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What Causes Acne Scars? How do I get rid of them?

What Causes Acne Scars? How do I get rid of them?

We all know the feeling. The pimple that has been in the middle of your forehead for the past week has finally gone away, but it is not really gone. Scarring causes just as much if not more frustration than breakouts. So, what causes these scars in the first place? And how can you get rid of them safely and effectively? (and prevent them from happening in the first place!) 

What are Acne Scars?

There are three main types of scarring that come as a result of acne. Hyperpigmentation, Atrophic, Hypertrophic.

Hyperpigmentation leaves the affected area darker even after the blemish has healed. Depending on your skin tone and the depth, the area can appear in a variety of different color tones including white, pink, red, purple, brown, or black.

Atrophic Scarring, also known as indentation scarring, usually comes with more severe acne cases. Its appearance is like a depression, crater, or dent. There are three distinct kidneys of Atrophic scars called Boxcar, Icepick, and Rolling.

Hypertrophic Scarring is a raised and often discolored scar that exists on the area of the original acne site. Occasionally, a keloid can form which extends beyond the site of the original lesion and appears raised. 

What causes Acne Scars?

Hyperpigmentation starts when a pimple causes the skin to inflame. Then there is an  overproduction of melanin, the protein that pigments skin, during the healing process which darkens the skin at the site of the pimple. 

Atrophic is caused by the destruction and loss of collagen or damage to the fat and other tissues below the skin. After more severe acne lesions, the skin is unable to repair the destroyed tissue and does not regenerate the area leaving behind a dent or crater on the skin’s surface.

Hypertrophic Scars are caused by excess collagen and fibrous tissue growth during the healing process of the skin after a breakout. 

Acne Scar Treatments

There are many products on the market that claim to be the holy grail for fading or even erasing acne scarring. So instead of listing the best products, I will start with ingredients that can target scarring and hyperpigmentation specifically. 

  1. Licorice Root Extract
  2. Reishi Mushroom Extract
  3. Vitamin C
  4. Retinol
  5. Salicylic Acid 1%
  6. Glycolic Acid
  7. Mandelic Acid & Hyaluronic

These ingredients work together in different ways in several of the Acne Intelligence products. For the best results, rather than pick and choose products containing these ingredients, it’s better to use products from the same treatment line which can work together in their best forms, whether that be a cleanser, toner, serum, or moisturizer. After years of scientific lab research, we have determined several formulations which are best suited to the treatment and prevention of scarring.

Below is a list of Acne Intelligence Products which have these ingredients and are designed to assist in the treatment of Acne Scarring.

Gentle Daily Cleanser

(Licorice Extract and Reishi Mushrooms)

Licorice root extract contains the antioxidant glabridin and licochalcone A. They both have powerful anti-aging and skin-soothing properties. Licorice root extract can help combat hyperpigmentation and helps to lighten the marks from acne scars that don't just fade away.

Reishi mushrooms contain kojic acid—a natural brightening agent that offers a healthy alternative to hydroquinone and can effectively fade sunspots and acne scars. Reishi contains the amino acid L-ergothioneine, which can help exfoliate and prevent cell damage.

Gentle Prep (Toner) & Moisture Extreme

(Vitamin C)

Vitamin C is also used to help rejuvenate the skin by promoting collagen and elastin production, essential proteins needed to generate new skin. Collagen and elastin are the main proteins that makes up the skin; when not produced in sufficient amounts, the integrity of the skin is affected. Without Vitamin C the proteins weaken, causing the skin to become more susceptible to acne scars as well as preventing existing scars from healing.

Vitamin C is a critical ingredient that helps rejuvenate the skin and acts as a barrier against blemish-causing toxins. Free radicals break down the proteins and fatty acids that make up the skin, disturbing the normal pH of the skin and harming the sebaceous glands. This increases the production of sebum, leaving the skin open to breakout-causing bacteria.

Smart Release Mandelic 

(Mandelic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol)

Smart Release Mandelic is a cosmeceutical-grade acne treatment serum with a patented delivery system designed to deliver the active ingredients into the skin for longer periods of time without irritation. This serum contains powerful ingredients that help to soothe and heal blemishes, fade the appearance of acne scars, dark spots, hyperpigmentation and fine lines for fresher, clearer and glowing skin.

The powerful combination of Hyaluronic Acid and Retinol work in combination with Niacinamide (B3), Salicylic Acid and Tea Tree Essential Oil to unclog pores, comfort irritated skin and deliver brighter, healthier skin. Breakouts are diminished, scarring reduced and the skin is left feeling soft and smooth.

This powerful serum is very effective yet surprisingly gentle on the skin. The addition of the Mandelic Acid, which provides antibacterial power, helps reduce future breakouts. When combined with Salicylic Acid, these two ingredients help to exfoliate the skin which helps to treat acne and leaves the skin with less irritation. This exfoliation process also helps reduce skin discoloration.

Vitamin A Treatment Serum

(Retinol & Glycolic Acid)

Vitamin A helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Retinol (found in over-the-counter products) and retinoic acid (found in prescription creams) are proven wrinkle-fighters. Vitamin A helps combat the signs of aging.

Vitamin A is also known to stimulate collagen production. When collagen becomes damaged due to UV exposure and other aggressors, wrinkles begin to develop, much like cracks in a weak foundation. Retinoids “turn on” cells responsible for making new collagen, strengthening your skin and filling in fine lines below the surface so the skin looks smoother.

Vitamin A can help lighten sun-induced brown spots and boost skin radiance in two ways: First, by increasing and normalizing skin cell turnover, which helps you shed pigmented, damaged and rough surface cells, making room for healthier cells and allowing light to bounce off more evenly. Secondly, retinoids may block an enzyme needed for melanin (pigment) production, further helping to deliver an even-toned, glowing complexion.

Vitamin A is an excellent ingredient for clearing up acne. Pimples form when pores become clogged with dead skin cells, bacteria, and oil, providing the perfect breeding ground for Propionibacterium acnes, a bacteria responsible for blemishes. Vitamin A helps to stimulate cell turnover the same process happens within the pores themselves, helping to slow oil production and keep pores clear.

The Vitamin A Treatment Serum combines the benefits of Vitamin A with a patented delivery system. All the ingredients have been selected to dramatically improve the appearance of wrinkles and discoloration. Sodium Hyaluronate works to plump up and moisturize the skin while reducing the appearance of wrinkles. It minimizes redness, skin blotchiness, and pores, regulates oil, prevents sun damage, helps to reduce hyper-pigmentation, and minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.

Salicylic Acid 1%, Daily Moisture SPF 30,  Gentle Prep (Toner), Smart Release Mandelic

(Salicylic Acid)

Salicylic Acid exfoliates the skin by penetrating the skin and weakening the bonds between dead surface skin cells, causing them to slough off. Salicylic Acid helps promote pore minimization, acne reduction, and reduced stinging and sensitive skin. It provides dual action on the skin – it helps moisturize and exfoliate the skin. It helps normalize the skin’s pH, and smooth the surface of the skin, reduce acne scars, reduce blackheads, and help brighten the skin.

Salicylic Acid 1%, BPO, Vitamin A Serum, Moisture

(Glycolic Acid)

Glycolic Acid is one type of alpha hydroxy acid and a chemical exfoliant that removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. Once these dead cells are removed, new youthful cells are revealed. As an anti-ager, it offers the benefit of stimulating collagen production as well. This is super important, because, as we age, we produce less and less collagen, which can often lead to skin Laxity. Glycolic Acid exfoliates the skin, removing the dead cell layer, leaving brightened skin and an overall evening of skin tone. There is an immediate transformation of dull, tired-looking skin to a brighter overall complexion. This is a way to bring back your youthful glow reducing the appearance of pores and breakouts. It’s important to note that glycolic acid can make skin more photosensitive and easily burned by the sun. It is imperative our customers use sunscreen.

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