Acne scars are small marks, incisions or bumps in the skin left behind by spots. Scars are formed in the process of healing skin tissue damaged beneath spots and indicate permanent damage that requires treatment to disappear. Both acne scars and acne spots have a huge effect on our confidence levels and often leave us with negative thoughts about our appearance. In some cases, acne causes us to feel self-conscious in social situations. Although I can promise you that others will not notice your acne and acne scars as much as you may think, I understand how much of an effect skin has upon our mental health. Here are the best facial treatments and skincare ingredients to prevent, remove and heal acne.
Types of acne scars
Post-inflammatory pigmentation: these are the mildest version of acne scars and appear as a discolouration on the skin left behind after the spot. They are pink or brown in appearance. These acne pigmentation scars are the easiest to treat.
Atrophic scars are sunken into the skin and heal below the normal layer of skin tissue.
Icepick scars are very small, deep puncture marks in the skin that often give the appearance of dark holes on the surface.
Boxcar scars are slightly larger than icepick scars. They are round or oval depressions in the skin with sharply defined edges.
Rolling scars are round bumps in the skin formed by scar tissue. They often give the appearance of an uneven skin surface.
Hypertrophic scars are those raised above the skin surface and have a thick, wide and raised appearance. They are caused when body cells called myofibroblasts produce too much collagen during healing, leaving a raised effect.
Keloid scars are similar to hypertrophic scars but they tend to be milder. They are flat scars that can be pink, red, brown or skin coloured.
Can facials remove acne scars?
While most targeted skincare products will help to reduce the appearance of acne scars, they will not completely remove them. Facial treatments are the best way to remove acne scars because they use a combination of technologies, ingredients and massage techniques, delivered by skilled aestheticians, to bring out the best in your skin.
Some scars are easier to remove than others. The acne scars that are most difficult to treat are icepick and boxcar scars because they lie deep in the skin and require a lot of plumping, elastin and collagen to appear smooth. The best acne scar treatments for these types of scars are skin resurfacing acne treatments such as dermabrasion (using a laser or a wire wheel to exfoliate the deeper layers of the skin), laser resurfacing (removing the top layer of the skin) and microneedling (puncturing numbed skin with needles to increase the production of collagen).
The easiest acne scars to remove are those which lie above the surface and have a slightly raised effect. This is because facial treatments and chemical ingredients (AHAs, BHAs and retinol) will speed up the production of new cells, eliminate old cells and cause the skin to renew more quickly. As a result, your skin will become smoother, plumper and more even in tone and texture.
The best facial treatments for acne and acne scars
There are many facial treatments that remove acne scars by penetrating deep into the skin and healing it from the inside out. These are the best acne facial treatments to prevent more acne from forming and to eliminate acne scars.
Osmosis Vitamin A infusion
The Osmosis acne healing treatment is an intensive holistic treatment for total skin health. It’s targeted at people with acne-prone and oily skin and helps to reduce acne scarring and prevent future breakouts.
Combining active powders and 2% vitamin A infusion, the osmosis acne healing treatment reconditions the epidermis (the surface layer of the skin) and restores the hydro-lipid balance (the skin’s moisture barrier).
This vitamin A infusion is the best acne scar treatment because it revitalises the skin through galvanic technology, ultrasound stimulation, LED light therapy, and vibrating massage. These treatments stimulate cell production and boost blood circulation, which instantly brightens and evens the skin.
This is the best facial treatment for cystic acne and acne pigmentation scars.
The PCA Facial Peel combines enzymatic and mandelic peels to rejuvenate the skin. It uses galvanic technology (a massaging current), ultrasound stimulation (increases collagen and skin elasticity), LED light therapy (a safe way to penetrate the skin using different wavelengths of light and lighten pigmentation), and lymphatic drainage massage (drains excess fluids and has a tightening effect).
These treatments work together to tighten facial muscles, plump out wrinkles and fine lines, boost blood circulation and stimulate cell turnover. This means it targets skin concerns including ageing, hyperpigmentation, acne breakouts and post-acne scars.
This treatment is done from the comfort of your own home and takes around 60 minutes. We recommend repeating this treatment every 4 weeks.§
What are the benefits of having a facial treatment?
Acne facial treatments are the best way to remove acne and post-acne scars or pigmentation because they use a lot of different treatments and ingredients at once and reap long-lasting results. The best acne facial treatments are vitamin A infusions and chemical peels, but there are many facial treatments to choose from. Often, aestheticians will diagnose your specific skin needs and tailor their facial treatments to you.
Aside from the array of skin benefits of facial treatments, they are very relaxing and indulgent experiences that have been proven to reduce psychological stress. The hour you spend getting a facial treatment from the comfort of your own home will most likely be the most relaxing and enjoyable hour of your day.
When you emerge from your one hour of bliss, you will definitely notice an immediate difference in your skin – cleaner, softer, younger-looking and brighter. After 48 hours you should see more longevous results like the fading of acne scars and pigmentation, and the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Essentially, having a facial treatment will give you a healthy radiant glow and improve your skin’s immune functions in the long-run.
How often should you have a home facial?
We recommend repeating our treatments every 4 weeks for the PCA facial peel and every 3 weeks for the Osmosis facial. This is because after 3-4 weeks skin cells grow back and the life cycle of the skin is renewed. Having monthly facials will ensure that the benefits of your facials will last for a longer time and you will see more significant improvements with each treatment.
In between facial treatments, you can do your own at-home facials keep your skin glowing and, of course, to reduce stress!
Light a few candles, put on your favourite relaxing music and give your skin some attention.
• Cleanse your skin to remove any dirt.
• Steam your over a bowl of boiling water, putting a towel over your head to trap excess steam. This will open up your pores. (please never squeeze your face, it will lead to scarring!)
• Use a chemical exfoliator to remove dead skin cells.
• Use a treatment mask and massage it gently into the skin.
• Then moisturise your skin, applying with upward motions for a little bit of lymphatic drainage.
How can I prevent pimples on my face permanently?
There is no way to get rid of pimples permanently. Everyone of all ages suffers from the odd blackhead, whitehead and acne cyst, it’s simply a natural part of life.
Sometimes acne is out of our control because it’s primarily caused by our hormones. When hormone levels fluctuate, levels of androgens (a group of male hormones that are present in both males and females) increase, and this sends messages to the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. This oil clumps together with dead skin cells and clogs pores, which swell up and push out the contents from under the skin, forming a spot on the surface.
Hormonal acne is common not only in teenagers but in females during their menopause years. This is because oestrogen levels fall significantly as we age, causing the skin to lose collagen, elasticity and moisture. Hormonal acne is most common on the jawline, chin and chest areas.
Diet, exercise, stress, environmental changes and the products you use on the skin also have an effect on acne, so it’s important to understand that you can never guarantee a permanently pimple-free complexion.
What do dermatologists recommend for getting rid of acne?
Other than having monthly facial treatments, dermatologists recommend using chemical ingredients to get rid of acne and reduce skin breakouts.
These include AHAs, BHAs and antioxidants like hyaluronic acid and retinol.
AHAs and BHAs are chemical exfoliants that work by penetrating deep into the pores and removing clogged dirt and excess oil, which clump together and lead to acne. They also remove the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, which aids with blackhead removal, whitehead reduction and makes the skin appear brighter and smoother. Salicylic acid, glycolic acid and lactic acid are all common chemical exfoliants that you will find in many skincare products. Choose one and stick to it for 6 weeks to notice significant results. Salicylic acid is a BHA that’s especially good for normal to oily skin because it’s lipid-soluble. Glycolic acid and lactic acid are AHAs more suitable for normal to dry skin because they are water-soluble and have small molecular structures. If you have sensitive skin, opt for lactic acid.
Our dermatologists recommend PCA Acne Gel. It combines 2% salicylic acid and a botanical blend to improve the appearance of breakout-prone skin.
Or try the PCA Skin Facial Wash. This combines lactic acid with botanical acids to gently cleanse the skin without disrupting the skin barrier.
AHAs and BHAs (exfoliants) have the added benefit of lightening acne scars because they stimulate cell turnover and are anti-inflammatory.
Two other ingredients that are recommended by dermatologists for getting rid of acne are retinol and niacinamide.
Retinol is a type of vitamin A that penetrates deep into the skin and stimulates cell turnover, boosting collagen production and increasing skin elasticity. This smooths out fine lines and wrinkles and reduces the appearance of acne scars and blemishes. Retinol prevents acne from forming by eliminating dead skin cells that build upon the skin and clog pores and acts as a mild exfoliant on the surface layer of the skin. At the same time, this balances skin hydration levels and helps to reduce rough patches on the skin. It’s especially good for oily and combination skin types because it decreases the production of sebum.
Niacinamide is a popular anti-acne skincare ingredient because of its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It increases cell turnover which stimulates the production of collagen, boosts barrier functions and evens skin tone and texture. It’s known for fighting congestion caused by acne and reducing redness. This also means it fades acne pigmentation scars.
We recommend PCA Skin Dual Action Redness Relief. It reduces redness and inflammation and improves the skin’s barrier function.
Lastly, dermatologists recommend DIM supplements for acne. DIM (diindolylmethane) affects oestrogen levels inside the body, which is a reproduce hormone that decreases as we age. To counter the effects of ageing on the skin (dryness, thinness, sensitivity, wrinkles and fine lines), DIM supplements help to balance oestrogen levels in the body. Oestrogen is crucial for maintaining healthy and vibrant skin because it activates oestrogen receptors in skin cells to produce elastin and collagen and to increase cell turnover. As oestrogen levels decline through time, our skin weakens and becomes more susceptible to things like acne.
Dermatologists recommend Skin Accumax Advanced Nutrition Programme as an anti-ageing and anti-acne supplement. The combination of DIM, vitamin A (retinol), vitamin C and vitamin E works together to help the body regain a natural hormonal balance. Skin Accumax is the best hormonal acne treatment for all ages and all skin types. It’s natural, vegan, cruelty-free and sustainably sourced.
Author: Megan Kerr