Acne is one of those pesky skin problems that can occur on any skin type at any time of the year. And coincidentally, it can sometimes leave scars. For women of color in particular, whose skin can be very melanistic, even the smallest of rashes can leave a noticeable mark. For those with a fairer complexion, the rashes can lead to residual red or brown acne scars. While there are a plethora of acne creams, serums, cleansers, and topical acne treatments (over-the-counter and prescription) that help treat acne scars, facials are one of the things to do. best ways to rejuvenate skin, reduce blemishes and remove pigmentation. and the texture issues – for good.
First: don’t be discouraged if you are still struggling with lingering rash marks. The majority of acne scars are actually just post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (brown or red spots) rather than an actual change in skin texture. Essentially, when the body sends white blood cells and collagen to repair the acne spot, it also sends out melanin, leaving behind a hyperpigmented scar. This is when your favorite beautician comes to help you.
“Facials focus on opening pores by deep cleansing the skin and exfoliating with the appropriate product to help remove dead skin,” says Monica Dawidowicz, SHEN Beauty Beautician. “Facials help fight acne by properly cleansing the skin and removing all impurities to produce brighter, more even, and smoother skin.”
Simply put, acne scars are a result of the injury that the acne lesion has created on the skin. “Inflammation of the skin activates pigment cells to produce melanin, a protective act, which leaves a dark spot in the place of inflammation,” explains Sophie pavitt, qualified esthetician and acne specialist. “Or, if the infected acne lesion is removed or is a very large pimple (such as a cyst or a nodule), it can disrupt the cellular structure of the skin, causing a textured scar.”
If you’re struggling to get rid of acne scars, whether textured or pigmented, read on for the best esthetician-approved treatments to help your skin look its best.
How Does Facial Care Help Acne Scars?
Facials can “benefit the skin with deep cleansing, professional exfoliation, proper extractions, and targeted ingredients used to fight specific problems, like acne scars,” says Hailey Cochran, esthetician at Beverly Hills spa, Easy.
According to Kerry Benjamin, esthetician and founder of StackedSkincare, professional exfoliation (dermaplaning, microdermabrasion and peels), steam and extractions can work wonders on non-inflammatory acne scars and prevent more severe acne. If your acne tends to lean on the severe side (like cystic acne), the expert encourages seeing a beautician every two weeks for professional extractions and exfoliation until the inflammation has subsided. Once your acne is a little better in control, or if your acne is minimal, you can space your treatments every month and continue on a home diet.
And while acne scars and pigmentation may take a while to go away, Pavitt recommends using a cocktail of treatments and sticking with the same esthetician so you can manage expectations on schedule. Regular facials at home can provide long-term benefits in the form of clearer skin.
The best facials for acne scars
Chemical peels are great for fine lines, dryness, and safe for many skin types, but they’re especially good at minimizing acne scarring. These are exfoliating treatments that use natural acids at different strengths to remove the top layer of dead skin cells. Depending on your condition and your skin type, your beautician will select the peel that is right for you (superficial, medium or deep) and will avoid using risky acids (i.e. too strong) for your complexion.
Superficial peels, also called light peels, are the mildest type of peel available. “[Superficial peels] remove the top layer of dead skin and make your skin look instantly brighter, with a more even texture, ”Benjamin told TZR. “They can be used to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, sun damage, mild acne scars, age spots, and dry or scaly skin.”
Medium peels – known to stimulate collagen production to tighten and firm the skin – penetrate deeper into the skin and can be used to treat acne, pigmentation, and wrinkles. Deep peels are the strongest chemical peels available and tend to use more potent active ingredients to achieve the most dramatic results for pigmented skin.
A peel will usually start at $ 200 (depending on your location and esthetician). Aftercare requires that you stay out of the sun, use plenty of sunscreen, and use gentle skin care products in the days following your treatment. Renowned beautician, Renée Rouleau, suggests repeating the peel every one to six weeks for optimal results.
Oxygen facial treatment
“In this facial, a machine will spray a hydrating and soothing serum onto the skin in micro-droplets for deep penetration, then infuse your skin with pure oxygen,” explains Dawidowicz. “[Oxygen facials] are anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, perfect for all skin types and particularly suitable for sensitive skin. Prices typically start at $ 100 and increase depending on which esthetician you visit.
This type of facial treatment involves a machine that uses suction while simultaneously spreading moisturizing and exfoliating serums on your skin. “The nozzle of the machine pushes the serum into the skin and sucks up the remaining liquid at the same time, removing dirt and dead skin,” says Pavitt. Dawidowicz recommends HydraFacial for the abrasive tip on the machine that really treats texture and uneven skin – great for all skin types and skin conditions. The price of the treatment ranges from $ 150 to $ 300, depending on your location.
Used to exfoliate the skin on the surface, microdermabrasion facials smooth out texture, revealing a brighter, more even complexion. Ideal for non-inflamed acne and textured skin, this non-invasive treatment uses pressurized jets to scrub the skin with micronized crystals to remove dry, dead skin cells. Note: Your skin may be slightly dewy after your face. You can receive the treatment at your dermatologist or esthetician, and prices typically start at $ 75.
Are these facials safe for everyone?
While facials can be beneficial for all skin types, experts say there are a few exceptions. “If you have a darker complexion, most facials are safe and beneficial,” explains Dawidowicz. “However, more invasive treatments like lasers and deep peels should be avoided.” Likewise, patients with rosacea, severe acne, and very sensitive skin should avoid abrasive physical exfoliations like microdermabrasion and HydraFacial.
What post-facial routine should I follow?
“Treating scars without addressing the root cause of your rash is like washing your car when it’s raining outside,” Pavitt told TZR. That’s why, after your facial, you’ll really want to fine-tune your at-home regimen to minimize further scarring, which of course includes SPF.
In addition to monthly facials, Cochran recommends a daily gentle cleanser, a chemical exfoliant two to three times a week, a vitamin C serum each morning, and retinol two to five times a week for acne control. “While it’s always important to get professional treatments like chemical peels that work deeper into the skin to affect the change, using at-home retinol treatment at least five nights a week will dramatically improve skin texture, without a visit to the spa or the office, ”says Rouleau.
The most important thing to understand is that acne scars can take a long time to heal. Facials will help considerably, but it’s more of a three-pronged approach: using the right products at home, giving the skin time to heal, and getting regular facials. And if you experience another rash or acne scar, resist the temptation to deal with it and make an appointment with your favorite skin expert instead.