Teen appointments are coming in thick and fast but of course, we’re heading towards Prom Season. It’s not just about make-up and spray tans – as we try very hard to educate the importance of a good skin care regime from the beginning. It is essential to get past the overly simplistic view that teenage Acne is all about raging hormones. Excessive production of sebum combined with shedding of skin cells as the immature skin struggles to keep up with itself, can result in plugged follicles which become an ideal breeding ground for Propionibacterium Acnes, the bacterium that causes Acne. That, together with the average teen diet and lifestyle of processed foods and the use wet wipes for speed-cleaning, and you’re clearly asking for trouble.
Teenage skin is often overflowing with sebum but while controlling oiliness is key, it is equally important not to dehydrate the skin. Understandably, teens can become obsessive about their acne and may try to scrub it away, but rough handling will only make matters worse although gentle exfoliation techniques can be of great benefit. Dehydrated skin is highly prevalent amongst those with oily or acne prone skin, especially if they’ve been using harsh, over-the-counter products that may strip the skin of moisture and impair the barrier function. It’s important to understand the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, adding moisture does not mean adding oil. If oily sky is dehydrated the skin will produce more oil to make up for the missing moisture, potentially leading to more breakouts. I know it’s confusing and being a teenager is confusing enough.
Redness and irritation usually accompany acne and can worsen by picking and popping. The emphasis must be on cleansing and not just your face, but your hands too, especially when using each other’s make up, she may be your bestie and by all means share your secrets but not your concealers, I implore you.
Often teenagers are reluctant to seek treatment, especially boys, but there is no shame in male facials these days – be assured that you’ll be the last one laughing when the Prom beauties want to know you and your smooth complexion better. While in the corner, your envious less-than-perfect-complexioned friends huddle awkwardly, gazing at their shoes.
Source: Dermal Institute/Guild News
First published, Dunmow Bystander Magazine April 2016