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How to Brighten Old Acne Marks and Scars

Leftover pigmentation from a breakout can hang around for quite some time. In some cases, I’ve seen acne scars linger for up to a year! Yikes! What happens if you constantly break out every month? Sooner rather than later, you’ll have a face full of unwanted dark spots. These dark marks will eventually fade over time, but how can you get rid of them sooner? There are some ways to turnover those darkened skin cells quicker, so that they fade more rapidly. But first, let’s look at why this happens in the first place.

Why do Acne Scars Happen?

When you get a pimple, your skin recognizes this as an ‘injury’ and in order to protect itself from that injury, your skin deposits pigment in that spot. The pigment comes from the melanin produced by your melanocyte cells. As a general rule, the darker your skin is, the longer these marks will stay around. Because you can see breakouts in the mirror, they are residing in the upper layers of your skin called the epidermis. Once the breakout is gone, the resulting dark pigment is also left in your epidermis. In order to get rid of that dark pigmentation in your top layers of skin, you’ll need to introduce exfoliation into your routine.

acne scars

 Introducing Exfoliation into Your Routine

Exfoliation may be in the form of a scrub or a serum and the one you use depends on how sensitive your skin is. If your skin is combination (both dry and oily) and pretty tolerant of most things, I would suggest using a facial scrub 1-3 times per week to turnover your skin cells faster and fade those acne scars. A great one to try is my Pore Refining Polish. This particular product contains a variety of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) as well as salicylic acid (BHA) to refine your skin and increase cellular turnover.

If your skin is more sensitive or you already have a scrub and would like an alternative exfoliating product, I recommend my Exfoliating Enzyme Mask. This non-granular exfoliating mask combines the antioxidant-rich fruit enzymes found in papaya and pineapple to smooth, refine, and brighten your skin, naturally. You would use this product 1-3 times per week as a boost of brightening to your existing skin care regimen.

acne scars

I would love to hear your thoughts once you have tried one of these products. Please feel free to drop a comment below or if you have additional questions, ask them in the comments – Erica

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How to Clear Adult Acne with the Key 3

adult acne

Adult women experiencing breakouts is very common, even if they haven’t experienced breakouts before as a teenager. This is all because of hormones. I specialize in treating acne and most people assume that I just treat a ton of teenagers. The answer is yes, I do see lot of teens, but most of my acne clients are actually adult women. In fact, 59% of my acne clients are adult women over the age of 26.

Acne is a genetic condition and you cannot cure it, but you can manage it. A pimple here and there will still happen because of those pesky hormones. But, what about the clusters of breakouts that keep happening in certain ares of your face? This can be managed very quickly and easily with the Key 3 products. I developed the Key 3 to work on the exact causes of breakouts in the skin. This is why these products work differently than other products currently on the market, including prescription medication.

The primary cause of breakouts in acne-prone individuals is skin cells.

The skin cells fall off rapidly in those that are acne-prone (thanks to your genes) and collect in your pores. The bacteria that live in everyone’s skin to protect our bodies from foreign invaders now have something to feed on and they go crazy! The thing is, we need the bacteria to be there (which is why you cannot take antibiotics for this issue), but we don’t need them to be hyper. When skin cells fill the pores, they begin mixing with the oil that we produce (sebum). This forms plugs that lead to breakouts. The best way that we can manage the excess skin cells topically is by exfoliation.

The exfoliation method is the most important piece to managing breakouts.

However, the exfoliation has to be gentle and not too aggressive. This is why the Clarity Serum from the Key 3 works so well. You apply a thin layer all over your skin in the morning on clean, dry skin and it absorbs immediately into your pores. It will slowly dissolve all of the skin cells that fall off into the pores throughout the day. Retinoids are often given by Dermatologists to help with exfoliation, but the problem is that they can only be used at night. Skin cells are falling off and collecting in the pores during the day, so by the time you apply a retinoid at night, a plug has already started to form and it is too late.

Oil production is the second most important piece to managing breakouts.

Oil is like fertilizer for the bacteria that live in our skin. The more oil you produce, the more hyper the bacteria become. Oil production increases in the skin because of hormonal fluctuations. Hormones are present in our skin and whenever we experience a fluctuation in those hormones (i.e. period, pregnancy, menopause), we experience an increase in oil due to the increase in testosterone levels. This is why adult women who are genetically prone to acne experience breakouts throughout their whole lifetime!

A water-based moisturizer is the perfect way to balance the oil in our skin. The moisturizer mimics the oil produced by our skin and that allows the skin not to make more. I created two water-based moisturizer options: Balance Moisturizer and Nourish Moisturizer. Balance Moisturizer is more fluid-like and very lightweight. It is meant for oily skin types. Whereas, Nourish Moisturizer is more creamy and is meant for combination to dry skin types. You would apply your moisturizer twice a day as the last step in your routine.

Gently cleansing your skin prior to applying any treatment product is very important. If you use a cleanser with active ingredients (such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or benzoyl peroxide), you will strip your skin completely of its oil content. When you do that, your skin will go into overdrive and start creating a bunch of oil just to replace what was stripped away by that cleanser. This is where the Purifying Bar from the Key 3 comes in. It not only gently cleanses with a neutral pH, it also has natural treatment-based properties to help with the breakouts, redness and inflammation. You would use just the lather from the Purifying Bar twice a day on your face (you can use the bar on your body for any breakouts). Allow the lather to sit on your skin for 30 seconds to 1 minute before rinsing.

I developed the Key 3 with the help of my clients.

It works for all types of breakouts, from mild cases to more severe acne. The reason it works so well is because it address both the skin cell issue, as well as the excess oil production. I am very happy to have created such a streamlined set of products that continue to help so many women experiencing adult acne and I love to hear your feedback! Please let me know how you love the Key 3 by leaving a comment below.