Acne can leave behind obnoxious scars, especially if you scratch at or pick your pimples while they are still healing, says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. While these scars typically fade on their own, you can help reduce their appearance by applying a daily ointment. Keep your acne at bay with cleansers and lotions that will ward off blemishes and protect your skin from the sun. This will help you repair the scars you have, as well as prevent more from forming in the future.
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Wash your face in the morning with a cleanser that meets your skin care needs. If you suffer from acne, choose a cleanser that is medicated with salicylic acid. If your skin is sensitive and only breaks out occasionally, use a gentle cleanser that is safe for sensitive skin and will not clog pores. Lather the product you select between your wet palms and smooth it over your face, rinsing thoroughly and patting dry when you finish.
Apply a benzoyl peroxide cream on any current blemishes. Dermatologist Diane Berson states that this will help your pimples dry up faster and reduce the chances of scarring. Dot the cream on top of blemishes and blend it in.
Rub a hydrocortisone ointment into your scars. “Cosmopolitan” magazine states that this will reduce the discoloration of your scars and help them fade more quickly. If your blemishes still have scabs on them, use an antibacterial ointment until the scab is gone, and then move on to the hydrocortisone ointment. Do not scratch or pick at your scars or scabs; doing so can make them worse.
Coat your face with sunscreen before you head out the door, as sun exposure can darken your scars and undo your efforts at fading them. “Allure” magazine recommends a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Smooth it all over your face and body each morning and every two hours thereafter if needed.
Wash your face again at night, and then exfoliate with a gentle scrub. “Elle” magazine notes that this will get rid of dead skin cells and encourage cell renewal, which will help your scars fade faster. Smooth a small amount of the product over wet skin and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Pat dry and reapply the ointment to your scars before bed.