Is there anything more frustrating than bad skin when you’re a teenager? No! Even bad hair days are trumped by bad skin. We’ve all been there so if you are going through it now or are the parent of a young teen, we are here to help.
Most people between the ages of 12-24 will experience some form of acne. The important thing is to deal with it as soon as it appears, often in those early teenage years. Giving your young teenager the tools to deal with acne will make them feel empowered that they can do things to help their skin, rather than sullenly hiding behind a long fringe. Having a bad skin day, week, month is psychological hell for teenagers so being proactive is a great place to start.
Unfortunately there is not a 'quick fix' solution. Getting on top of skin problems is like solving a complex puzzle. The key is lots of baby steps towards a healthier body, which all takes time. However, things like increasing daily water intake and limiting sugary and processed foods can help from the inside. What we can do is give you some suggestions of products that can help on the outside.
Step 1: Cleanse
Early teens should be cleansing morning and night, but not with anything too harsh or foamy. This will strip away oils from the delicate facial skin and then the body reacts by making more oil, adding to the problem rather than solving. Often cleansers geared to teenage skin contain benzoyl peroxide which, whilst not toxic, can be highly irritating to teenage skin. It can be very effective on cystic acne but it is worth trying one of the following cleansers first, as these are all gentle enough for sensitive and oily teenage skin.
Tribe Skincare Clean Me! Cleanser is a creamy balm combining the powers of aloe vera and rosehip oil that gently but effectively cleans skin. Aloe vera soothes irritated skin and rosehip makes sure the skin is moisturised whilst being cleansed.
ONNE Clarifying Cleanser is another creme-based cleanser with aloe vera and coconut oil. It contains healing essential oils and flower extracts to gently remove makeup, dirt and traces of the day. This comes in a travel size making it ideal for people wanting to trial it before committing to buy full size.
Cleansing wipes are useful as a starting point for cleanser-resistant teens. They are also great to put in a school bag to have for after sport/exercise or hot weather or if sleeping over at a friends house. Teaching teens about removing makeup before going to bed is of paramount importance and wipes can help make this easier.
Eco Care Organic Facial Wipes with Apple and Honey are made from 100% certified organic cotton and do not contain harsh preservatives and propylene glycol like many supermarket alternatives. These wipes have been specifically formulated for combination and oily skin with honey acting as a natural anti-bacterial agent and apple extract to refresh and firm. Aloe vera and green tea extract add antioxidant goodness.
Step 2: Moisturise
Moisturising is a step that shouldn't be skipped both day and night so it is important to explain to your teen that just leaving it at the cleanse part can mean their skin will get worse. Not moisturising after cleansing can leave the skin dry and tight, which in turn can signal to the body that more oil needs to be produced. So making a moisturiser as part of the skincare regimen is necessary to soothe the skin, give it back some love and keep the delicate balance of good oils.
We recommend a gentle solution that is lightweight and doesn't feel greasy. Teens can be put off by serums and heavy moisturiser as it feels counter intuitive to add more oil on skin that is feeling oily. In fact the opposite is the case, but as in all things teenage land, getting them to buy into the process is half the battle.
Eco Modern Essentials Tea Tree Face Gel is a lightweight moisturising gel that provides the perfect balance of hydration and oil control for oily, problematic and acne skin. The cooling effect of the gel is particularly good for irritated skin and the addition of Tea Tree oil gives natural anti-bacterial protection to control oil and breakouts. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) derived from apple help to gently renew the skin whilst vitamin B and chamomile help to calm and soothe. This can be used both at morning and at night.
Tribe Skincare Protect Me! SPF Moisturiser is a non-greasy and lightweight moisturiser with the added benefit of mineral-based sun protection. It is not meant to replace a medical grade sunscreen but it does mean that your teen will be moisturising whilst protecting skin from the sun. This is integral for problem skin as sun damage can irritate already reddened skin. It contains zinc oxide which is great for skin healing and reducing harmful UV rays. This is a great product for daytime moisturising.
We recommend Simple as That 100% Natural Sunscreen Lotion SPF30 as a clean sunscreen for the whole family, babies included.
Step 3: Breakouts
Having a spot treatment is crucial for those times like right before your BFF's bday party or the school formal. Used in conjunction with a regular skincare routine, a spot treatment can markedly reduce any embarrassing breakouts.
Eco Modern Essentials Pimple Clear is an acne treatment containing Tea Tree oil which, as well as its anti-bacterial strength, helps prevent sebum build up which can cause pimples. It also contains lavender oil to help heal and calm breakout areas making it a gentle, chemical free alternative.
Sometimes a bit of help is needed to cover up pimples and while covering up teenage skin with a full face of makeup is totally unnecessary, giving your teen something to reduce the redness can help the dread of facing school with a huge pimple.
Madara Tinted Moisturiser is a good option, giving light coverage as well as moisturising benefits. It helps to even out skin tone and mask imperfections with natural pigments. It has two skin tone formulations, Moonflower Rose Beige for cool skin tones and Sunflower Golden Beige for warm skin tones. It also comes in 15ml travel size which is great for at-school and on-the-go touch ups.
Using a concealer under a tinted moisturiser can give that extra bit of coverage and we recommend Inika Organic Perfection Concealer to hide blemishes. It is suitable for even the most sensitive skin and blends easily making it easy to use for teens still getting used to applying makeup products. It can be blended with fingertips or a brush, but make sure either fingers or brush are clean before applying.
So there you have it, a very simple and cost effective start to skincare for early teens. We hope this helps and please get in touch with me at email@example.com if you would like specific questions answered. My background is dermatology nursing but as always, this advice does not replace medical advice.