This must be one of the most asked questions we get here at SAMFARMER as we know the teenage years can be a rollercoaster ride when it comes to your skin. If you're wondering which products to choose for your ever-changing teenage skin requirements, we've put together a list of product types that should form the core of your skincare routine and the science behind why they work so well.
1. Gentle Cleansers
Starting with the basics, the first product type to consider is a gentle cleanser. Teenage skin is often more oily due to the hormonal changes taking place in puberty and this also makes it more susceptible to dirt and impurities.
A gentle cleanser removes dirt, oil and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils, which can lead to over-drying and irritation.
However, any cleanser will, of course, disrupt the lipid (oil) concentrations in the skin to some extent so it is essential that after cleansing a moisturiser is used to rebalance the skin’s moisture levels.
2. Moisturisers with minimum Oil content
The condition of the skin’s barrier function determines the health of skin. Even if you have oily or acne-prone skin it’s absolutely essential you don't skip using a moisturiser. Look for oil-free moisturisers and if your skin is particularly oily, use some sort of Sebum targeted active such as Butyl Avocadate.
These types of moisturisers provide necessary hydration without clogging pores, and can help with breakouts with the added benefit of assisting with the overproduction of sebum.
3. Blemish Products
For those stubborn breakouts, spot Gel’s can be a lifesaver. These products typically contain active ingredients like salicylic acid to cleanse the skin and promote cell turnover. They should also contain marine extract actives such as Chlorella Vulgaris, known to combat acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation, support the microbiome and support the skin’s natural barrier function.
4. Hydrocolloid Patches
While we are on the subject of breakouts, hydrocolloid patches are an incredibly useful product. In our teenage years most of us will get spots at some point, it’s perfectly normal. A good quality hydrocolloid patch helps to not only absorb the secretions from the blemish but also protects the inflamed area from being picked, touched and rubbed.
Using a Spot Gel in the day and a hydrocolloid patch at night is a great combination.
5. Sun Protection
Sunscreens are not just to be used when we are on holiday. UVB rays burn your skin and can exacerbate acne scars and UVA causes premature ageing. Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum coverage with a 5* rating and has an SPF of at least 30.
Sun damage is easily caused in the teenage years due in part to apathy when it comes to using sunscreen. Find a product you like, make sure it’s quick and easy to apply and feels nice on your skin, as this is essential to making it part of your daily routine.
While not needed daily, a good exfoliator once or twice a week can help unclog pores and remove dead skin cells. This generally leads to brighter and smoother skin. Always opt for gentle exfoliators and try to avoid the ‘particulate’ containing formulations. If your skin feels sore after exfoliating, just use a gentle cleanser and a flannel.
7 . Masks
Face masks, if used in conjunction with a good skincare routine, can help to maintain a healthy skin barrier. They can help moisturise, absorb excess oil, exfoliate or even just help rebalance the skin. Look for a face mask which indicates the action you are looking for.
Finally, healthy skin doesn't come from using a product once but from regular and consistent use, be patient as it often takes a few weeks to see the results from new skincare products.
Teenager’s skin is unique and it may take some trial and error to find the right products. As a rule of thumb look for products that target young adult skin and use the most suitable ingredients.
By focusing on these essential product types you will give yourself the best chance of maintaining a healthy skin barrier through the teenage years.