Acne Skincare & Treatment For Dark Skin
Acne is one of the most painful, unsightly and stubborn beauty problems often persisting long after adolescence. There is no magical solution, but measures can be taken to reduce the severity and get rid of dark spots.
Despite the popular belief, acne is not caused by chocolate overload or indulging in too many greasy foods. It is in fact a genetic disease that as much as 90 per cent of the population has experienced at some time.
Acne is the result of an increase in the production of oil (sebum) from the skin’s sebaceous glands. When its escape from the glands is blocked, they subsequently become inflamed, producing blackheads or whiteheads. The most vulnerable areas are the face, upper back and chest where the sebaceous glands are concentrated.
Daily Skincare For Acne Prone Skin
Keep the affected area clean, minimising excess oil. Oiler skin is more prone to breakouts but it is not the direct cause of acne. Be sure to remove all traces of makeup from your face at the end of the day. Use an un-perfumed lotion cleanser, medicated gel or soap – use whatever works best for you. Toning the skin is an essential part of your daily skincare regime as a toner serves to cleanse and restore the skin’s natural pH balance. Opt for toners and astringents that contain active ingredients specially formulated to combat acne.
Avoid oily moisturising creams, particularly those containing petroleum or synthetic oils. Products suspected of causing a problem should be avoided to see if the breakout clears up. Finish your skincare regime by applying a topical medicated treatment.
Once a week, steam the skin to open the pores to loosen plugs of sebum, which can be easily removed through exfoliation, or cleansing.
Recommended Brand: Skinception Illuminatural 6i Advanced Skin Lightener, £39
Invest in a face steamer such as Hangsun Facial Steamer FS80 Face Steamer which you can get as low as £20 on Amazon.
Never try to remove a pimple at home by squeezing the skin. You may cause the spread of infection beneath the surface or permanently mark the skin by damaging it.
Women who find that their acne becomes worse just before their period should take preventative action the week prior.
Using over-the-counter medicated products may control mild cases of acne but if self-medication is not effective other treatments are available from your doctor or dermatologist.
Severe cases require ointments, creams and gels that contain benzoyl peroxide, sulphur, salicylic acid or vitamin A. Test a little on your skin first. Some redness and tingling is normal, but if the skin is very red or there is a burning sensation, talk to a pharmacist.
Alternatively, antibiotics and synthetic hormones (usually in the form of the contraceptive pill) suppress acne, although they do not cure it completely.
Recommended Brand: Meladerm, £24.28
Treatment For Acne Dark Marks
Retinoid Creams & Treatments: A fat-soluble type of vitamin A that brightens and heals the skin. They also reduce acne outbreaks by preventing dead cells from clogging pores thereby reducing the formation of acne scars.
Available over-the-counter for milder cases, Retinol also comes in prescription-strength acne creams.
Chemical Peels: Applied topically to strip away the top layers of skin to reveal newer skin cells to improve the appearance of scars. Always seek professional help to avoid discolouration or damage to the skin.
Skin Lighteners: Dark skin contain a substantial amount of melanin which may be bleached by using hydrogen peroxide or chemically reduced by hydroquinone, mercury chloride or ammoniated mercury. Prolonged use of active agents will inhibit the formation of melanin in the basal layers of the skin, resulting in a lighter appearance. Skin Lighteners should only be used as a treatment and not for use on the whole face.
Apply Sunscreen: Exposure to the sun will only make your discolouration look darker. Opt for sunscreens specifically formulated for dark skins to prevent an ashy look.
Professional Treatment For Acne Scars
Steroid Injections: Works best for those who suffer with keloid scarring. It contains cortisone which flattens the scar (although it will not improve upon texture). Also reduces inflammation.
Lasers: This will improve the look of the skin but will not completely get rid of acne scars. Best avoided for darker skins tones as there is some burning of the surrounding tissue.
Punch Excisions: Most suitable for icepicks scars, this involves numbing the area, cutting out the scar and then sewing it closed.
Since each case of acne is different, only you and your doctor or dermatologist can determine which treatment is best for you. He or she may even recommend a combination of treatments depending upon the type of scarring and the severity of your case. Read more about Skin Lightening.