Friday, August 21, 2015

A teenager’s skin care routine & questions + a few suggestions

The following email is from my niece, Nicole. She was 14 when she wrote this, and I think she exemplifies a lot of teenage girls and their quest to learn about skin care. She did have a skin care routine, but didn’t have a lot of guidance as to what to use other than from magazine ads and TV commercials. Here is her email, with her teenage humor intact.

So about my skin, it is pretty good. It’s normal and “well.” The only places that I have problems and have to watch are around the creases of my nose and the “middle line” on my chin. My forehead isn’t really a problem, and my skin is all around okay.

I wash both morning and night with Oxy Balance® Deep Penetrating Facial Cleansing Wash that contains 2% salicylic acid. It is a gel cleanser and it works pretty well. I also use a Clearasil® Stay Clear Zone Control Clear Stick. It also has 2% salicylic acid. Now that I am thinking, the rest of the ingredients (which aren’t on the package) are probably just alcohol, which is really cute.*
*These exact products are no longer available. They have morphed into new and slightly different salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide products.

So if anything I am doing is like horrible, or if you have any suggestions I would love it, because my system is of my own making, and I know that a little advice could probably go a long way.

Oh yeah, I do use a fruit scrub from Origins®, and I really like it. I also use a charcoal and white China clay mask, which I also like. If you have any ideas I would welcome them with open pores. (Ha ha.)

Nicole’s program is pretty typical for a teenager. She is probably getting most, if not all of her skin care information from TV and magazines. Neither one will give her much more than product marketing with a lot of advertising dollars behind them.

She seems to have a really good routine, probably better than some adults I know! She washes morning and night and uses exfoliators and clay masks. Overall she seems to have done a really good job of divining her own system, and as long as her skin stays clear, she can continue using what she’s using.

Although some of the products may be drying out her skin (especially those containing benzoyl peroxide), it doesn’t seem to be bothering her at the moment. My advice would be to monitor the situation, and if she starts to develop problems with her skin, I would get her on some better products that don’t contain drying ingredients. Knowing the pH of products is important and can help keep the drying out process from happening.

Of course diet is also going to play a key role in Nicole’s skin. Maybe not now, but at some point. As a teenager I had a horrible diet filled with sugar galore, and I had great skin until I turned 21. Then everything caught up with me, and I developed true acne. To tell a teenager not to eat sugar and other junk food is sort of ludicrous, but do watch the intake of certain foods if problems start occurring with your skin. Otherwise, enjoy your teen years!

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