This month I wanted to focus on treating teenage skin. The skin at this age is prone to many hormonal changes as well as being sensitive. Teenage acne usually begins with oiliness in the T-zone and small superficial comedones (blackheads) with outbreaks commonly occurring in the centre of the face (cheeks and forehead), as well as on the back and chest.
Environmental changes mean that a lot of teens are going through puberty earlier so they are experiencing skin problems sooner. Though it is believed to be mainly genetic, another factor is the immaturity of the skin itself. In skin that is still maturing, keeping up pace with the rapid, puberty-induced production of sebum is difficult. In other words, the skin literally cannot keep up with itself.
Excessive production of sebum, combined with excessive shedding of skin cells, results in plugged follicles which become an ideal feeding and breeding ground for the bacterium that causes most acne. And the teenage lifestyle often makes matters worse! Processed foods that are high in GI (sugar) along with poor cleansing techniques also contribute to the incidence of acne in teenagers.
While there are plenty of skin care product choices available, they often contain harsh and inexpensive ingredients, artificial fragrances and colours – all things that can irritate and strip oil from skin, so it is important to treat the skin gently and not to over use medicated products, only in the way they have been prescribed.
As skincare therapists we have the opportunity to ease the physical discomfort and the emotional trauma of dealing with teenage skin. I would recommend to have a skin consultation with a beauty therapist from a young age to start with a good routine and know the basic dos and don’ts, hence establishing good skin care habits that will last a lifetime.
Although it is very tempting to squeeze spots (or pustules) it’s important not too as all this will do is cause inflammation, possible scarring and further more breakouts in the area.
Post inflammatory hyper pigmentation (red or brown marks) can appear once the breakout is away, though they can be treated at a later stage, it’s easier and less damaging to prevent them by treating and calming the breakout rather than squeezing.
Exfoliating regularly with a specific product to encourage the removal of damaged cells were needed will prevent a build up of skin cells.
Understandably, teenagers can become obsessive about their acne and may try to scrub it away. While rough handling makes matters worse, consistent exfoliation is important. Using gentle exfoliation techniques with effective products with virtually no pressure will begin to loosen cell-debris the moment they come into contact with the skin.
Always remember if taking certain medications or using topical creams from the doctor they could prevent you from having a waxing treatment so always check and tell your beauty therapist if on any.
Mineral make up is a must! Working with and using mineral make up since my teens I know the benefit of using natural minerals as they do not clog your pores and also contain a physical spf to reflect harmful rays and prevent sun damage from an early age.
A lot of people think mineral make up will not give you good enough coverage though this is defiantly not the case as there are now liquid formulations and ones especially designed to treat breakouts and prevent them so perfect for teenage skin.
Washing make up brushes regularly and not reusing face cloths, only a fresh one each time or using a Dermalogica sponge cloth will also help.
Professional treatments available at Beauty Culture would be Guinot’s Hydra Clean, an express facial treatment using thermal heat technology which includes extraction of any congestion and Dermalogica extraction facial and back treatment, along with a full prescription with the Clear Start™ products. This is the first serious skin care system aimed at helping teens. Developed by the experts at Dermalogica, it uses powerful ingredients and soothing botanicals to deliver real results.
It’s specifically formulated to unclog pores, minimize breakout-causing bacteria and control oil – all key factors for controlling teen breakouts, which are usually triggered by puberty. And it does so without aggravating already troubled skin – something other teen products don’t do.
Clear Start™ takes a four-level approach to clearing breakouts through combination therapy, combining the best of nature’s botanicals and the science of breakout-clearing skin care.
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