I Had 6 Years Worth of Acne Scars — But Here’s How I Made Them Basically Disappear

Having acne-prone skin was the worst part of my teenage years. Since acne is triggered by hormones that increase during puberty, I began to develop scars starting from the age of 12. For some young women, teenage years are those where you finally begin to gain confidence and pay attention to how you look. Unfortunately, acne had made this very difficult for me.

Acne can lead to scars, which can last for years if you don’t take care of yourself the right way. I had to learn the hard way that the bacteria from previous scars actually leads to further pimples, which lead to even more scars. It was endless. By the time I was 18, I was finally able to put a stop to this atrocious cycle and be comfortable in my skin. Here are some tips I learned over the long six years, that also double as great skincare advice in general.

Let your skin breathe.

During my first two years of high school, I began to cake so much makeup on my face every day without realizing how it would affect my skin. Once I got to the last half of high school, I didn’t really have that much time on my hands (thanks, homework) so I toned down a lot on the makeup. It truly helped me! As a makeup fanatic, I understand how hard it can be to cut down on this, but I can honestly say that letting my skin get some air allowed not only for my scars to diminish, but also for my makeup to come out with less texture. It’s a win-win situation.

Adjust your diet and exercise.

I know this may sound repetitive, but honestly, drink more water. I promise it helps! Once I started to do this, I began to despise other drinks, and I noticed a significant difference in my skin. Hydrating yourself also hydrates your skin.

Decreasing your intake of oily foods is important as well. As someone who lives in an Asian household, I know how difficult it can be to avoid oily foods, but you don’t have to cut them out completely. Just make sure to switch out certain food choices for better ones. For example, if you know you’re already having an oil-based dish for dinner, then add some greens in at lunch.

Going to the gym also helped my skin, because not only did it increase my love for water, but it also relieved a lot of stress. Relieving stress prevented a lot of usual breakouts, which was crucial.

Exfoliate, mask, and wash your face.

Ensuring that you’re getting rid of extra bacteria is a really important part of taking care of your skin. The last thing you want is to have more unknown bacteria gathered up under your scars. I wash my face with cleanser every morning and night using the towel technique, in which I use a different tiny face towel every night, and wet it so I can use it to remove the soap from my face. This is an easy trick where you aren’t rubbing your hands full of bacteria on your face, while gently removing excess dirt from your face.

I also exfoliate twice a week to clean out my pores, and use charcoal face masks once in a while to help with the scarring. The Himilayan Charcoal Mask from The Body Shop is a personal favorite.

Visit a dermatologist.

Finally, if all else fails, make an appointment with your derm. When my scarring became severe, my dermatologist prescribed me medications that definitely helped my situation a lot. That being said, simply taking prescribed medications won’t help. After a while, I realized that in order to truly see a change in my skin I had to do my part as well.

Getting rid of acne scars is a process that takes a lot of time, and hopefully my tips will help you avoid struggling with them for as long as six years. Now that I have discovered ways to keep my skin healthy, I can finally be comfortable in my own skin and I’ve never been happier. A key factor you must remember is that pimples cause scars, so focus on controlling those first! You won’t see results ASAP, so just have a lot of patience, and make sure to stay consistent.

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