Wednesday 7 November 2018

Teen Skincare

One thing I get asked a lot in the Facebook group is my recommendations for teenage skin. I have to say it's a question I always rather dread giving an answer to. Skin is so individual and hard to advise on without being seen and teenage skin is 100 times trickier. How hormones and puberty affect someones skin is completely unique and can change almost overnight.

One thing we usually associate with teenage skin is spots and these can be caused by a number of things but one thing that can definitely help is making sure the skin is clean. Many products can go too far and overly strip the skin causing further damage and in some cases increased sebum (oil) production. A good cleanser will keep the skin clean without taking away too much oil or messing with the natural balance of the bacteria on the skin. A good cleanser is important because it will help to keep the pores clear from oil and dirt therefore helping to prevent spots and blackheads. If your teenager has acne you will need more than a cleanser.

Teen Skin Light Box with Leopard Print background

However, there is everything to be said for encourage your tween/teen to develop a good skin care routine. Not only will the reap the benefits in the future but it also encourages self-care, taking time to look after oneself and be aware of whats going on with your skin and face. We want our kids to play sport and eat well and I think it's great to ensure they are looking after their skin too - it's their biggest organ after all.

As with all aspects of skincare there is so much more choice available to teens now it's hard to know where to start. It's also very tempting to go for one of the more fashionable, big-name brands which may actually do more harm than good for younger skins. Luckily there are some great brands developed by parents who discovered there was a big gap in the market for what they wanted for their teenagers. I've listed these below.

But first here are some of my teen skincare do's and don'ts that will make choosing your skincare and deciding on a skincare routine a whole lot easier.

  • DO avoid mineral oils, sulphates and parabans all of which can contribute to dryness and aggrivate the skin. 
  • DON'T go overboard. Your skin knows what it's doing. The most important thing for teen skin is to keep it clean so cleansing twice a day is great. If that's all you need to do then that's fine. 
  • DO wear sunscreen. 80% of wrinkles are from UV exposure so before you think about adding products to your teens skin routine to prevent problems arising in the future, stop. You are probably overloading the skin and in fact making sure they are using a sensible SPF is the best thing. 
  • DO go to the GP if you have full-blown acne. You don't have to just get on with it, there's lots you can do and a trip to the GP is the first thing I'd suggest to see what they recommend. 
  • DO use rosehip oil if you have acne scarring and to prevent scarring. 
  • DO look for 'natural' products as up to 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream.*
  • DON'T use wipes or misceller waters as they can be drying and cause a whole host of other problems. 

One product I get asked about specifically is Azelaic Acid as I recommend this a lot to my clients. I love the one from Garden of Wisdom which I use myself and as far as I know this should be safe to use on teenage skin. I would say try to do a patch test to see how the skin reacts. It is antibacterial, inflammatory and helps remove dead skin cells so is great for those who suffer with breakouts.

For those who already have a good skin routine but just want a moisturiser the Olay Radiant Glow Moisture Lotion is a moisturiser aimed at young skins though it's suitable for all and it has light-reflecting particles so will even the appearance of skin tone.

Below are my picks for teen skins, have a look and see which ones will work for you/your teenager. I don't have a teenager and I'm quite far away from being one myself so I haven't tried a lot of these however, I have done extensive research and these are the ones I would go to.

1. Sam Farmer
Created by a dad for his teenagers. He actually went back to school to study cosmetic science and is now sits on the council of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists. This is the place I'd start. The range is basic, as it should be. I'd get the Face Wash and Moisturiser and start there. If you buy 5 of the travel size products they get put together in a travel washbag which would make a lovely present! I love the design of these, the price point and the ethics of this company. Read the About and Education pages on the website and if you don't love Sam Farmer then I'll be surprised. 
Sam Farmer Travel Set

A range of organic skincare designed specifically for teenagers though this goes a little further than Sam Farmer to include a serum and a concealer. For just £2 you can get a Sample Pack which includes two sachets of the serum and moisturiser so you could get this and the Face Wash as a good starter pack though as it's a foaming face wash I would recommend only for the oilier skins. Again this is reasonably priced with a great design that will appeal to everyone.

Oy Skincare from Green People

3. Elizabeth's Daughter
A wider range but again made using botanical and natural ingredients. With more products available you can be more specific in your requirements with a Gel Cleanser for oilier skins, a Cream Cleanser for normal to dry skins and Eye Make-up Remover for those who wear make-up. The Purifying Mask is supposed to be lovely.

4. Amie Skincare
This range is definitely more aimed towards young women rather than men it would be a great choice for those who want to have a grown-up skincare routine - all the steps are available but in versions suitable for younger skins. Oils, masks and exfoliators are available and again this is a brand created by a mother with her daughter in mind. The one thing that puts me off this brand is that they offer wipes - wipes for me on any skin are a complete no so I don't particularly like seeing them in a brand aimed at teens.

5. La Roche Posay Effaclar
For those who like to buy their products from somewhere familiar or if you are a teenager who shops for themselves then La Roche Posay is a high street brand that is well worth having a look at. Their Effaclar Range is aimed at those with breakouts and the oilier skins and they have a lot to choose from. The Effaclar Duo moisturiser contains niacinaminde, salicylic and glycolic acids so will work to get rid of spots and keep the skin blemish free. The Effaclar K is a great mattifying 8hr cream works well under make-up and keeps oil at bay. Definitely a range for those 15+ as this is more active that others. From £11

6. Avene Clearance
Another great brand that you can get in Boots and the one that I'd go to if I was shopping for me or a teenager on the high street. Though they technically have something to suit every skin type their Clearance range would be great for teenage skin that is oily and breaks out. The Clearance Cleansing Gel is great for oily/blemish prone skin and is soap and paraban free so won't strip the skin. The Clearance Mask has everything you need to help a skin with  breakouts - kaolin clay to absorb sebum and sweat, glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids to slough off dead skin and unclog pores and cellulose microbeads exfoliate. From £7.50

Avene Clearance Collection

If I were shopping for a teen today I would go to Sam Farmer first and get some Azelaic Acid if they needed something for breakouts. Remember that any skin routine needs time to take effect

*'up to' does not mean 60% of products every single time you apply anything to your skin. What is absorbed completely depends on the chemical make-up of the products.

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