Brought to you by your friendly Skin Guru
No time like the present!
Educate your teen sooner than later about the importance of prevention
in regard to keeping beautiful, healthy skin for a lifetime.
Oh, those wonderful teen years when everything changes, not just for your son or daughter, but also for you as their parent. With the emotional ups and downs, or not—if you’re one of the lucky ones ☺–
Without a doubt, hormonal changes will come during teen years, and these changes can greatly impact skin. Your teen may be blessed with beautiful, flawless skin, but literally overnight, things can change.
Acne can be very troubling and emotional for anyone, but especially for teens. Acne is difficult for the sufferer, and highly misunderstood by anyone who hasn’t been plagued by the condition. Because acne is often wrongly assumed to be a “hygiene issue,” sufferers often feel judged, hopeless, embarrassed, and may become isolated and depressed. There are different kinds and root causes of acne. Teens may notice more imbalances in the skin, be it dryness or an excess in oil production.
The onset of puberty and hormonal imbalance are often huge factors in cystic, chronic, and very likely painful acne. Should your teen be suffering, seeing a dermatologist as soon as possible to receive a proper diagnosis for the acne type and to get started on a treatment plan is highly recommended. There may be a more serious underlying, contributing condition that needs to be addressed.
First and foremost, it’s very important to advise your children about the dangers of strong sun and tanning beds, and to stress regular use of sunscreen (or sunblock, when required).
My favorite Sunscreen SPF 30
No matter what skin type, race, or nationality, skin cancer does not discriminate, can be swift, and is extremely lethal. Skin cancer rates in young people have been accelerating. A home care regimen is highly significant. In addition to sunscreen, your teen should get started on a simple system for preventive care, regardless of whether there are any obvious issues. Teens should be instructed how to properly apply product, for optimum benefit and to prevent waste.
Monitor the products they are using and the amount, especially if you observe any signs of sensitivity, such as redness or flaky skin. Teens commonly aggress and over-treat skin, especially when they are desperate for results. Caution them against too frequent use of harsh and extremely drying acne treatments. The skin may respond by producing excess oil in trying to correct the dryness, causing a huge mess of imbalance. Unless otherwise directed, pimples/acne at the surface should be treated on the spot versus the product being applied widespread. Just as with brushing teeth, teens may not be willing to put much time or energy into cleansing their skin or applying product. Important to note is that even if skin is considered oily, it must still be hydrated. One should always use a hydrating lotion or cream, no matter what skin type. Consistency will likely be the greatest challenge with the home care regiment. An expertly skilled Esthetician can also be beneficial for deep cleansing and extractions, as well as instruction in proper application technique.
Encouraging your teen to develop a regular cleansing routine is a great way to combat surface bacteria, which can lead to pimples/acne. Evening is the most significant time to give skin a thorough cleansing, removing all the dirt, bacteria, sweat, excess oil, and pollution from the day. Should your teen’s skin be extra oily, a good cleansing in the morning routine is essential. Anyone experiencing dryness issues may need to refrain from morning cleansing to prevent stripping the skin of the benefits of the skin’s own regenerative process and the immune system’s production of oil overnight in order to nourish and heal skin.
Should they feel uncomfortable skipping the step, they may choose to do a quick once-over, using a few splashes of warm water, followed by cool water to close the pores. Extremes of really hot or cold water can wreak havoc on the skin’s pH balance, a huge factor for healthy, beautiful skin.
Never scrub the skin; gently exfoliate. People will often scrub their skin, thinking they are being more thorough. The goal should be to exfoliate dead cells gently without abrasion of the skin. Scrubbing the skin or acne pustules is the worst thing one can do. Scrubbing can irritate, potentially damaging the skin by breaking capillaries; it can also promote imbalances between dry and oily areas, spread bacteria, and delay the healing process.
A battery-operated rotating brush is a great solution, as it can be thorough while controlling the amount of pressure. The very tip of the bristles should graze the skin so that the rotating brush head loosens the dead skin. The bristles of the brush head should never be pressed into the skin; causing the bristles to flex and bend defeats the purpose. There are dozens of rotating brushes on the market at varying prices. As with any purchase, stay within your budget and check out reviews before purchase. In my own experience I’ve had as much luck with a brush that cost around $30 as I’ve had with a higher priced unit. Replacement brush heads can be costly, so take the price of those into account when making the decision to purchase. Frequency of replacement depends on usage. Brush heads should be cleaned thoroughly, or if preferred, as in a professional setting, disinfected after each facial cleansing. You can soak brush heads in hot water with mild soap or use a Barbicide solution to ensure killing of all germs. Barbicide can be found at your local beauty supply store. Other than the use of rotating brushes or cleansing cloths, gentle circular (counter/clockwise) motions creating friction with the tips of the index and middle fingers, along with cleanser, is another great alternative method of exfoliating while cleansing.
Hands should always be clean before touching the face; this also pertains when cleansing or applying product. Stress the importance of hand washing . . . not just after the bathroom, but before and after eating, and periodically throughout the day, in order to prevent spread of disease or illness, not just acne. One of the most prevalent causes of acne is touching the face. Fingers contain all sorts of acne-causing bacteria. Touching rubbing, picking, or scratching the skin, or habits such as holding your head with your hands will not lead to good results. People often pick and squeeze acne lesions to the point of scarring, pressing the infection deeper into the skin layers, spreading it to other pores. In fact, perspiration while participating in sports and cardio activities isn’t as much a culprit leading to breakouts, as hands laden with bacteria being used to wipe sweat away. Encourage the carrying of a fresh hand towel during workouts or tucking one in the waistband during sports activities. Pillowcases should be changed often. Hair can also be a source of oil, and acts as a filter collecting pollution all day, so it’s not great to have it resting against the face/ Long, curly hair or bangs should be restrained during sleep hours using a headband or hair wrap. Should your teen use heavy hair products laden with fillers such as silicone, it may be a good idea to shower before bed to prevent pimples and milia from forming. Milia resembles whiteheads, but are actually hard deposits of keratin, or similar matter as found with hair product, encased under layers of dead skin. They are very persistent, may come in clusters, and can be very difficult and painful to extract. Watch out for those grimy cell phones too! Use antibacterial wipes to clean cell phones frequently.
The diet is vital to the health of the skin, just as it affects everything else. Highly antioxidant foods are the best bet for great skin and to help offset root causes of acne or autoimmune diseases and disorders of the skin. Sugar is especially considered to be the “devil” to skin and a trigger to many conditions. No revelation is that hydration is essential within, not just at the surface. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks can do wonders for the skin and promotes overall good health.
Adequate hydration helps healing of the body’s tissues. The fastest way to achieve radiance and that youthful glow is via water consumption.
Speaking of that “glow” . . . so many teens mistake youthful radiance for excess oil; therefore, they may excessively blot or powder down with heavy cosmetics stifling what is truly natural beauty. Makeup containing heavy pigments or ingredients to assist in achieving the matte appearance or for use of contouring can be extremely pore clogging and lead to acne. Thorough cleansing will be imperative when using these types of cosmetics. Makeup is now considered to be a form or artistry and can be a lot of fun to experiment with, especially when it’s for a special occasion. Should your teen choose to use cosmetics, encourage them to lighten up regularly to let skin breathe, and to embrace their natural radiance versus stifling it. There are may cosmetic lines on the market today that contain ingredients to promote healthy skin, in some cases, to double as treatment, so choose wisely. Do research to stay clear of toxins or cosmetic lines that still do testing of products on animals.
Your kids should be aware that skin should never be taken for granted as it’s the body’s first line of defense and should be observed as a most essential organ. Skin should always be well cared for and protected. It’s a no-brainer, especially with all we are blessed to be aware of in this day and age.
So, things to remind your teen are:
- Don’t forget the sunscreen.
- Stay consistent.
- Hands off the face.
- No scrubbing or picking.
- Drink more water. Axe the sugar.
- Eat your veggies and fruit.
- Lighten up on the makeup.
- Pimples and acne are not the end of the world; if treated properly, they won’t last.
- Most importantly, love yourself, no matter what!
Best of Luck!
*Please leave your skincare questions for the Skin Guru
in the comments below, she can’t wait to answer them!