Skincare can be very confusing for the lot of us, not just teens. Teens are constantly being bombarded with ads telling them how to dry up acne breakouts. The truth is, not all young people have acne vulgaris (the typical type of acne shared by most teens). Yes, most teens suffer from occasional blemishes but many young people have dehydrated or sensitive skin that only gets aggravated when they start up with a harsh routine meant for thicker, very oily, acneic skin. If you have acne you should check out our skin types page to find solutions for your particular problem skin. If you or your teen is looking for a simple, balanced, reliable skincare routine then read on.
The three basic skincare steps you need to achieve healthy skin:
Cleansing is where it all starts. It's an imperative step to wash your face twice a day. Bacteria builds up on your skin at night while you sleep, so you must wash your face in the morning to start fresh. And, by the time you say good night your skin has come in contact with all sorts of dirt and pollutants (not to mention makeup) that need to be removed before you go to sleep. I know when my girls were teens sometimes they would skip the nighttime routine. That was definitely asking for a bump to appear within the next couple of days. One dermatologist told me, “If you cleanse your skin properly most of your skincare problems will go away.”
Young teens tend to have combination to oily skin. Finding the right balance for this skin type can be challenging. Soap is not an option. The reason being that soap contains detergents that strip your skin of it’s natural oil. Why is that a problem? Because stripping your skin of all oil tells it to start pumping out more oil. The net result is oilier skin. At the same time you’re using your bar soap (even those created for the face) the alkaline binders that hold the bar together create little cracks between cells where moisture escapes leaving skin feeling tight, dry and uncomfortable. You now have oily, dehydrated skin. Most milky cleansers can be a problem as well. The emollients that make these cleansers feel so soothing when used for an older skin can act like an occlusive barrier for your younger skin that will trap in oil, makeup and impurities.
Gel cleansers may be the solution, but many gel cleansers contain sodium lauryl sulfate which is a particularly drying detergent. The best advice I can offer is to start reading labels to make sure there is no sodium lauryl sulfate or other sulfate cousins in the formula. You can observe how much detergent is in a cleanser by watching how much it foams up. A little foaming, a little detergent. A lot of foaming, a lot of detergent. A great alternative is a hybrid cleansor somewhere between a milk and a gel. LONGEVITY has a great one with sweet mandarin extracts that make washing your face fun. If you’re wearing makeup make sure to use a soft wash cloth to rinse the product from your skin. I recommend using baby wash cloths.
Due to some posts on Instagram some clients have decided to forgo using a toner as part of their basic skincare routine. After all toners just look like colored water. Big mistake! I strongly feel toners are an essential part of a successful skincare routine. Here’s why:
TONERS COMPLETE THE CLEANSING PROCESS If you have any makeup or residue left over from cleansing your toner completes the cleansing process by swiping away left over product from your skin. This leaves skin cleaner and less likely to get clogged.
TONERS BALANCE THE pH OF YOUR SKIN Your skin has a pH of about 4.5 - 5.5 (anything under 7 is in the acid range). When you use a cleanser it should be slightly more alkaline than your skin to cut dirt and oil (but still in the acid range). Stay away from soap which has an alkaline range of about 9 - 10, causing skin to become exceedingly dehydrated. Acne bacteria loves an alkaline environment, making a home for itself which means risking more blemishes and clogged pores. So, it’s only fitting for you to swipe a slightly acidic toner over your face to coax it back to homeostasis (a healthy balance). This helps with both dehydration and breakouts.
THE RIGHT TONER CAN BE A GREAT HYDRATOR A good toner contains no drying alcohols. In contrast it should contain water soluble humectants like Sodium PCA, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, amino acids and seaweed extracts. These ingredients grab onto water and hold it in your skin making it stronger, healthier and prettier.
TONERS REMOVE FLUORIDE, CHLORINE AND DRYING MINERALS Tap water isn’t as pure as you think it is. Okay, you know this, that is why you might be drinking bottled water right now. The above offenders leave a dulling, drying film on your skin that will increase irritation and blemishes. Regularly swipe your toner over your skin to remove these impurities and in just a few days your skin takes on a lovely, translucent quality.
TONERS ADD TO THE BENEFITS OF YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE I haven't finished touting the benefits of using a toner. Depending on the other ingredients used in the formula, a toner may contain active ingredients to help calm your skin, control oil, stimulate blood circulation to detoxify and destroy acne-causing bacteria, provide antioxidant benefits and more. Try cold process Aloe Vera Extract as a main ingredient in a toner for young skin. It’s is a great ingredient that simultaneously acts to improve skin on many levels. Aloe Vera Toners contain many vitamins and antioxidants your skin needs to be healthy, making it perfect for calming and neutralizing acne bacteria without drying out your skin. It is also extremely hydrating. Make sure it is cold processed. When aloe vera extracts have been processed without using heat, they retain all of those healthy nutrients for your skin.
You may not think you need a moisturizer at this age. But, young skin can easily become dehydrated. Does your skin feel tight, sometimes irritated, flaky or parched. When you try using a moisturizer do you break out? You need to start using an oil free moisturizer. One with humectants to grab onto water and hydrate your skin. Why is using a moisturizer so important? For one, it improves the skin’s healthy barrier. Your skin’s barrier not only hydrates your skin but it protects it against inflammation and an overgrowth of bacteria. Keep in mind that acne is an inflammatory condition, so minimizing inflammation is vital. Even if you don’t break out, normal, combination and oily skins will benefit from an oil free moisturizer because this type of moisturizer keeps skin soft and pliable which reduces blackheads and clogged pores.
You should apply your moisturizer twice a day after toning, while your skin is slightly moist from the toner. You should consider a moisturizer with sunscreen in the morning. This will prevent sun damage that may lead to aging and skin cancer. The best sunscreen for your skin type should be a 30 SPF, is lightweight and also acts as a moisturizer. Using both a sunscreen and a moisturizer as separate products is too much for your skin. A moisturizer/sunscreen combo based on zinc oxide is best because it is calming for your skin and avoids heating up your skin the way chemical sunscreens do.
At LONGEVITY you’ll find a great starter package for younger skin types, it's appropriately called SKINCARE 101. You'll love your new, easy to do, skincare routine.
Comment below if you have questions or feedback you'd like to share.
Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.