Skincare tips & advice
Daily Skin Care Routine for Teens with Acne-Prone Skin
As children grow and hormone levels rise, the teenage body reacts to change – and so does the skin. One common occurrence is acne. While acne can happen at any stage of life, it usually begins around the teenage years, with about 85 percent of people ages 12-24 experiencing at least minor acne.1 Though everyone may have an occasional pimple or two, acne can be a chronic condition that goes far beyond that – characterized by multiple whiteheads, blackheads, pimples or even painful cysts.2 Following a proper skincare routine can help teens keep their skin clear.
What You Need to Know
Acne vulgaris, a chronic acne involving mainly the face, chest, and shoulders, is common in teens. Acne is often a result of changing hormones that cause the sebaceous glands (oil glands) in the pores to create extra sebum, an oil that lubricates your hair and skin. This excess oil, combined with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria, can become trapped in the pores causing swelling and redness, leading to acne2.
Common teen skin issues2:
- Whiteheads. When pores clog up and close, but bulge out from the skin.
- Blackheads. When pores clog up, but stay open and the surfaces darken.
- Pimples. When pores trap oil, bacteria and dead skin cells, causing small, red bumps. (The body's reaction to bacteria can sometimes cause pus-filled tops to form on the bump.)
- Cysts. When pores clog deep within the skin, causing inflammatory reactions that lead to large and often painful lumps.
Skin care routine for teens
Teenagers who suffer from oily skin, occasional breakouts or severe acne know the frustrations that these common teen skin issues can cause. The good news is that implementing a daily skin routine can help remove oil, help prevent new acne pimples, minimize breakouts and keep acne under control. The key is beginning a daily regimen and staying with it3.
In the morning
Use a gentle, foaming acne face cleanser
Wash your face and neck in the morning using a gentle, foaming cleanser with benzoyl peroxide. As one of the most common and effective ingredients for treating acne, benzoyl peroxide helps to prevent new acne pimples from forming.3 Skin with acne lesions has also been associated with lower levels of ceramides,4 which play a key role in the skin’s protective barrier. When choosing a cleanser, look for one that contains ceramides, as well as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, to deeply cleanse, remove excess oil and refresh the skin without over-stripping it or leaving it feeling tight or dry. Together, formulas with these ingredients can help reinforce the skin’s barrier, attracting hydration to the skin.
Apply a non-clogging face moisturizer with sunscreen
When your skin is oily or acne prone, using a moisturizer may seem counterintuitive. However, many acne treatments can cause dry, irritated skin, which can lead to an increase in oil production and cause further breakouts. By using a moisturizer, you can help address the dryness and avoid an over-production of sebum, which can lead to acne5.
The same ingredients that are beneficial in a good cleanser – hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides – are also relevant in a daily moisturizer to help maintain the skin's natural barrier and maintain moisture. However, you should also look for one labeled "non-comedogenic," which simply means it won't clog pores or cause acne. A moisturizer with sunscreen is also essential. While many people mistakenly think sun exposure is a good treatment for acne, it can actually cause your skin to become dry and inflamed, causing your skin to produce more oil and make your acne worse. 6 It can also cause sun damage. Look for a daily moisturizer with sunscreen that contains microfine zinc oxide that spreads easily and evenly
In the evening
Cleanse and moisturize the face again
After cleansing in the evening with the foaming face wash, apply a PM moisturizer that delivers a stream of moisture through the night, yet that is lightweight and non-comedogenic. Look for a moisturizer that is ideal for normal to oily skin and formulated with ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. Once acne is under control, an effective way to help reduce the appearance of acne marks and visible pores on the face is by using a gentle, yet effective resurfacing serum (prior to moisturizing) that contains encapsulated retinol to help resurface the skin.7
If after several weeks of implementing a teenage skin routine, your skin concerns are still not under control, or if you are experiencing additional symptoms, it’s best to seek the help of a dermatologist.