Teenage is a challenging and exciting phase of one's life. Ironically, this is also a difficult phase, psychologically and physiologically. Teenage is also the time when skin sometimes becomes impossible to manage - acne, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, rashes, cold sores, sun burns, eczema. This is perhaps the right time to establish a regular complete skin care routine which can go a long way in preventing future skin issues such as acne scarring, sun damage, fine lines or discoloration. Check out skincare tips for teens. Find out a beneficial skincare regimen for teenagers.
What ails the teenage skin
- Hormones appear to be a major factor for skin problems during the teens. The levels of androgen get elevated during the adolescent years and results in an increase in both the size of oil glands and the quantity of oil produced.
- Excitement and stress can also cause breakouts of skin acne. Under stress, the body is prone to secrete extra adrenal hormones which promote the production of sebum, which lead to breakouts.
- Teenage acne is also hereditary. Family history may also be a cause for skin woes during teens.
Acne affects nearly 90% of the 12 to 17 age group, at least occasionally, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists. If left untreated, acne can cause scars that lead to emotional pain and social stigma. Acne occurs when the skin become clogged by sebum during puberty. Acne breakouts which leave many a teenager depressed are found mostly on the T zones - the forehead, nose and chin areas, areas that have more number of oil producing glands.
Tips to prevent acne breakouts
- Wash face with warm water and mild soap twice a day. Over zealous washing and scrubbing is not recommended as this would lead to skin irritation.
- Never pop pimples. This can push the infected material further into the skin and lead to further swelling and redness.
- It is also good to steer clear of scarves, headbands and caps which can collect the dirt, sweat and grime.
- Makeup should be removed before going to bed. Any old makeup that smells or looks different should be discarded.
- One way to keep acne away from the face is to keep the hair clean, thereby preventing additional dirt and oil clogging the pores.
It is estimated that 89% of teenagers suffer outbreak of pimples at some point of time. A pimple is caused when skin cells clump and plug the excess oil produced by the oil glands. Increased production of Androgen is attributed by dermatologists to cause pimples. While pimples can flare up any time, they leave an embarrassing red scar behind. Tips to prevent pimples:
- Following a strict skin care regime with cleansing and toning the face is one best way to prevent pimples.
- It is crucial to choose a facial cleanser that is suitable to the skin type.
- A facial toner with alcohol also helps to dry the pimples faster.
- A cleansing mask, preferably a clay mask that can draw out impurities and removes excessive oil from the skin should be beneficial for combination and oily skin types.
These show up as tender pimples, more on the edges of lips. They seem to be caused by herpes virus and are contagious. This virus continues to stay in the body that is in other words, if they make their appearance once, chances are they will definitely reappear.
- Do not share lip balm, lip sticks, tooth brushes, and drinks with people already affected with cold sores. The virus causing cold sores is primarily transmitted through the nose and mouth.
- Sun, stress and sickness can boost up cold sores. It is reasonable to use suntan lotion, exercise, meditate and get plenty of sleep.
- Ice cubes can be sucked to ease out the pain and keep the sores cool.
- Avoid acidic foods like oranges, tomatoes and lemon, and restrict salty and spicy foods.
The sun's harmful rays can cause skin rashes, tanning and related ailments. However, the sun is not all that bad, and bodies need to create vitamin D with the help of the sun.
- A teenager cannot hide indoors all the time and it is best that he/she wears sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to deter the sun's effect on the skin.
- It is better to look for sunscreens that block UVA and UVB rays.
- Again, apply more sunscreen around reflective water surfaces like water and snow.
- It would be a practical idea to wear a hat and sunglass that provide 100% UV protection.
Make up products
- The golden rule of acne prone skin is to avoid makeup use. Since use of creams and lotions can aggravate pimples and cause more harm than good, it is best to keep make up away.
- The skin should be totally clear of any makeup at night; the skin could be cleansed and allowed to breathe at night.
- Care should be taken while choosing cosmetics like foundation, blush or moisturizer. Consult a dermatologist about the skin products that would be best for a particular skin type.
- While selecting makeup, never use oil based products. For oily skin, moisturizers should be avoided completely. For dry skin, it is better to use moisturizer with non comedogenic or nonacnegenic labels.
- Products that contain fragrance should be avoided. This increases the possibility of skin allergies and irritations. It is recommended to use unscented lotions and products.
- By age 16 to 17 years, use of eye cream and lip balm treatment can be incorporated. Sun protection cream should be used regularly.
Nutrition and diet
The old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is true although expert opinions differ on this issue. However, eating a balanced nutritious diet plays a major role on how skin behaves. Drinking plenty of water is important for a glowing complexion. Water aids digestion and absorption of food. It helps to regulate body temperature and carries nutrients to the skin and waste away from the cells.
A diet high in fruits and vegetables is best. This coupled with regular exercise can increase the blood flow and provide the healthy glow to the skin.
Useful tips for teenage skin
- Never pick, pinch or squeeze a pimple. It can spread the inflammation and leave behind ugly scars.
- Always use gentle toners, cleansers or moisturizers and non comedogenic gels.
- Buy products from reputed manufacturers. Use products that are natural and organic instead of chemical based ones.
- Hard scrubbing can make the skin condition even worse.
- Use skin care products that are appropriate to one's skin type and color. For normal skin, an alcohol free toner can be used at night time to prevent over drying of the skin. A day time moisturizer with SPF 15 can be used while for oily skin, an alcohol free toner should be used twice during morning and evening. An oil free daytime moisturizer and SPF 15 sunscreen can be used.
- Smoking can seriously damage the skin.
- Stress can trigger acne and take a toll on the skin.
- Teenagers need to sleep well as irregular sleep can also affect the balance of hormones and lead to breakouts.
Skin is repairable but not replaceable. Essentially, the appearance and condition of the skin is influenced by family history, lifestyle and hormonal changes and to top it all, skin care routine. Dedicate 5 -10 minutes each morning for skin care and healthier and cleaner skin should be yours for a lifetime.
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