Skin Care Tips for Teens

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By Debra Jaliman M.D.

femalewashingfaceIt’s very important to wash your face properly. Imagine how much oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells sit on the surface of your skin. In my book “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist,” some of the initial rules cover face cleansing. Many of my readers have informed me that their skin improved just by changing the way they wash their face. The basics include never using your fingers when washing your face which most people unfortunately do because there’s bacteria under your fingernails. Another mistake people often make is that they use a washcloth. This would be fine if people changed the washcloth every time they washed their face. Most people don’t as it would require 14 washcloths a week. It’s best to use cotton pads or pre- moistened cleansing cloths. Additionally, I’m a big fan of sonic cleansing systems which use sonic vibrations to remove make-up, oil, bacteria and dirt. These can be purchased at the drugstore. There is an assortment of brands available at various price points.

The next decision you need to make is what type of a cleanser to use. If you have sensitive, delicate skin that tends to be dry then choose a mild cleanser that doesn’t sud. Ingredients to look for are glycerins and ceramides. If your skin is oily with a 4 o’clock shine and you tend to break out, look for a foaming cleanser which contains salicylic acid or glycolic acid.

A great habit to get into now when you’re young is to apply sunscreen every day. I’m sure you’re not thinking of wrinkles at your young age but before you know it they will be there. You want to prevent broken blood vessels, brown spots, and discoloration from acne marks. The newest recommendation from the American Academy of Dermatology is to wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen. If the sunscreen contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide then it’s blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to pick a sunscreen that agrees with your skin type. If you have oily skin, use a gel or powder sunscreen and make sure it’s noncomedogenic (non- pore clogging). If you have dry skin, choose a cream or lotion.

malewashingfaceIf you find that you’re breaking out, there are a lot of over-the –counter products which can be beneficial. There are toners and pads with salicylic acid which unclog pores. Be sure to look at your skin carefully. You may only be oily in the T-zone, therefore you may only need these products on that specific area not your entire face. If you find that you’re still breaking out, you may want to use a benzoyl peroxide product at night which will kill bacteria. Make certain to use white sheets and pillowcases as benzoyl peroxide will bleach colored ones. To prevent acne, use a wire when talking on your cell phone, clean all hats, helmets, and headbands so bacteria won’t cause any breakouts. Make sure all of the products you use, from your moisturizer to your cover-up, are noncomedogenic.

I hope these tips will improve and clear your complexion.

– Guest Author Dr. Debra Jaliman is known as one of the top dermatologists in the nation, is an expert in the field of cosmetic and medical dermatology. She is celebrated for the customized care she provides; patients will never get a “cookie cutter” approach, only the most cutting-edge advances in cosmetic dermatology.