Back to School: Tween & Teen Clear Skin Tips

by Carmen Kubista

Back to School: Tween & Teen Clear Skin Tips

It's back-to-school time and while our Minnesota summers always feel too short, we welcome the daily structure that school days bring. In our house we have all teenagers and tweens this year (pray for us), so along with the excitement of new schedules and seeing old friends, we're also feeling the anxiety of fitting in.

The time to teach children to care for themselves, physically and emotionally, is while they are young. Self-care isn't just for stressed out or overworked adults. What a gift we can give to our kiddos – to help them learn how to truly care for themselves and to own their personal well-being.

I won't pretend to know or give advice that's best left to the professionals. But skin care is an important part of self-care...and that IS something I know a bit about.

Let's get real about teen skin... The term "acne" makes me cringe. I had to deal with it, some of my kids are dealing with it – I know the struggles it brings. I firmly believe that the first line of defense is to teach our kids to freely know and give grace to themselves and others; but the reality is that acne can be an unfortunate force in a young life. Heck, it can be an unfortunate part of adult life on any given day.

Here's another reality – there is no cure for acne. There's no silver bullet, no magic cream that can make it disappear forever. Hormonal ebb and flow, genetics, and personal habits all play a part in the appearance of acne, or lack thereof. And of course, we can only really make changes to one of those factors.

Focusing on personal habits, I recommend the following skin care regimen for tweens and teens to treat and help keep acne at bay.

Teen Acne Regimen for Morning and Night

  1. Gently splash warm water onto your face and neck. The warmth of the water helps to open pores.
  2. Lather a clean, natural cleanser into clean, damp hands. (Story's Cleanser is a great first cleanser for teens and tweens!)
  3. Gently massage cleanser onto face, neck, chest and back with your bare hands, just long enough to remove make-up and oils. Please do not use a washcloth nor a cleansing brush, as these will irritate your skin further and spread bacteria, making the problem worse.
  4. Gently rinse with warm water.
  5. Instead of using a towel, let skin begin to air dry. Then – with clean hands – gently apply any treatments (acne treatments, serums, etc.) while the face is still slightly damp, for more efficient absorption.
  6. Make sure to apply treatment to your forehead, lower face (especially chin and along jawline), and upper neck (including the skin below your ears and under the jaw). Spread the treatment with your hands but keep it gentle. Avoid getting any acne treatment near your eyes.
  7. Continue to gently massage treatment into your skin until you feel that it is thoroughly absorbed.
  8. Apply a light, daily natural moisturizer. This might seem counter-intuitive but the key to combatting excess oil is to feed your skin the moisture it needs on a regular basis. (Story's light and natural Moisturizer works great for teen and tween skin.)
  9. Let skin care dry completely before you dress or apply make-up.
  10. When possible, use chemical-free, clean make-up and sunscreen.

In addition to a consistent daily skin care routine, making some relatively easy lifestyle changes can have a big impact on teen skin as well:

    • Be very careful not to over-wash. Twice-daily cleansing is critical, but too much can backfire.
    • Change your pillowcase often, every other night if possible, to avoid rubbing your face in bacteria and hair products while you sleep.
    • Shower every day, before bed if you can. But don't use super hot water, which can dry out your skin and cause your skin to overproduce oils. Instead, rinse in luke warm or tepid water.
    • If you feel the need to exfoliate, please don't use harsh products. Simply use a washcloth to gently rub your skin during a cleanse to lift and remove dead skin cells once weekly.
    • Use a clean, chemical-free sunscreen when outdoors. The sun can exacerbate acne scarring.
    • Don’t touch your affected areas.
    • If you get dirty, sweaty, or feel greasy during the day, cleanse and treat again when possible.
    • Use clean, chemical-free shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products as much as possible. Many of the popular salon products contain chemicals and synthetic fragrance that can make acne worse.
    • As much as possible, eat clean, whole foods. Consuming fewer processed foods and drink will help clear your skin.
    • Drink as much water as you can in a day. Drinking enough water in a day is absolutely critical for clear skin. If you aren’t a water fan, consider infusing with fruit or adding a sugar-free flavoring or decaf tea.
    • If you are wearing a mask on the bus or at school, always start the day with a clean mask and wash your face when you get home.
    • Be constant. Stick to the regimen.
    • Seek progress rather than perfection. If you see improvement, stay the course. Try tweaking things like diet, exercise, water consumption, changing hair care products, laundry detergent, etc. if needed.

I invite you to share these ideas with your kiddos, and hope that both you and they find this advice genuinely useful. I pray that all of our kids have a safe and happy school year.

Clear Skin Tips


Carmen Kubista
Carmen Kubista

Author

founder of story skin care, wife & mom



Also in Caring for Your Skin

Gluten-free Pancakes
Gluten-free Pancakes

by Carmen Kubista

When our daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 4, Tim immediately went to work on a gluten-free recipe that would taste just as good as the non-GF version. After several taste tests with the most discerning young palates, he nailed it. Light and fluffy, perfectly golden – gluten-free – perfect pancakes!

More

Fruits & Vegetables for Great Skin
Fruits & Vegetables for Great Skin

by Carmen Kubista

One of our favorite times of the year is fresh fruits and veggie season. Hello, farmer's market! Fresh fruits and vegetables are wonderful for your skin AND your overall health in general. Food that doubles as skin care?! That's my kind of win-win. For radiant, clear skin, pop by your local markets for some of these skin-friendly, colorful foods. 

More

7 Ways to Prep Skin for Your Big Day
7 Ways to Prep Skin for Your Big Day

by Carmen Kubista

Calling all brides! And bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, mothers-in-law…even the grooms! We’ve got some simple, yet impactful tips to help you prepare your skin for the big day.

More