An unexpected blemish is annoying enough, but the discolouration or scar that they leave in their wake can last a lot longer than the pimple itself. First, we need to treat the blemish as gently and lovingly as possible. While our first instinct is to grab the benzoyl or salicylic acid, there are a few other steps we can take to treat our breakout naturally. Make sure not to touch the blemish (no squeezing or poking - as best as you can!), gently cleanse the skin (my favourite cleanser is Cetaphil - and there is also Cetaphil for acne prone skin). Remove any remaining impurities with a gentle toner - I love this one from UMA oils, then treat your skin with Inner Glow to remove bacteria, treat the inflammation, and infuse your skin and the affected area with all of the vitamins and omegas it needs to heal. If you’re looking for a little spot treatment, I recommend using your favourite clay mask as a spot treatment to speed up the process, but truly less is more.
So you’ve followed all of these steps and you’re still left with a little mark - now what? Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee you won’t have a mark where your blemish once was, but there are many things we can do to treat this. First we need to identify if its a mark (a pink or darker spot) or an actual scar. A mark is a small, flat, discoloured patch that has occurred because of the natural healing process. This mark will fade over time on its own (3-6 months) and signifies that no permanent collagen damage has occurred to the skin. An acne scar is formed when there is damage and leads to abnormal collagen production, and the scar will usually be raised. Scars usually occur when the blemish is picked at or squeezed (causing more inflammation), or when the blemish is particularly deep.
If you’re left with discolouration or an acne scar - what are your options? There are many! Some more natural than others, and some that are preventative or reparative. There are laser treatments, steroid injections and filler that can all effectively treat scarring, but can be costly and invasive. Mirco-needling has also been proven quite effective for scarring, and can allow your skincare products to absorb more fully into the skin, thus making it a great option to pair with effective skincare products (read more about at home micro-needling in our newsletter here. In order to avoid discolouration left by blemishes, you should always wear sunscreen and use a vitamin C rich product, like Inner Glow, to treat dark spots over time. If we’re waiting for the discolouration to fade and want to cover it a little, I always go to Nudestix Tinted Cover because it its non comedogenic (so it won’t cause further breakouts), its packed with natural botanical oils, its very soothing to the skin, and it covers very effectively. I also love it because it does give you coverage when you need it, but it also makes your skin absolutely glow and still look like real skin. We often rub product into our skin, but with a blemish (especially one with any texture) we want to apply the product with our hands (to warm it) and gently tap the product onto the affected area so it doesn’t get wiped away. We are also evolving as a culture to be more open about our skin issues - blemishes happen to everyone and so does scarring - so the more we talk about it and flaunt our ‘flaws’ the more we can relax about our skin insecurities and support one another.