How To Help Teens Manage Acne and Have Healthy Skin

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I don’t know about you but I can’t help but feel the summer is just flying by and with school starting again just around the corner it feels so shortened. In my family our routines have become a bit relaxed over these hot summer days. For example, I’m okay with bedtime being a wee later than usual, or allowing us all to snuggle up to a movie vs. a bedtime book during the week. Homework isn’t a nightly chore and extracurricular activities are on pause. It’s a nice break from our usually demanding schedule and since we all get a bit more relaxed so might our usual skincare routines. 

Well if I’m being honest that is one area I try to be consistent but I’m also a nagging skin therapist, haha! But if your family, especially teens, can relate to the lackadaisy days of summer too then hear me out. Our face is our confidence. In a world of criticism and social media expectations many people struggle to think they have to look a certain kind of way. And while I truly believe we should be happy in our own skin, it’s hard to instill that confidence and self-love in teens. As parents we want nothing more than to help them build positive self-esteem and confidence. It is completely normal for growing teens to experience acne and breakouts. But they typically don’t understand how to treat it and as parents you don’t have to either, really. I’ve met and treated many teens and their skin. Parents either guess on which products to give them or immediately take them to a dermatologist. They always say the same thing; something along the lines of,  “I tell him to wash his face”.

Acne does not equal dirty skin!

This is misleading because it sounds like the reason acne exists is due to “dirty skin” or lack of washing. Or it leads to the frustration that acne persists even though they are infact washing. I have found that teens listen more to the professional, a stranger, than their own parents for advice in this area, hence the nagging skin therapist. This dirty skin idea leads to self-esteem issues or worse, bullying.

Why teen acne is different than adult acne

Teen acne is a skin condition that is treatable and shows itself as whiteheads, blackheads, small bumps or papules and even cysts. Because of teen growth stages this is all due to increased oil production from hormones. While adult acne is primarily caused due to chronic stress that then triggers hormone imbalances. We are either predisposed to acne or can go through phases of it based on several factors: health, medications, diet, stress, etc. Teen skin has a higher cell turnover rate making it more resilient than adult skin. As mentioned, the breakouts themselves appear differently. Therefore, treating teen skin must be done differently than treating adult skin. Telling your child they will eventually grow out of it is the wrong solution. Helping them to manage it will allow them to see changes and teach them self-care. So handing over what you use may not work. Treating a skin condition like acne requires investment and patience. When we are using products that don’t quite seem to help, we get frustrated and just stop using products altogether and the problem persists. In addition when those products are not professional, quality grade the investment seems pointless. It’s a lack of understanding that should be learned. Parents shouldn’t have to guess what their teens’ skin is going through and guess or hope that the products they provide will work. 

The best way a parent can help their teen manage acne is to bring them to a professional skin therapist.

There are many options and lifestyle choices when it comes to medicine. For example purposes I will loosely say skincare products are like medicine. Should you choose medical grade, organic, info-commercial brands like proactive that seem so promising (marketing)? Similarly, when deciding what kind of doctors you choose for your family medicine; naturopathic, homeopathic, modern, etc…My point is wherever you put your trust you probably need some guidance. When a teen learns to properly manage their skin early they will be better equipped to handle probable acne later as teen acne can be part genetic. Learning how to be proactive allows them to get ahead of the problem. Most teen services should include a consultation or skin lesson, otherwise ask. A good therapist is excited to teach their client how to achieve healthy skin. Teen skincare routines can be very simple and should be. We know that a 14 year old boy is not going to spend time performing a 10 step morning and evening skincare regimen like some brands suggest. Don’t set them up for failure, rather help them seek out professional guidance for success. 

Homework is important!

This is the second way parents can help teens manage their skin, keep them accountable. Homecare or “homework” is probably 80% of where the results will be seen. Once a skin therapist helps choosing the regimen and lays out a plan, the teen needs to be consistent. A few thing you can do to help:

  • Accountability: Display a calendar on the mirror of their bathroom outlining step by step routine from the skin therapist. Make sure the therapist provided this in either an email or some hand written instructions. Have your teen check it off each night. It seems elementary but this way it’s right in front of them.
  • Set expectations: Talk to your teen about the investment (without guilt) and let them know you are supporting them by purchasing quality skincare products and taking them for professional treatments. Let them know there is a budget (if applicalbe).
  • Set goals: Have your teen take selfies to track the progress. Plan an event that your teen can look forward to with clearer skin, perhaps a party. Rememer to be patient and expect upwards of 6 months or more of consistent treatment. This varies for each individual.
  • Make it a lifestyle: Once your teen starts seeing positive results, don’t give up. Maintenance will be essential to keep the acne under control. At this point they have adopted a routine that has proven to be beneficial.
  • Stay Realistic: Remember, breakouts can occur due to several factors, so do not become discouraged during a breakout phase. Just revisit your skin therapist and stay proactive (don’t go on Proactive).

At Amazing Face Spa we help teens and adults manage healthy skin. lf you live in the Phoenix, Arizona area and are in need of treatment for acne please visit us at 5828 N 7th St. Phoenix, AZ 85014.

article post written by Angela Miles. copyright Angela Miles – All Rights Reserved