Acne and acne scarring. If you have either, you know how frustrating these skin concerns can be. Plus, how many times have you searched the internet for answers, to only be left feeling even more confused than before you started?
Acne affects the physical health of our skin. And we also know that acne, and it's aftermath of acne scarring, can also affect us emotionally as well. You found a solution for the acne, but the scars still remain, and it just doesn't seem fair.
If you have acne scarring, and you have been looking for answers, then this article is for you. We have seen ways to help heal scars using natural skin care ingredients and formulations. Below, we outline some background information and research on acne scarring and the skin care industry, and also provide you with 3 key ingredients to consider for your skin.
The treatment of acne scarring is under researched, and there is no standardized way of evaluating what actually improves the tone and texture of scarred skin. This makes finding solutions for acne scarring confusing, and with so many choices it can be difficult to know where to turn. Conventional procedures such as microdermabrasion, microneedling, injectable fillers, laser treatments and chemical peels are just a few of the options that are available to you. Through a study by Hay et al. in 2016, they concluded that there was a significant lack of evidence on the effectiveness of these kinds of treatments. They also highlighted, how many of these approaches didn't account for the underlying health of the skin. If you are looking for a procedure to try, to supplement your skin care routine in healing your scarring, we suggest looking into cosmetic acupuncture. The technique is similar to microneedling, but takes a holistic and whole body healing approach to support your overall health, while working to naturally reduce acne scarring and prevent breakouts. Our friend and acupuncturist, Sasha Ormiston, has seen results from this treatment in her own practice, especially when the treatments are supplemented with natural skin care ingredients designed to support your skin's healing.
Honey, Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids/Beta Hydroxy Acids are the 3 key ingredients in your skincare products that will assist in healing your acne scars. In this post we will explain why and how they work.
Ingredient # 1: Honey For Acne Scars
Honey is a wonder ingredient that has many properties to benefit all skin types. When looking at acne scarring specifically, it has a proven track record to speed up the healing process of skin compromised by scarring, (Watson, 2019). Honey is also a potent anti-inflammatory ingredient and has anti-bacterial properties too. We want to highlight that yes, you could put pure honey on your face. Yet, not only does this create a bit of a sticky mess, but using honey in combination with other ingredients can boost the benefits as well! Formulation is the key.
We love the Josh Rosebrook's Active Enzyme Exfoliator as it uses honey, along with other beneficial ingredients in its' formula.
Josh Rosebrook’s Active Enzyme Exfoliator is a chemical and physical exfoliant but can be used as a short-term mask too. The potent blend of anti-inflammatory herbal properties assists the honey in doing its job and improves the clarity and redness of acne scarred skin types.
There is a tendency to dry out skin types that are more acne-prone, which is a huge misconception around how to remedy imbalances. Exfoliation can be one of the easiest ways to combat this. The combination of honey, paired with the exfoliation properties of Josh Rosebrook’s Active Enzyme Exfoliator, make its' ingredient base an excellent choice when addressing acne scar healing.
Ingredient #2: Vitamin C In Your Skincare
One of the most important skincare ingredients to consider after exfoliating your skin is the use of a Vitamin C based product. Vitamin C is a powerful ingredient when looking at treating and addressing acne scars as it goes hand in hand with collagen synthesis, (Wang et al. 2018; Davidson, 2020). The synthesis of collagen in acne skin types is so important as it aids in the restructuring and rebuilding of healthy skin cells. This then assists in diminishing acne scarring and hyper pigmentation and lets those new happy skin cells come to the surface.
Vitamin C not only assists in collagen production and the creation of new skin cells but it also addresses environmental factors and basically “lifts,” darkness and red undertones from the skin. The quality and therefore potency of Vitamin C is really important when looking at incorporating it into your skincare routine to address acne scarring.
The formulation, along with how stable the formula is, is the final area to consider when picking this ingredient out in a product. We love the Fitglow Beauty Vita Active Serum as it has a 20% concentration of bio-available Vitamin C. When this serum is used daily, it protects from further environmental damage by using a synergy of antioxidants made up of Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin E, CoQ 10, Vitamin C, and Glutathione. Fitglow takes immense care when formulating their products and this one is definitely an example of their immense attention to detail.
Ingredient #3: Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids For Acne Scarring
The final ingredient(s) we want to highlight are Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). We have grouped these two together as they’re related, but we do want to highlight that although they are in the same family they do two different things. What makes both of these groups of acids so integral to addressing acne scarring?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids are naturally derived as they come from sources such as citrus fruits, lactose, sugar cane and other plant and animal-based origins, (Cherney, 2019). AHAs work to encourage cell turnover and slough off dead skin on the topmost layer of the face. AHAs work on the top layer of the skin and are better designed for redness and hyper pigmentation than deeper rooted acne scars, (Cherney, 2019). This is where Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) are beneficial as they work on the deeper layers of the skin. You probably already know about BHAs but under a different name, Salicylic Acid! There are many forms of Salicylic Acid with varying qualities and potencies, but this ingredient assists with clearing residual oil on the deeper levels of the skin, (Cherney, 2019).
Indie Lee’s Gentle Daily Peel Pads are a go-to product here at GK and have quickly become a staff and customer favourite! They are completely non-toxic and have a blend of both Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) to gently slough off dead skin. The Salicylic Acid (or the BHA) that the peel pads contain comes from Wintergreen. This is a completely natural source and is incredibly effective. It gives you an extra boost in improving the texture of acne scarred skin types and doesn’t leave the skin overly stripped. Jasmine and Burdock Root extracts are also in the peel pad formula as they assist with calming inflammation and hydration. These beauties can be used up to 3 x a week and are one of our favourite products for addressing hormonal breakouts too!
Do you have more questions about what ingredients or products help calm and actually work for acne prone or scarred skin types? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Cherney, K. (2019, March 08). Alpha Hydroxy Acid: 8 Skincare Benefits and How to Use it. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/alpha-hydroxy-acid.
Davidson, K. (2020, April 28). Vitamin C for Acne: Benefits and Uses. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-for-acne.
Hay, R. A., Shalaby, K., Zaher, H., Hafez, V., Chi, C., Dimitri, S., Nabhan, A.F., Layton, A. M. (2016). Interventions for acne scars. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd011946.pub2.
Wang, K., Jiang, H., Li, W., Qiang, M., Dong, T., & Li, H. (2018). Role of Vitamin C in Skin Diseases. Frontiers in Physiology, 9. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00819.
Watson, K. (2019, January 04). Honey for Face: Uses and Benefits. Retrieved September 04, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/honey-for-face.