What You Need to Know About Taking Care of Teenage Skin
Teenagers are going through a lot. They’re balancing school, sports, friends, maybe a job, and of course all the changes their bodies are going through. Which means their skin care routine is probably not the first thing on their minds. But as I’m sure you know, they’ll want to start good skin care habits sooner versus later.
The common teenage skin care concerns are acne (of course), dealing with excessively oily skin, and starting a skin care routine that they can stick to so their skin will be more balanced, happy, and healthy. Let’s talk about how we can deal with all of this.
What Makes Teenage Skin Different?
Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to talk about why teenage skin is different from your average adult’s.
For starters, teenagers are going through a lot of bodily changes, including a change in hormones. And as their hormone levels fluctuate, so does their skin. Some teens might experience a spot or two when they’re close to their period, while others might experience more regular acne, and even more serious (and frustrating) cystic acne. Speaking from personal experience here, cystic acne is not fun, but with the right skin care, it can be remedied.
And, whether we like it or not, teenagers are busy, and they’re not always health conscious. Which means they might choose to stay up all night instead of getting some sleep, they might pick a sugary snack instead of a green juice, and they’re probably not as concerned with hitting the gym. While we should always let kids be kids, these lifestyle habits, in combination with their hormone changes, will influence how a teenager’s skin looks and feels.
But the good news is acne prone, excessively oily, and unbalanced skin doesn’t have to be an issue. When teenagers can start good skin care habits sooner rather than later with gentle, soothing products, they’ll be right on their way to happy skin.
Debunking Common Teenage Skin Care Myths
When I was a teenager, I believed a lot of things about my skin that simply weren’t true, and they got in the way of properly taking care of my skin. So your teen doesn’t make the same mistake, let’s debunk these myths once and for all.
Myth 1: Oily and acne prone skin doesn’t need to be moisturized
This is mistake number one, and it’s really common among teenagers. They see their shiny, oily skin, and their acne, and they think the key is to remove the oil. And they’re not totally wrong – excess oil can lead to acne, but when we remove our skin’s moisture, all it does is ramp up oil production. Which leads to more oily skin, and worst of all, it becomes super unbalanced.
They key here is to find a light, soothing moisturizer that leaves your entire face feeling comfortable.
And you don’t have to use an oil free formula. The one product that I recommend for all skin types is the Acure Organics Argan Oil – when I started using this, I had super oily, congested, and irritated skin. By applying this healing, nourishing oil regularly, my skin became much more balanced and less irritated, and eventually, the congestion and acne eased up too!
Myth 2: Oily and acne prone skin is caused by poor hygiene
Adults used to tell me my acne was caused by poor hygiene. Seriously. I was told to shower more, wash my hair more, and cleanse my face two or three times a day.
But that’s not at all good for our skin. And it’s not how acne works. Acne isn’t caused by dirt. It’s caused by a lot of other things, but not dirt. Washing your skin more can actually strip your skin of its natural oils, which means your skin will have to increase oil production, leading to more oily skin. And after all that, your skin is likely to be irritated and unbalanced, which we don’t want.
So if your teen has oily and acne prone skin, don’t tell them to shower more. Instead, encourage them to use a nourishing makeup remover at night and a light, gentle, creamy cleanser in the morning. Cleansing twice a day is just right for your teen’s skin – it will give them a chance to properly cleanse and clean their skin without stripping away their natural (and necessary) oils.
Myth 3: Popping pimples will help them heal faster
Unfortunately, we often do more damage when we pop or pick at our skin. A common issue with picking at our skin is creating acne scars, which can fade over time – but let me tell you, they don’t ever go away for good. I know it’s hard not to, but it’s truly best for your teen’s skin to leave it alone and let it do its thing. If they need help remembering this, grab an expo marker and get them to write a reminder on their bathroom mirror. It works like a charm!
What’s important is that you help your teen create a simple skin care routine they can stick with. With a consistent skin care routine, even when they get a spot, their skin will be able to heal itself, because they’ll be using skin care products that support their skin.
Top 5 Teenage Skin Care Tips (From Someone Who’s Been There)
I’ve dealt with acne all my life. I’m twenty two and I still deal with a spot here and there. So I know first hand, it’s not fun, especially when you’re a teenager. But it doesn’t have to be the worst thing ever. Now that we’ve debunked some teenage skin care myths, let’s talk about the five things your teen should do for their skin.
- Use a simple, three step skin care routine – a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. And stick with this routine – changing things up frequently can cause irritation.
- Protect skin with an SPF cream every day – use this after or instead of a regular moisturizer.
- Use an exfoliant, followed by a clarifying or moisturizing mask once per week. No more!
- If they wear makeup, opt for natural alternatives where possible. Make sure to encourage them to remove makeup at night and give their skin a day or two per week without it.
- Drink lots of water to hydrate from the inside.
I know taking care of teenage skin can be a little tricky, but if you avoid those pesky skin care myths and focus on soothing and balancing skin, it will be so worth it.
How are you helping your teen take care of their skin?
Sarah Price is the social media manager for Well.ca. When she’s not posting to Instagram, she’s running a skincare blog and creating content for green beauty brands.