Are you at the brink of your teens? It’s no surprise that acne breakouts and pimples have come knocking at your door. But you need not worry! Even though acne affects 9 out of 10 teenagers, it can be treated quickly because teen skin is resilient.
To save you the hassle, we bring you all the details about teen skin and tell you simple yet effective ways to take care of your teenage skin. Let’s begin with understanding your skin.
- Understanding The Difference Between Teen And Adult Skin
- The Importance Of Teen Skincare
- Skincare Tips For Teens
- What Are The Common Skin Problems Teenagers Face?
Understanding The Difference Between Teen And Adult Skin
When your body hits adolescence, it undergoes a series of transformations.
As a child, your skin frequently renews itself. However, as your teenage years begin, the frequency of renewal goes down. Generally, teenage skin is tougher and more resilient than that of children. However, at teenage, it is still elastic and is able to regenerate quickly.
The facial skin of teenagers reserves plenty of collagen (the most abundant protein in your body). But as you enter adulthood, the production of collagen decreases. This makes your skin prone to sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
In response to hormonal changes in your body, several skin problems develop. Perhaps the most notable change within your skin is the increased production of oil or sebum. Excessive build-up of oil and sweat traps dirt and remnants of makeup within your skin cells. This results in clogged pores and acne breakouts.
Adults, too, are not safe from acne breakouts. Although the frequency is less in adults, unless it is due to an underlying health condition or a poor diet. In adults, women are more likely to develop acne due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and menstruation. However, adults’ hormones tend to level off and become more consistent, which results in less severe forms of acne.
The Importance Of Teen Skincare
Good skin care should begin when you are in your teens and your body is already beginning to change dramatically. It can help you keep your skin in its best condition and stop premature aging from causing problems down the road.
An effective skin care routine is easy to implement. You just need the right products that suit your skin type, the correct techniques and the motivation to care for your skin every single day.
Skincare Tips For Teens
Here are few simple steps to healthy skin:
1. Use A Gentle Cleanser
To wash your face properly, use a cleanser that suits your skin type to avoid drying out your skin or causing irritation. Don’t scrub harshly; instead, use gentle, circular motions, making sure to reach every inch of your face.
Avoid using soap (unless it is specifically for washing face), as it can irritate the pores on your face and trigger acne and pimples.
If you have oily or normal/combination skin, use a daily cleanser that contains salicylic acid to control excessive oil production and increase hydration. Cleansers containing salicylic or lactic acid help in dissolving dirt and oil, thus unclogging the pores.
You can also take Vitamin A or Zinc supplements to control the sebum production and thereby lessen the occurrence of blackheads.
2. Moisturize Your Skin
Apply moisturizer twice daily to help keep your skin supple, hydrated and to prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles.
Make sure to use lightweight, oil-free moisturizer if you have oily skin in order to prevent clogging. You can use gel-based moisturizers too if your skin is prone to acne.
You can also choose a moisturizer that includes a broad-spectrum sunscreen to help protect your skin from the sun's rays. If you have sensitive skin, avoid moisturizers with added fragrance.
3. Exfoliate Once A Week
To avoid clogged pores that results from hormonal surges, keep your skin exfoliated. Look for products that contain clay as it has natural antiseptic and astringent properties.
Chemical exfoliators containing AHAs and salicylic acid are also a great way to clean deep into your pores.
You can use homemade scrubs too. To make a homemade scrub, simply mix sugar and honey. If your skin is sensitive, you can go for oatmeal mixed with honey and milk.
4. Treat Acne
While acne can occur at any age, teens are more likely to get acne breakouts due to hormonal changes.
Use sulfur cleansers and masks to dry out your skin. They tend to be gentler on the skin than salicylic acid.
Benzoyl peroxide face washes, creams, foams and gels are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. They are very helpful in acne treatment.
5. Protection From Sun Damage
Use a broad spectrum moisturizing sunscreen with zinc oxide (at least 7%) and an SPF of 30 or higher (depending on your skin pigmentation or color) for UVA and UVB coverage year-round.
If you are going outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and wide-brimmed hats to protect your skin from the harmful rays.
6. Take Care Of Your Lips
Just like your face, your lips need care too! Apply lip balm before going to bed.
You can also scrub your lips. Apply some cream on a baby toothbrush, wet your lips and then scrub gently with the brush for a minute. Wash it and apply lip balm.
7. Use Hand Cream
Put on a bit of hand cream if you have dry hands. Applying regularly, including morning and before going to bed will provide the required moisturization. Just make sure that you don't use excess cream, since it will make your hands oily and slippery.
8. Avoid Touching Your Face Frequently
Wash your hands before you touch your face or touch up your makeup. Every time you touch your face, you’re spreading oil, dirt, and bacteria that can turn into a breakout!
Also, avoid picking at your pimples! This can spread infection, damage your skin tissue, and cause further inflammation.
Go for gentle yet effective spot treatments to clear your pores of acne-causing bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide is often cited as one of the best acne treatments for teens. You can consult a dermatologist before making any decision.
9. Practice Clean Makeup Habits
If you wear makeup, make sure to check if your makeup habits are affecting your skin. Clean your makeup applicator brushes at regular intervals to prevent accumulation of bacteria.
Also, avoid sharing your makeup with others, especially the eye and lip products.
10. Wash Off Makeup Before Bed
If you use make-up, use micellar water to wipe off the remnants of your makeup, dirt or oil from the surface of your skin. Do not leave makeup overnight as it will clog your pores and lead to breakouts.
11. Use Lukewarm Water
Always wash your face with like warm water twice a day.  It helps loosen the dirt, but preserves your skin's natural hydrating oils.
12. Follow A Well-Balanced Diet
Eat a balanced diet enriched with green vegetables and fruits. Avoid consuming oily food and sugary items that can aggravate your skin conditions.
Try to avoid dairy products like cow’s milk. You can choose almond milk or oat milk. Look for foods that are full of good fats like salmon, avocados, and nuts.
13. Maintain A Proper Night-time Skincare Routine
Your skin rejuvenates itself while you are asleep. Make sure to cleanse your face, remove all the traces of dirt and makeup, and apply moisturizer, lip balm, and hand cream before you hit your bed.
14. Choose the Right Products
Use a gentle cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen to take care of your skin. If you have dry skin, choose a non-soapy formula and salicylic acid for oily skin.
Choose moisturizer that is oil-in-water based or gel-based to make your skin grease-free. You can also opt for sunscreen - preferably aqua or gel-based ones.
15. Opt For A Healthy Lifestyle
Take charge of your body at an early age. Your skin’s health is directly dependent on your body’s overall health. Exercise, meditate, eat healthy and have plenty of water. Take a break from your schedule if it’s getting stressful. Avoid fad diets and skincare trends.
16. Stick To The Routine
What is more important than building a skincare routine, is religiously following it! You might often get impatient and look for quick results. But remember, skincare is a process and a journey!
Stick to one routine and give it some time to show results. If you are using a particular product that suits your skin type, continue using it. Avoid changing your routine frequently.
Did You Know?
A baby’s skin is 20 to 30% thinner than a grown-up’s skin. It has the same number of layers but each layer is considerably thinner, making it especially delicate and sensitive.
What Are The Common Skin Problems Teenagers Face?
1. Teen Acne:
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions that teenagers face. It is primarily caused due to overactive oil glands in your skin and a build-up of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, which leads to inflammation in pores. Oil glands become stimulated when hormones become active during puberty, which is why teenagers are more prone to get acne. You can get acne on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders, the areas with the maximum number of functional oil glands.
Use lotions or makeup that are formulated with non-comedogenic ingredients like grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, hemp seed oil etc. After washing your skin, treat it with a tropical product containing adapalene to unclog your pores and prevent new breakouts. Use products that contain salicylic acid to remove bacteria and dead skin cells. Salicylic acid is a known anti-acne ingredient. You can also use OTC anti-acne creams.
No matter what your skin type, if you are unsure how to treat acne or other skin problems, talk to a dermatologist. Treating your skin properly each day is the key to avoiding more serious skin problems.
2. Oily Skin
To a certain extent, oily skin may be due to genetics but for some, it may be due to hormonal changes that cause excess oil production.
If you have oily skin but you don’t get acne, you can treat the root cause of excess sebum by using lightweight, oil-free cleansers and moisturisers. You can also use face wipes at regular intervals to absorb the excess oil, so that the oil buildup doesn’t clog your pores.
3. Excessive Sweating
It can be due to stress. You can control it by taking showers twice a day. Use body talc and deodorants. OTC antiperspirants can also help you control excessive sweating.
Wear fabrics made of natural fibres such as cotton and linen to allow your skin to breathe and absorb the sweat. Avoid spicy food as it may trigger excessive sweating.
However, if you sweat more than what is normal, it might be hyperhidrosis, a condition wherein you sweat excessively on a daily basis. Consult a dermatologist in that case.
4. Eczema/Atopic Dermatitis
Eczema is a common skin concern seen among teenagers. If you have had eczema as a child, there are chances that it persists during your teenage years.
In this condition, your skin tends to become dry and itchy. If you are wearing sports gear on your elbows or knees for long hours, there are chances that the skin condition aggravates.
You can also use fragrance-free deodorants and moisturising lotions to control the condition and prevent it from inflammation. If the condition persists, see a dermatologist who can prescribe the right medication.
These are fleshy, dark lumps and bumps that can grow under fingernails, on your fingers, on the backs of your hands, or on the soles of your feet.
To treat warts, you can use liquid nitrogen to freeze their growth or burn them off with laser or chemical treatments.
Make it a point to avoid biting your nails or injuring your hands. Skin that is injured appears to be more susceptible to the wart viruses.
The key to taking care of teenage skin is practicing healthy habits early on. Teens are more prone to breakouts because of the change in hormones and stress. However, with a few simple skincare tips and a proper skincare routine, you can keep your skin super happy!
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