By Mia Liefso
The teenage years are bad enough without having to cope with acne. As you head back to school, you don’t need to hear the taunting of “pimple puss” or “zit face” on top of all the other pressures and stresses associated with grade school or high school. Want to be proud of your school pictures versus embarrassed? Want to stop hiding your face behind your hair? We have some good news for you … your acne is treatable. Not curable, but treatable.
We’re combining advice from skin care specialists around the country to give you a four-pronged approach to banish those breakouts using a combination of:
1) good home skin care practices
2) beneficial skincare products
3) chemical peels
4) laser acne rejuvenation treatments
The results? A complexion you’ll be proud to have on your face!
Tip #1: Be Diligent About At Home Skin Care
1. Wash your face twice a day, in the morning and before you go to bed. Don’t overdo it because you can make acne worse with abrasive scrubs, loofahs and masks that can cause more outbreaks.
2. Keep your hair off your face, particularly at bedtime. Pull your hair back with a headband. Wash your pillow cases and sheets frequently to remove the bacteria and oils.
3. As tempting as it is, do not, I repeat do not, pop your pimples. This can result in scarring and will just spread the bacteria.
4. Know that cell phone that is stuck in your ear 24/7? Scrub the screen daily to remove any makeup or oils.
5. Remove your makeup before you go to bed. It can clog your pores and irritate the skin. Clean your makeup brushes at least once/month.
6. Involved in sports? Clean your face immediately after the big game to remove the sweat! Not near a bathroom? Use a face wipe.
7. You’re never too young to wear sunscreen. Choose one for oily skin.
8. Be wary of prescription medication used to treat acne. Some may have serious side effects such as depression.
9. Keep your skin hydrated by drinking lots of water – not sugary sodas, but good old fashioned water. Water helps to remove the toxins and build new skin cells.
10. Control your diet. Eat whole grains, nuts and seeds to improve selenium, and vegetables and fruits to cleanse the colon. Oily fish is essential for fatty acids and vitamin D to reduce inflammation and help feed the skin.Limit your intake of oily and fast foods, pies, cakes, French fries, sugary drinks and butter. Avoid stimulants such as colas, caffeine, and coffee as these may lower zinc absorption. Sorry.
Tip #2: Use GOOD Skin Care Products
Your bathroom is probably littered with over-the-counter skincare products that haven’t helped your acne, despite the promises. And it’s not just about your face – your back, neck and shoulders can also be acne prone.
There is no “one size fits all” skin care solution to acne. If you have teenage acne, it’s probably best to be seen by a dermatologist or licensed aesthetician. Why? Because there are thousands of skincare products on the market that target teenage acne, 95% of which don’t work.
1. Medical grade versus over-the-counter. My teenage clients continuously ask me if medical grade skin care products are really worth the money (particularly if you are paying for them versus your parents). The answer is a resounding Yes! The old adage that you get what you pay for applies to skin care products as well. Medical grade products have been approved by a doctor and rigorously tested for their effectiveness. They contain stronger ingredients that are of a higher quality. For instance, we carry the extremely popular and effective Obagi line which is monitored for each teenager by our Nurse.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article shortly…..
– Mia Liefso is a professional medical skin therapist and the owner of Bradford Skin Clinic & Med Spa in Bradford, Ontario. She has certifications in IPL, LHE, laser and ultrasound technologies, as well as body contouring and medical facial peels. Her areas of special interest include difficult skin conditions—psoriasis, eczema, and acne—premature aging, and endocrinology. Mia’s passion lies in helping people love the skin they’re in.