Get flawless skin with these natural remedies to heal scars from our beauty editor at large Emma Van Hinsbergh
I’m quite fond of my scars. While my skin is no longer the flawless blank canvas it once was, each mark and blemish is a bit of history written on my body; a map of my life, so to speak.
There’s a big difference, however, between a couple of feathery white souvenirs of adventures past and angry red scars that can really shatter your confidence if they refuse to fade. Luckily, help is at hand and there are loads of natural ways to help your body to heal itself and minimise the damage.
Scars are formed when a wound develops fibrous connective tissue to heal damage or trauma to the skin. “Scarring is the body stitching itself back up and it does this quickly and in a haphazard fashion to seal the wound and prevent bacterial infection,’ explains Danielle Berends, naturopath and founder of I Love Skin. “There are various elements that will affect how a scar heals: size and depth of the original wound, age and nutritional status of the patient, level of inflammation and how quickly the wound heals.”
Your diet, of course, is key to speedy healing on your skin. Collagen is made from protein, but its production depends on vitamin C, found in foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and broccoli. Another top scar-zapper is vitamin A, which helps to prevent inflammation. Find it in eggs, dairy products and yellow, orange and dark green leafy vegetables.
Finally, load up with zinc to help collagen creation and iron to oxygenate the blood. Both minerals are found in protein and also in wholegrains. If you’re a smoker, you need to quit immediately as it depletes your body of essential skin-healing nutrients.
When it comes to topical healing, many plants, herbs and seeds have fantastic skinstrengthening properties and traditional remedies include aloe vera gel, vitamin E and rosehip oil. Danielle uses a restorative combination of anti-inflammatory rosehip, collagen-boosting sea buckthorn, antioxidantrich calendula and cell-rejuvenating carrot root in her gorgeous Scar Oil. She also uses essential oils of lavender, neroli, frankincense, sage, rosemary and helichrysum, all of which work holistically to support skin repair.
Silicone gel sheeting such as Dermatix strips (£13.09, dermatix.co.uk) are brilliant at flattening and fading scars especially after surgery – they worked wonders after my C-section. You need to use them for at least two or three months to start seeing results.
If you’re looking to fade older scars, salon treatments really come into their own here. Micro-needling uses tiny needles to puncture the surface of the skin and trigger a healing response. For mild facial scars such as those caused by acne, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing and clinical peels can, over a period of time, leave skin smooth and blemish-free.
Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins to regenerate skin. £19.99, hollandandbarrett.com
Scar Oil is a 100 percent natural, concentrated formula to accelerate healing and reduce scar formation. £19.20, iloveskin.co.uk
Heal Gel Intensive contains organic silicon, arnica and hexapeptides for blemish-free skin. £37.50, victoriahealth.com
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