How To Fade Acne Scars

how-to-fade-acne-scars

Acne sufferers face more than one concern which of course includes the nuisance of acne itself, however most sufferers are usually anxious about acne scars since unlike acne, which may be temporary, acne scars are perceived to be for life.

There are numerous topical products aimed at treating scar tissue but before we investigate the types of acne scars, it is important that one should try and prevent acne in the first place.

How to prevent acne

With acne affecting some 85 percent of the population at some time in their lives, it is important to try and prevent and treat acne effectively. Normally, antibiotics are prescribed such as tetracycline to eradicate the specific type of bacteria living on the surface of the skin. These bacteria block the pores leading to inflammation, which in turn causes excess sebum production and then leads to acne.

Whilst many experts point out that diet has nothing to do with acne, in my opinion, there is nothing could be further from the truth. A diet containing refined carbohydrates and sugar causes the release of excess insulin. Insulin has numerous effects on the body however it does cause the production of excess male hormone, testosterone, which causes the production of excess sebum production which the acne-causing bacteria thrive on. This is just the basic reason but there are also other processes involved which lead to the different types of acne.

From a dietary point of view, all grains are carbohydrates which are converted into sugar leading to acne so it is important to reduce the consumption of these. Reducing the consumption of bread, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes and corn will all help to prevent acne outbreaks to a degree.

A supplement that I know helps many teenagers and adults to keep acne at bay is Clear Skin Complex by Viridian Nutrition. This supplement contains probiotics which we now understand to have an influence on many concerns including skin. In the most simplistic way, probiotics help to rid the gut of toxins which may seep into the bloodstream. Clear Skin Complex also contains zinc which helps reduce inflammation so skin can heal quickly and Burdock root which displays antimicrobial properties helping to reduce the numbers of bacteria living on skin’s surface.

Types of acne scars

Acne scars develop as a result of the loss of skin tissue or an increase in skin tissue formation. Studies indicate that the severe forms of acne, those that develop in the deeper layers of the dermis, are mostly responsible for causing acne scars. No matter what type of acne, some people are simply prone to scar formation. Sometimes skin simply does not heal itself correctly resulting in acne scars. Squeezing or popping acne can also result in scars.

Types of acne scars include:

  • Acne spots – Discolouration of the skin, they are usually brown or red. These fade in time or quicker with the help of topical treatments. Also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, PIH, because inflammation causes excess melanin build-up in the area.
  • Ice Pick scars – Usually appearing on the cheeks, these arise from sebum and bacteria being buried in pores. Skin becomes inflamed because of the pus and bacteria which puts pressure on the tissues damaging them and leaving skin with a deep and narrow indentation which resemble ice which has been cut repeatedly with an ice-pick.
  • Boxcar scars – Usually on cheeks and temples, boxcar scars are a U-shaped scar with defined edges and generally wider than Ice Pick scars.
  • Rolling scars – Rounded in appearance, rolling scars are caused by the development of bands of tissue under the skin with a rippling effect.

Whatever the type of scar, it is important to tackle this as early as possible to avert the possibility of permanent scarring.

How to treat acne scars

Getting rid of acne scars is not easy and requires patience. Whilst there are many topical products on the market against preventing acne, there are a few which are of benefit in minimising the appearance of acne scars. A chemical called azelaic acid shows great promise in addressing all types of mild acne scars.

Azelaic acid is a mild acid that can be found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye. It is a keratolytic agent, which means that it softens keratin and prevents the build-up of keratinocytes, which are skin cells, so that they do not build up and block pores. Azelaic acid also has antibacterial properties which prevents the bacteria living on skin’s surface from thriving and in this way helps many people in preventing acne breakouts. Azelaic acid also helps skin renewal and in doing do helps to fade dark spots, minimise the appearance of acne scars and eradicate blemishes often associated with acne.

Azelaic acid also helps to minimise the appearance of red acne marks and also has brightening properties which helps to tackle uneven skin tone. In addition to these properties, Azelaic acid is also a powerful anti-inflammatory which calms skin down which also explains its frequent use in controlling rosacea. This multi-tasker works on so many levels to improve the appearance of acne-prone skin as well as improving the appearance of all types of acne scars.

How to use azelaic acid

Azelaic acid comes in serum, gel and cream forms. I recommend the use of Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% by The Ordinary and to apply five to six drops at night on the whole face or you can simply use it to target the specific areas. Regular use of azelaic acid suspension will help prevent moderate acne from becoming worse before it spreads further and creates scars. Just like retinoids, azelaic acid helps to enhance skin cell turnover rates so that new skin is growing faster as dead skin cells are exfoliated away. This is why azelaic acid helps to counter post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, PIH, and improve the appearance of acne marks and scars.

After the application of azelaic acid, use 100% Organic Cold Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil. Rosehip seed oil underwent clinical trials in South America in the early 1980’s. The trials studied people with extensive scarring, acne scarring, deep wrinkles, surgical scars and UV damaged skin. The results showed a marked improvement in the appearance of scars especially after four months use, although improvements were noted at monthly intervals. Rosehip seed oil was found to regenerate skin, improve the appearance of all types of scars and prevent the advancement of wrinkles.  It may also be prudent to use Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, a beta hydroxyl acid, to deep clean pores of excess sebum.

A word of caution; azelaic acid may cause slight dryness, redness and itching. Should this occur, use once or twice a week increasing gradually to daily night time usage.

This content is not intended to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare practitioner.

Shabir Daya | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • Georgie

    Hi Shabir

    I recently purchased azelaic acid and euk134 and NMF. I already use granactive retinoid 5%. If azelaic acid is a mild acid, should i still not use it with euk134? I understand you should not use acids with euk134 but is that only strong acids? Also should i not use Euk 134 with the retinoid? If in the PM i cleanse and apply euk134 and leave a few hours before applying azelaic acid and granactive retinoid 5% before going to bed, would this be ok? If not, i will only use Euk134 in the AM. Thankyou so much.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Georgie, I would prefer that you use EUK in the AM regimen because there is a risk of compromising its benefits in the PM regimen even if you did leave half an hour or so. Shabir

  • Kaka

    Hi Shabir,
    I have been using the Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide at AM, and, Alpha Arbutin and Azelaic acid at night with almond oil as I find my skin is dry after applying the azelaic acid suspension. I am looking tackle adult acne scars, hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. I must admit the texture of my skin is bettre but the hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone is still an issue.
    Can you please recommend a product I can add to address this, or if i need to change my regimen (after i have finished the existing products ofcourse)
    Thanks

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I would recommend that you consider the additional use of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate in the AM regimen after the niacinamide. MAP works to brighten skin and is known for its benefits to tackle hyper pigmented skin. In the PM regimen, use Glycolic acid Toning Solution after cleansing to offer gentle resurfacing and instead of almond oil consider the use of rosehip seed oil which has been shown to be effective for all types of scar tissue.

  • Amanda

    Hi Shabir,

    After reading this article as well as others related to this brand, along with this entire thread, I think i may have nailed it. I have put together a regime to achieve my ultimate perfect ‘i woke up like this’ skin. But i think i may have confused myself just a little.

    I am 29 with Dark African skin and have had MANY treatments including Obagi face peel, Dermamelan Face peel, Danne Montague King Chemical Peels, Facials, and currently using Paulas choice products BHA, AHA, Toner etc. I no longer have issues with acne albeit the ODD BREAKOUT but still have uneven PIGMENTATION. My biggest complaint though is the TEXTURE and the HUGE PORES. I have an OILY tzone also.

    The products and regime i have gathered from your other responses are as follows:

    AM Alpha arbutin 2% + HA,
    AM Niacinimide 10 + zinc
    AM: Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate 10%

    PM: AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution applied as a masque up to twice per week in the PM.

    PM Glycolic acid 7% toning
    PM Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA
    PM Azelaic acid 10% 6 drops twice a week.
    PM Rose hip oil

    I have excluded retinoids and retinols as I am currently breastfeeding,

    Have i missed anything else? What about Alpha Lipoic Acid 5%?
    Is it all necessary for my concerns? Have I put them in the correct order? Can this all be simplified and still achieve the results I am seeking? Will I have brand new baby smooth skin again one day? lol

    I really appreciate you :)

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Amanda, I am impressed with your selection. In the PM regimen, the order would be Glycolic Toning Solution; Azelaic acid; NMF followed by rose hip oil. Perhaps consider the use of Alpha Lipoic acid again once or twice a week in the PM regimen when not using the peeling solution. ALA does have skin resurfacing properties and hopefully this all adds the final result which is smooth skin. Shabir

  • Amanda

    Awww great, if you are impressed then I must be on the right track! Thank you for correcting the PM regime. If I add the Alpha Lipoic acid would it go after the Azelaic acid and before the NMF? Am i still able to use MAP in the AM when using ALA in the PM? Thank you for your swift response, I am about to begin purchasing! Hooray! x

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Amanda, I would recommend using ALA followed by Azelaic acid before the NMF. You can use MAP in the AM when using ALA in PM. Best wishes Shabir

  • Hmai Pachuau

    Hi Shabir,

    I am so glad i bumped into your article. Thank you for the information. I am a 33 year old oily combination skin and i have been suffering from acne vulgaris on both the cheecks since the past 5 months. They are so big and visible. Please help me on what i can use for my acne. Thank you in advance..

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Hmai, I am going to set out a regimen which I am sure will be of great benefit in preventing outbreaks using The Ordinary products.
    AM: Hyaluronic acid + B5; Niacinamide + Zinc; Natural Moisturizing Factors
    PM: Salicylic acid; Hyaluronic acid; Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate; Natural Moisturizing Factors

    Hyaluronic acid will help hydrate the dermal layer since dehydration leads to inflammation causing excess sebum production.
    Niacinamide + Zinc will help normalise oil production, calm inflammation and encourage quicker healing of skin.
    Natural Moisturizing Factors will provide surface hydration without clogging pores.
    Salicylic acid will help deep clean pores of dirt, grime, excess sebum and dead skin cells.
    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a vitamin C derivative, works effectively to tackle acne damage as well as brightening skin.

    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Hmai Pachuau

    Dear Shabir

    Thank you for your help. I appreciate it alot. Ordering for these products very soon..

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Hmai and please keep us posted with the results.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Amanda, Glad you are experiencing benefits of using The Ordinary skincare. I dont see a problem in continuing with Glycolic acid alongside ALA unless inflammation becomes a problem. If you experience this then you will need to stop using the Glycolic acid on the two evenings. Azelaic acid can be used daily without fear of side effects including inflammation. Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I am going to recommend a regimen to help your concerns without the use of acids as below:
    AM: Buffet; Niacinamide + Zinc; Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate; Natural Moisturizing Factors
    PM: Buffet; Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane; Argan Oil.

    Buffet contains peptides known to prevent and soften fine lines; also a great hydrative serum since dehydration leads to inflammation and ultimately excess sebum production.
    Niacinamide + Zinc helps to control oil secretion and strengthen skin barrier function. Improves pore appearance too.
    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a vitamin C derivative, helps brighten skin and tackles acne damage.
    Natural Moisturizing Factors helps to provide surface hydration without clogging pores.
    Granactive Retinoid helps cell turnover to reveal softer, smoother, blemish free skin.
    Argan Oil helps to restore lost lipids in skin and improves sebum quality.

    Please keep us informed about the results with this regimen if you can.

    Best wishes
    Shabir

  • Kitty

    Hi, I have recently finished a course of Roaccutane/Isotretinoin. I got acne due to an hormonal imbalance (I’m 21) and have never suffered skin problems before this.
    My acne is cleared but I have been left with some horrible PIH, red and almost purple marks/dots on my checks and a few around my chin. These are so hard to cover up with makeup.
    My skin will be sensitive until the drug is completely out of my system (about a month) what would you recommend I could do now as a skin care routine to help clear the scars/marks? And what would you recommend for the future when my skin has rebuilt itself and will not be as sensitive to products.

    Thank you x

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Kitty, completely understand about skin sensitivity and hence I am going to recommend a simple regimen which will not irritate sensitive skin.
    AM: Alpha arbutin; Niacinamide + Zinc; Natural Moisturizing Factors
    PM: Alpha arbutin; Natural Moisturizing Factors

    Alpha arbutin and Niacinamide are the gold standard for pigmentation problems. Alpha arbutin inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme that deposits pigment onto the pigment cells. Topical application of alpha-arbutin increased skin lightness 60% over hydroquinone, and 25% over kojic acid. Both these results were observed after just one month!
    Niacinamide blocks melanin transfer to the outer layers of the skin, which has been shown to decrease facial hyperpigmentation and improve melasma. Niacinamide also helps skin barrier function which prevents dehydration and hence wrinkle formation. Niacinamide also helps normalise oil production.
    Natural Moisturizing Factors provides surface hydration without clogging pores.
    Once your skin has ‘normalised’ perhaps you should consider the introduction of Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane to enhance cell turnover thereby revealing softer, smoother and healthy skin.
    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Indigo

    Thanks Shabir, I will try this. I don’t mind using some acid products but mindful of excessive use causing thin skin. I have bought a primer with salicylic acid(under 1%) for daily use and also have retin A 2.5% spot cream (prescribed) to hand when I need it. Hope this works with the regimen. Will keep you posted!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Completely understand not using many acids. Please keep us posted. Best wishes Shabir

  • NG

    So would it be OK to apply Vit C Suspension after Azelaic acid in the evening?
    I have both.. and have never used them together. Today I read on this thread a regimen recommendation where is was suggested.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, Azelaic acid is not in conflict with Vitamin C Suspension so yes you can use the two together.

  • NG

    Oh Ok, thanks! Will try.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Please keep us informed if you can.

  • http://frivolousgirl.com/ Isabel

    Titling it “Topical acne scar treatment” is a bit misleading, when you’re actually meaning _acne spots_. I don’t even get how and why acne spots are considered “acne scars”, they are pigmentation, and it’s the only ones you can treat topically and are quite easy to fade. Acne scars on the other hand, meaning indentations and textured skin, will not be treated with simple acids.

    Azeliac acid has unfortunately not worked for me when wanting to treat dark spots. Though my skin has gotten somewhat of a radiance about it when using it, it has done nothing for the redness around blemishes, and definitely hasn’t done anything for scarring. Niacinamide has also been very weak in fading redness.

    What’s personally worked for me is a combination of AHA with retinol (like the Elizabeth Arden Pro Perfection Serum) and dermarolling with vitamin C (the pure form). Pai’s rosehip oil that also contain the pulp oil is a cheap yet effective one that I like, as well as adding Tamanu oil.
    I haven’t tried arbutin products, haven’t seemed to need to go that far with the above regime, but I could guess it would also be very effective in fading PIH. I’d love to try the White RX, but afraid I’d look too pale.
    Preventing future breakout are also key to seeing any progress. As long as there’s inflammation near, the PIH will fade much slower. I love vitamin E oil and evening primrose oil for hormonal balance and anti-inflammatory purposes. Keeps my skin clear and period regular.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Isabel, I think that the editorial is based on trying to prevent acne and acne scars with a view to treating them should they arise. Azelaic acid does help many women with acne scars though retinoids are generally more powerful than azelaic acid at cell turnover but these can cause inflammation. Thank you for your feedback on other ingredients that have worked for you.

  • serena

    Hi! I find your articles very helpful. Thank you so much. I am 43 asian with acne prone and oily skin. I have been using niacinamide followed with lancome moistirizer and a sunscreen in the AM. I do find niacinamide has helped clear my acne spots, however, i still find new acnes popping out in the evenings when i clean my face. I use lancome blanc expert nuit for PM application as i find it very hydrating and i less likely find acnes formed in the morning. Can u suggest a skin care routine for my acne prone with big pore and yet aging skin? :)

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Serena, I am glad that you have found the editorials useful. I am going to suggest a regimen which I am sure will be of benefit as outlined below.
    AM: Hyaluronic acid + B5; Niacinamide + Zinc; Natural Moisturizing Factors
    PM: Salicylic acid ; Hyaluronic acid + B5; Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane; Argan Oil

    Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate the dermal layer since dehydration can cause inflammation leading to excess sebum production.
    Niacinamide + Zinc helps normalise oil production, improves pore appearance, heals blemished skin quickly
    Natural Moisturizing Factors helps provide surface hydration without clogging pores
    Salicylic acid helps deep clean pores and helps exfoliate
    Granactive Retinoid 2% helps cellular renewal and helps prevent breakouts
    Argan Oil helps restore elasticity and improves sebum texture.
    Best wishes
    Shabir

  • serena

    Thanks Shabir! :) do I apply salicylic on my whole face? I heard it will result in larger pores for some of my asian friends. They usually use it for spot treatments only.
    What about glycolic acid toner and matrixyl? I bought those but not sure whether it is necessary.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Serena, I tend to recommend a thin layer on most of the face unless the spots are very localised. Salicylic acids should not make pores larger. Glycolic Toning Solution can be used in the PM regimen after cleansing face of dirt and grime. You can introduce Matrixyl after the niacinamide in the AM regimen and before the Granactive Retinoid in the PM regimen. Best wishes Shabir

  • serena

    I really appreciate your advice. Thanks a lot! :)

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    You are welcome Serena and please keep us posted if you can. Shabir

  • summer

    Hi i’m 25 year old Asian girl and have suffered with acne since I’ve been a teenager. I was on roaccutane 4 years ago and it cleared up my skin. 2 years ago my acne started coming back, although not to the same extent as it was prior to treatment. I’m in a constant battle with acne and hyper-pigmentation and I would be appreciative if you could provide me with a skin care regimen to help combat my issues. Could you list the items in order of which to apply first and second etc as well as where in the regimen SPF should be used. Thank you.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Summer, I have outlined a simple regimen in order of usage.
    AM: Salicylic acid; Hyaluronic acid + B5; Niacinamide + Zinc; Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate; Sunscreen
    PM: Hyaluronic acid + B5; Azelaic acid: Vitamin C 30% in Silicone; Rosehip seed oil.
    Please use Salicylic acid as a mask – leave a layer on face for five minutes and then rinse off to remove dead skin cells and deep clean pores.
    Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate dermal layer since dehydration may lead to inflammation and more sebum production.
    Niacinamide + Zinc helps normalise oil production, improves pore appearance, targets pigmentation problems and heals blemishes.
    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate helps brighten skin, tackles acne damage and helps hydrate skin.
    Azelaic acid helps unclog pores, enhances cell turnover gently and is mildly antibacterial to prevent acne causing bacteria from thriving. You may wish to alternate this with Granactive Retinoid 2% In Squalane.
    Vitamin C helps those with hyperpigmentation and brightens skin.
    Rosehip seed oil tackles acne scars and blemishes without clogging pores.

    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • furbrian

    Hi I’m 19 year Asian boy, I would like to ask about ur opinion about the Ordinary product I should use for deep acne scars such like icepick or boxscars. I dont have active acne just the scars. do you know the best product to boost up my collagen for my deep scars? currently I’m using The Ordinary, Niacinamide at AM and Vit C 23% HA + Rosehip-oil at PM.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Furbian, you could potentially use either azelaic acid or retinol from The Ordinary. Both these enhance cell turnover to gradually reveal softer, smoother skin and hence improve the appearance of scars. Please continue with the rosehip seed oil too. A serum worth investing is NIOD’s Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 which contains copper peptides. Copper peptides have been used for decades to heal wounds and they appear to manipulate overproduced clusters of collagen (scar tissue) and regenerate healthy skin. Best wishes Shabir

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Serena, form milder acne I tend to recommend azelaic acid in the PM but more chronic cases would benefit from the use of this in the AM regimen too. Azelaic acid does not hydrate so it is best to use Natural Moisturising Factors too.

  • serena

    Is it alright to apply azelaic together wilh salicylic acid and granactive retinoid 2% at the same time in PM?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Serena, it is deemed perfectly safe to use all three products in one regimen however do a patch test just in case. Several studies indicate that retinoids alongside azelaic acid help a variety of skin concerns including pigmentation problems.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Marlee, regimens vary according to the individual needs, skin type and concerns. Some people simply wish to prevent acne and do not have scars or pigmentation problems left from acne (PIH). You may wish to incorporate the following products into your regimen:
    Niacinamide + Zinc to normalise oil production.
    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate to help brighten and hydrate skin.
    Azelaic acid to encourage cellular renewal, unclog pores, brighten skin and much more.
    Rosehip seed oil known to its ability to improve scar appearance.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, acne causes inflammation often leaving behind blemishes and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation areas. For some scars can also be a problem so I am going to recommend a simple but effective regimen aimed at tackling pigmentation, scar tissue and preventing acne as outlined below:
    AM: Buffet; Niacinamide + Zinc; Argireline; Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
    PM: Alpha arbutin; Buffet; Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane.

    Buffet is a great hydrative serum which also contains technologies that may help prevent and soften fine lines and wrinkles.
    Niacinamide + Zinc helps normalise oil production, improves pore appearance and heals inflamed skin.
    Argireline – please use this on the forehead where the lines may be deeper.
    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a vitamin C derivative known to brighten skin and tackle acne damage.
    Alpha arbutin is a natural skin lightener and may visibly help lighten pigmentation areas.
    Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane helps cellular renewal to visibly achieve softer, smoother skin. This helps to improve scar appearance, hypigmented areas etc. Retinoids may also help prevent acne breakouts.

    Best wishes,
    Shabir

  • Ash

    Thanks a lot for the reply.i need another suggestion.i do have acne sometimes and its like painful bumps under the skin and no matter how much I squeeze it won’t pop but leave a huge scar.how to treat the acne and add the treatment in my routine you suggested.TIA ..:D

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, what you are describing sounds like cystic acne and I am sure that the retinoid will be of value however also consider the use of Salicylic acid to deep clean pores and also offer surface exfoliation.

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Gail, I am going to recommend a simple regimen to help prevent acne breakouts which can also lead to pigmentation problems.
    AM: Hyaluronic acid + B5; Niacinamide + Zinc; Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate; Natural Moisturizing Factors
    PM: Salicylic acid; Alpha arbutin; Argan Oil
    Hyaluronic acid helps hydrate the dermal layer since dehydration leads to inflammation and excess oil production.
    Niacinamide + Zinc helps normalise oil production, improves pore appearance and tackles blemishes.
    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is a vitamin C derivative that brightens dark areas and helps tackle acne damage.
    Natural Moisturizing Factors helps provide surface hydration without clogging pores.
    Alpha arbutin is the gold standard for pigmentation problems especially PIH. Alpha arbutin inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme that deposits pigment onto the pigment cells. Topical application of alpha-arbutin increased skin lightness 60% over hydroquinone, and 25% over kojic acid. Both these results were observed after just one month!

    Best wishes

    Shabir

  • Jess

    Hi, I have indian skin and suffer from hormonal acne and an oily t-zone. I also have dark acne spot scars on my cheeks, chin and forehead and hyper pigmentation around my chin and mouth making my face look dull and discoloured and i have fine lines, dark circles around my eyes. I would appreciate if you could please suggest a routine to help this?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Jess, I have set out a simple regimen to tackle your concerns as outlined below:
    AM: Alpha arbutin; Niacinamide + Zinc; Caffeine Solution (eye area); Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
    PM: Alpha arbutin; Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane; Natural Moisturizing Factors

    Alpha arbutin and Niacinamide are the gold standard for pigmentation problems especially PIH. Alpha arbutin inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme that deposits pigment onto the pigment cells. Topical application of alpha-arbutin increased skin lightness 60% over hydroquinone, and 25% over kojic acid. Both these results were observed after just one month! Alpha arbutin serum also contains hyaluronic acid to help hydrate the dermal layer since dehydration may lead to inflammation which in turn causes excess sebum activity.

    Niacinamide blocks melanin transfer to the outer layers of the skin, which has been shown to decrease facial hyperpigmentation and improve melasma. Niacinamide also helps skin barrier function which prevents dehydration and hence wrinkle formation. Niacinamide also helps normalise oil production preventing excess sebum activity.

    Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a vitamin C derivative, helps brighten & freshen skin.

    Granactive Retinoid helps cellular renewal to reveal softer, smoother skin.

    Caffeine Solution – use around the eyes to tackle dark circles and wrinkles.

    Best wishes,

    Shabir

  • Jess

    thank you so much! shall i apply the products all over my face or just on the areas i have hyper pigmentation, and what would be the best primer for oily skin?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi Jess, apply the products to the whole face and leave for 30 seconds in between serum applications. As far as primers are concerned, please use High Adherence Silicone Primer by The Ordinary.

  • Jess

    Ok, do the products target acne because i suffer from bad breakouts at times?

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Yes absolutely most of the products have multiple benefits for example niacinamide normalises oil production but it also targets hyperpigmentation. Granactive retinoid may help prevent acne breakouts but is also good to use for hyperpigmentation since it encourages fresh healthy cell renewal.

  • Savage Muse

    Hello, thank you for your interesting article, it was was a pleasure to read!
    I’m a 30 years old woman and suffered from acne since I was a teenager. At the moment my pimples are pretty much under control, I only get 1-2 every week (even if my skin is still very oily), but, as I’m quite pale, it takes forever for them to disappear. I also have VERY enlarged pores all over my face and the first signs of age, in particular around my eye area. I’m allergic to propanediol so I can’t use some of the products you mentioned. Do you have any suggestion for my daily regime? I’d immensely appreciate it!

  • http://www.victoriahealth.com/ Victoria Health

    Hi, I am so glad that you found the editorial useful. Azelaic acid by The Ordinary does not contain this ingredient and it may be useful to use since it helps cellular renewal so that hopefully the look of pores will be minimised. Remember that the numbers of pores cannot be changed but their appearance can. Sanskrit Saponins by NIOD cleans skin without stripping it of its natural oils and many people report a great improvement in pore appearance. For the eye area, please consider NIOD’s Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate which firms and hydrates eye tissues.