As a child enters puberty, his/her skin will begin to change how it looks and how it behaves, as hormone production increases. The most obvious change is usually the increase of oil on the surface of the skin, which can lead to pimply breakouts or enlarged pores with blackheads. For some teens they might notice more uneven skin colour, uneven texture or their skin becoming more flaky or sensitive.
How a teen deals with the changes of his/her skin will greatly impact on the condition of their skin in the future so it is very important for a teen going through puberty to develop and maintain good skincare habits early. The earlier the teen begins the better and the less issues they will have to deal with, as they get older.
The biggest challenge teens face with their continually changing skin is dealing with spots and pimples. They are self-conscious in general but now with the evolution of the ‘selfie’ this has become even more so.
When a pimple or even blackhead pops up, a teen’s first inclination is to squeeze it themselves, however it’s very important for them to know that this is definitely the wrong thing to do. Squeezing a pimple incorrectly will more often than not result in bacteria being pushed further into the skin, causing another spot to appear in a different area of the face. It can also result in skin inflammation causing redness and sensitivity as well as scarring. In the case of a seriously acne skin, the scarring referred to as ‘pitted scarring’ is a long term problem that is not at all easy to address.
As every skin is different and there are different products for different skin types and conditions, it’s important to get a professional diagnoses of the skin followed by a personalised prescription of the best products suitable to them. Using the wrong product can cause a whole new set of problems. The skin can become even more clogged, more irritated and more uneven.
A good start to a skincare routine is a cleanser, moisturiser and sun protection. Where necessary a corrector may also be recommended, along with a mask. Not only what is prescribed may be different from skin to skin, but also how to use them may be different too.
How often the teen exfoliates will largely depend on the skin type but will also depend on the ingredients used. If you over exfoliate you will again create more problems in the future by aggravating the skin leading to inflammation.
Acne sufferers should definitely be looking for products that contain the ingredient salicylic acid due to the anti-bacterial properties and it’s ability to get into the pores to control and scoop out the bacteria.
From an early age, it’s a good idea to combine your morning moisturising routine with an SPF protection. Teens need to be trained at an early age that unprotected sun exposure will have a detrimental effect on the texture, even skin colour and youthfulness of the skin in the future as UV rays are the biggest causes of premature skin ageing.
Teen Skin Do’s and Don’ts
- Wash face morning and night with a cleanser matched to your skin type and immediately after all forms of exercise.
- After cleansing in the morning apply moisturiser with SPF, at night finish your routine with moisturiser suited to your skin type.
- After cleansing at night apply a lotion containing salicylic acid
- Use a mask once or twice a week as necessary
- Use exfoliating gel once or twice a week as recommended
- Don’t squeeze your pimples.
- Avoid touching your face with unclean hands. Always wash hands before touching your skin or applying product.
- Keep hair clean and away from the face. Oily and unclean hair can contribute to clogging the skin.