Your skin type is made up of many different factors, one of which is pigment. Darker skin is no more prone to breakouts of acne than lighter skin, but more skin pigment can pose unique challenges in treating them. Treatments that work for people with lighter complexions may be ineffective or may even make the problem worse. You may wish to opt for an alternative method, such as oil based acne treatment, that may help to combat both the breakout and its aftereffects.
The Peril of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
For many people with darker skin, acne is only part of the problem. The initial inflammation caused by one or more pimples can lead to the formation of dark spots that remain on your skin even after the blemishes clear up. This phenomenon is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
PIH occurs when your body responds to the inflammation that a breakout can cause by sending melanin to the area. Melanin is the scientific word for skin pigment. When your body contains more skin pigment, it may send too much melanin in response to the inflammation caused by acne. The excess melanin may lead to the lingering dark spots characteristic of PIH that may remain in the long term.
The Danger of Common Acne Treatments
Many people turn to topical acne treatments, such as benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and salicylic acid, for help with breakouts. However, while these treatments can be effective, they may also increase your risk for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
When applied incorrectly, the chemicals in common acne treatments can actually cause further skin irritation. The irritation may, in turn, cause the body to send more excess melanin to the problem area, and PIH can result.
Aggressive topical acne treatments can also increase your risk for keloid scarring if you have darker skin. Keloids are dark-coloured, thick raised scars on the skin. People with darker complexions are at greater risk for keloids because their skin contains more fibroblasts, which are the cells that produce collagen. Fibroblasts are helpful for preventing wrinkles, but they can also go overbroad in trying to reverse skin irritation, and keloids can result. In the interest of avoiding PIH and keloids, it may be better to substitute the best vegan face wash for chemical-based topical treatments.
The Benefit of Oil-Based Treatment
Since excess skin oil is often the culprit behind breakouts, using oil-based treatment to combat acne may seem counterintuitive. However, not all oils are created equal, and some can actually help your skin.
Acne oil contains linoleic acid, which works on your acne in two ways: it fights the bacteria that can cause breakouts, and it soothes the redness and irritation that can lead to hyperpigmentation issues. You can apply it to problem spots that you feel may develop into pimples and prevent the blemish before it starts, thus potentially avoiding post-breakout problems altogether.
Traditional acne treatments may strip your skin of its naturally occurring oils that help it stay hydrated. This can cause your skin to dry out, which may pose a whole set of additional problems. Oil-based treatment can help restore the natural balance and help your skin stay healthier as a result.
People with all different complexions can benefit from organic skincare. Find out more about the unexpected benefits of oil-based treatments.