• The Get It Issue

    Some Scars Are Cool. Some Scars Are a Pain in the Ass.

    The Get It Issue
    March 2016 masque up 002

    Masque Up

    Some Scars Are Cool. Some Scars Are a Pain in the Ass.

    When I was a kid, a rotten neighborhood boy attacked me with a tree branch, leaving me with a scar across the right side of my face. There’s zero sentimental value in being assaulted by a terrible kid, but there is value in watching your mom scare the life out of him afterwards and realizing you don’t have to take shit from any boy. The resulting scar – what some might see as an imperfection – is a memory that happens to be scattered across my face. The scar I hold in such high regard was bound to fade with time, as scars do, but thanks to my skincare routine you won't see it unless I point it out. However, some scars carry memories that don’t need to be relived, and erasing them with the help of serums and concealers is a godsend.

    I’ll narrow the methods I’ve tried into two parts: short term and long term. Long term methods include treatments like masks, chemical peels, and creams that erase scars or discoloration (including hyperpigmentation) forever. Short term fixes are temporary and are all about covering up, concealing, and camouflaging whatever skin concern you might have.

    Long Term

    Natural methods for healing and minimizing scars include cocoa butter and turmeric masks that leave you glowing while reducing discoloration over time. These are very gentle products, however I like to bring out the heavy hitters: chemical peels and scar creams, and serums. I’ve sung the praises of vitamin C serums before because they are highly effective in reducing scars quickly, if used consistently. Chemical peels are more aggressive. Consult an esthetician who will be able to help identify whatever skin conditions you might have and suggest the chemical peel that’s best suited for your skin type. But if forking over $30 to $100+ for a facial seems like madness, and you’ve passed the novice stage of your skincare journey and feel confident that you know your skin and can follow directions, try an at-home chemical peel. There’s a myriad of chemical peels to try, but my personal favorite is mandelic acid because it’s the most gentle for dark skin. Along with religious use of vitamin C infused products and sunscreen, using a mandelic acid peel 1-2 times per week (as instructed) faded my sunspots and evened my complexion within 8 weeks.

    Short Term

    If the thought of rubbing acids on your face is scary (They’re fine! Really!) or you’re wondering what to do while you’re waiting for your skin to get it together, you can simply color correct and conceal. Color correcting is when you use makeup to cancel out the pigment in a scar. My scars are usually very dark with a bluish hue to them. Peach or orange color correctors cancel out the darkness, making the spot easier to hide. My color correctors of choice are the Prep + Prime Highlighter in Peach Lustre and the Studio Conceal and Correct Palette in Dark both from MAC Cosmetics. New color correcting products seem to be released every day from low and high end brands, use whatever makes sense for you. You’ll want to color correct before you apply foundation and focus on blending the color corrector in well with your fingers (or try a damp beauty blender) around any troublesome areas including scars, under eye circles, and darkness around the mouth. Blending will prevent blotchiness. After applying your foundation you may notice that your trouble areas are completely gone, but if not that’s ok. My dark circles are resilient and require concealer even after color correcting, just not as much, which is another benefit of color correcting: you don’t have to cake on makeup, so your skin still looks like skin. My tried and true concealer is NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer because it’s light and will not budge once it’s dry. A frugal alternative is the LA Girl HD Pro concealer. Apply with a light hand to spots that are still noticeable, and blend out. You look good, right? Set with a translucent powder so your face doesn’t slide off when you start sweating from heat or anxiety, and you’ll be fine for the rest of the day. No “imperfections” shall prosper.

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