Did you know that almost 95% of teenagers in the US suffer from acne? Acne is an inflammatory skin disease that not only damages your skin but your confidence too.
The good news is that teenage acne tends to improve with age, and figuring out the best skincare routines now can make all the difference for your skin in the future. Learning the best skincare for teens takes time, but with a bit of patience, your skin will be glowing once again.
Keep reading this guide to learn everything you need to know!
Teenagers and Acne
Your skin’s pores contain numerous oil glands, and when these glands become overstimulated, it causes a buildup of bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil. This buildup blocks your pores, and once they become inflamed or infected, you’ll end up with acne.
Because hormones in puberty can frequently stimulate these oil glands, teenagers often have acne-prone skin. Most teenagers get acne on their face, neck, back, and shoulder area. It can appear as different types of acne, such as:
- Whiteheads or white bumps
- Painful lumps under the skin like nodules or cystic lesions
- Pustules or large bumps that contain pus
- Tender red bumps or papules
Best Skincare Routines for Teenagers
You’ll first need to gather all the products you’re currently using on your skin, including makeup. You’ll also need to look at your shampoos, conditioners, and styling products because they can cause breakouts around your forehead and the back of your neck.
Next, check all the product labels for terms like oil-free, doesn’t clog pores, non-comedogenic, or non-acnegenic. Doing this ensures that the products you use don’t contribute to your existing breakouts.
Your next steps for establishing a good skincare routine include:
Gently Wash Your Skin Twice Daily
It’s easy to think that when you have acne, you need to aggressively scrub your face to remove all the excess oil and dirt, but actually, the opposite is true.
Over scrubbing your face can irritate your skin more and cause your acne to get worse. Instead, gently wash your face with a soft cotton pad or a baby washcloth and rinse with lukewarm water.
It’s best to use a gentle foaming cleanser with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid is best for whiteheads and blackheads, while benzoyl peroxide is best for more severe breakouts with large cystic lesions and nodules.
Once you’ve washed your face, avoid rubbing your skin to dry it; instead, use a soft towel and pat it dry.
Apply a Topical Acne Treatment
After you wash your face, you’ll need to apply a topical acne medication. One of the best topical treatments you can find over the counter for acne is retinol.
Retinol is made from vitamin A and has active ingredients that help new, healthy skin to grow. It also unclogs your pores, allowing other creams and gels to work better. As a result, it will clear your acne, reduce future breakouts, and can help reduce scar formation.
You can also use topical products that contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and adapalene, which help unclog pores and keep your skin clear.
Keep in mind that it can take up to six weeks to see results from over-the-counter topical acne treatments. If you do not see effective results, you’ll need to consider seeing a dermatologist for prescription strength retinol, other topical treatments, or antibiotics.
Exfoliating weekly helps to keep your breakouts down to a minimum because it clears away dead skin cells and helps to unclog your pores.
You’ll want to carefully choose a gentle facial scrub that won’t irritate your skin. A mud mask or a facial scrub containing alpha-hydroxy acids or salicylic acid will do the trick. It’s also important to avoid ingredients that have seeds, shells, or kernels, as they can cause more irritation to your skin.
Next, you’ll need to slightly dampen your skin and massage the facial scrub over your entire face using circular motions for at least one to two minutes. You can find more information here if you want to learn more about how to exfoliate using a facial scrub.
Moisturize Your Face Daily
When your skin feels oily and greasy, it’s easy to think you don’t need to moisturize, but a good daily moisturizer is a crucial step in your skincare routine.
Moisturizers keep the skin’s oil production in better balance since acne facial cleansers and medications can cause your skin to become dry and flaky over time. Be sure to choose an oil-free moisturizer that won’t clog your pores, and look for moisturizers that include ingredients such as:
- Hyaluronic acid which helps your skin absorb moisture
- Salicylic acid
Remember, you may have to try moisturizers with different ingredients to find the one that works best for your skin.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Not only do acne treatment products make your skin more sensitive to the sun, but too much sun can also cause redness and inflammation, making your acne worse.
It’s also important to protect your skin from the sun to prevent sun damage and wrinkles in the future.
Choose a quality oil-free sunscreen you can wear daily, or try to find a moisturizer that also contains sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30 to give you good protection against the sun’s rays.
Establish a Good Skincare Routine Today
Now you know more about the best skincare routines for teenagers, you can start working on getting your skin back on track.
Remember, if you’ve tried different skincare routines at home and not getting the results you’re hoping for, it may be time to visit a dermatologist for help.
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