THERE ARE ways to erase dreaded pimple scars without undergoing drastic measures. Also, learn to be a dark-skinned beauty by wearing the right kind of makeup.
I was ravaged with pimples before and developed some scars over time. What do you suggest I do to fade scars?—Herac Elbina
Pimple scars are different for everyone. Some may develop blemishes that lighten in a short amount of time, while in others, scars may take months to disappear.
They vary on a case-by-case basis, but rest assured all scars heal over time. They all become lighter and less obvious even if you’ve experienced a bad case of acne.
One way to prevent pimple scars from forming is to not touch your face. Time and again we’ve heard it from our moms and read it in magazines: Acting as our own derma will only make matters worse. Our nails, fingers or whatever you use to prick your face are not sterile, and using them on your zits will only lead to infection and scarring.
The most you can do is treat the affected area with pimple-zapping salicylic acid or tea tree oil and leave it alone. However, if you think you’re suffering from serious acne, head straight to a dermatologist.
To fade pimple scars, I have found that glycolic acid is quite effective. Also known as AHA or alphahydroxy acid, glycolic acid renews skin by sloughing away dead skin cells. It improves the condition of acne-prone skin and reduces scars with consistent use. It also works well with mature skin as it minimizes fine lines and age spots.
But before you reach for any product containing glycolic acid, it is smart to consult a dermatologist to make sure you use it correctly. Anyway, the ingredient is most commonly used in facials, so you can ask a skin specialist about it.
If you get the go-signal from your derma, she may give you one you can apply at home, which is just as effective. Or she may recommend a different treatment for you, one that will work better for your skin.
But if you don’t have the time to see a dermatologist, some over-the-counter creams can work just as well, but over a longer period of time. Ingredients like vitamin K and lavender essential oil can reduce the appearance of acne scars.
Vitamin K has been known to lighten redness caused by broken blood vessels and treat minor burns and scars. Lavender, meanwhile, has a soothing and calming effect on skin and can also heal blemishes and burns.
Creams, serums or oils containing these ingredients can be found in most beauty counters and drugstores. They will probably take around six to eight weeks to lighten, depending on how active the vitamin K or lavender is in the formula.
Do you have any makeup tips or suggestions for dark or tanned skin?—Joanne Patrice
If you were born with naturally tan skin, consider yourself lucky. With all the other ladies who strive to be white, your beauty will stand out. Not only is your skin color distinct and sultry, it takes days of tanning and painful sunburns for other women to achieve what has come naturally to you.
Makeup should be all about enhancing what you’ve got, and since you want to show off your beautiful complexion, bronzer, shimmer and gold makeup are your best bets. Gold and shimmery powders will give you an enviable bronze color, so stock up on these.
But before making any purchase, it is essential to choose the correct shade of foundation and powder first. This may seem basic, but most of us don’t seem to give this enough importance. Dusky girls, especially, should make this their priority, as too pale makeup is very obvious on dark skin.
Consider the different undertones: Tanned skin is not just brown or dark brown. Skin tones can come in yellow (chinita); green (olive-skinned) or red (dark mestiza). And the only way to get it right is to try as many shades against each other along your cheek and jawbone. The shade that disappears into your skin is the correct tone and color.
Once you get that in order, you can start selecting your bronzer (it should only be two shades darker than your skin tone) and learn how to apply it. Sweep bronzer wherever the sun would naturally hit your face, which means the apples of your cheeks, along the jaw line and along the hairline. And choose a shimmery finish to give you a golden glow, or matte powder to gently contour your face.