’t go away so easily when untreated.

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There is some good news, though! First of all, it’s never too late to start taking care of your skin and get rid of dark spots and acne scars. Secondly, the whole process shouldn’t take longer than three months if you do everything right.

If you are ready to start, here is what you need to know about treating your skin after acne:

Home Remedies for Acne Scars

If you only have minor acne scars and dark spots, you should try some home remedies. It goes without saying that before you start any treatment, you need to consult a dermatologist. Some remedies listed below might not be suitable for your skin type.

LEMON JUICE

Lemon juice can help you solve the problem of dark spots, but only if you use it once in a while. Regular usage of lemon juice might lead to a painful chemical burn. Also, there is no research that proves that lemon juice can help get rid of old scars.

If you want to try it out, follow safety guidelines. First of all, mix lemon juice with another ingredient such as yogurt, honey, or oatmeal. Secondly, don’t keep it on your face for too long; five minutes would be enough. It’s important to stay out of the sun the day you apply the mixture.

ALOE VERA

Some studies have shown that aloesin (a compound in aloe vera) can help lighten pigmentation. Aloe vera is safe and effective when used at home. According to PrimalHarvest.com, it can reduce inflammation, increase collagen production, and boost immune response.

Usually, people apply pure aloe vera directly onto the skin. But, you can mix it with honey and lemon juice, or buy a beauty product that contains aloesin.

If you want to incorporate pure aloe vera into your beauty routine, there is nothing to be afraid of since this natural component doesn’t cause side effects.

Using aloe vera won’t help you get rid of acne scars completely, but it will hydrate your skin and fade dark spots.

BLACK SEED OIL

Black seed oil, also known as Nigella sativa, has antiviral and antibacterial properties and can help reduce inflammation as well as make your scars less visible.

Moreover, this natural component can nourish your skin and slow the signs of aging thanks to Vitamin A and amino acids. It’s also worth mentioning that black seed oil can also be beneficial for patients with eczema and psoriasis.

Feel free to apply it on your skin. Test this natural ingredient on a small area of your skin to make sure it doesn’t cause irritation or experience any allergic reactions.

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In-Office Treatment for Acne Scars

If you want to see results faster, consider in-office treatments for acne scars. Before you choose any of these treatments, make sure you don’t have any active acne. It’s important to find a reliable provider who will also give recommendations on how to treat your skin after the procedure.

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LASER TREATMENT

Laser treatment is one of the easiest ways to reduce the appearance of acne scars on your face, back, neck, upper torso, and arms.

Only your dermatologist can decide whether you are ready for this procedure.

If you are the right candidate for laser treatment, plan for unexpected finances. A single procedure of laser skin resurfacing can cost about $500 per session. You should also take into account the number of procedures you will need as it’s impossible to treat all scars in one sitting.

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During the procedure, a doctor will remove the top layer of your skin with a laser. It might sound a bit scary, but there is nothing to worry about. You will not feel any pain after two hours. The only side effect is redness; it can take up to two weeks for it to subside.

Your provider will give you instructions on how to prepare for laser treatment. Two weeks prior to the procedure, you will have to quit smoking and stop using skincare products that contain retinol.

After the procedure, your scars will be less visible, and your skin will become smoother. It’s important to mention that this procedure will not help you get soft baby skin right away, and it will take time for your acne scars to disappear completely with proper care.

MICRONEEDLING

Skin needling can help you get rid of acne scars and the first signs of aging. The science behind the procedure is simple — skin produces more collagen during the skin pricking process. Extra collagen helps increase blood flow, improve skin elasticity and texture. Micro-needling is recommended for patients with depressed acne scars.

After the procedure, you might notice some side effects such as inflammation, redness, and bruising. If you drink a lot of water, protect your skin from the sun, and follow your doctor’s recommendations, side effects will go away within a few days.

Micro-needling could also be used for sun damage, hair loss, surgical scars, and stretch marks.

One session costs around $600. Keep in mind that you might need more than one session in order to see the first results. Choose your provider carefully — only professional dermatologists can perform this procedure.

CHEMICAL PEEL

If you want to see the results faster, consider trying chemical peels. You can rejuvenate your skin by removing the top layer of your skin with this procedure. A chemical peel is also recommended in case of active acne and clogged pores.

The only challenge is to find the right type of chemical peel.

At-home chemical peels can help you get rid of fading dark spots. If you have pitted acne scars, it’s better to consult a dermatologist before you try anything on your own.

Use glycolic, lactic, salicylic, phytic, mandelic acids for at-home chemical peels. These acids are good for all skin types. Stay away from peels that contain TCA (trichloroacetic acid) since it can damage your skin if used incorrectly. Before and after the procedure, you should avoid using acne-clearing products and Retin-A.

If you do a peel without expert supervision, the results might not meet your expectations. Also, at-home peels are weaker than the ones used at the doctor’s office. An effective deep peel will require throughout skin cleansing and general anesthesia. You might need to have a chemical peel once every 4-6 weeks. But, again that depends on everything so do your research and talk to your trusted dermatologist.

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The Bottom Line

Getting rid of acne is just the first step. To win the final battle, you need to remove acne scars and dark spots. Even though it’s never too late to start this process, the earlier, the better, as getting rid of old scars can be more complicated.

Consult a dermatologist to find the best treatment for your skin. They may recommend chemical peel, microneedling, or laser treatment. You can also try different home remedies such as aloe vera, lemon juice, or black seed oil.

Remember, it is possible to get clear, smooth skin. You are halfway there! Find the right option for your skin now and enjoy the results!

PHOTO FEATURE: @jordynwoods

Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin: What’s the Difference?

The terms dry skin and dehydrated skin are frequently used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. If your skin feels rough, flaky, and tight, it could mean that you have dry skin, but it can also mean that your skin is just in need of a hydration boost. Vague? We get it. To explain, we tapped board-certified dermatologist and BeautyLeeBar.com expert Dr. Dendy Engelman

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The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

There is a minor (albeit important) distinction between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin is a skin condition, and it can affect all skin types. Even oily skin can be dehydrated if it is lacking in moisture and hydration. “Dehydrated skin can be the result of not drinking enough water or liquids,” says Dr. Engelman. “It can also be caused by irritating or drying products, which can strip the skin of its moisture.” 

Dry skin, on the other hand, is a skin type. “ Anyone can be categorized as having a dry skin type if you have minimal oil production,” says Dr. Engelman. Many factors can play a part example age, climate, genetics, hormones, or untreated dehydrated skin. 

The moral of the story? Dry skin lacks oil, and dehydrated skin lacks water.

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How to Know if Your Skin Is Dry or Dehydrated

“Dehydrated skin feels parched and crepe-y,” says Dr. Engelman. “It might have an oily film on the skin because dehydrated skin can be mistaken for dryness by skin cells, causing them to produce excess oil as a result.” 

Dry skin tends to flake, so if you see lifted skin — white flecks, usually — you probably have dry skin, Dr. Engelman says. Because dehydrated skin can affect all skin types, it’s possible to suffer from dehydrated skin and dry skin at the same time. When in doubt, consult with a dermatologist. 

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How to Treat Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Whether your skin is dry or dehydrated, nourishing it with moisturizing products can help. The ingredients you should look for might differ depending on which skin issue you’re dealing with.  

“ Dry skin will benefit from products that replenish oil and repair the lipid layers of the skin,” Dr. Engelman says. The SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2 boasts a maximized concentration of lipids in its formula — including 2% pure ceramides, 4% natural cholesterol, and 2% fatty acids — to help restore the skin’s moisture barrier and provide up to 24 hours of hydration. 

Here are other similar yet affordable products:

Biossance Squalane + Omega Repair Cream

Omega Fatty Acids: Fatty, moisturizing molecules that hydrate while visibly restoring and plumping. Hyaluronic Acid: Visibly plumps and supports hydration on the skin‘s delicate surface. Acai Berry Sterols: A plant sterol that is known to mimic and support the cholesterol found naturally in skin.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair BarriAIR Cream

Tri-Molecular Weight Hyaluronic Acid: A powerful humectant in three molecular sizes, that helps boost skin’s moisture content, plump, and smooth skin on multiple levels. Ceramides: A lipid that naturally occurs in skin that helps strengthen the skin barrier and moisturize. Oxygen: Upon contact with air, creates a blanket of bubbles to energize skin and help active ingredients penetrate.

Skinfix Barrier+ Triple Lipid-Peptide Cream

Triple Lipid Complex: Helps to restore skin’s natural lipids and fatty acids for glowing, smooth, healthy-looking skin. Peptide Protein Blend: Nutripeptides support the skin barrier function and help protect the skin from free radical damage. Lily Root Extract: Tightens the look of skin, and helps reduce water loss and support long-term moisturization.

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“ Dehydrated skin will benefit from products that help retain moisture and formulated with ingredients like hyaluronic acid,” says Dr. Engelman. The L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Derm Intensives 1.5% Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum does just that. Follow it with a moisturizer formulated for your skin type.

More amazing serums that works even greater:

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 from The Ordinary is formulated with a combination of low, medium, and high molecular-weight hyaluronic acid, as well as a next-generation hyaluronic acid crosspolymer, at a combined concentration of 2% for multi- depth hydration. This system is supported with the addition of B5 for enhanced surface hydration.

Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening

Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Hyaluronic Acid Super Serum strengthens skin while helping defend against skin-aging stressors for youthful, radiant skin. These stressors include UV exposure, pollution and extreme temperatures along with tobacco, stress, lack of sleep and nutrition which can cause dullness, dehydration, fine lines and other signs of aging.

Super BounceVitamin b5 serum

Pro-Vitamin B5 promotes long-term hydration and healthy looking skin. Three molecular weights of Hyaluronic Acid pull moisture deep into the skin (and keep it there) to instantly smooth the skin’s surface. The silky formula is fast-absorbing and never sticky—designed to layer with moisturizers and makeup.

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How to Properly Introduce New SKINCARE INGREDIENTS

It can be tempting to totally renovate our skincare routine when our skin is not behaving. And for some of us skincare junkies, the arrival of a new active ingredient or miracle treatment can have us rushing to the online checkout and slathering our mugs with the latest buzzworthy potion. But we need to slow our roll. 

Our skin needs time to acclimate to new ingredients, especially intense, effective actives. Otherwise, we risk reactions like dermatitis, peeling, dryness, redness, and breakouts. Here’s how we should go about doing that.

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Read product reviews.

Ok, this may sound either boring or like duh to some, but there is some value to be found in reviews. Look for specifics, like if it made a rash appear, if it did nothing at all, if someone suffered a reaction. Some reviewers will share personal information about their skin so that we can compare. And to the people who do this, thank you so much. Sincerely.

Patch test.

If the product we’re trying out has intense, clinical actives in it, we want to make sure our face isn’t going to explode. Try it on an extra-porous area like the T-zone (opt for chin, near the nose, or on the forehead). This should give an idea, in at least 48 hours, whether the product is a major no-no for us. We can likely skip this step with most super-simple, natural, clean products unless we’re sensitive. In that case, always patch test.

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One thing at a time.

There comes a time when we get fed up and want to try everything, right now. We want to try the new tincture, herbal supplement, face mask, cleanser, and serum all at once. Sometimes, the results are amazing! But other times, we suffer some consequences. In order to understand which products are helping and which are causing problems, we need to pare down how many new products we are using. Just stick to one at a time, and give it at least two weeks of consistent use (unless there is an immediate reaction; then stop immediately).

Don’t do it before a big event.

Just in case our skin will not be pleased with the latest active ingredients we have our sights on, it’s best we don’t get too excited before a date night or big event. The last thing we want is a rash or the beginnings of an inflammatory purge breakout just when we’d hoped to look our very best.

Always ice.

On the occasions that our skin simply is not loving our latest product, of course, stop using it right away, and rinse with cool water. We want to cleanse thoroughly and ice the area to keep inflammation down. When in doubt, always ice. Stay away from steams and hot water, which can make the reaction worse.

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