Updated 6/21/17. For those who struggle with breakouts like pustules, cysts and clogged pores, the traditional approach has been to use various anti-bacterial and exfoliating products. Things like salicylic acid serums, peels, cleansers and masks are go-to’s for cleaning the pores and improving the skin’s appearance. While these all are very effective, there is ONE product that most people neglect during blemishes’ important healing phase. This product can make a huge impact in the quest for clearer and more even-toned skin. So what is it?
Sunscreen. Let me explain.
Acne-prone skin types (like skin types #1, #2, #3, and #4) often shy away from sunscreen. Traditionally, formulas feel too heavy on the skin, and some can actually add to breakout activity. But did you know that NOT using SPF daily can make your post-breakout red and dark scars linger for even longer than they normally do? You see, the real problem with those who have acne is not so much the actual blemish. Unless the blemish is a cyst, most breakouts heal in 4-7 days. What’s most bothersome is that the discolored scarring from the blemish (worsened if you picked at it!) can linger for 1-2 months after the breakout has healed.
Acne scars result from inflammation within the dermis layer of the skin. That inflammation then triggers pigment cells, which results in red or purple discoloration. When your skin is exposed to UV daylight (in spring, summer, fall and winter), this keeps pigment cells awake and active and prevents a blemish scar from fading as easily. Wearing sunscreen (of course, always use a lightweight, non-pore clogging SPF like this one) protects damaged cells so they can properly heal and recover so the skin can get even-toned much faster.
Simply put, sunscreen plays an important role for acne-prone skin types and if you want your scars to go away as quickly as possible, you must wear it every day of the year. Find a sunscreen formula that is compatible with your skin type (take this skin type quiz to find out), and I promise that your blemish scars will go away much faster. (For an even quicker recovery, I recommend to my clients to dab on Post-Breakout Fading Gel on at night to further encourage the removal of damaged and scarred cells.)
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Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”