Teen Skin Care Basics for the New School Year

With the new school year right around the corner, it’s never too early to have a skin care plan in place.  Teen’s schedules become busy with early wakeup times, long stretches of classes, and homework that can last into the evening.  Taking some time to prepare for the upcoming year can help to prevent multiple problems including acne breakouts and dry skin.


The first step in the skin care regimen is to cleanse the skin properly.  With so many products available, it can be challenging to select a cleanser.  One of the best ways to avoid irritating the skin unnecessarily is to make sure that the cleanser you are using has been designed for your skin type, or is compatible with it.  Teen skin can be very sensitive, which is why a gentle yet effective cleansing solution in the morning and at night is the best choice.  For teens with oily or combination skin, ingredients containing salicylic acid or glycolic acid can be helpful.  Glycolic acid helps to remove dead skin cells, while salicylic acid reduces oil.

Moisturize and Treat

Once the skin is clean, it is important to moisturize and treat the skin with products that is not too heavy or too light for your skin type.  While teens with dry skin can benefit from a heavier cream, the same product can exacerbate acne in someone with oily skin.  Moisturizing is a key step in any skin care routine, but the wrong product can worsen skin problems that you may be experiencing.

There are a variety of treatments available to treat eczema, acne, and other skin conditions that may occur during the teen years.  Your doctor may recommend using products containing non-prescription ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide or a prescription such as a topical retinoid.  Follow the directions for each product or as communicated by your doctor regarding whether it should be applied over or under moisturizer.  While it may be tempting to utilize products more than recommended to try to achieve a faster result, this will only cause further irritation to your skin and cause a setback in the condition you are trying to treat.


The final step in your routine is to make sure that you have used a product that contains sunscreen.  Once summer is over, and you are spending more time indoors, this can be an area that is easily overlooked, but sun damage from UVA and UVB rays can cause a host of problems including inflammation and a worsening of breakouts.  If you are using acne medication, your skin can be more prone to irritation and burning as well.

With so many options of skin care products, it can be difficult to decide which are best for your particular skin needs.  Keep in mind that fragrance-free products are less irritating to the skin.  Also look for products that are non-comedogenic, which means they will not clog pores.  Consultation with your doctor can help you to determine the best products to keep your skin healthy throughout the year.

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