Fri | Jan 19, 2018

Facial skin care tips for teens

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2016 | 11:05 PM

We continue our series on skin issues affecting teenagers with a look at facial skincare tips for teens.

There are many skin changes occurring during teenage years. For example, increased hormone levels during this phase usually cause the skin's oil glands (sebaceous glands) to produce more oil (sebum). Most teens, therefore, notice their skin appearing greasy and prone to acne.

Although most teens complain of oily skin, some may have combination skin while others may have predominantly dry or sensitive skin due to other skin conditions such as eczema. We'll, therefore, look at skin care tips for different skin types.

If you haven't started already, adopt a healthy skincare routine, starting with twice daily cleansing with a gentle, soap-free cleanser (liquids or solid bar). This is very important for individuals with dry, sensitive or combination skin.

Individuals with oily skin can use exfoliating and/or antibacterial cleansers which contain ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide or sulfur. These individuals can also benefit from once weekly scrubs or masks. If you prefer home remedies, mixtures of milk and/or honey can also be used to clean and exfoliate (remove dead skin cells). Cornmeal, honey, brown sugar and oatmeal can be used for natural scrubs.

The second step involves the use of toners after cleansing. This step is optional if a pH-balanced cleanser is used. Toners may restore the skin's natural acidity (pH), tighten the skin, possibly making pores look smaller and enhance the effects of cleansers and moisturisers.

Some toners may be gentle, alcohol free and soothe the skin. These may be tolerated by dry and sensitive skin types. Witch hazel is an example of a natural gentle toner.

Astringent toners are harsher types of toners with a higher alcohol content, as well as exfoliating and other ingredients. Astringents are most useful in oily, acne-prone skin types or for removing heavy make-up.

Caution should be taken when using astringents along with other exfoliating products, such as acne treatments, which may irritate the skin. Astringents should be avoided in dry and sensitive skin types.




The third step in skin care is the use of moisturisers. They are beneficial for all skin types, even oily skin. Individuals with dry skin should moisturise as often as needed. Individuals with oily and combination skin types should use oil-free/non comedogenic/non-pore blocking moisturisers daily or twice daily. Individuals with sensitive skin should use products labelled hypoallogenic, and ideally, fragrance-free products.

All persons, regardless of skin type, should use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30. Sunscreens should be used daily, 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapplied every few hours and after swimming or excessive sweating.

Individuals should seek medical help if skin problems arise which you cannot manage alone. Skin care doesn't have to be expensive or complicated, but it's important to take good care of the skin you're in! Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2016!

n Dr Arusha Campbell-Chambers is a

dermatologist and founder of Dermatology Solutions Skin Clinics & Medi-Spas. Email: