How does teenage skin behave differently to adult skin?
Let’s face it ‘young skin’ is what us ‘middle age and beyond’ age group are all desperately striving to achieve. Visions of smooth, plump, fresh, perfectly hydrated and pigment-free skin sounds like a dream. Truth is the skin of a teen does perform differently to adult skin – for a start the skin carries an abundance of collagen allowing for strength, support and structure together with a plentiful amount of elastin reserves to maintain skin firmness. The skin has an all-time fast cellular turnover and a vast capacity to heal itself and there is consistent melanin production for that all important even skin tone.
What problems can be associated with a teenage skin?
One of the main issues that present itself within the teenage skin is acne and oiliness and whilst a teenager can be highly emotional at times so the skin can behave in a similar way. Genetics can play a role in conditions like acne, but it is 90% down to the fluctuations in hormone levels which accompany puberty that can actually cause a host of complexion changes and can trigger the development of breakouts and excess oiliness. Since the skin of teens can also be quite fragile, a gentle skincare regime is paramount to avoid skin sensitivity, further breakouts and skin scarring.
What is the link between skin breakouts and hormones?
If the skin is playing up it is likely because of the surge of androgen hormones flooding the bloodstream. Although androgens are male hormones, females also have them, just at different levels and a rise in these hormones cause an increase in sebum production making skin much oilier. At the same time keratin (one of the main skin building blocks) becomes more abundant and an increase in both sebum and keratin causes blocked pores and this encourages bacteria and spots to form.
What are the best tips to manage breakouts?
Teenage skin needs a clear routine as does skin at any age. Most teenagers are looking fast-acting products to help banish breakouts but choosing healthy ingredients over harsh stripping ingredients is paramount to balance and hydrate.
1. Cleansing - The cornerstone to every good skincare regime, yet using traditional acne cleansers can strip the skin and cause inflammation so cleansing both morning and evening using a gentle non-drying ‘detergent free’ cleanser is important. Follow with an alcohol free toner to remove any excess cleanser and balance the pH level of the skin.
2. Hydration - Crucial to keep the skin in a state of healthy balance so choose a lightweight moisturiser with a high water/ low oil ratio to give your skin exactly what it needs to control sebum levels and provide maximum moisture protection.
3. Exfoliation - An essential step in a skincare regime especially for a teen who is dealing with clogged pores and breakouts. By exfoliating the skin twice weekly you can effectively slough off pore-clogging skin cells and promote a fresh and radiant complexion.
4. Spot Treatments - An effective way to target fiery blemishes and is much more preferable than squeezing breakouts. Popping a pimple will leave it exposed to the elements and will exacerbate the spread of bacteria.
5. SPF Sunscreens - Should be a daily habit for teen skins as UV rays (especially UVA rays which are consistent all year round) can stimulate cell production causing further pore clogging.
Are there any other factors that should be considered?
The skin is an eliminating organ so anytime there is toxicity in the body it will eliminate through the skin so drinking as much water as possible will help flush toxins out of the system and create clear skin long term.