An easy-to-follow skincare routine to heal teen acne
Whew, those teenage years can be brutal for the skin! Acne starts to pop up everywhere: nose, forehead, cheeks. It can be a traumatic experience, and it’s difficult to watch someone you love dealing with it. How do you make it stop!?
Teenage acne is very common, affecting about 85% of American teenagers according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But each case is uniquely challenging, and it happens at such a critical time in a teenager’s life. It’s important with any acne case to understand the science behind what’s causing the acne to treat it properly and effectively.
Why do teenagers get acne?
Teenage acne occurs as a result of the hormonal changes that happen during puberty. These hormonal changes can trigger an increase in the body’s production of sebum–the natural oil the skin produces. Excess oil clogs the pores and causes acne.
How to heal teenage acne
Healing acne and revealing healthy, glowing skin starts with restoring the skin’s protective barrier. Once you identify the acne triggers, you can:
- Stop frequently occurring acne breakouts
- Heal existing pimples and blemishes
- Clear acne scarring from old breakouts
This sounds simple, and it is. But healing acne and maintaining clear skin is an everyday thing. Proper skincare adds a little extra time to your morning and nightly routine, but the confidence in the end is worth it. Consistency over everything!
Skincare routine for teenage acne
- Cleanse your face every morning and before bed. Don’t skip a single opportunity to ensure your pores are clear of dirt and toxins. Be sure to cleanse properly: Don’t scrub too hard. We can be tempted to scrub breakouts aggressively when this in fact can make things worse. Cleanse gently, but wash for at least 60 seconds.
- Don’t pick your pimples. Seriously, don’t do this. Instead, use cryotherapy or ice treatment to reduce inflammation and tighten pores. Picking your breakouts spreads bacteria and causes acne scarring. That’s not helping.
- Treat your breakouts (but not too much). You should be treating your skin for acne bacteria every morning and night to heal active breakouts and prevent new ones from appearing. Breakouts can live underneath the skin’s surface for up to 30 days before they appear on the skin, so you really have to stay ahead of the game by sticking to your routine everyday.
- Tone and moisturize. Toning ensures the pores are completely clean and tightened. This is an important step and can be drying for the skin, depending on the toner you use. An ideal toner also hydrates the skin, leaving it refreshed. Either way, you’ll want to seal in hydration with a moisturizer that doesn’t clog the pores.
- Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. If you want to fade dark spots and acne scarring, you have to apply and reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours. Do this whether you leave your house or not, whether it’s a sunny day or not, whatever! There isn’t a good day to not wear your sunscreen. Trust me.
Skincare tips for teenagers
Ok, now that you have a routine to start with, add these considerations to your daily habits to double down on healing acne:
- Cleanse your skin immediately after sports activities (practices and games). This prevents dirt and oil from building up in your pores after you sweat. Reapply that sunscreen!
- Reduce processed foods and dairy. Eating processed and dairy foods cause a spike in insulin to your bloodstream, which triggers the body to produce more skin oil. More oil means clogged pores, which means pimples. Try removing processed food and dairy from your diet for 30 days and see if you notice a big difference.