Many of my clients have asked what they can do for their teenagers’ problem skin. Or sometimes they simply want to start their teens on a good skin care program, but don’t know where to begin. Whether your kids have problem skin or not, there are some basic habits teenagers should try to develop that can have a positive effect on their skin. I have written this section specially for them.
1. Keeping your skin clean is of paramount importance. Generally, you use soap to wash your face. This presents problem number one. Almost all soaps have high alkalinity. Alkaline cleansers should not be used, especially by people (young or old) having problems with their skin. Alkalinity strips all surface oil and water off your skin, leaving it depleted. The oil glands will usually pump out more oil to compensate for the loss.
Adding to this excess oil, your skin might become dehydrated from the soap. So your face may feel dry (although it’s simple dehydration), yet will look and feel oily at the same time. Confusing, isn’t it? Liquid Aveeno or Cetaphil cleansers would be good alternatives to soap. They are inexpensive and do a good job of cleansing.
So keeping the skin clean with a non-alkaline cleanser is the first rule to follow. Just as I would instruct adults, you should be washing your face both in the morning and in the evening. Getting into good skin care habits early on will benefit you down the road.
2. Rinse off your face immediately after exercising. This is very important. All that salty sweat is basically toxic waste (toxins) being released from your body. It is coming out of your body, and you need to complete the elimination by thoroughly rinsing your face with water until you can’t taste the saltiness anymore. Many clients who were experiencing sweat-related problems had a significant reduction in their breakouts using this quick rinse-off method.
4. Abrasive scrubs are out if there are problems with infection (red bumps, pimples, blemishes, zits, and/or acne). Blemishes can easily be opened up or irritated with the abrasive particles contained in a scrub. Like open wounds, a scrub can leave these blemishes subject to even more infection and makes them take longer to heal. If no infection is present, scrubs are fine to use—as long as they are used with care. You never want to rub too aggressively with a scrub. Please be sure your skin is already wet when applying the scrub. Never use one on a dry skin. Why? Too much pulling and not enough glide.
5. Pimple-drying agents should not be used on problem skin. This includes oxy products, blemish pads, etc. These products are very harsh, to say the least. They’re being used on skin that is infected and inflamed. This tissue needs soothing, calming, antibacterial products used on it, not harsh, caustic creams.
6. Food does affect your skin. There are plenty of books and many doctors who will disagree with me on this issue. However, I have seen too much evidence to believe otherwise. It just doesn’t make sense that what you eat doesn’t affect everything about you, including your skin. It’s like saying I can fill up my car’s gas tank with orange juice, and this won’t affect how it runs. A car requires a certain type of fuel to run efficiently, and so does your body. If you put low-quality foods into your system, sooner or later your system (your body) will rebel.
During the teen years (I know this was true for me), eating healthy, well-balanced meals isn’t necessarily the norm. There tends to be a lot of sodas and sweets, and usually a more than occasional fast-food burger and fries. Even if your stomach can survive this, it is doubtful your skin will—not for any extended length of time. I think your body can tolerate all kinds of abuse for a short period of time, but after your time is up, your body will rebel. It will start creating symptoms of overload. One of these “symptoms” is breakout.
And to top that off, kids are bombarded by advertisements in teen magazines to use oxy this or “zit remover” that. As I’ve said before, these products do little more than irritate the skin and put the irruption in a dormant (inactive, not cleared up) state. Become aware of how food may be affecting your skin.
When to start your kids on a skin care program. When your children are starting puberty, it would be beneficial to start them on a good skin care program. If they aren’t having any problems with their skin, have them begin washing their face with a non-alkaline cleanser. Do this at least nightly, and for an even better routine, morning and night. That’s a good start, and later down the road you can add other products (toners and moisturizers, exfoliators and masks) when needed. But at such a young age, and if no problems are present, their skin is functioning optimally and won’t need a lot of extra care. And when I say morning and night, I completely understand the likelihood of that is low. Many of my adult clients don’t wash twice a day. Hopefully you can get your kids to wash at least once and hopefully two times every day. Miracles do happen :+)
If your teens are having problems, it’s time to get them started on a good program of cleansing, exfoliating, and using a clay mask to help keep their breakouts to a minimum. Exfoliating and using a clay mask are additional steps that can help make a difference in their skin.
Numerous clients have found good results for their teenagers’ skin by following the previously mentioned steps. Not all teenagers are going to follow a skin care routine, but I have found if they see good results from following a simple program, they will be more prone to following through with it on a regular basis.
For further reading, see:
For further reading, see:
- Starting your youngster on a skin care routine (If by chance (or luck!) your teenager does not have any skin issues, this will give you some added tips and suggestions for a simple, daily routine.
- Cleansers 1.0 to learn more about what cleansers to use and get information on how to determine the alkalinity of any product.
- A Note to All Pickers—you know who you are!!! for more information if you just can’t stop this habit.