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How to Use Clay for Acne Scars

by | Last updated Sep 2, 2020 | Published on Sep 2, 2020 | FAQ | 0 comments

Since the age of queen Cleopatra, clay masks have been dominating the skincare regimens for its never-ending benefits. Improving complexion, tightening pores- it can fix “everything.”

And I get asked all the time, “will clay help with acne scars?”  

I know, acne scars are the second most annoying thing on this whole planet (of course, acne itself is the first one, duh!). 

Before we can answer this question, let’s figure out what “type” of acne scar you are dealing with. 

Because yes, you can get rid of some types of acne scars you have been hiding just by using CLAY MASKS! 

Not all clay is the same, so at the end we will also look at which type of clay mask is best for acne scars. 

At a glance,

How are acne scars formed?

Acne scars are formed following a inflamed breakout of a pimple that swells and damages the tissue beneath it.  The scar is a result of your body producing collagen to repair the inflammation.

What are the types of acne scarring?

Most people mistake acne scarring with post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. In simple terms, dark spots.  But acne scars are in the form of shallow depressions (atrophic scars) or raised scars (keloid scars).

How can clay help to get rid of acne scars ?

Clay masks help with the root of the problem, acne prone skin.  To aid in reducing the acne scars, first reduce the acne. Clay will reduce the time of the pimple, therefore resulting in less tissue damage. Clay masks will not help with severe acne scars but will help with hyperpigmentation by exfoliating the skin to increasing cell turnover.

The quick answer is above. But I believe in education about what you are experiencing.

Below we will discuss in detail forms of acne scarring, with pictures.  As well as at home treatments, and which type of clay mask to choose.

How to Use Clay for Acne Scars 1

Why and how acne scars form

Believe it or not, your acne scars are the proof of your body’s natural healing response.

Your scars tell a story,

Acne scars are usually the results of inflamed lesions such as cysts, pumpless[1]. When a pimple pops out, the pore swells and damages the tissue beneath it. So your body, being your protector (aww!), tries to repair the inflammation by producing collagen[2].

You are not alone.

Acne scarring occurs in 95% of all people with acne[1].

The scars occur if it produces too little or too much collagen[3]. Also, the rapture of the blood vessels can lead to dark spots or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation[4].

Not everyone is thinking of the same thing when we are talking about acne scars.

There’s the dark spots caused by post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (like below). Good news, these will fade and repair with time.  

Pro tip: proper sun protection helps the healing of this hyper pigmentation.

How to Use Clay for Acne Scars 2

Yes, your body is smart, but the healing is not always perfect. If the inflammation goes too deep, the recovery gets even more messy, leading to deep scars. 

Deep acne scars that look like these tend to be more permanent. 

How to Use Clay for Acne Scars 3

There’s not just one type of acne scar either.  A couple different types of acne scars include: 

  • atrophic scars (shallow depressions)
    • boxcar scars
    • ice pick scars
    • rolling scars
  • keloid scars (raised scar)

More severe acne scars can look like this:  

How to Use Clay for Acne Scars 4

How to get rid of acne scars?

The first step to take is to address the acne prone skin. You can’t start working on acne scars until you have stopped the cause of them.

For the acne scars, there’s good and bad news here.

The good news first, clay can help with acne hyperpigmentation. Remember, that’s those dark spots after a pimple. Below I have recommendations on what type of clay to use for these dark spots.

The bad news, acne scarring can be difficult to get rid of.  

A dermatologist recommends these type of skin resurfacing treatments:

  • chemical peels
  • dermabrasion
  • dermal fillers
  • laser therapy
  • microneedling

There are some home treatments you can start with:

How can clay masks help to get rid of acne scars?

Clay masks can help to smooth away the existing hyperpigmentation and prevent future spots to form as well. 

One of the benefits of the clay mask is, it exfoliates the skin by increasing cell renewal. A rapid cell regeneration rate helps to reduce hyperpigmentation by removing the damaged outer layers fast[5]. Thus a long term use of clay masks will not only remove the dark spots but can minimize the “not so pretty” deeper scars also. 

But wait, you also have to make sure new scars are not forming. Acne scar development relies on the extent and duration of skin inflammation[6]. As most of the clay masks have anti-inflammatory properties, they can prevent the swelling from spreading, resulting in less tissue damage, woohoo! 

Also, clay masks absorb the excess sebum from the pores and prevent breakouts even before they begin. Therefore, no pimples = no scars!


Which clay masks are the best for fading scars?

Although, there are plenty of clay masks are available in the market, some clay masks work better than others to get rid of acne scars.

Types of clay that you might already be familiar with are:

  • kaolin clay
  • bentonite clay
  • rhassoul clay
  • fullers earth clay
  • french green clay

You can try most of these clay with our clay mask assortment pack.

There are 2 types of clay that are my particular favorite for acne prone skin, bentonite and french green clay.

Bentonite Clay

Remember the most popular guy in your class? Bentonite has that reputation and it has valid reasons to be. The clay removes the darker dead cells on blemished skin due to its extraordinary exfoliating nature.

But here is the kicker: The clay acts like a magnet when it comes to taking toxins out. When mixed with water, Bentonite forms a negative charge. This charge attracts toxins (including bacteria, fungus) and prevents acne inflammation from spreading.

Read more: the science behind how clay works.

Want to know the best part? The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Bentonite also help your inflamed skin to heal quickly[7].

Related: Best 9 Bentonite Clay Mask Recipes

French Green Clay

French green clay can be your go-to clay for two reasons.  First, the clay gets activated while mixing with water and binds with the toxin pretty strong. Hence it can prevent more profound tissue damage from acne inflammation.

Second, the French green clay restores the minerals to the skin, which enhances the function of the skin barrier[8]. And a healthy skin barrier can fight against the tissue damage better and revitalize properly.

This gentle clay is excellent for increasing cell turnover too. A healthy barrier with almost no tissue damage, do you really need more reasons to use it? 

Read more: 8 french green clay recipes

The bottom line,

Yes, you can reduce the appearance of acne hyperpigmentation. But you need to use the right clay for that.

However, if your scars are too deep, it’s always recommended to visit a dermatologist.

Disclaimer: Our content does not constitute a dermatologist or medical advice.

Featured Clay Recipes:

Bentonite Clay Mask Recipes
How to Use Clay for Acne Scars 5

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