It’s been brought to my attention that I have been sitting on valuable information. Newly enlightened, this topic may read differently than what you are used to receiving from me. Please know, that despite my reference to teens in this post, the information below will benefit people of all ages and stages.
As a teen, you’re most likely prone to breakouts no matter what you do, but the good news is, there are many ways to keep them in check. Sometimes, even just knowing you’re doing all the right things can be enough to give you peace of mind.
I have been an Aesthetician and Make-Up Artist for 20 years and this is my advice to you:
Wash your face every night before bed, using a milky, non-foaming cleanser. Non-foaming is important because it keeps your skin at an ideal pH level. Our skin likes to be acidic and when we use foaming cleansers, our pH level becomes too alkaline, creating tight skin and the perfect platform for bacteria to thrive.
Feel free to use an exfoliant (gently) once a week should you crave that smoothness, but make sure it is not infused with sharp shards that will cause microscopic cuts on your skin. These cuts will also allow bacteria to find a home. Only use beaded scrubs. Sometimes even a soft once-over with a face cloth is enough!
Use a toner (made for sensitive skin) to remove leftover cleanser residue and any make-up that may be left behind. This helps once again, with maintaining or restoring a healthy skin Ph.
Even though you may believe your breakouts are from too much oil, you need not fear creams! We still have to moisturize our skin with a non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) lotion. This is important because the oil in our skin builds on a supply and demand basis, so if we don’t give it any moisture after cleansing, it will work to produce more oil than normal, causing a breakout.
Pure Oregano Oil is known for its disinfecting and purifying properties and can be helpful in the treatment of acne or individual problem areas. Once you have completed the steps above, use the dropper to place enough oil on the end of a Q-tip and apply to any affected areas.
In the morning, because your face is already clean, you will need only to rinse with water. Cleansing your face too often can also cause problems. As I mentioned before, stripping the skin of its natural oils is a cruel and unnecessary act! Alright, that wording might be a bit dramatic, but there is that supply and demand thing to worry about. Use a toner if you long for that fresh(er) feeling and, as always, apply a bit of moisturizer.
In coming posts I will talk more about products and what types are effective and affordable, but for now, let me say that even at your young age—especially at your young age—use a lotion with an SPF. Trust me, you will be punching my name into whatever Search Engine exists 30 years from now, so you can shower me with thanks for your un-sun-damaged skin.
Wearing make-up is of course, completely fine, as long as you follow what I’ve said above. Do not go to bed without washing your face!
To add to this, managing stress is key. Make sure school or friends don’t become the center of your world. Yes, doing well in school should be high on the list, but there are ways to make sure you keep on top of studying and homework that don’t make you hide in a corner and cry. (More on this in another post, but for now, here’s a hint: TIME MANAGEMENT!)
Good friends are equally essential in life, but the main focus here should be on the word good. If a particular relationship is getting you down or causing you grief, it’s okay to step away. It doesn’t have to be forever. It can be just long enough for you to catch your breath and clear your head.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with lots of water and fresh air, good eating, exercise and plenty of sleep is one of the greatest things you can do to be your best you.
Good luck! And remember, the pimples aren’t who you are. You will continue to grow and blossom long after they, and their memory, have been washed away.
See what I did there?