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Removing pimple marks

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There's nothing worse than when a nasty spot finally disappears, only to find it’s left behind a mark, dark spot or scar. But look, it happens, even if we haven’t picked or squeezed and we’ve followed all the rules. But can you do anything about pimple marks and acne scars? Of course, there's the injections and the chemical peels, but if they sound a bit scary to you (they certainly do to us), we’ve put together a list of natural home remedies you might like to try. If your scarring is particularly aggressive, we would always advise speaking to a doctor or a dermatologist for advice.

Lemon juice or lime juice

The bleaching properties of lemon and lime juice can help reduce the appearance of dark acne or pimple marks. Use a couple of drops of freshly squeezed juice and apply it to your affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes before washing off with warm water. The acidity in the juice is also great for removing dead skin cells and promoting the regeneration of new ones.

Olive oil

Olive oil is full of antioxidants and has been a favourite home remedy for pimple marks and acne scars for years. Lightly massage a small amount on to any affected areas and let the skin absorb it. This will help moisturise the skin, make it smooth and reduce and any scarring.

If you have oily skin, you might be hesitant to add more oil to your face, but olive oil is different to the oil we naturally produce. First of all, its non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores but actually dissolve unwanted bacteria, dead skin cells and any excess sebum. Secondly, it’s a great moisturiser. Sealing moisture in your skin can calm the sebaceous glands and stop them from over producing pore clogging oil.

Rose water

Rose Water can be a great way to both your pimples and any marks they might leave behind. For the best results, mix with lemon juice. We recommend 1 tbsp of rose water to 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Soak a clean wash cloth in the mixture and dab over the face. Then allow your skin to dry naturally before washing off any residue and patting dry with a clean towel. The mixture of Rose and Lemon encourage pimples to open without having to pick or squeeze (a common cause of scarring). It also stimulates the growth of new healthy skin cells around spots and pimples, reducing the likelihood that a scar will form. It’s important to note that rose water should be avoided if you have rosacea or particularly oily skin.

Potato juice

Yep, we said it. Potato Juice. Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase. Essentially, it helps lighten skin. If you can’t be bothered to extract the juice from a potato, or like us, can begin to imagine how you would even do that in the first place, you can just wash, dry and peel one and cut it into slices. Rub the slices on effected areas – using a different slice for each area to prevent the spread of bacteria. The texture of the potato will also gently exfoliate your skin, helping remove any dead skin cells. The acid in the potatoes can also work as a mild antibacterial agent, which might help prevent the root cause of your spots.

Baking powder

It’s not just for cakes. Baking powder is an anti-inflammatory and a natural alkaline. It will counteract your skins acidity during a breakout, helping neutralize the PH levels in your skin whilst alsohelping reduce redness and swelling of acne scarring or pimple marks – and fade and dark spots or areas of hyperpigmentation. To create a quick recipe for a homemade face mask is to mix 2 tbsp of baking soda with warm water to form a paste. Wash your face and pat dry before applying and then allow the mask to sit for around 15 minutes. To remove, simply rinse with warm water.

If you want something less time consuming, as half a teaspoon of baking soda to your regular cleanser once or twice a week.

Fuller’s earth

A great solution for people with oilier skin, Fuller’s Earth reduce the appearance of acne scars whilst also helping fight the breakout. Its packed full of loads of stuff that our skin loves, alumina, silica, water, magnesia iron and oxides. Entirely natural, the lime and sulphur in the clay helps lighten the skin and rejuvenate the top layer, reducing the appearance of scars and helping restore an even and healthy skin tone.

If your breakouts are a result of oily skin, fullers clay is also a natural way to dry out your face without using abrasive chemicals. For a quick, natural home remedy, mix the clay with one egg white and apply all over the face and any other affected area. Leave for 20 minutes. Remove with warm water using gentle massaging motions, or alternatively, soak a cotton ball with rose water and use small circular wipes to get rid of the clay.

A few things to remember

Anytime you make changes to your skin care routine, it’s important to give it time before judging the results. We all want overnight success but unfortunately that’s rarely the case. Also, don’t make too many changes at once – it can put your skin under stress and make it hard to gauge what is working.

If natural remedies don’t appear to be working for you, always contact a doctor or dermatologist before using and harsh chemicals on your skin.

Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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