I get so many questions about fading dark spots from acne scars (Hyperpigmentation) and I always respond back with the same question…Do you exfoliate?
Exfoliating is the best way to fade these dark spots, in combination with a good skincare routine and SPF so the dark spots don’t get darker. Exfoliating is basically removing dead skin cells on the surface of your skin to bring new, healthy skin cells to the surface, brightening your complexion by speeding up the cell renewal process, which usually happens every 30 days.
There are three types of exfoliation:
They come in different skincare products; toners, face masks, serums and more but essentially will fall into one of these three.
The most traditional and probably the most popular form of exfoliation. Physical exfoliation uses small granules to manually scrub away dead skin cells. The granules are not always small and can be too harsh for the delicate skin on your face. This type of exfoliation often has a bad reputation, as it can cause tears in your skin. Now it’s not all bad, there are some physical exfoliants that are gentle enough with tiny granules like micro-beads or sugar. If you use a facial brush/sponge/towel you’re physically exfoliating.
*If you have sensitive skin and Acne-Prone skin this is not the method for you.
For: Normal, Oily, Combination skin
Here are some gentle physical exfoliators to try depending on your skin type
Chemical exfoliation, believe it or not is gentler than physical and contain exfoliating acids AHAs (Alpha-hydroxy acids) & BHAs (Beta-hydroxy acids) –These acids essentially breakdown the keratin [‘glue’] that hold the dead skin cells together. AHAs are the popular bunch, being featured in peels, toners, masks and serums. Glycolic acid (the queen B), lactic acid (the sensitive one), Mandelic Acid ( sensitive with a dry (skin) sense of humour)
If you have acne, acne-prone skin, oily skin you know BHAs. Salicylic acid is your best friend. They penetrate deeper into the skin and clear up blackheads, whiteheads with an added bonus of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
*If you have very sensitive or compromised (broken) skin this is not the method for you. If you're new to acids start with the lowest percentage.
For: Oily, Acne-Prone, Normal, Combination, Dry skin
Here are some chemical exfoliators to try depending on your skin type
The mildest exfoliating option and BEST for sensitive skin types. This type of exfoliators uses natural elements such as fruits (Pineapple, Papaya, Pumpkin), similar to chemical exfoliating, breaks down the keratin in skin but much slower and more gentle…. You will also probably notice some rice powder in the mix, also a gentle (physical) exfoliator and a natural brightener.
*If you have sensitive skin this IS for YOU
For: Sensitive, Normal, Combination, Dry, Oily skin… All skin types really can use this.
Here are some enzymatic exfoliator to try depending on your skin type
Sounds great right? But you should ONLY be exfoliating twice, max three times a week. More than that you’re not speeding up the process any faster just causing damage by over-exfoliating.
Still not sure which exfoliator is for you? It could be a combination of two! If you want to know which is for you, just send me a Q.