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Skin Care for Teens: A Step-by-Step Routine
The teenage years are a time of growth, self-discovery, and change. Along with different changes, teens usually experience common skin concerns, from acne breakouts to dry or oily skin.
Establishing a proper skincare regime during your teenage years can set the foundation for a healthy and radiant skin lifetime. We will walk you through a step-by-step skincare routine tailored specifically for teens.
Why is Taking Care of Your Skin Important for Teens?
As teens, you might wonder why skincare is important. After all, youthful skin typically seems resilient and blemish-free. However, there are several key reasons to maintain your skin care during this period:
Acne and Breakouts
Hormonal changes during adolescence can lead to an increase in acne and breakouts. Proper skincare can help with acne treatment.
Establishing good skincare habits early can prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles.
Clear, healthy skin can boost your confidence and self-esteem during a time when self-image is crucial.
Proper skincare can help prevent skin issues and diseases like skin cancer.
What Is The Best Skin Care Routine For Teens?
We’ve curated the best routine designed to keep your skin at its best and help maintain your skin needs without damaging your skin barrier.
Keep in mind that this is a routine that anyone can use. But your skin may worsen if you have acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, or reactive skin. This routine does not factor in your diet, lifestyle, exercise, and sleep. It’s best to consult a dermatologist for a customized and targeted approach.
Step 1: Cleansing (Morning and Night)
Cleansing is the cornerstone of every skincare regimen, eliminating dirt, excess oil, and debris that can congest pores and trigger acne. It’s best to do this twice a day.
Moisture-rich products like cream cleansers suit those with dry skin types. On the other hand, gel and foam washes are best for oily skin types as they control excess sebum and clean clogged pores.
How to do it:
- Use a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser.
- Wash with lukewarm water (avoid hot water, which can be harsh on the skin).
- Gently massage on your face for about 30 seconds.
- After washing, rinse your face and gently pat it dry without rubbing.
Step 2: Face Mask (optional)
If you’re a fan of the Korean beauty routine, you’ve probably noticed how often they incorporate masks. If you’re eager to give them a try, here’s a simple guide: If the mask is meant to be rinsed off, like an exfoliating or detoxifying mask, apply it immediately after your cleansing routine.
Conversely, if the mask is designed to be left on, especially overnight, apply it just before your moisturizer. Face masks should fit into your skincare routine after cleansing and toning but before moisturizing.
Think of these masks as occasional replacements for your serums and spot treatments, typically to be used once or twice a week. Just follow the step-by-step process for the best results.
There are masks specifically catered to dry skin and oily skin; make sure to choose one that works best for you.
Step 3: Exfoliate Dead Skin Cells (2-3 Times per Week)
Exfoliating helps eliminate dead skin cells, clears out pores, and results in a revitalized appearance for your skin. It’s recommended to start exfoliating at the age of 14, especially if acne starts appearing.
If you’re a daily makeup enthusiast, think about exfoliating before bed to bid adieu to those pesky makeup remnants. But if you’re waking up with a less-than-glowing complexion, a little morning exfoliation might be your secret answer.
Some use products with lactic acid, salicylic acid, AHA, and BHA. They can exfoliate your skin cells without damaging your skin barrier. But not every teen should use those products. Make sure to ask your dermatologist before adding it to your routine.
How to do it:
- Use a mild exfoliant with small, gentle beads.
- Apply it to wet skin and rub in a circular motion, avoiding the eye area.
- Rinse thoroughly and follow with a moisturizer.
Step 4: Toning (Morning and Night)
Toners balance your skin’s pH levels, tighten pores, and prepare your skin for the next steps. They help your skin absorb more products after usage.
Step 5: Moisturizing (Morning and Night)
Moisturizing is needed to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. Even if you have oily skin, do not skip this step, as it can prevent excess oil production. Do this twice a day.
How to do it:
- Use an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
- Apply a small amount to your face and neck, using gentle upward strokes.
Step 6: Sunscreen (Morning)
Sunscreen is your best defense against premature aging (fine lines and wrinkles), sunburn, and skin cancer. A broad-spectrum sunscreen will help your skin barrier fight off harmful UVA and UVB radiation.
How to do it:
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.
- Apply it generously to your face and exposed skin at least 15 minutes before going outside.
Step 7: Spot Treatment (As Needed)
For occasional breakouts, spot treatments can help reduce redness and inflammation. But make sure to consult a dermatologist before applying anything.
How to do it:
- Apply a product with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid directly to the affected area.
- Follow the instructions on the product. Use accurate amounts, as overuse can lead to skin irritation.
Step 8: Night Cream (Optional)
A night cream can help hydrate your skin while you sleep, aiding in the repair and regeneration process.
How to do it:
- Use a night cream suitable for your skin type.
- Apply it after cleansing and toning your face.
Afterwards, you can now wear makeup. But be careful; your skin may cake up due to product buildup from your routine. Opt for lightweight materials or lessen your product usage if this happens.
Make sure to use ingredients that are paraben-free, non-comedogenic, and contain active ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid (if allowed). If you’re doing acne treatments, consult a dermatologist to prevent further aggravating your skin’s surface.
Remember that consistency is key in skincare. Stick to this routine daily, and be patient – it can take a few weeks to see noticeable results. Also, tailor your routine to your specific type and any dermatologist recommendations you might have.
What is the Correct Order of Skincare?
The correct order of skincare is essential to maximize the effectiveness of your products. It generally follows this sequence:
- Face mask (optional)
- Exfoliation (2-3 times a week)
- Sunscreen (morning)
- Spot Treatment (as needed)
- Night Cream (optional)
Remember: Don’t use highly damaging/peeling products, and don’t use retinoids and other acids unless needed.
Skincare routines are not one-size-fits-all; they should be specifically catered to your skin type, sensitivities, activity, diet, and more. Remember that you should also consult your dermatologist or just ask them via teledermatology.
How Do Beginners Apply Skin Care?
For beginners, applying skincare can be simplified into a few key steps:
- Start with a gentle cleanser.
- Follow with a toner to balance your skin’s pH.
- Use a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
- Use sunscreen in the morning to protect your skin from UV damage.
- For specific concerns like breakouts, use spot treatment products as needed.
- Consider a night cream for added hydration and repair (optional).
What Skincare Ingredients Should I Avoid As A Teen?
As a teenager, it’s important to be mindful of the skincare ingredients you use to maintain a healthy and balanced complexion, as some ingredients protect your skin, while some create imbalances with your skin’s natural oils.
While everyone’s skin is unique, here are some skincare ingredients to be cautious about or potentially avoid unless recommended by a dermatologist:
- Harsh Chemical Exfoliants: Glycolic acid and salicylic acid can be overly aggressive for young, sensitive skin, especially for 13-year-olds and below. It might remove dead skin cells, but it can also be too damaging for young skin.
- Fragrances and Essential Oils: Fragrances and essential oils can irritate some individuals, potentially leading to breakouts or redness. Opt for fragrance-free or hypoallergenic products to reduce the risk of skin irritation.
- Heavy Oils and Comedogenic Ingredients: Ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter, and mineral oil can clog pores and exacerbate acne. Look for non-comedogenic products to prevent breakouts.
- Alcohol: High concentrations of alcohol can be drying and irritating. It’s best to choose products with lower alcohol content or alcohol-free alternatives.
- Sulfates: Sulfates, like sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, are often found in foaming cleansers. They can be too harsh and dry for sensitive teenage skin.
- Highly Astringent or Drying Agents: Products containing strong astringents, like witch hazel or high concentrations of tea tree oil, can overly dry out the skin, leading to imbalances and potential irritation. Use it in moderation.
- Retinoids (Retin-A or Tretinoin): These potent ingredients are typically recommended for treating acne and signs of aging, but they can be too harsh for some teens. It’s advisable to use them under the guidance of a dermatologist.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: While it can be effective for acne, benzoyl peroxide can dry and may cause excessive peeling, especially if used in high concentrations. Use it in moderation.
- Hydroquinone: This skin-lightening ingredient should be avoided unless prescribed by a dermatologist. If not used correctly, it can lead to skin sensitivity and other side effects.
Teens generally don’t need a complicated routine. Overloading the skin with numerous products can lead to confusion and possible skin issues. A gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen regimen is often sufficient.
Before using new products, conduct patch tests and seek advice from a dermatologist for particular concerns or skin problems.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What skincare for a 12-year-old?
For a 12-year-old, a basic skincare routine should include a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Products should be chosen based on the child’s skin concerns or type (oily or dry skin).
What skincare should a 13-year-old use?
A 13-year-old can follow a similar skincare routine as outlined in this article, focusing on cleansing, moisturizing, and using sunscreen. Toning and spot treatments can be added as needed or if prescribed by a dermatologist.
Can a 13-year-old use toner?
Yes, a 13-year-old can use toner, but it should be alcohol-free and suitable for their skin type. Toners help balance the skin’s pH and can be beneficial in a skincare routine.
What skincare should a 14-year-old use?
A 14-year-old should use a skincare routine similar to the one described here. It should include cleansing, moisturizing, sunscreen, and potentially toning and spot treatments based on individual needs.
Should a 15-year-old do skincare?
Yes, a 15-year-old should have a skincare routine to maintain healthy skin. Skin care can help manage common teenage skin issues and promote long-term skin health.
How to do the 10-step skincare routine?
A 10-step skincare routine includes additional steps like using serums, essences, and sheet masks. It’s more common in Korean skincare routines and is not necessary for teens.
How can I make my skin glow?
To make your skin glow, focus on a balanced diet, proper hydration, regular exercise, and a consistent skincare routine. Ensure you’re using products suited to your type and addressing any specific concerns.
What should my morning skincare routine be?
Your morning skincare routine should include cleansing, toning, moisturizing, sunscreen, and any specific treatments or products you require. The order of application is essential for effectiveness.
Should I do my skincare as soon as I wake up?
It’s generally a good idea to do your morning skincare routine as soon as you wake up to protect your skin from daily environmental factors. However, you can adapt the timing to your schedule as long as you apply sunscreen before heading outdoors.
How can I remove my fine lines and wrinkles?
To address these issues, you can explore options like topical retinoids and hyaluronic acid or consult a dermatologist for more advanced treatments.
How to fix oily skin?
To manage an oily type of skin, consider using an oil-free, salicylic acid-based cleanser and incorporating a gentle, non-comedogenic moisturizer into your daily routine.
How to fix dry skin?
To combat dry skin, ensure regular moisturization with a hydrating cream or lotion and use a humidifier in drier environments.
CeraVe’s Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser is a skincare gem for teens dealing with acne-prone skin.
A gentle yet effective formula featuring 4% benzoyl peroxide tackles pimples without causing excess dryness, making it ideal for sensitive teenage skin.
Non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, it’s gentle on the skin, and its user-friendly foaming action and affordability make it an easy choice for daily use.
As a dermatologist-recommended brand, CeraVe provides peace of mind for parents and teens alike. It’s a must-have for youthful, acne-prone complexions.
The Neutrogena Hydro Boost Face Moisturizer is a standout choice for teens seeking a reliable, hydrating skincare solution.
Its lightweight, oil-free formula provides a burst of moisture without clogging pores, making it perfect for youthful, often acne-prone skin.
The hyaluronic acid-infused formula ensures deep and long-lasting hydration, helping teens maintain a healthy skin balance.
Whether dealing with dry patches or oily areas, this moisturizer adapts seamlessly, offering a non-greasy, refreshing feel. Its affordability and accessibility make it a practical choice for teens on a budget.
Remember that taking care of your skin during your teenage years isn’t just about today; it’s an investment in your fabulous future! By committing to this simple, yet oh-so-effective skincare routine, you’re putting your best face forward for life.
Embrace this journey towards becoming a more confident and beautiful version of yourself by giving your skin the love it deserves from a young age. You’re on your way to a lifetime of radiant, healthy, and positively preppy skin.
Meet Alex, a finance grad with a makeup palette as diverse as her investment portfolio. When she’s not crunching financial data, you’ll find Alex reading about beauty and makeup, proving that numbers and glamour can coexist in one fabulous package.