Teen Skincare Essentials: What to Use + How to Start
If you are (or your child is) a teenager, it is no surprise to you that teens often struggle with keeping their skin clear and healthy. Between hormones, stress, a potentially iffy diet, and insufficient sleep, the typical adolescent lifestyle can wreak havoc on the skin. The good news is that you can take steps to make your skin feel and look its best. Here are some of our best teen skincare tips. Those in their early 20s will also benefit from this advice, and with just a few tweaks, it will also apply to people in their 30s and 40s. Keep reading!
Know Your Skin Type
While the stereotypical teenager might have oily skin, that does not mean that all teens do. If you have dry, normal, or combination skin, treating it as though it is always oily will not help your skin look and feel good. But what type do you have? The easiest way to figure it out is to wash your face with a gentle cleanser and wait for a half-hour.
Please do not use a moisturizer or put on makeup; wash it, and do something else for 30 minutes. Go back and look in the mirror after the half-hour has passed and observed your skin. If you have dry skin, it will not look shiny anywhere, and it might feel tight. You might even see little flakes of dry, dead skin sitting on your face.
If you have normal skin, it will be dry on your cheeks and chin but a little shiny on your forehead and nose. Those with oily skin will have shine on the cheeks and possibly the chin and forehead and nose. You might also be prone to breakouts on your face, chest, and back.
And finally, some people will have shiny noses and dry, flaky cheeks. This type of combination (or similar) will indicate that you have combination skin. This means that you will need different strategies for the other areas of your face.
Keep Your Skin Clean
No matter what type of skin you have, the first step toward a beautiful complexion is to keep it clean. This means you need to wash your face in the morning and before bed. The before-bed routine is the most important, as it will remove makeup and dirt before your skin begins to repair itself overnight. In the morning, you want to start with a clean slate for applying moisturizers and, if you use them, makeup.
Look for a mild cleanser for dry and normal skin types. You want one that contains no alcohol, and that is easy to rinse away. If you have oily or combination skin and you have breakouts, you can use one that has salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, as these will help control pimples and blackheads. Use this only a few times per week at first because they can over-dry your skin, which causes you to produce more sebum or oil. The teen skincare technique is essential:
- Use lukewarm water to splash your face.
- Rub in your cleanser up to your hairline and to underneath your chin, using your fingers.
- Avoid getting it in your eyes.
- Rinse it away with more lukewarm water.
- Do not use hot water, and do not scrub with a washcloth; your fingers are enough to break up oil and dirt to wash it away.
- When you are done, pat dry with a soft towel.
Use a Good Moisturizer
After you wash your face, it is essential to moisturize it. This is just adding hydration to the skin, so it does not get dried out. It is vital to hydrate even oily skin – if you do not, your skin will create more oil, adding to the chances that you might develop pimples. Look for a water-based moisturizer, which does not contain oil if you have oily, combination, or normal skin.
Those with dry skin might need a heavier moisturizer, particularly overnight. The word “non-comedogenic” means that it won’t clog your pores, and you should look for this word on the label of any moisturizer that you want to use on skin that is prone to acne.
Protect Your Skin From the Sun
If your moisturizer contains an SPF of at least 30, then you are good to go. If not, you’ll need to add sunscreen to your morning teen skincare routine. Look for one formulated for facial skin because most of the sunscreens you would use on the rest of your body are not gentle enough and might contain ingredients that will clog your pores. Use something unscented to avoid irritating sensitive skin.
It is essential to use sunscreen year-round, even in the winter and on rainy days. The sun’s rays will go through cloud cover, and in the winter, the sun can not only burn you from shining down, but it can also burn you when it reflects off of snow and ice. So, go ahead and put sunscreen on any skin that will be exposed.
Even if you aren’t going anywhere if you plan to get the mail, take your dog out, sit in your backyard or on your porch, go ahead and put on sunscreen in the morning. If you are spending the day outside, then carry it with you to reapply it during the day as needed. Once you have cleaned, moisturized, and sunscreen your skin, you are ready to face your day!
You can apply makeup at this time if you wear it, but only on the top half of your face if you are going to be wearing a mask all day. It’s important to note that if you are wearing a cloth mask, make sure it’s clean and carry an extra one with you so you can switch it out if it gets wet or dirty.
Following these essential teen skincare tips will help you keep your skin looking and feeling great. If you still have trouble with acne and breakouts, see your dermatologist for more help.
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