Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How To Remove Dark Spots On Face Caused By Acne

Dark spots left over after having suffered through acne can be as annoying to deal with as acne itself (if not even more so). These dark spots are areas of hyper pigmentation and are more common in people with darker skin, although you can get these dark spots with pale skin as well. If you have these dark spots, it's best to try and treat them as soon as possible. This goes for any type of acne scar, actually. The longer you wait to treat acne scars, the tougher they are to remove. That said, you can remove even old ones, or at least reduce their appearance to something you're happy with.
The more 'dermatologist approved' method is to purchase some skin lightening cream. What these products do is reduce the amount of melanin that's produced by the skin. Over time this will help to provide the person who's receiving the treatment with a more even skin tone, and lighter complexion. Skin whitening products are fairly effective at treating darks spots on the face, and I would certainly look into them if you are able to afford them. Any beautician or someone else who works closely with this sort of thing should be able to advise you on the best product for your particular skin type. This is more effective then buying something from a supermarket or off the internet.
If you don't want to go that route then you can try a more natural solution. Lemon juice is a very effective bleach for the skin and can help to fade these dark spots. Be careful with lemon juice - sometimes it just is far too strong for some skin types, so do a spot test and go from there. You may want to dilute the juice with some water. You can also use apple cider vinegar to help tone the skin. This can be applied to the whole face, a little like a face wash. You can try both lemons and the vinegar for the best results!
Lightening the skin is perhaps the easiest way to deal with these dark spots on the face. I know they're tough to deal with - but try the suggestions outlined in this article to see if they will make a difference to you. And remember there are plenty more effective acne scar reduction techniques that you can also try. With anything, often you'll have to try several things before you find one that works. Acne scarring - no different!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ask the ESSENCE Beauty Editors: 'How Can I Fade Dark Spots on My Skin?'

By Nicole Marie Melton and Dr. Mona Gohara

Q: I have reached a standstill in clearing dark spots on my skin. Since the age of 10, I've had scarring from chicken pox and I've tried mild over-the-counter lighteners which didn't work.  As a last resort, I decided to try all natural products such as shea butter, but in the end I still do not have blemish-free skin.  Please help me! -Lola

A: Lola, sweet Lola.  If there is anyone who can relate to what you're going through it's ME.  I suffered adult acne three years ago which left behind severe scarring.  Thankfully I had a great dermatologist who guided me in the right direction back to clear skin.  As a result of my experience, I'm a huge proponent of putting your skin in the hands of experts which is why I reached out to Dr. Mona Gohara of Advanced DermCare Dermatology to get a few pointers for you.  Dr. Gohara assured me that it is possible to have clear skin again— to which I can attest from my own former scarring— and shared these expert tips to help your skin start anew.

Step 1: Learn The Lingo
 Most of the time, when people talk about “scars” they are referring to a condition called post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH occurs when the skin makes more melanin in response to injury  (acne bumps, bug bites, chicken pox, etc). Those with darker complexions are most likely to get PIH. Thankfully, PIH will fade with or without treatment-it’s just a waiting game. 

Step 2: Choose The Right Wash
 Anyone dealing with PIH should use a mild, granule-free cleanser each morning.   Washes that contain granules (those tiny beads found in exfoliants) cause little micro-tears on the face, which signal the skin to crank out more melanin. TryNeutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser or Cetaphil Antibacterial Cleansing Bar for optimal results.  

Step 3: Establish Morning Routine Musts
 Topical vitamin C is great at ushering PIH to the finish line.  It is actually best if used in tandem with a retinol product (see step 4). Each morning, apply a vitamin C gel, serum, or cream, depending on your skin type. Also, do not leave the house without putting SPF on - this is essential! The sunrays that you capture through windows in your car or at work are enough to worsen PIH.  Even light coming from bulbs in the office can darken facial spots- surprising but true! Multi-task by applying cosmetically elegant products, that won’t leave a white, chalky, film on your skin such asMurad Essential-C Day Moisture SPF 30, Origins Brighter By Nature SPF 35 Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer, or Oil of OlayRegenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion with SPF 15.

Step 4: Pigment Proof Your Skin in the PM Products containing retinol and hydroquinone are critical in the fight against PIH. Retinol, a vitamin A derivative, is a supreme skin exfoliator, which helps to correct blotchy, uneven complexions. It is also great at preventing pimples. Hydroquinone actually has the ability to stop melanin from forming in problem areas. To avoid irritation, use a pea size amount of each to the affected area on the face. Also, using them on alternate nights can help quell potential skin aggravation. Try Bliss No Zit Sherlock Oil Control Moisturizer as a retinol containing PM cream. No success? Ask a derm about prescription strength retinols and hydroquinone which can make a huge difference. If you have sensitive skin, retinol and hydroquinone may be too irritating. Instead, keep it simple with soy, a natural antidote to unwanted brown marks. TryAveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads with soy extract. 

Step 5: Use At-Home Peels
Mild, at-home chemical peels are a nice complement to the treatment of PIH. They help by exfoliating the skin and fading spots. To avoid over drying, redness or unintended worsening of PIH do this one time every two weeks. Try Philosophy Microdelivery Multi-Use Peel Padsor Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Acne Mark Fading Peel. Both are gentle enough to get the job done without a hitch!