By: Caitlin Stiles
A made-up word that sends chills down all our spines, I assure you. I don’t know about you, but my stay with the coronavirus was full of these mask-induced breakouts. I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe wash my masks more often) but the often cystic-type acne I suffered left pretty significant scars. After the mask mandate was lifted, I suddenly had to navigate lightening dark spots and acne scarring. I know I’m not alone in this.
It definitely took some tinkering, but I found three key steps in my skincare routine to fade these pesky flaws. Here are three crucial steps to include in your daily routine to help look your flawless self, and some products to go along with them.
Be careful with this one. Proper research is needed for how much you need and how often, otherwise you can get peeling and dry skin. That being said, retinol is the holy grail of anti-aging and fading dark spots. A derivative of Vitamin A, retinol brightens the skin and encourages cell turnover, and those top layers of your skin are often what makes scarring seem so obvious. Retinol can be pretty pricey to include on your skincare routine, but it’s so, so worth it.
Recommended product: Murad Retinol Youth Renewal Serum, $89
2) Chemical peels
This one sounds intimidating, but it really isn’t. I made the switch from physical exfoliators (sugar granules, beads, shell pieces, etc) to chemical exfoliators last year, and the difference in my skin is astounding. There are two really good ways to go about this: peeling gels for daily or every other day use, and then a more intense, concentrated solution for once a week. Peeling gels are designed to combine with oil and loose skin, and removing both as it rinses off. Chemical peels will utilize AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) and/or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) to loosen dead skin and speed up cell turnover.
Recommended products: Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel, $11.43 and The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, $7.20
I don’t just mean any old moisturizing: you need intense moisture that sits on your skin and takes time to sink in. Oily skin, dry, normal? It doesn’t matter. Having thick, yet breathable moisturizer sitting on your skin for several minutes insures that all those crucial ingredients are properly delivered. Don’t shy away from heavy moisturizers. They help so much.
Recommended product: BX Glow Hydra-Cream with Cannabis, $46
There’s no need to stress over those pesky scars. The skincare we need is out there to help get our skin back to speed again. Do you struggle with dark spots and scarring? What are your best tips?