Your post-acne skin recovery guide

Okay, we’ve all been told a gazillion times, ‘Stop picking your pimples.’ But let’s be real—who can resist the siren call of those pesky intruders on your face? It’s like your hands have a mind of their own! We get it, the struggle is real.

What’s more, picking pimples can leave behind unwanted ‘souvenirs’—the kind you definitely don’t want. But here’s the kicker: ever wondered why, even when you manage to keep your hands to yourself, there are still some annoying traces left? Ugh, the mysteries of skincare!

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Big congrats if you’ve managed to resist the siren call of picking at your face! But if you’re still sitting there, scratching your head, and cursing those post-acne ‘gifts,’ fear not. Dive into this blog as we unravel the mysteries of the complicated aftermath of acne and spill the tea on how to give those pesky gifts the treatment they deserve.

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Types of ‘souvenirs’

When it comes to the aftermath of acne, there are usually two main categories to deal with: acne marks and acne scars. It’s a double whammy, and we’re here to break down the differences for you. 

1. Acne marks

Acne marks are the red or brown spots that linger after acne has left the scene and they are also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). The good news is, they’re more like 2D – just a temporary discolouration or changes in skin pigmentation after an acne lesion has bid its farewell. It’s like the skin’s way of saying, “I was here, but now I’m just leaving a little mark to remember me by.

2. Acne scars

Unlike acne marks, acne scars require extra care because these are permanent changes in the skin texture caused by the healing process of severe or deep acne lesions. Visually, they step into the 3D realm, presenting as either indentations (atrophic scars) when tissue loss occurs or raised areas (hypertrophic scars) when there’s an excess of tissue. It’s like the skin’s way of leaving a more lasting mark – a textured tale of battles fought and won. 

How do you get them?

1. You’ve been marked

It’s absolutely natural and almost like a rite of passage for the skin to undergo marking during the inherent healing process of acne. When faced with acne-induced inflammation, the body’s immune system springs into action against bacterial intruders, notably Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). As white blood cells rush to the rescue, melanocytes join the party, creating a surplus of melanin. The result? Hyperpigmentation in the neighboring healing cells, leaving behind those post-acne marks as a memoir of the skin’s battle tales. 

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2. You’ve been scarred

Navigating the world of acne scars adds a layer of complexity, as they can arise from natural processes or be self-inflicted. Picking at acne without the finesse of professional tools or techniques raises the risk of scarring by subjecting the skin to additional trauma. 

Additionally, there are other factors that can contribute to acne scar development, for example, intense inflammation from severe acne can harm the skin’s collagen and elastin fibres, while cysts and nodules naturally elevate the risk of scarring. Lastly, procrastinating or neglecting timely acne treatment significantly increases the likelihood of acne scarring.

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Will they ever heal?

1. If you’re lucky 🤩

Coping with acne marks can be a real head-scratcher, making your skin look like it’s been playfully speckled with brown paint. The silver lining? These marks are like temporary guests, and they’re generally reversible, gradually fading away naturally over time. The timeline for this fading process can be a bit of a tease, spanning from a few weeks to a few months. The key factors? Individual skin types and the tender love and care given to the skin. 

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2. If you’re unlucky 🤕

Steer clear of the devil, for what we want to dodge the most are none other than acne scars. Regrettably, these scars are a bit trickier and may not gracefully fade away on their own. Unlike their fleeting counterparts, acne scars have the potential to stick around permanently. But fret not, as various treatments are at your disposal to help enhance the appearance of these scars and show them to the exit door.

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How to survive the acne aftermath?

1. For acne marks:

To all the melanin beauties: Unfortunately, darker skin tones often exhibit a more pronounced response to acne inflammation. But fear not, as exfoliation can be a game-changer, significantly expediting the skin’s natural healing process and effectively lightening acne marks.

If waiting for months isn’t your style, we highly recommend incorporating ést.lab’s LumiWhite Exfoliating Scrub into your routine at least once a week. This scrub employs mechanical exfoliation to delicately buff away dead skin cells, unveiling fresh, youthful, and radiant skin layers underneath.

You can also introduce ést.lab’s LumiWhite 10% PHA Resurfacing Glow Serum into your daily regimen (except on days when you’re using a mechanical exfoliator). This chemical exfoliator, enriched with high concentrations of Polyhydroxy Acid (PHA), provides the same textural improvements of smoothing, as well as improved skin clarity and radiance like AHAs, sans the sensitivity.

For those seeking professional treatments, Estetica’s Diamond Sparkler Treatment offers a gentle buffing of the top skin layer. This process bids farewell to dead skin cells, propels skin cell turnover, dismantles excess melanin, and fades acne marks, unveiling a fresher and more uniformly toned canvas.

2. For acne scars:

Let’s face it –  skincare products can certainly enhance the appearance of acne scars, but completely banishing them with topical products alone is quite the challenge. Acne scars come in a variety of types, severities, and depths. For more prominent scars, several sessions of professional treatments are recommended to help achieve smoother skin texture.

For mild indentations (atrophic scars), Estetica’s OxyGeneo 3-in-1 Therapy offers a non-invasive multi-tasking solution. This treatment not only induces exfoliation, it also triggers oxygenation, and enhances product infusion to improve overall skin appearance. Utilising a specialised handpiece, it mechanically removes dead skin cells, smoothing out uneven skin texture while infusing nutrient-rich ingredients. This process promotes oxygen-rich blood to circulate to the skin, accelerating the skin’s natural healing process.

When it comes to serious indentations (atrophic scars), Estetica’s Ultight Firm & Lift Therapy utilises micro-focused ultrasound (MIFU) waves to stimulate cellular regeneration. This encourages collagen synthesis, promoting the growth of new, healthy skin to replace and repair the damaged areas. It not only evens out skin texture, but also tightens lax and sagging skin simultaneously.

For raised scars (hypertrophic scars), corticosteroid (steroid) injections are recommended to soften and flatten excess tissue. These injections suppress excessive collagen growth, leading to the flattening of scars.

Now that you’ve unlocked the secret code of acne marks versus acne scars, your skincare quest just got a major power-up! Don’t battle the wrong villains; focus on banishing those pesky acne foes first. Once you’ve conquered that level, smoothly transition to the next phase of vanquishing marks and scars like a skincare superhero!

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Quick tip: Timing is everything in the skincare arena. The faster you swoop in to rescue your skin, the easier it is to kick those blemishes and scars to the curb! Ready to embark on your post-acne skincare recovery journey? Book a session at any of Estetica’s 5 outlets and let our skincare squad guide you to victory! 

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In Good Hands, 
Estetica