Being a teen should be fun. Take charge of your skin care with these tips, and soon a clear complexion will put a smile back on your face.
- Cleanse carefully. If your skin is oily, you’ll probably do well with a foaming or gel cleanser for daily skin care. Cleanse once a day, or twice if your skin gets very oily or dirty throughout the day. “If a teen girl wears makeup, it’s best to remove eye makeup first, then cleanse with your fingertips and a gel or foaming cleanser,” Wu says. If you play sports or work hard in PE class, wash your face (if you can) before you exercise. At the very least, she says, carry facial tissues to blot your skin. For teens who have dry rather than oily skin, try a milky cleanser and moisturizer.
- Wash off makeup before bed. Even if your best friend can sleep with her makeup on and look great, it’s not a great idea. “If you’re simply too exhausted to tie your hair back, take off makeup, and wash your face, at least use a pre-moistened cleansing wipe to take off makeup, dirt, and oil,” Wu says. If you make a regular habit of sleeping in makeup, you can have an acne breakout or develop a bumpy rash called perioral or periocular dermatitis.
- Control oil. You want to keep down the shine without being harsh on your skin. According to Wu, there’s a basic three-step process to oil control: (1) choose a salicylic acid cleanser, (2) use an oil-free primer to control shine, and (3) blot oil during the day using specialized cloths or tissues.
- Exfoliate. You need to exfoliate only once or twice a week, using a relatively gentle product. Don’t scrub (it won’t help with acne or blackheads) and don’t over-exfoliate.
- Get the right acne products. If you have breakouts, try this approach: Wash your skin, use a toner, and then apply a medicated acne gel. Check the expiration dates.
- Don’t share makeup.“Do you want to share your friend’s germs?” Wu asks. “It’s an especially bad idea to share eye and lip products.” So, as tempting as it is to try your friend’s perfect new eyeliner, get your own instead.
- Keep hands clean. One way to help your skin stay healthy is to protect it from dirt and too many germs. Wash your hands before you touch your face or touch up your makeup and regularly clean other surfaces that touch your skin, such as your phone.
- Choose spray hair products. If you notice that your acne breakouts cluster around your hairline or places where your hair often brushes your skin, consider that your hair product might be to blame. Make a switch to spray products, which, Wu says, “are less likely to cause breakouts.”
- Change pillowcases often. For problem skin, bacteria and oil can build up on your pillowcase and be reintroduced to your skin the following night. Clean skin can result in clear skin so invest in a nice stack of pillowcases and make sure to wash them with a dye-free and fragrance-free laundry soap to avoid any potential irritants touching your face.
- Wear sunscreen. You want your skin to look healthy now and for decades to come. Using sunblock also helps keep your acne breakouts from turning dark, Wu says. Pick an oil-free product, and look for cosmetics, like liquid foundation, that contain sunscreen.
- Avoid tanning beds. Get a healthy bronze glow with a self-tanner. Tanning beds and sun tanning can set you up for early wrinkles and increased skin cancer risk later on.
- Talk to a doctor. Seeing a dermatologist about acne can make a huge difference, especially if you have red, pus-filled pimples or large lumps under the skin that are painful or leaving scars. “Those can stay with you for a lifetime,” Wu says. You might benefit from prescription cleansers and acne medication that can clear skin faster and more effectively than over-the-counter products.
The trick to is to learn what type of skin you have, the best way to clean it, and how to choose products that won’t trigger a breakout.
Skin type 1: Combination skin
Normal and oily skin areas on the face. Blemished, large-pored and oily skin occurs primarily in the T-zone, i.e. between the forehead, eyebrows, nose and chin. The skin around the T-zone is smooth and has fine pores. The cheek area is dry and sometimes tight. A BB cream which lightly covers impurities and protects your skin from the sun with SPF 10 at the same time is ideal here.
Care tip: as the skin tends to be dehydrated, a day cream with plenty of moisture can be used.
Skin type 2: Oily skin
Your face looks pale, shiny and has large pores. Spots and blackheads spread across your forehead, nose, chin, upper chest area and back. The impurities occur because your sebum production is working flat out. These skin problems are caused by hormonal changes during puberty.
Care tip: don’t squeeze the spots – this will cause them to become inflamed and will cause unsightly scars. Use products that are especially for impure skin, with ‘non-comedogenic’ formulas (this means that they prevent blackheads forming) and have anti-bacterial properties – like all the products for impure skin from NIVEA. You can be sure that these creams will not clog your skin’s pores. What’s more, they cover up small impurities and give the skin a slight matte effect.
Skin type 3: Sensitive skin
Tender, fine-pored, yet delicate skin which is especially sensitive to environmental influences and stress. This can range from slight redness to feelings of tightness right through to allergic reactions.
Rough flakes often appear on the skin. Impurities such as spots are therefore less common.
Skin type 4: Normal skin
This skin type is matte and rarely shines, except perhaps when exercising! You might get a spot every now and then, but that’s absolutely natural when you’re a teenager, as they are caused by hormones. The balance between dry and oily skin is ideal, as the sebaceous glands work well. Pores are relatively fine.
For this skin, you can use a tinted BB cream which not only evens out slight irregularities, but also provides your skin with moisture.