Growing up in Poland, skincare begins at a very young age with regular professional facials and at home regimens.
So, although Polish teens get acne and other common skin problems, they have a consistent routine and knowledge of the skin, that I don’t find in the US.
In the teen years, it is extremely important to begin taking care of your skin, so you have a healthy foundation as you age. Don’t reach for the Botox or the lasers when you see your first wrinkle, as that can damage your skin in the long run.
Higher levels of hormones (especially around puberty,) are associated with oilier hair and acne. These hormones are known as androgens, and they can aggravate your skin by increasing oil and sebum production. Androgens include known hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. For some teens, that reaction is just a pimple or the occasional breakout. For others, consistent breakouts create a chronic condition known as acne, characterized by pustules, cysts, comedones (blackheads), and milia (the white bumps that don’t pop).
There are many approaches you can take to treat acne. My approach is a gentle one, as I believe that being too aggressive can cause more harm than good. The three crucial steps for a teen skin routine are cleaning the skin, toning it to balance the pH, and keeping it hydrated. Don’t be afraid of oils as oils dissolve oil, so they can be great for acneic skin, but too much oil can be dehydrating, so don’t overdo it.
You should be careful with topical treatments including retinol and vitamin A as these can be dehydrating and may cause discoloration. I prefer enzymatic treatments as those will target the blemish and keep the skin around it hydrated. I am a big fan of Protective Nourishment’s Pumpkin Peel which I use as a spot treatment.
It is very common that acne clears up on its own as hormone levels even out with age.
However, it is important to consult your esthetician and dermatologist to make sure that you are using the correct products the right way. There are some cases of chronic acne that will require medication, so consulting a professional early on, will help diagnose your skin and avoid prolonged breakouts and potential scarring.
If you take care of your skin in your teen years with regular professional treatments, stick to a simple skincare routine, your skin will be moisturized, protected, and most importantly, healthy!