How to beat acne scarring on black skin

Breakouts are annoying but, for certain skin types, the aftermath can be even worse. You get a spot, you squeeze the spot and then you’re left with an acne scar or hyperpigmentation that will last for months. This can happen to all skin types, but on black skin, in which melanin is more active 男士去暗瘡印, it’s probably going to be slightly more noticeable and take longer to fade. That’s why we caught up with aesthetician and founder of the Black Skin Directory, Dija Ayodele, to find out the best defence and offence tools to have in your arsenal to keep those pesky, persistent marks at bay.

With more than 12 years of experience in the beauty industry, Ayodele founded the Black Skin Directory after she noticed a pattern of black clients visiting her skincare clinic in London from as far as France, as they felt they didn’t have anyone in their area who could deal with their particular skin issues.

The Black Skin Directory aims to change that misconception, compiling an ever-expanding list of aestheticians and skincare professionals across the country who are equipped to confidently work with black skin. “I knew that there were people out there who are white, Indian, whatever, who probably understood black skin, but they just weren’t marketing themselves to say that they could do that,” she explains. “Fundamentally, if you’ve got a skin concern that you want sorted out, the skin colour of the practitioners shouldn’t make a difference. That was why Black Skin Directory was set up, to help connect people of colour to other experts.”

Yet in 2020 it’s more difficult than ever before to access expert advice face-to-face, with Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns providing yet another obstacle in the pursuit of flawless skin. Never fear, the below advice should help you on your way to achieving smooth, scar-free skin. Implement these tips now and leave 2020 glowing.

Causes of acne scarring

No prizes for guessing what the main cause of acne scarring is. That’s right, it’s acne, so if you’re having a persistent problem with breakouts, then you should try to address that first. However, there are a few things that can exacerbate scarring. Scarring occurs when skin experiences trauma, so if you pick at spots, that will likely worsen the scars that you’ll be left with afterwards. Ayodele also says that messing around with home remedies can have a negative effect on your skin.

“Culturally, you’ll have a lot of black men of West African origin using things like black soap at home, because there is a myth that, if you have acne, you need to dry up the skin,” she says. “If you dry out your skin, it will produce more oil to compensate. You can’t turn off the sebaceous glands that produce oil. So you have this vicious cycle of people trying to use these home remedies that are not tackling the problem.”

Types of acne scarring

Hyperpigmentation

If you’re left with dark marks after a breakout, then you’re experiencing hyperpigmentation. This can occur on all skin types, but is more common in black skin, because whereas skin’s natural pigment, melanin, is only produced as a response to trauma in white skin, it is constantly being produced in black skin to maintain its colour. So, when black skin experiences trauma, such as spots, cuts or even shaving, extra melanin production is more easily triggered, which means the skin is more likely to take on more pigmentation.

“When there’s any sign of impending damage, the melanin cells won’t just then produce melanin in a very even and informed manner,” explains Ayodele. “Each melanin cell has about five to eight fingers and the melanin pigment travels up the fingers and then feeds into the surrounding skin cells. When the skin feels any trauma, that melanin sat in the centre just sparks off. It’s not a controlled process at all, which is why you get pigmentation damage.”

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