Adolescence can bring about some noticeable changes to your child’s skin. To help you support your teen, Margo Marrone, Co-Founder of The Organic Pharmacy, shares her expert tips for establishing a good skincare routine for your teenager.
While their teens might seem early for your child to start focussing on their skincare regime, it’s actually the perfect time. The earlier we start looking after our skin, the better, and as our teenage years are the first time that we start to experience skin concerns like hormonal acne and oiliness, taking control of these issues can not only help tackle each one in the present, but can also help prevent skin problems later in life, such as adult acne, premature ageing, and sun damage. Here, we’ll be sharing our expert advice to help parents get to grips with teenage skincare.
Developing a skincare routine
When it comes to skincare for teens, simple is often the best solution. This will make the routine much easier to keep on top of each day — especially around school and social commitments. Plus, going overboard with products and ingredients could not only be unnecessary but may cause more irritation. Instead, a simple four-step routine to cleanse, treat, moisturise, and protect is best. This means a cleanser, a gentle toner or serum to tackle skin issues, a lightweight moisturiser, and an SPF.
Common skin concerns for teens
Your adolescent years are prime time for minor skin concerns, but with the right skincare routine, you can help your teen tackle, treat, and prevent them. Below are some of the most common skin concerns for teens and the ingredients and tips that can help keep them at bay.
Acne and oiliness
Acne is one of the most common skincare problems that teenagers face. This is caused by hormonal changes which lead to oily skin. Excess oils clog the skin, which causes a build-up of bacteria and leads to spots.
When it comes to treating acne and oiliness, it’s important not to strip the skin. Over-drying will cause your skin to produce more oils in response. Instead, look for products designed to balance oiliness as well as those with anti-bacterial properties. Peppermint and tea tree can have antiseptic properties that will tackle bacteria build-up, while eucalyptus helps to soothe inflamed skin. Cleansers containing these ingredients can be particularly effective for balancing oiliness and decongesting pores.
After cleansing, it’s important to rehydrate the skin, so look for calming and soothing ways to do this such as with a gentle herbal toner and a light face cream. Some face creams also include bacterial-fighting ingredients such as manuka, for an extra blemish-tackling boost.
Acne can also cause issues such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is when the skin appears darker after a spot has healed. This is entirely normal and is simply excess melanin which your skin produces as a result of the inflammation. While it will fade over time, there are some ingredients that your teen can incorporate into their skincare routine to help them heal faster.
An SPF is an essential part of any skincare routine, helping to protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Not only can these rays cause skin damage, but they can also worsen the appearance of dark spots. So, incorporating an SPF of at least 30 will help protect your child’s skin from UV rays and hyperpigmentation.
When it comes to skincare, prevention is often better than treatment. Picking spots will cause them to become more inflamed and irritated, which increases the likelihood of hyperpigmentation. So, while it can be tricky, it’s important to encourage your teen to keep their hands away from any blemishes to avoid making them worse.
While oiliness is common among teens, some teenagers may experience dryness at this age instead. This can be a result of hormones, or it can be a result of drying skincare products. We often turn to drying products in an attempt to treat acne, which can actually cause other issues. Instead, look for moisturising ingredients like plant butters. Carrot butter can be particularly beneficial for the skin, as it’s not only moisturising but it’s packed full of beta carotene, an antioxidant that can boost skin health and radiance.
Speaking to your teen about skincare
When speaking to your teen about their skin, it’s important to remember that this is a period where your child may be feeling self-conscious about their appearance. Try to emphasise the importance of a good skincare routine for skin health, rather than aesthetics, to encourage your teen to develop healthy habits and feel happy and confident in their own skin.
It’s also vital that you don’t make skincare feel like a chore. Most products can take at least a month before any noticeable differences appear. While your teen might feel inclined to give up on their routine if they don’t see immediate results, you can gently keep them on track by complimenting their skin after using their products. Investing in skincare products with relaxing scents can also make their skincare routine feel more luxurious, which can encourage your teen to keep using them.
While adolescence can bring about some big changes to your child’s skin, the tips above can help you support them and develop a good skincare routine to tackle their concerns. For even more parenting advice, take a look at the kids and teens articles at Parenting Expert.