As the tween transits to a teen, hormones surge causing a rise in estrogen and testosterone. These surging hormones stimulate the sweat and oil glands, resulting in larger pores and a greater production of oil called as sebum. When sebum becomes trapped within the skin and infected by acne bacteria, teens get those red, angry painful papules called acne. Acne will affect almost every teen to some extent, but the degree of acne varies.
Dr. Chung Wan Ling discusses basic skincare for teens and tweens.
Q: At what age should tweens start a regular skincare routine and what should that be?
A: Tweens should learn to care for their skin before they hit puberty, I recommend 10 years old as a good age to start good habits. Boys and girls should get into the routine of daily washing and applying an age-appropriate sunscreen. For drier skin, which can sometimes occur, I recommend a mild moisturizer.
Q: What should teens and tweens do every day to help them achieve healthy, clear skin?
A: The typical teenage diet of sugary drinks, processed junk and carbohydrate-dense food loads the body with sugar. These sugar spikes stimulate inflammation and stress hormones, leading to acne. Ensuring a healthy and balanced diet is essential for keeping the body in clean shape, from the inside out.
Stress has also been linked to acne. Following these tips can help to alleviate and calm acne.
- Go to sleep early—before 10 pm each night to achieve at least seven-to-eight hours of good rest
- Exercise regularly
- Have some downtime each day to unwind
For active and athletic teens, make it a habit to wash up as soon as possible after their sport ends. Even if shower facilities aren’t available, cleanse the face of dirt and grime before moving on to the next activity. This clears the face of pore clogging sweat and bacteria. (please check)
For more details, see 7 tips for Pimple Prevention
Q: Is make-up ok for teens?
A: While we encourage girls to leave their skin clean and natural-looking, for those who are older and seek color in their lives, we suggest wearing non-comedogenic mineral-based make-up. This allows the skin to breath and helps to prevent pore clogging and aggravating any acne.
Q: What can the average teen do for an occasional breakout/pimple?
A: You can treat the occasional pimple by applying over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide (start low at 2.5%) and sulfur or zinc-based lotions directly to the spot.
Try IYAC’s Acne Spot Serum, a potent formulation that is best applied once you feel or see a spot coming up. This blend of acne-fighting botanicals and salicylic acid speeds up healing time and dissolves dead skin cells to unclog pores and lighten marks.
For those with more than a few pimples, especially if they keep recurring or start appearing on the back and chest, try IYAC’s Acne Clearing Sleeping Mask. Lightweight and moisturizing, this leave-on mask calms existing acne and keeps new ones at bay. It may also be time to consult a doctor for prescribed antibiotic creams, appropriate acne skincare and perhaps even start oral medications or have medical grade facials and laser treatments to stabilise and clear the acne.
Q: Are there any specific products teens should use or avoid?
A: Both boys and girls should use non-comedogenic and chemical-free skin care to reduce the risk of stimulation and irritation to their already acne-prone skin. See IYAC’s Skincare for Acne.
Testosterone causes boys to have thicker and oilier skins, so they may consider using keratolytic agents (removes dead skin to prevent clogged skin) earlier than girls. These include home-care AHAs, BHAs or Azelaic acid, which are also astringents to control oily skin.
All teens should avoid oil-based cosmetics for their skin and hair. These pore-blocking products encourage a build-up of sebum to form comedones (the precursors to pimples).
IYAC’s Teen Facial is medical-grade treatment designed to introduce teens to the basics of skincare. For more information or to book an appointment contact us at (65) 6738 9929.