Being a teenager can be stressful. You already have a lot on your plate -- studying, college applications, social events, etc. -- and acne is definitely one extra thing you wish you didn’t have to worry about. As a teen, it’s totally normal for your skin to be all over the place. Acne is a common issue for teens because of the hormonal changes that come with puberty. These hormonal changes stimulate increased oil production, which can then lead to clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, and breakouts.
Luckily, you’re in the right place. We’re here to share our best teenage skincare tips for achieving clear, healthy skin.
Understand Your Skin Type
One of the most important teen skincare tips is to understand your skin type. The five basic skin types are oily, dry, combination, normal, and sensitive, and the type you have is primarily determined by genetics. Once you’ve determined yours, you can move to introducing a daily skincare routine to keep your skin in check. Let’s dive into the different characteristics of each skin type.
Oily skin types have visible pores and higher oil production levels than other skin types. Those with oily skin tend to develop a shine on their skin throughout the day due to excess oil, making them more prone to breakouts and clogged pores. If you have oily skin, you may assume that drying out your skin is the solution, but doing so will actually make your skin even more oily. Overdrying will trigger your skin to produce more oil to compensate. When adding new products to your routine, look for oil-free, non-comedogenic options to make sure your routine is helping your skin rather than hurting it by causing more breakouts.
If you have dry skin, you likely have almost invisible pores and tend to experience dryness and tightness due to a lack of skin hydration. You may even be prone to cracking, peeling, flaking, or itchiness, which can get worse during the colder seasons. Skin hydration should be the main priority for those with dry skin. Keep your skin soft and supple with the help of cream moisturizers, hydrating serums, and hydrating face masks.
Those with combination skin exhibit characteristics of both oily skin and dry skin. Certain areas of the face may get oilier throughout the day while other areas may be more dry. The T-zone tends to be oily while the outer areas of the face, like the cheeks, tend to be dry. Since different areas have different needs, it can be difficult to care for combination skin, but a simple way to do so is to find products that are effective in helping control oil production without causing further dryness. It’ll likely take a lot of trial and error, but the end result will be worth it!
If your skin isn’t oily or dry, you likely have normal skin. When it comes to texture and consistency, you can choose the products in your routine based on your personal preferences. Essentially, caring for normal skin is all about preventative measures. Instead of treating skin issues that you already have, you’re preventing issues from developing. Those with normal skin should focus their attention on products with anti-aging benefits to help keep their skin in the best condition possible.
Sensitive skin refers to skin that gets aggravated or irritated very easily. This irritation can come in the form of rashes, breakouts, redness, dryness, flakiness, burning, or itching. Keep in mind that your skin can develop sensitivities and allergies over time, so you may have sensitive skin at a later point in life. To prevent potential reactions, patch test every new skincare product before using them on your face. Better safe than sorry!
How To Find Out Your Skin Type
An easy way to find out what skin type you have is by using a blotting paper. Blotting papers are small sheets of paper that pick up oil from the skin when patted onto different areas of the face. If the paper picks up oil from all areas of your face, you have oily skin. If it only picked up oil from certain areas of your face, like your T-zone, then you have combination skin. If it didn’t pick up any oil at all, you likely have dry or normal skin.
A Simple Skincare Routine for Teens
Use a Gentle Cleanser
The first step of every skincare routine is facial cleanser. It’s crucial to start your routine with a clean, freshly washed face to allow the rest of your products to be the most effective and ultimately get the best bang for your buck.
To wash your face properly, use a cleanser suited for your skin type to avoid drying out your skin or causing irritation. Don’t scrub harshly or be too aggressive with your skin; instead, use gentle, circular motions, making sure to get every inch of your face. After rinsing off your cleanser with lukewarm water, your skin should feel soft and smooth. If you end up feeling tight or dry, that’s a sign that your cleanser is too harsh for your skin.
Treat Acne & Other Blemishes
If you have acne-prone skin, you’ll want to add a treatment product to your routine. There are plenty of acne treatment solutions out there so it’s important to choose a solution that’s simple and gentle yet powerful and effective. The best treatment for you will be one that doesn’t just battle breakouts, but also nourishes your skin from the inside out.
Treat is our vegan acne treatment gel made with 2% salicylic acid, a powerful acne-fighting ingredient and chemical exfoliant. Salicylic acid penetrates deep within the pores to clear them of dirt, oil, and bacteria, without damaging the skin. Use Treat alone as a spot treatment or as part of our 3-step Clear Skin Routine.
Moisturize Your Skin
Another key step in a teen skincare routine is moisturizer. Apply moisturizer twice daily to help keep your skin supple, soft, and hydrated as well as to help prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles. Failing to moisturize on a daily basis can cause dryness and irritation, especially if regularly using any treatment products to fight breakouts and blemishes.
Other Teenage Skincare Tips
Because true skincare is more than just the products you apply to your face, we have some additional teenage skincare tips to help you along your skin journey.
Practice Clean Makeup Habits
If you wear makeup, be mindful of how your makeup habits may be affecting your complexion. Think about all the times these products and applicators come into contact with your skin. They accumulate bacteria over time along with dead skin cells and oil, which can all contribute to breakouts. To prevent worsening your complexion, avoid sharing makeup with others and clean your brushes and any other makeup applicators on a regular basis.
Keep Your Hands Off Your Face
Every time you touch your face, you’re spreading oil, dirt, and bacteria that can turn into a breakout so keep those hands away from your face! We know this can be a hard habit to break, but your skin will definitely thank you for it.
That’s not all -- avoid popping or picking at your pimples! Popping zits can spread infection, damage your skin tissue, and cause further inflammation, leaving your skin redder and more swollen than before. It’ll also increase your chances of developing a scar or hyperpigmentation. Instead, spot treat your blemishes with a gentle, yet effective acne treatment that will clear your pores of acne-causing bacteria.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
You may want to rethink the sugary after-school snacks. A high sugar intake has negative effects on the skin in that it causes inflammation, which then leads to increased oil production. The result? New or worsened breakouts. Try your best to maintain a well-balanced diet for clear skin, consisting of whole foods that nourish your body and your skin.
Don’t Forget SPF
Sun protection is crucial at every age. One of the best ways to protect your young, teen skin is by wearing sunscreen every day. Yes, you read that right - every single day! The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes, meaning they pose a significant threat to your skin health. Always keep a bottle of sunscreen on hand or in your backpack, especially if you’re involved in any sports or outdoor activities.
Be Consistent and Patient
It's time to set things straight. When it comes to skincare, if you're expecting to see instant results, you'll be sorely disappointed. Remember that skincare is a process and a journey! With certain types of products like moisturizer, you may notice quicker results, but other products take time because they affect the skin on a cellular level. It takes roughly 28 days for the top layer of skin to regenerate, so remind yourself to be consistent and patient with your skin. You got this!
Abby Vinas has long been an active member of the holistic health community, advocating in favor of its benefits to both our physical and emotional well-being. Her commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle has made her an authority on self-care practices. Abby is passionate about fitness, nutrition, and proper skincare, and is also an avid lover of avocado toast and dog-petting.