Teenagers have a lot to deal with. Their friends, schoolwork, parents, and social life can all cause them stress. But ask a teenager about what really bothers them and you may be surprised by the answer. One of the things high on a teenager’s worry list is their skin.
The hormonal changes that occur during the teen years tend to cause an increased production of oil (sebum) which can lead to breakouts. Kids that had normal to dry skin before puberty are likely to see occasional pimples and kids whose skin was already a bit oily will often suffer significant skin problems. Although virtually all teenagers will see some changes in their skin, with proper care, breakouts can be kept to a minimum.
Cleansing is an important step in skin care, especially for teenagers. Choose a cleanser that breaks down the oil without stripping the skin of all oils. Harsh cleansers tend to increase the skin’s natural production of oil, making the situation worse. If you are prone to acne, look for a wash that includes salicylic acid to control oil production and benzoyl peroxide to treat pimples. If your skin is sensitive or a bit on the dry side, it can be helpful to use cleansing products that contain soothing ingredients such as aloe vera.
Wash your face with tepid, not hot water and be sure to rinse well. Residue left on the skin can block pores, causing additional breakouts. Pat the skin dry, rather than rubbing, and follow up with a toner, if necessary. For most people, washing the face twice a day should be sufficient; if your skin is especially oily, three times may be better.
Protect Your Skin
Unless your skin is terribly oily, use a light moisturiser every day. Products that treat acne can be a bit drying, so choose an oil-free moisturiser to replenish your skin’s moisture balance.
Sun is very damaging to your skin and can cause skin cancer. Always use sunscreen before heading outdoors, even for short periods of time. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of applying sunscreen every day as part of your morning routine. If you will be outside for an extended time, be sure to reapply your sunscreen regularly.
There are a number of effective acne treatments available for mild to moderate acne. Be sure to choose one that contains benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as a spot treatment. Start with a mild concentration and if necessary, you can switch to one that is a little stronger. Although most acne will respond well to over the counter treatments, some severe cases require the help of a dermatologist. Doctors can offer a variety of options, from medication to laser treatments that can help to clear up even the most stubborn cases of acne.
Dos and Don’ts
- Keep your skin clean.
- Spot and treat pimples.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water.
- Keep your hair clean and pulled away from your face. Dirty hair can transfer oils onto the skin.
- Pop a pimple! Squeezing a blemish can lead to scarring; it will clear up on its own in a few days.
- Wash your face with harsh cleansers or those that contain bits of rough material designed to slough off skin cells. Gentle is better.
- Worry too much. Everyone experiences occasional breakouts.