Legal Practice,  Work Life Balance

Fading Acne Scars and Spots

About two years ago, I suddenly started dealing with massive acne issues.  Ok, I’m exaggerating, but I cruised past my teens and most of my twenties with hardly any issues with acne so imagine my surprise (and horror) when I started dealing with continuous breakouts. It just was a new problem with which I had little experience.  Apparently, as we age we may continue (or start) to fight bouts of acne because of the different hormone fluctuations.  It also doesn’t help that we have the added stress of an often hectic lawyer lifestyle that increases our chances of acne breakouts.  It’s a really vicious cycle.

For those working on their executive presence, one aspect is how you look. Being fresh-faced and confident in how you look can really transcend into the confidence you exude at work. It’s hard to be seen as a confident, competent adult if it looks like you’re still having problems with issues that many dealt with as teens. So it may really be worthwhile to attempt to fix the problem if you think it’s negatively affecting your overall self-esteem or perception others may have of you.

While there are lots of ways to combat acne, one problem that is really hard to overcome are the dark spots that acne blemishes leave in their wake. These dark spots are  like bruises that form under skin from the blemish–even when you don’t pick at the spot, it can (and likely will) leave a dark spot, and they tend to last a long time.  It can be worse for darker skin tones because we are more susceptible to longer lasting, darker spots.

fading acne scars

Last year, when I started having a major breakout, I finally ran to my dermatologist and she recommended an OTC, Ambi Fade Cream.  Obviously, talk to your doctor or whatever, but this was my holy grail in getting my face back on track.

Ambi Fade Cream is not a sexy product.  It looks like medicine and you can’t even leave it out in some cute way because it’s in a big, lumpy, brown tube.  So, it won’t win best product packaging anytime soon.  Ambi has various skin care products, and this one is specifically for reducing scars/blemishes.  They have different compositions for various skin types, but I just got the tube for normal skin.

It’s a cream, without scent, and it contains hydroquinone.  Hydroquinone actually stops skin from producing color (science is crazy). Essentially, the cream cuts down the wait time on how long the spot will last.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it helps the fading happen faster. However, because of its composite, you have to be super careful about applying the cream.  I use a q-tip and put a light layer over the the marks right before bed (I use it only at night).  I also make sure to not use it for months at a time. It’s just something I use to help the fading occur, and then I stop the application and let the rest of the fading occur naturally.

Some caveats:

Hydroquinone is actually banned in some countries because some studies found there was a possible link to cancer.  In the U.S. products that are OTC can contain only up to 2%, anything else must be prescribed by a doctor, but it was almost banned in 2006.  It seems that the risk occurs when it’s used for overall skin lightening and thus the chemical is used on the skin in a more long-term basis and because it changes your melanin it makes you more vulnerable to UV rays.  So take precaution and if you’re more into the natural route, this may not be for you. However, my doctor didn’t make a fuss about the hydro because she knew I was using it on small parts of my skin, only at night, coupled with SPF in the morning, and only for a limited time (2 months tops).

In the end, I trust my doctor and the low amount that I’m applying isn’t enough to make me feel worried.  I’m really pleased with the product and would use it again (in the previously mentioned limited ways).

What are your go-to products for skin care?

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