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What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
Advice for all of your skin care needs
What To Do If You Hate Those Fine Lines Around Your LipsRead More
It’s time to take control of your least favorite skin concerns with these simple skincare updates.
Let’s get one thing straight: perfect skin is the stuff of fantasies. What you see on the red carpet, for example, requires hours of preening and painting, not to mention the years’ worth of treatments and tweakments undertaken at the doctor’s office.
However, in-office treatments aren’t for everyone and constantly striving for perfection can be an exhausting game to play. That's why we prefer to work with what nature gave us by looking after our skin through smart skincare and lifestyle choices. Sure, these kinds of habits will never eradicate wrinkles, plump up thin lips or make sunspots miraculously disappear overnight, but taking positive action will absolutely help your skin in the long-term. At the same time, it does wonders for your mental wellbeing.
Whatever your skin bugbear, our advice is simple. 1. Try not to sweat it too much. It’s really not the big deal you make it out to be, plus other people probably don’t even notice it. And 2. Ensure you’re choosing and applying the right skincare so as not to make matters worse. Because you know what? Great skincare and good lifestyle habits are an awesome way to prevent AND treat your concerns.
Here’s how to tackle some of your most common skin worries…
An Oily T-Zone
Dealing with a greasy nose, chin and forehead is bad enough at high school, but when oily skin continues to irritate the hell out of you in your adult years? Enough already.
First, the good news: overactive sebaceous glands mean your skin is less likely to prematurely wrinkle. So, at least there’s that. However, oily skin is still irritating, especially in the summer months when it gets doubly worse.
What to do, then? Well, don’t think moisturizing is pointless, because if you fail to moisturize your skin after cleansing, it will just produce even more oil to counteract the dryness. Not cool. Choose light, moisturizing ingredients like aloe vera and glycerin rather than heavy oil-based formulations, and invest in a cleanser that contains activated charcoal to draw out toxins and mop up excess oil. Try Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser.
Aging skin isn’t solely about wrinkles. A lack of firmness (thanks to the natural loss of collagen) can be another frustrating bugbear that causes your skin to seriously slacken and head south, especially around the jaw area.
Facial exercises are a good way to strengthen the muscles in your face and neck to help keep jowls under control. One of our favorites is called "Kiss the Ceiling". To try this one, tilt your head back, pucker up your lips and really push them forward as if you’re trying to kiss someone extremely tall. Hold for 10 seconds, then repeat five times every day.
You should also include a hardworking antioxidant serum in your daily routine to help stay on top of free radical damage – one of the biggest offenders for collagen breakdown and skin aging. Vitamin C Super Serum+ is a great choice for lax skin, as it contains MSM, retinol, botanical hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to build strength and firmness. A no-brainer, if you will.
Blackheads strike when overactive sebaceous glands block up your pores with sebum. This sebum then combines with dead skin cells, breaks through the pore and oxidizes (turns black) as it hits the air. They most commonly strike on and around your nose but can appear anywhere, especially if you have naturally oily skin.
Just like a shiny T-zone, blackheads are best kept in check through sebum control, so ensure you cleanse thoroughly (but gently) morning and night, and always after exercising. Never squeeze blackheads, as it can cause inflammation and/or scarring. Instead, embrace skincare that contains salicylic acid, which not only cuts through excess oil but also dissolves the bonds between dead skin cells, encouraging them to slough away more efficiently.
Our Tea Tree Super Serum+ works as a fabulous spot treatment for stubborn blackheads. Simply apply it 2-3 times a week to targeted areas or all over.
Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles
The skin around your eyes is super fragile and also lacks fat and muscle support. This is why it’s often one of the first places to scream ‘aging’!
Unfortunately, aging concerns around the eyes are often hereditary and if you have pale skin, you’re more likely to notice dark under eye circles than if you have darker skin. Sun damage is also a major player here, so always wear UV protective sunglasses when you’re outside, sleep with your head elevated to reduce water retention under the eyes and apply a daily eye treatment containing antioxidants to further fight the damaging effects of the sun.
We love Peptide Eye Gel as it contains peptides (obvs!), plant stem cells, botanical hyaluronic acid, licorice extract and a bunch of other ingredients that have a rep for gradually improving the look of fine lines, dryness, morning puffiness and dark circles.
Facial redness can be caused by many things. It arises when your blood vessels become dilated, accelerating blood flow to the surface of your skin. The big question, however, is why your blood vessels dilate more than others. And the answer? Well, how long have you got? Genetics is a major factor in things like eczema, acne, rosacea and psoriasis, all of which result in facial redness. But then there are other issues like over-exfoliation, allergies, hormonal fluctuations and stress.
The best ways to deal with facial redness is to check in with a skincare expert so you can diagnose the issue, understand what’s causing it and then treat it. Of course, a gentle skincare routine is also key to reducing redness and irritation, so go steady with potent ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid, and make sure you moisturize your skin twice daily.
Hormonal acne, which makes you break out during your periods or menopause, affects around 25 percent of women in their forties and a whopping 50 percent of women in their twenties. That’s a lot of women having to put up with zits and pimples at a time when there’s so much else to deal with. Sigh.
Menopausal acne is believed to arise because estrogen levels drop as your periods slow down and eventually stop. At the same time, androgen hormones like testosterone increase – cue breakouts.
There are many options for dealing with hormonal acne, including prescription meds, but retinol is a great shout if you’re looking for an effective way to up your skincare game. Retinol activates certain genes underneath the surface of your skin to boost cellular turnover and stop dead skin cells from lurking around way past their sell-by-date. The result? Clearer pores and fewer breakouts. It’s a very powerful ingredient, however, so slowly introduce Retinol Facial Serum into your routine after patch testing first.
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Who’s in the market for fresh, revitalized skin for spring? The real question is who isn’t?
If your skin is screaming ‘tired, worn-out and kinda lackluster', the good news is (hold on, there’s some good news?) you’re not alone. Google searches for ‘how to get naturally glowing skin’ and ‘how to keep skin younger and glowing’ continue to trend, proving that when it comes to covetable skin, freshness and radiance are everything.
Which figures. After all, fine lines, wrinkles, pimples and dark spots immediately appear less obvious if your overall complexion looks good. Refreshed, clean, glowy skin also knocks years off you, and don’t even get us started on how simply looking more wide-awake makes you immediately feel better and more raring to go. Oh, the power of being happy in your own skin…
So, how can you up your radiance game? Well, exfoliating your skin with a gentle scrub or rinsing your face with cold water are decent places to start. But to really get ‘under your skin’, if you will, and reap lasting benefits, you should think about incorporating some kind of active ingredient into your daily routine. Specifically, one that’s known for accelerating cell turnover and loaded with skin-renewing powers.
So, just what are these masterful ingredients? Let’s see, shall we?
We could go on for weeks about the benefits of retinol on both aging and acne-prone skin (don’t worry, we won’t), but when it comes to skin renewal, we do have a few things to say. First, retinol is the best. And second? Well, do you need a second?
A derivative of vitamin A, retinol gets converted into retinoic acid when absorbed by your skin. And it’s this retinoic acid that works hard at a cellular level, kickstarting collagen and elastin production, boosting cell turnover and stimulating blood circulation to help make your skin thicker, firmer, stronger and brighter.
Of course, every silver lining has its cloud and retinol is a potent little beast that needs to be used with caution and care. The number one rule is that any new retinol product should be patch tested first to check for adverse reactions. Then, and only then, should you introduce it slowly into your skincare routine, starting with once a week and building to daily as your skin acclimates. This helps avoid irritation and gives your skin time to adjust to turning over at a faster rate.
Looking to refresh and revive your skin long-term? Then retinol has to be top of the list. It just has to.
Try: Retinol Facial Serum
Exfoliating acids are another must for fresh, renewed skin and if you’re looking for the absolute queen, look no further than glycolic acid.
Glycolic acid is derived from sugar cane and belongs to a group of acids called alpha hydroxy acids, or AHAs. When applied to the skin, AHAs work by softening the bonds between dead skin cells, which encourages them to slough away more easily and make way for the newer, healthier cells underneath. Kind of like physically exfoliating your skin with a scrub... but minus the effort!
By improving desquamation (the fancy term for the shedding of dead skin cells), glycolic acid also stimulates cell regeneration, making your skin look and feel way better over time.
Glycolic acid has the smallest molecular size of all AHAs, making it one of the most effective and potent exfoliating acids out there. It’s trusted by pros and often used in chemical peels, but you can also find it in lower concentrations in loads of skincare serums and treatments. But remember, just like retinol, glycolic acid packs a punch, so it should always be applied with caution.
Peptides are a bit trickier to get your head around, but bear with us because they’re an absolute must for skin renewal.
Made up of short chains of amino acids, peptides help your skin produce proteins like collagen and elastin. How so? Proteins are similarly comprised of amino acids, which allows peptides to act like little messengers, searching out depleted proteins and ‘telling’ your skin to produce more collagen and elastin where it needs them most. Think of peptides as building blocks for the structure, firmness and elasticity of your skin.
There are hundreds of peptides out there – some of which are awesome and some which, frankly, aren't even close. Good ones to look out for are Matrixyl 3000 and palmitoyl tripeptides, which have been proven to boost collagen production in aging skin. Studies have even suggested that Matrixyl 3000 has the potential to almost double the amount of collagen your skin produces. Impressive stuff, don’t you agree?
You’re probably aware of how much we love vitamin C here at TruSkin HQ. After all, our entire skincare range stemmed from our award-winning Vitamin C Serum, which continues to be a fan favorite. And rightly so.
Vitamin C is one of the most researched and trusted antioxidants in skincare, but it’s so much more than a free radical neutralizer and fighter of environmental (cough, sun) damage. Of course, all this is super important for the feel, look and health of your skin because nixing free radicals helps keep your collagen and elastin levels at their peak, which simultaneously maintains efficient cellular turnover. But vitamin C has another trick up its sleeve for giving your skin that extra glow factor. And this is its ability to inhibit melanin production.
As we’re sure you know, melanin is the pigment that gives your skin (as well as your hair and eyes) its unique color. Sun exposure ramps up melanin production, which is why you tan. However, melanin can get a little out of whack sometimes, producing dark, uneven spots known as hyperpigmentation: bad news if fresh-looking skin is your mojo. Vitamin C helps keep melanin under control by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme which catalyzes melanin production. Clever vitamin C.
Otherwise known as vitamin B3, niacinamide is one of the gentlest active ingredients in skincare. But don’t let its gentle nature fool you because it more than holds its own when it comes to strengthening, renewing and energizing your skin.
Like vitamin C, topical niacinamide is another hardworking antioxidant that keeps skin-damaging free radicals in check. It also increases ceramide production in the uppermost layers of your skin to help strengthen your barrier function (very important, btw) and improve your skin’s resiliency. Ceramides are waxy lipids that work like glue to hold your skin together, keeping toxins out and moisture in. Like most of the good stuff in your skin, your natural levels of ceramides deplete as you get older, which is why boosting production is so important. In a nutshell, more ceramides = better hydration and fewer issues like dryness and itchy skin.
Niacinamide has also been proven to help brighten skin, although exactly how it does this is still not entirely known. Ooh, a mysterious one, we like that.
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When it comes to fighting off wrinkles and limiting the damaging effects of pollution and the sun, antioxidants are everything. But are they all they’re cracked up to be? Funnily enough, yes, they are.
If you’re reading this, you probably know a little about what your skin wants from its daily routine. First up, you have the foundation for great skin: a fabulous cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin of life, but cleanses thoroughly while caring for your skin’s super-important barrier function. Simple enough, right?
Then, you have toner which adds that little extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your regimen, treating dark spots, adding a little hydration, maybe even helping to exfoliate your skin – as long as you choose the right one, of course (cough, Ocean Minerals Super Toner, cough).
And somewhere in the middle of all this come antioxidants. You’ll have read about antioxidants countless times (especially if you’re a TruSkin fan!) and maybe you understand just a smidge about their overall benefits for your skin. But did you know they’re the absolute key to fighting off environmental damage? Not only that but they can perform any number of skin-enhancing feats, helping to transform a ‘decent’ skincare routine into a truly fabulous one.
Here’s everything you need to know about these skincare powerhouses…
First, Let’s Talk About Free Radicals
Free radicals might sound innocent enough, but don’t be fooled. They can be seriously bad news when it comes to your skin. Simply put, free radicals are unstable, highly reactive atoms or molecules that form in your skin when it’s been subjected to things like sun damage, pollution, alcohol, stress or a poor diet.
Due to their unstable nature, free radicals seek out electrons from other, unsuspecting molecules in your skin to try and stabilize themselves, thus creating more free radicals in their wake. This blatant thievery is called oxidation and, if it gets left to its own devices, it leads to what's known as oxidative stress which causes serious damage to all the good stuff within your skin – think DNA, collagen and elastin.
Got It. So, How Do Antioxidants Fit Into The Equation?
Antioxidants are Batman to free radicals’ evil The Joker. Unlike other molecules which turn into free radicals when an electron gets snatched away, antioxidants are able to donate electrons to neutralize free radicals, while simultaneously maintaining their own stability. This practically laughs in the face of free radicals’ destruction and stops the chain reaction of skin damage as a result.
Your body naturally has a pretty decent antioxidant defense system that works hard to fight damage and keep you healthy, but this weakens with age (no surprises there!). This is why you need to help it out by including not only antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies in your diet, but also by applying topical antioxidants to your skin to fight off those pesky free radicals, reduce damage and help keep your complexion strong, supple, radiant and youthful-looking.
Topical antioxidants can be found in anything from cleansers and toners through to moisturizers and face masks, but to maximize their benefits, you should always include an antioxidant serum in your routine. Why? Because serums have a small molecular structure which allows them to deliver powerful, active ingredients deep into your skin.
Here are six of our absolute faves…
The 6 Best Antioxidant Serums For Your Skin Concerns
The Skin Brightener: Vitamin C Facial Serum
With more than 93,000 ratings on Amazon, this number one bestseller is packed with antioxidants including arguably the queen of them all, vitamin C. Vitamin C not only reduces the breakdown of collagen and elastin to support your skin and reduce premature lines and wrinkles, but it also contains properties that help regulate melanin production to help fade dark spots and even out your skin tone. Hello, brighter skin days!
The Ultimate Hydrating Hero: Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is well-known for its hydrating powers due to its clever way of drawing water to the surface of your skin (up to 1,000 times its own weight, no less). But did you know that botanical HA is also a powerful antioxidant? If you’re looking to up your skin’s moisture content while neutralizing potential free radical damage at the same time, this multitasking HA Serum is right up your alley.
The Balancing Act: Tea Tree Super Serum+
Unhappy skin often leads to excess oil and, worse still, pesky breakouts, which is where our Tea Tree Super Serum+ comes in. Packed with tea tree essential oil and salicylic acid to balance your skin and improve cell turnover, it also contains vitamin C to brighten, hyaluronic acid to hydrate AND retinol to strengthen and support your skin. A veritable master-of-all-trades. Just remember, this is a potent one, so it needs to be applied just two or three times a week.
The Age-Defying Genius: Retinol Facial Serum
Retinol, oh how we love thee. An active form of vitamin A, retinol stimulates the skin to turn over more efficiently. This helps soften, thicken and plump up the skin while offering no end of benefits for enlarged pores, acne, pigmentation and aging skin. Retinol is also an awesome antioxidant, making it one of the most important ingredients for your skincare regimen. Try this nighttime serum that’s gentle enough for almost all skin types – as long as you patch test it first, of course. But that’s a given with any new skincare formulation…
The Sensitive Skin Savior: Niacinamide Facial Serum
The newest addition to our serum line-up contains one of the gentlest, but no less effective antioxidants, niacinamide. Very well tolerated by the skin, niacinamide helps soothe and calm irritation. It also has the power to increase the natural production of ceramides in your skin to help strengthen and protect your barrier function. A real must-try for antioxidant newbies or for anyone whose skin doesn't tolerate the potency of vitamin C or retinol.
The ‘I Want It All’ Serum: Vitamin C Super Serum+
Both of our Super Serums contain a carefully curated blend of some of the most effective ingredients in skincare. But for the absolute ultimate in antioxidant prowess our Vitamin C Super Serum+ is, for sure, the one for you. It contains not two… not three… but four of the very best: vitamin C, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid AND retinol. Not to mention a whole plethora of botanical oils plus aloe vera to keep irritation to a minimum. Word is, this one’s so good, you only need to apply it two or three times a week.
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Ramp up your skincare tools by knowing exactly which skincare products to use with them… and when.
These last few years have seen a massive rise in sales of at-home skincare tools and treatments that give you all the benefits of a spa-like facial without leaving the comfort of your own home. Figures, right? For the most part of 2020 and 2021 your home became your office, your school, your gym, even your hair salon (come on, fess up if you attempted a bad trim/root touch-up last year?). All this meant that popping to your favorite dermatologist or beauty therapist for an hour-long facial simply wasn’t an option. So, you started buying stuff to use at home that could help recreate the treatments you’d become accustomed to. And it turned out, most of you quite liked being your own beauty boss. Some of you also became pretty good at using your new skin tool BFF.
However, it’s not easy to transform yourself into a whizz at professional-style home treatments. So, if you’re yet to figure out how to use your gua sha or derma roller alongside your favorite skincare products, here’s our guide to getting it right.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Cleansing Brush
What It Does: Sonic cleansing brushes and tools use powered bristles that vibrate and pulsate over the surface of your skin. Some use circular motions while others move back and forth, but whatever the technology, this repetitive, time-controlled movement offers similar results: to deeply cleanse your skin, break down dirt and oil, and keep your pores clean and clear. The massaging action has also been shown to help promote a toned, lifted and firmer-looking complexion.
How To Use: Cleansing brushes are extremely simple to use. Moisten your face with lukewarm water and apply cleanser all over your skin – you might need a little more than normal so don’t be shy. Next, grab your brush and work it over your face for around a minute. Anything more than light pressure will prevent the bristles from moving properly, however, so go easy. Rinse, dry and you’re done. Oh, and we don’t recommend using them more than once a day. Too much, people. Way too much.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: Of course, a great face wash is your go-to here and we think our Vitamin C Brightening Cleanser is the absolute bomb because it’s gentle enough for most skin types and formulated with vitamin C and other potent antioxidants for bright, radiant skin. Exfoliating scrubs should be avoided as these could over-stimulate your skin and cause irritation, dryness and sensitivities.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Derma Roller
What It Does: Derma rollers are used in microneedling treatments. Microneedling works by using tiny, high-speed needles to produce tiny puncture wounds in your skin. This creates a controlled injury which triggers collagen and elastin production, nudging your skin to renew itself. By doing this, microneedling is said to help reduce acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles and even dark spots. But remember, at-home derma rollers are generally manufactured using shorter needles than the medical-grade ones used by the pros, so be patient with results.
How To Use: Shoving needles into your skin at home might sound like a crazy notion, but derma rollers can be extremely safe to use if you’re super careful and follow the instructions to the absolute letter. The first thing to remember is to make sure both your skin and derma roller are totally clean before your treatment, then mentally divide your face into four sections and gently work the roller over small areas within that section two or three times. Rinse your skin afterwards and gently pat it dry.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: Microneedling is a great way to help moisturizer and serum penetrate deeper into your skin. Which is good and bad news. First, the bad: microneedling can make your skin sensitive to potent, active ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid – especially if you’ve not used them before – so tread carefully with anything that could cause a reaction. The great news, however, is that microneedling will really ramp up the effects of some of your less sensitizing, more hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, MSM and vitamin C. We recommend following a derma roller sesh with Niacinamide Facial Serum.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Ice Globes
What They Do: Ice globes are a bit like jade rollers but, as their name suggests, they’re glass or metal wands that have balls on the ends which are designed to be kept in the fridge or freezer. Kind of like rubbing ice cubes all over your skin without the watery mess, ice globes are awesome for the eye area as their globe-like shape makes them easy to negotiate around the orbital bone. However, they’re great for soothing redness, minimizing inflammation, boosting circulation and reducing puffiness all over your face. Experts also believe they may help boost collagen to tighten and firm your skin. So, there’s that.
How To Use: These are best used in the morning to really wake up your skin and help reduce tired, puffy eyes and skin. Simply grab yours from the fridge or freezer and work it over cleansed, dry skin for 10 minutes or so. Use upwards movements to lift your skin and add radiance, or downwards strokes to encourage lymphatic drainage and reduce swelling, making sure you don’t press too hard as this could drag and damage your skin.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: Apply your favorite serum or eye cream before massaging to really super charge all those delicious, skin-loving ingredients. Try Vitamin C Facial Serum to help protect your skin throughout the day.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: LED Facial Mask
What It Does: Loved by the likes of Julia Roberts, Victoria Beckham and Olivia Munn, LED face masks might not be cheap, but, depending on the type of light involved, they’ve been proven to work on all manner of skin woes including fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and even acne. They work by using waves of light (usually blue or red) to penetrate your skin and kick-start it to function more efficiently. Red light, for example, promotes collagen production so is great for anti-aging the skin, whereas blue light targets excess sebum to work on reducing acne breakouts.
How To Use: Again, they’re all different, but you basically cleanse, tone and moisturize as normal, then power up your mask, select the light you prefer (if there are options), pop the mask over your face and relax. What’s more, most masks switch off automatically after 15-20 minutes. What could be easier? Two or three times a week should be about right to give you decent results in just a few weeks.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: LED can cause your skin to feel a little dry to begin with so make sure you look after your skin’s barrier to prevent unnecessary water loss and help your skin stay hydrated and healthy. Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream is a great shout to apply before bed as this will really enrich your skin with moisture. Perfect the night before (and after) using your mask.
The At-Home Skincare Tool: Facial Gua Sha
What It Does: Pronounced ‘gwah shah’, this East Asian therapy has been around for hundreds of years and uses a flat, smooth crystal like jade or rose quartz to scrape the skin and move energy (or chi) around the face or body. This form of massage is known to help remove a build-up of lymphatic fluids from the face and around your eyes. It also boosts circulation and relieves muscle tension.
How To Use: Unlike body gua sha therapy which is firm and can cause bruising, using it on your face requires a more gentle approach. Simply place the tool flat against your skin and use the different angles and curves of the tool to fit the contours of your face. Apply gentle pressure and use a combination of long and short strokes across the surface to stimulate lymphatic drainage and reduce puffiness. Start once a week and then build up to more frequent use as you get more into a routine.
The Best Skincare To Maximize Results: To get the most from gua sha, cleanse and tone your skin first, then apply a small amount of facial oil to reduce drag and maintain a smooth surface as you massage your skin. If you want to concentrate on puffy eyes, firstly: great idea. And secondly: apply Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream first for awesome, eye-rejuvenating benefits.
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Getting to grips with acne scars is not as hard as you think. You just need to know where to turn.
Whether you have scars from teenage acne or are worried your adult acne could be causing your skin long-term harm, here’s everything you need to know in order to stay ahead of the acne scarring game.
Firstly, what causes acne scars? Well, they’re the result of inflammation in the skin due to pimples and blemishes. Breakouts occur when a build-up of excess oils, dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria clogs up your pores making them swell and cause damage to the follicles, tissues and skin around them. When pimples heal, your skin goes into serious repair mode, producing collagen in various quantities in an attempt to get it structurally, functionally and aesthetically back to ‘normal’. Sadly, this doesn’t always work out as well as you’d like and often your skin produces either too much or too little collagen, resulting in bumpy or pitted skin – otherwise known as acne scars.
It’s important, however, to know that not all acne scars are created equal…
What Are The Different Types Of Acne Scars?
Many pimples come and go without leaving you scars to prove they’ve ever been there. But this is not always the case. Even if you’ve left well alone and not so much as touched a pimple, let alone squeezed, picked or prodded it, it can still cause long-term scarring. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) whether or not your acne leaves a scar is down to a number of things. Inflammatory acne, for example, which is deep, red and painful is way more likely to scar than a less serious-looking pimple – especially if left untreated. And then there are your genes. Say no more…
Acne scars also come in two different guises.
1. Atrophic Acne Scars
Atrophic scars include any kind of acne scar that’s depressed below the surface of your skin. They occur when the healing process produces too little collagen, causing a pit, dent or ‘hole’ in your skin. Atrophic scars come in all different shapes in sizes but usually fall into one of three categories: ice pick scars (narrow, almost pin-like looking scars); boxcar scars (slightly wider and rounded); or rolling scars (which create wave-like depressions across the surface of your skin).
2. Hypertrophic Acne Scars
While less common than atropic acne scars, hypertrophic acne scars are thickened areas of skin that are raised and often itchy. They occur when too much collagen is produced during the healing process and scar tissue consequently builds up above the surface. This type of acne scar is more likely to appear on your chest, back or shoulders than on your face. Which is something, at least.
Then there’s post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) which isn’t actually scarring at all, but a whole other business. PIH is a type of discoloration that appears when some kind of trauma – in this case, acne – causes your skin to overproduce melanin and leaves you with a dark or uneven patch of skin. Unlike acne scars, PIH isn’t pitted or raised and often heals with good sun protection and the use of topical antioxidant treatments like Vitamin C Facial Serum. Let’s put a pin in PIH for now…
Why Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure
The sad news is that acne scars are notoriously hard to get rid of. Which is why avoiding acne in the first place with a gentle cleansing, balancing and moisturizing routine is super important. Our Charcoal Clarifying Cleanser is a great choice for keeping your skin clean and clear of pore-clogging debris, and try Retinol Moisturizer to improve cell turnover and keep your skin healthy and moisturized.
Of course, you can never tell if a pimple will scar or not, but if you do get one, avoid picking at it because this really won’t help. Instead, stop it from getting worse by spot treating with Tea Tree Super Serum+. This smart treatment contains salicylic acid and tea tree oil to keep your pores clean, plus healing aloe and hydrating hyaluronic acid to stop your skin from drying out. Also, look out for anti-inflammatory ingredients across your whole regime – think ceramides, green tea, chamomile and niacinamide (oh, hi there Niacinamide Serum).
How To Help Treat Acne Scars
Too late to employ the ‘prevention is better than cure’ rule? Don’t sweat it, there are still plenty of options for helping to treat, fade or smooth out existing acne scars.
Unfortunately, skincare alone can’t totally heal acne scars. However, some things will certainly help fade discoloration and give your skin a smoother appearance. Gentle exfoliation, for one, is a great way to improve your skin’s texture by sloughing away dead skin cells and improving cellular turnover. Facial scrubs are the obvious choice, but chemical exfoliation is also very effective. Again, our salicylic acid-enriched Tea Tree Super Serum+ is a great shout, but if you’re applying it all over, use it just two or three times a week – it’s potent stuff.
Make sure your routine also contains retinol in some form. As well as helping to speed up collagen production and cell regeneration for healthier, smoother skin, retinol is fabulous for fading uneven skin tone. Try our Retinol Facial Serum in the evenings when you’re not using your tea tree serum.
At The Derm’s Office
Serious acne scars are going to need more than great skincare, so if yours are getting you down and won’t go away, pay a visit to your dermatologist for advice on how best to treat your particular concerns. Dermabrasion, microdermabrasion and chemical peels are awesome for resurfacing your skin and encouraging fresh, new skin cells to grow, whereas dermal fillers can significantly help reduce the appearance of pitted, atrophic scars. You could also try laser resurfacing, microneedling or even surgery.
The options as they say, are endless.
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Not that we’re dissing retinol. It’s just that it’s not the ONLY skincare ingredient out there worth a place in your daily regime…
Don’t get us wrong, retinol gives us all the feels and we’re mad about its cunning ability to improve everything from wrinkles and dark spots to acne and sagging skin. But it’s pretty potent stuff, so not everyone’s skin can get away with using it on the reg. Also, it’s not the be-all and end-all. In fact there are plenty of other trusted skincare ingredients that offer awesome anti-aging benefits for no-so-youthful-looking skin.
Of course, any brand promising you miracles like a ‘face lift in a bottle’ is lying to you – no matter what kind of clinically-proven wonder-potions are packed inside. But if you keep at it, and give skincare time to work, certain ingredients are guaranteed to offer real, skin-changing results.
Here are our top five…
1. Exfoliating Acids
According to the Mayo Clinic, exfoliating acids like AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids), BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) and PHAs (poly hydroxy acids) are among the most effective ingredients for reducing the visible signs of aging. Unlike manual exfoliators like scrubs, loofahs and face cloths that require some kind of physical movement to work, exfoliating acids dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells to encourage them to get a move on and fall away from the surface of your skin. This process accelerates cellular turnover and works to brighten, smooth and even out your entire complexion. It also helps prepare your skin to better absorb and reap the benefits of the rest of your skincare routine.
You’ll find exfoliating acids in various forms across anything from cleansers to serums, the most common of which are glycolic, lactic, gluconic and salicylic acids. We formulate salicylic acid into our Vitamin C Super Serum+ which is a great choice for aging skin. Always patch test first, then apply it to clean, dry skin before moisturizing.
Not a blog post goes by in which we don’t talk about antioxidants, yet here we go again –sorry, not sorry. Antioxidants are up there as some of the most important things to include in your skincare regime. Granted, cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen are THE most important products for maintaining healthy skin, but if you care about defying lines, wrinkles and so on, antioxidants are everything. How so? Because they protect your skin from free radicals which are unstable oxygen molecules that wreak havoc on your skin when it’s exposed to things like UV radiation and environmental pollution.
Niacinamide is very well tolerated by the skin which makes it a great choice for sensitive skin. Research also shows that it increases the production of ceramides in the top layers of your skin which improves your barrier function, increases moisturization and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also reduces inflammation, diminishes discoloration, fights breakouts and balances sebum. Is there anything niacinamide can’t do? For sure, but who needs a facial serum to walk the dog?
Often overshadowed by the big guns, MSM is 100 percent worth a place in your skincare routine. And here’s why. Otherwise known as methylsulfonylmethane (agreed, a real mouthful), MSM is a sulfur compound which primarily contains sulfur, as well as small amounts of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Sulfur is extremely plentiful in the human body and found mainly in your skin and bones. It’s often known as the ‘healing mineral’ due to its ability to support healthy collagen synthesis, boost circulation, reduce inflammation and detoxify. Impressive stuff, right?
As a topical ingredient, MSM has been proven to not only increase collagen production, but to also reduce environmental damage by increasing your levels of glutathione. Glutathione is one of your body’s most important, naturally-occurring antioxidants, helping to fight oxidative stress caused by those devils called free radicals. We hate free radicals. You should hate free radicals, too.
You’ll find MSM in a bunch of your favorite TruSkin products including our Hyaluronic Eye Cream.
Peptides can be tricky to get your head around, but simply put they’re chemical compounds made up of amino acids. Now, if you paid attention in 7th grade biology you’ll remember that amino acids combine to form proteins and are pretty much the building blocks of the human body, aiding in important functions like growth and repair. Well, while proteins are made up of long chains of amino acids, peptides are the little guys, made up of shorter chains.
In skincare, certain peptides act like little messengers to encourage your cells to produce more proteins – namely collagen, elastin and keratin – and simultaneously improve your skin’s texture and tone. They can work on fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, even breakouts. But only if you choose the right ones…
One of the most effective peptides to look out for is Matrixyl 3000 which is thought to be able to almost double the amount of collagen your cells produce. Impressed? Much? Then you have to try our Peptide Eye Gel and Ocean Minerals Super Toner which both contain the mighty Matrixyl 3000 as well as plenty of other skin-loving and anti-aging ingredients.
5. Vitamin C
Another, dare we say it, powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is so good, we like to tout its abilities on an almost weekly basis! But it’s so much more than a free radical-fighting powerhouse. It’s literally ‘the’ ingredient for boosting radiance and diminishing dark spots.
So, how does that work? Well, studies have shown that it reduces the amount of melanin your skin produces by inhibiting tyrosinase (a catalyst for melanin production). By hampering melanin, vitamin C works hard to fade existing dark spots, help stop new ones from forming and give you a more glowy complexion. Oh, vitamin C also promotes cellular turnover and collagen production as a couple of extra bonuses.
Topical vitamin C takes on many forms, most commonly l-ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP). L-ascorbic acid is the pure form but it’s notoriously unstable meaning it breaks down easily, therefore becoming less effective. It can also be a little potent for sensitive skin so, instead, we use SAP across all of our C-products because it’s way gentler on the skin, still super effective and maintains its stability for much longer. SAP is the salt version of pure vitamin C which is why our infamous Vitamin C Facial Serum looks a little cloudy.
So, now you know!
Why Retinol Isn’t The Only Answer To Aging Skinread more