Acne may be frustrating because of its appearance and because of the scars it leaves on the face and areas that were affected by acne. Here are the most important ways that help treat acne scars:
Using Natural Remedies
1. Apply fresh lemon juice.
Lemon juice has natural skin bleaching properties, and can help to effectively lighten your acne scars. Simply combine equal parts lemon juice and water and apply this liquid directly onto your scars, avoiding the surrounding skin. Wash off the lemon juice after 15 to 25 minutes or you could put the lemon juice on overnight as a mask.
• Remember to moisturize immediately after washing off the juice, as the citric acid in the lemon can be very drying on the skin.
2. Consider exfoliating with baking soda.
Baking soda can be used to exfoliate the skin and minimize the appearance of acne scars. All you need to do is mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water to form a liquid paste. Apply this paste all over your face and use gentle circular motions to rub the baking soda into the skin, concentrating on the scarred areas, for about two minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat the skin dry.
• You could also use the baking soda paste as a spot treatment, applying it directly onto the scarred area and letting it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before washing off.
3. Use honey.
Honey is a great natural solution for clearing up pimples and reducing the red marks they leave behind. This is because honey contains antibacterial properties and helps to soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. Raw or manuka honey is the most effective. It can be dabbed directly onto the scarred area, using a q-tip.
• Honey is a great option for those with sensitive skin, as honey is non-irritating, and will moisturize your skin instead of drying it out, unlike other treatments.
• If you can get your hands on some pearl powder (it can be found in health stores or online), you can mix a pinch of it in with the honey for an extra-effective treatment. Pearl powder is supposed to reduce inflammation and fade acne scars.
4. Experiment with aloe vera.
The sap of the aloe vera plant is a soothing natural substance which can be used to relieve many ailments, from burns to wounds to acne scars. Aloe vera helps to rejuvenate and moisturize the skin, encouraging acne scars to fade. It is possible to buy aloe vera products in the drugstore, but the best thing to do is buy an aloe vera plant and use the sap from a broken leaf. This gel-like sap can be applied directly on the scarring, and there is no need to wash off.
• For a more intense scar treatment, you can mix a drop or two of tea tree oil (which promotes clear skin) into the aloe vera gel before applying.
5. Use an ice cube.
Ice is an extremely simple home remedy which can help to fade acne scars by soothing the inflamed skin and reducing redness. To use, just wrap an ice cube in a clean cloth or piece of paper towel and hold it against the scarred skin for a minute or two, til the area starts to feel numb. Sometimes it can burn.
• Instead of freezing regular water, you can freeze some strong green tea in an ice cube tray and use the resulting ice cubes on the acne scars. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which complement the cooling effects of the ice.
6. Make sandalwood paste.
Sandalwood is known for its skin healing properties, and is easy to prepare at home. Just mix one tablespoon of pure sandalwood powder with a few drops of rosewater or milk to form a paste. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing. Repeat this process daily until your scars have vanished.
Alternatively, you can mix the sandalwood • powder with a little honey and use this as a spot treatment on individual scars.
7. Try apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar helps manage the pH of your skin, improving its appearance over time and helping to reduce the appearance of red marks and scars. Dilute the vinegar to half its strength with water and apply it to the affected area every day with a cotton ball until the scars begin to fade.
Caring For Your Skin
1. Protect your skin from the sun.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun stimulate pigment-producing skin cells, which can worsen the appearance of acne scars. If you spend time in the sun, protect your skin by applying sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher), wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and keeping to the shade as much as possible.
2. Use gentle skincare products.
A lot of the time, people are so desperate to get rid of acne scars and skin discolorations that they will use all manner of abrasive products and methods which can irritate the skin and make the situation worse. Try to listen to your skin — if it’s reacting badly to a particular product, you should stop using that product immediately. Stick to gentle facial cleansers, make-up removers, moisturizers and scrubs that soothe your skin rather than inflame it.
• A big mistake people make is applying moisturizers to dry skin. Apply your moisturizer to WET/damp skin to guarantee that the moisturizer can work its way into your pores.
• Instead of using a regular moisturizer, mix some of your favorite facial cream with some Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe is a natural humectant which means that it sucks all the moisture from the air onto your face. This will leave your face hydrated.
• Avoid using very hot water when cleaning your face. Hot water can be very drying to the skin, so turn the temperature down a few notches.
• You should also avoid using rough facecloths, sponges and loofahs on the face, as these are too harsh and can irritate the skin.
3. Exfoliate regularly.
Exfoliating helps to slough off dead skin, revealing the fresh, soft new skin underneath. As acne scarring usually only effects the top layers of skin, exfoliating can speed up the fading process. You can exfoliate using a specific facial scrub, just make sure it’s designed for sensitive skin.
• Alternatively, you can exfoliate using a gentle washcloth and some warm water by moving the washcloth around your face in small circular motions.
• You should exfoliate at least once a week and at most once a day, though if your skin is very dry you may want to keep it to 3 to 4 times a week.
4. Avoid picking at spots and scars.
Though it may be tempting, picking at your scars interrupts the process by which your skin naturally heals and can worsen their appearance. Picking at existing pimples, meanwhile, can cause your skin to scar in the first place, as bacteria from your hands may be transferred onto your face, causing it to become inflamed and infected. Therefore, picking should be avoided at all costs.
5. Drink plenty of water and follow a balanced diet.
Although eating healthily and staying hydrated isn’t going to magically make acne scars disappear, it will allow your body to perform at its best and help skin to heal itself. Water will flush toxins from the body and keep skin looking plump and firm, so you should aim to drink 5 to 8 glasses a day. Vitamins such as A, C and E will also help to feed the skin and keep it hydrated.
• Vitamin A is found in vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and carrots and vitamins C and E are found in oranges, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and avocados.
• You should try to avoid greasy, fatty and starchy foods as much as possible as they will not do your skin any favors.
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