Our teenage years can be mortifying enough without outbreaks of acne and eczema to contend with, but unfortunately that is exactly what can happen when hormones are running riot.
Hormonal changes mean that your skin produces more sebum, the oily substance that can block pore and cause blackheads and whiteheads. Blocked pores can be vulnerable to bacteria and get infected, so it’s really important to keep skin as clean and healthy as possible.
As the production of oil and keratin increases, pores enlarge and the skin barrier weakens, meaning that skin gets both spottier and more sensitive. So as well as keeping skin clean, you’ll also need to treat your extra sensitive skin very carefully, rather than smother it in heavy foundation and highly perfumed moisturisers, or scour it with soap and abrasive skin treatments.
And whatever’s going on in your teenage years, remember you’re not alone! Young people are under tremendous pressure to have flawless, dewy, Instagram-perfect skin and might feel awkward and shy about their blemishes and outbreaks, but none of us are perfect, whatever social media might imply. Unrealistic representations of beauty that cover up or blur out imperfections can make already unself-confident teens feel isolated and even depressed.
This wonderful body positive project has photos and interviews of makeup-free women from across the country, to highlight, celebrate and normalise the diversity of skin.
Here are five key suggestions to getting through your teen years:
You’ll still need to moisturise even if your skin has oily areas, you just need to find a moisturiser that doesn’t either flare-up sensitivities or clog pores. Avoid irritants, colours, perfumes, and synthetic additives, and instead go for really pure, mild, unperfumed natural moisturisers.
Recommended Product: Daily Moisturising Cream
Avoid scrubbing away at skin or using harsh soap-based cleansers or peels which can strip the oils from skin. Why not try the oil-based cleansing method instead? This gently lifts dirt and makeup without scouring the epidermis. The right cleanser will work even for oily skin, removing excess oil and grime without upsetting your skin’s natural balance, while nourishing the skin with essential fatty acids. Pick low comedogenic oils - that means avoiding coconut which can clog pores and looking for light, easily absorbed oils such as safflower, hemp, sunflower
Recommended Product: Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
Treat your skin to some intensive nourishment so you know it’s getting all the nutrients, EFAs and vitamins it needs to support its cycle of regeneration and repair. A few drops of facial oil every night can work wonders and rosehip is especially good for blemishes, scars caused by scratching or acne-damaged skin.
Recommended Product: Intensive Facial Oil
Battle The Bugs
Fight infection with purifying tea tree oil, which is naturally antimicrobial. Both our Tea Tree Rescue Salve and Skin Salvation Scalp Oil contain pure organic tea tree oil. The Scalp Oil contains a whole variety of brilliantly nourishing, anti-inflammatory oils as well - rosemary, borage, nettle and calendula - which work really well on spots or other troublesome areas, including smelly teenage feet!
Recommended Product: Scalp Oil
Recommended Product: Tea Tree Salve
Love The Skin You're In
That might mean taking care of yourself and your skin in all sorts of other ways, from drinking plenty of water and cutting out the sugar and additives, to treating yourself with kindness and getting support if you’re feeling isolated or alone.
If you’re feeling low and need to talk to someone in confidence, Young Minds can help.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.