Follow this advice from celeb skincare expert Renee Rouleau to nix acne scars and score a gorgeous complexion
When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.
While that pesky blemish you picked may be long gone, if the dark purple or red scar is still lingering, there are things you can do to minimize it. Acne scars are a result of inflammation within the dermis, which triggers skin to produce pigment cells and, unfortunately, acne scars can linger for months. For this reason, one of my top skin rules is to never to pick a blemish until a visible whitehead is on the surface of the skin. Then (and only then), should you gently squeeze to remove it.
Even if you're not a picker, sometimes acne scars are unavoidable, resulting from skin tissue being stretched from within. It's important to take steps to expedite the fading and healing process so you can get your skin clear and even-toned. Acne scars can actually be two things—actual scars/divots in the skin, and post-inflammation hyper-pigmentation, which is what I'm focusing on here.
Here are some of my tips on caring for acne scars:
Wear sunscreen faithfully.
If the affected skin is exposed to daylight, the UV rays can stimulate the melanin cells—even if it's cloudy outside—and make the scar darker and redder in color and visible longer. Wearing sunscreen will protect the damaged skin cells from the harmful UV rays, allowing the scars to properly heal and recover. Be sure to use a sunscreen formulated for acne-prone skin to avoid causing any further problems.
Use a gentle exfoliant.
By increasing your use of exfoliants (glycolic acid, salicylic acid, enzymes, and scrubs), you will help encourage new and healthy skin-cell growth while removing the damaged, scarred cells. (Out with the old, in with the new!) However, be sure to go easy and be gentle since the scar is very sensitive, and you do not want to cause additional inflammation.
Use soothing, anti-inflammatory products.
Since a scar is basically just inflamed skin, using calming, soothing, and antioxidant ingredients on it will help to sedate the irritated skin tissue and encourage a faster healing process. Use products with the following ingredients: white tea, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant; green tea, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant; and licorice extract, a wound healing formula. [Head to Refinery29 for the rest of Rouleau's tips!]