I love every scar I have. Some hold memories of certain times in my life, while others remind me that I have some control over my health and can cut out what might try to hurt me (I've had, like, a ton of moles removed). But even though they are always welcome, I still want to make sure my scars heal as well as they can. A couple of tips my dermatological surgeon has given me are to avoid stretching the wound site as it heals as this can morph the scar shape, and to keep the area moisturized to promote the healing process. But what types of natural products and ingredients should you use to keep scars moisturized and encourage healing? NYC-based esthetician, Jordana Mattioli, filled me in on some of the best options.
According to Mattioli, "There's no one specific method or superstar ingredient that is best for scarring. You want to use a range of skin healing, repairing, and anti-inflammatory ingredients." She also stresses the importance of always wearing sunscreen or otherwise covering your scar outdoors while it is healing. Because the skin in this area is more fragile, sun exposure "will darken the scar and make it harder to heal," explains Mattioli. So your scar can heal quickly and well, in addition to protecting it from the sun, try keeping it moisturized and treated with some of these natural ingredients:
One way to help keep your scars moisturized while promoting healing at the same time is with an oil. Mattioli recommends looking for one high in omegas and linoleic acids like rosehip, grape seed, or wheat germ oil, as these have skin-repairing and regenerating properties.
Just like vitamins are important for keeping the rest of your body healthy, they also help your skin stay in tip-top shape. For scars in particular, Mattioli suggests using topical versions of vitamins C, E, and A. These will help speed wound healing and protect your skin from further damage, she says.
Many scar products feature quercetin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine effects, says Mattioli. If you don't want to use a scar-specific treatment, look for this ingredient in other topical creams that you can use in your skin-care routine or on other areas of your body as well.
If your scar needs soothing in addition to hydration, try using a bit of honey, suggests Mattioli. Not only will this keep the area calm, but honey's antibacterial properties can also help keep the area clean and protected.
5. Shea Butter
For a boost of moisture and nourishment, pure shea butter will also work as a scar treatment. According to Mattioli, the fatty acids found in shea butter work to replenish and soften the skin, keeping your scar site healthy and hydrated.
While any combo of these ingredients should help your scar heal, if you're unsure about using certain ingredients or combinations of products, be sure to talk to your doctor or dermatologist about what will work best for you.