Many times during a person’s life, their skin will change. Even newborn babies deal with skin concerns like milia, cradle cap, and baby acne – the cycle follows us throughout our lives. While adult acne is rarer than teen acne, learning skincare essentials during your teenage years is key to taking care of your skin for a lifetime. As you enter your tween and teen years, or if you are the parent of a teenager battling acne, there are some skincare steps and essential products to get your complexion back to where you want it. It’s important to remember that acne affects 9 out of 10 teenagers, so don’t let it affect your self-esteem; keep reading to learn the skincare essentials that will save your complexion.
Moisturize Your Skin
No matter your age, you should moisturize your skin – from birth to the elderly, our skin (the body’s largest organ) requires frequent hydration the way the rest of our body does. You want to apply a light moisturizer every morning and evening; a light, oil-free moisturizer prevents clogging your pores and can also prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles. This may not worry teenagers, but this simple practice of hydrating the skin twice a day can save you the need for more intensive wrinkle treatments as you age.
The hormonal fluctuations in your teenage years are one of the biggest factors for acne. Hormonal changes cause an excessive build-up of oil and sweat, which traps dirt, makeup remnants, and environmental toxins within your skin cells. A trusted acne cleanser is imperative to giving your skin a deep cleaning and controlling oil production. Find a cleanser with salicylic acid to get the most benefits.
While an acne cleanser is essential to healthy teenage skin, the way you wash your face is equally important. Make sure you’re not scrubbing too harshly; instead, use gentle and circular motions. You must reach every area of your face, not just your T-zone (the center of your face). If you’re worried about getting your hair wet while cleansing your face, invest in a headband to wear while you wash your face. Lastly, ensure you’re washing your face (gently) both morning and evening.
While countless exfoliating scrubs are available in drug stores, it’s better to invest in gentle exfoliators instead. Exfoliation is important because it reveals new, fresh skin cells underneath, which helps with acne and skin appearance and texture – but, as mentioned earlier, you want to avoid harsh scrubbing. Purchase exfoliating cleansers or serums that can be applied daintily to your skin and start slow – once a week exfoliation in the beginning and slowly build up to twice a week.
While studies are important, so is having fun when you’re a teenager. When heading out with your friends, the last thing on your mind is probably putting SPF (sun protection factor) on your face, but this is the number one recommended tip from dermatologists for healthy, glowing skin. You should wear a facial SPF every day, year-round, whether the sun is shining or not.
See a Dermatologist
Talk to your parents about booking an appointment with a dermatologist if you still need to see one. A dermatologist is a doctor that specializes in skin issues and treating them. Dermatologists can help you identify your skin type and the best way to care for your skin. They can also prescribe oral and topical medications that can help your skin concerns, from acne to hyperpigmentation. Think of your dermatologist relationships as the same healthy check-up you do once or twice a year with your regular doctor or dentist.
Taking care of your skin in your teens will pay off for a lifetime; creating a daily skincare routine with the above essentials will help you transition your products and routines as you age and your skin’s needs fluctuate. It would help if you also got in the habit of taking care of your lips through lip balm. Throw some in your backup and apply throughout the day and, if nothing else, at night before bedtime. Hand cream is essential, too, as it provides the required moisturization to keep your hands youthful well into your fifties and sixties.