Teen Skin Care November 01 2011, 0 Comments

By Roberta J. Schneider

Skin hygiene is as important as dental hygiene. Our skin is exposed to a wide variety of environmental factors yet we do not treat our skin with the attention it deserves. Good skin hygiene starts at an early age. By age seven, children should have already developed good skin care habits. At eight, oil glands go into gear and there may be an onset of small to very large blackheads and whiteheads, usually appearing in the hair line and on the nose and chin.

Roberta Schneider Founder of Roberta J. Schneider, Inc.

Prevention is the key.  Routine cleansing of the skin and hair must become a part of daily life.  Cleanse the skin two to three times a day, typically morning, after school or right after sports, if possible, and before bed.  Perspiration can aggravate skin problems.

Select a gentle gel cleanser that foams readily, emulsifies sebum and rinses away without leaving residue.  Using a clean moist wash cloth or sponge apply gel.  Use a circular motion to cleanse the entire face, including hair line and the areas under the chin and ears.  Rinse well.  Use tepid water only.  If the skin tends to be rough, exfoliation (no grains) may be done weekly.  Never overtreat the skin.  Products that are too strong or abrasive can aggravate the problem and damage the skin as well.  Apply a light moisturizer only if the skin is dry.  Sunscreens are advisable when out and about.

Keep hair clean.  Skin problems often start in the hair line.  Use light, uncomplicated shampoos and conditioners. 

Now that basic care has been established and your daughter has turned twelve, makeup will most likely enter into the program.  Working with color is fun, but keep it light.  Makeup base plus powder is a Big No No!  The combination closes off respiration and the skin cannot excrete properly, leading to congestion.

Makeup applicators should be washed daily or, if that is not possible, discard them and use cotton balls and swabs instead.  Makeup supplies should not be shared.  Wash hands before touching the face since hands can transfer and spread many diseases.

Along with the inclusion of makeup, hair care products will become more complicated.  Conditioners, styling gels and hair spray can definitely interfere with skin function.  Change pillow slips often.

So much for prevention.  If the starting point is congested skin, already troubled by whiteheads and blackheads, seek professional skin treatments and advice on acne maintenance and care.  A good treatment will thoroughly cleanse the skin, giving it a fresh start.  Treatments can prevent enlarged pores, pitting and scarring, as well as eliminate the likelihood of developing pustules and infections.  This is also an excellent way to establish the proper home care routine.  It does work.  The bottom line is to prevent damage.

Education on skin management is vital.  It can also help a child’s esteem, especially adolescents.  At a time when our children are still trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be, they are bombarded with external social pressure about how they should look, dress and act.  By giving them a little advice and some great techniques no amount of peer criticism or social pressure can take away a new-found self esteem.  All of this is about growing up with skin that will help build the confidence they need to face life!