By James Helliwell….
Being a teenager is hard enough and common teen skin problems like acne, oily skin, and blackheads only make it harder.
Teenager’s skin is affected by an onslaught of hormones that exacerbate issues. It’s also common to have an excess of keratin, which can cause your skin to thicken, leading to clogged pores.
But don’t stress: there are some simple steps you can take to keep your skin looking and feeling its best.
- Restore balance with gentle cleansing
Cleansing your skin is an essential step in any skincare routine but avoid the temptation to scrub away all oil. If you strip your skin of natural oils, your body will respond by boosting oil production and that will make the problem worse.
Instead, use a gentle natural cleanser each morning and evening. If your skin is sensitive go for a non-foaming cleanser like Okana’s mango and apricot cleanser. Otherwise, try this apple juice foaming cleanser for gentle, effective cleanse.
It’s especially important to cleanse in the evening if you’ve been wearing makeup. Going to bed with makeup on leads to blocked pores and pimples. It’s a good idea to double cleanse before bed. Use an oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup, then follow it up with a gentle foaming cleanser. Then simply rinse with warm water and let your skin dry.
- Exfoliate and tone your skin gently
Exfoliating and toning are both helpful for teen skin – but you have to do it right!
You should only exfoliate once or twice a week. Avoid plastic micro-beads and harsh abrasives that can damage your skin. Instead, opt for a natural exfoliant like crushed bamboo to gently remove dead skin.
Toner is also great for keeping your skin’s pH balanced. Cleansing tends to remove healthy acids from your skin, so a toner with naturally acidic ingredients like cucumber is ideal. Just be sure to avoid toners that contain alcohol as they will dry out your skin.
You can also create your own face-masks at home and get good results. Play around with different ingredients to see what works best for you. Some ideas to get you started are:
- Natural plain yogurt contains lactic acid, so you can use it as a gentle peel
- Oatmeal is calming and soothing, soaks up oil, and helps to gently remove dead skin cells
- Honey is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, moisturizing and full of antioxidants
- Papaya is packed with fruit acids that gently remove dead skin and leave your skin looking great
- Moisturize every day
Sometimes people with oily skin skip moisturizing but that’s a mistake. Keeping your skin hydrated is important for all skin types!
Before deciding which moisturizer to use, you need to work out if your skin is oily, dry, or a combination. Simply wet your skin, let it dry for a couple of hours, and see what happens. If it gets dry, red, or scaly you have dry skin. If your face is oily after a few hours then, you guessed it: oily skin. If only your nose and forehead get oily, then you have combination skin.
Your moisturizer options are different for each skin type:
- For oily skin, use a light gel or cream
- For combination skin, you can use a heavier moisturizer on the dry areas
- Dry skin requires a thicker moisturizing ointment
- Sunscreen is a must
The constant mantra to wear sunscreen every day may seem annoying but it really is important. As well as the health risks associated with UV exposure, too much sun will also lead to premature ageing and lots more wrinkles when you’re older.
In the short-term, exposing your skin to the sun while it’s healing from a pimple can cause it to become hyper pigmented leading to discoloration.
Try out different sunscreens to find one that isn’t too greasy, and always opt for natural ingredients over chemical sunscreens.
Bonus tips for gorgeous skin
- Avoid weird home remedies for pimples. For example, toothpaste doesn’t help and might cause more problems. Creams with tea tree oil or salicylic acid are helpful though, as is old-fashioned iodine
- Do not pick, pop, or squeeze pimples as this will just worsen the issue. Follow this guide if you really need to for something about them
- Skin blotting paper will help to reduce shine from extra oil. A clean tissue will also help if you don’t have any to hand
- If you have bad pimples and acne spots that are painful and inflamed, go and see your doctor or a dermatologist for professional advice