When it comes to having flawless skin and a gorgeous complexion, pimples cause serious problems – especially when they leave behind dark marks and red or brown spots, otherwise known as acne scars. These can be really tough to get rid of, but before you spend an arm and a leg on pricey products or treatments, you should know that there are a number of DIY, all-natural remedies that really do work. Read on to learn more about acne scars and discover eight of Savoir Flair’s top ways to help treat them at home.
What Causes Acne Scars?
First up, some information on how acne scars form. They can be the result of just a couple of spots or a more severe skin condition – whether that’s mild acne (those annoying whiteheads or blackheads we’ve all encountered), moderate acne (where inflamed, red pimples appear), or severe acne (painful cysts appearing under the skin). The latter is normally what leads to acne scarring, but picking a pimple can cause it too.
What Are the Various Types of Acne Scars?
Acne scars are normally red or brown marks left behind where a spot has been, but they can also be more serious, taking the form of either a gradual dip scar (also known as a “rolling scar”) or a deep and narrow scar in the skin. They can often fade on their own, but this can take months – and sometimes years. Laser therapy, chemical peels, or dermabrasion are also often needed to help reduce their appearance.
The Natural Remedies
Containing a natural alpha-hydroxy acid that boasts bleaching powers and is rich in vitamin C (which helps rebuild collagen), lemons work wonders at lightening scars and brightening skin. It’s as simple as applying fresh lemon juice directly to your acne scars and leaving it to work its magic for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off. If your skin is on the sensitive side, you can add water to the lemon juice to dilute it slightly. Repeat this process daily and remember that, when life gives you lemons, use them on your scars!
Thanks to its exfoliating properties, baking soda is a scar savior. When mixed with water, the sodium-bicarbonate crystals gently scrub and exfoliate skin, without causing it stress or inflammation. Mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with a little water to form a thick paste. Massage it onto scars and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing off. Repeat this process two to three times a week.
An amazing skin soother, aloe vera is bursting with vitamins that help skin heal itself, and it’s gentle enough to use on the severest of scars and most sensitive of skins. It also has moisturizing properties, helping to keep skin soft and supple. Try to use fresh aloe gel whenever possible, or select the purest, highest-quality option from your pharmacy if it’s not available. Use it directly on scars (it will feel wonderfully cooling and refreshing when you apply it) twice daily to help them heal.
An all-round brilliant beauty ingredient (click here to learn why), olive oil is rich in B vitamins and loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties – all of which help to speed up the healing of acne scars. Opt for an organic olive oil, massage it directly into scars, and leave on skin overnight for a more intense and softening treatment.
Used for centuries to treat wounds and fight infections, honey is a hero for those suffering from pimples and acne scars thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory powers. Not only does honey help with healing and fading dark marks, but it also treats the acne that causes scarring. Win-win. Try to use Manuka honey, if possible, as it has stronger antimicrobial properties. Raw, organic honey will also work. Use it directly on your scars, leave it on for as long as possible, and rinse off. Just don’t be tempted to lick it off!
With antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties, fenugreek seeds are great when it comes to helping the skin heal. You can either boil the seeds in water and apply them to scars once they’ve cooled or make a paste out of fenugreek leaves, using it as a treatment mask. Leave it on your skin for an hour before washing off.
Apple-cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant that is effective not only on acne spots but also on scars because of its astringent and antibiotic properties. It also helps to remove dead skin cells, thereby improving skin tone. Mix one part apple-cider vinegar with one part water, mix well, and use a cotton bud to apply the mixture to your scars. Leave on for up to ten minutes before washing off, and repeat daily to see your scars disappear.
What Else Can You Do?
Avoid the sun! It will only darken scars and slow down the healing process. Oh and don’t ever squeeze your spots.