Teen Skin Care Tips by Skin Type

The teen years are often characterized by skin care challenges, in part due to hormonal changes.   Teens can have an easier time taking care of their skin when they understand their particular type, whether it is normal, dry, oily, or combination.

Normal Skin

Skin that is soft to the touch, with pores that are barely visible, and an even, smooth tone is considered normal.  This type of skin generally has no patches that are red and flaky and does not have noticeable blemishes.  A little shine on the nose or dryness around the eyes doesn’t mean that skin is oily or dry.  Normal skin has some variations and occasional issues, but the oiliness or dryness that occur are easily managed and resolved.

Taking care of normal skin is a matter of cleansing it morning and night using a mild cleanser and water.  Moisturizing products can be used to prevent the skin from becoming dry, and directions should be followed to make sure that the pores don’t become clogged.  One of the best tips for all skin types is to use sunscreen daily to help avoid damage from the sun that can lead to skin cancer and premature aging.

Oily Skin

A shiny complexion, acne-prone skin, and frequent blackheads and pimples are indications of oily skin.  When cleansing this type of skin, it is important to use a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night instead of a harsh soap, as the latter can cause your skin to produce even more oil.  Washcloths and puffs often have the same effect, as they irritate skin and stimulate oil production.  When a cleanser alone doesn’t seem to be effective, products including salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or other acids may be effective, but it is best to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best cleansing solution.

During the day, a cleansing pad can be used to remove sweat and dirt that can cause breakouts and to reduce oiliness.  Additional tips including keeping the hair off the face and reducing oil by washing hair every day.   As with all skin types, proper sun protection is key.  Many products have sunscreen, and these are fine to use as long as they are non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores.

Dry Skin

In contrast to oily and even normal skin, the pores of dry skin are almost invisible.  The texture can be dull or rough, and it can be scaly or red in appearance.  With exposure to irritants, the skin can crack or peel, and inflammation is common.  When caring for skin of this type, it is necessary to use a mild cleanser on a daily basis.  Moisturizer is key to preventing water loss from the skin, which can make skin even drier.  Make sure that it contains sunscreen to protect the skin from sun damage, which can further dry the skin and cause inflammation.

During the winter, dry skin is common among teens, especially since classrooms tend to be hot and dry.  Avoiding temperature extremes, and making sure that showers are not very hot can help to regulate the amount of moisture the skin retains.

Combination Skin

Many teens don’t a combination of skin types.  A common experience is to have oily skin on the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin), and dry or normal on the cheeks and rest of the face.  The key to managing combination skin is to use different products that are designed for the skin type that is present on that area of the face.

For all skin types, the use of gentle yet effective products is preferable.  The key to maintaining balance is to not treat the skin harshly or cause irritation and inflammation.  Your doctor can help you to select specific cleansers and moisturizers that work best for your skin type.

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