Teen Acne: Say goodbye to blemishes in 10 easy steps

Most teenagers go through it: Those frustrating breakouts that can mar an otherwise dewy youthful complexion. Whether you have blackheads or whiteheads, nodules or cysts, acne is something you can definitely do without!  What’s the cause? Stress can play a role, but so do hormones. Fluctuating hormone levels so common in the teenage years can stimulate oil production, which leads to clogged pores. Those annoying pimples pop up when pores get clogged with skin cells that haven’t sloughed off properly. Instead, dead cells accumulate on your skin’s surface getting sticky, lining the follicle and causing it to get clogged up.

But you don’t have to wait till your 20s to banish those blemishes. Here are 10 ways to hold breakouts to a minimum:

1.     Always remove your makeup at bedtime. Cosmetics left on overnight can clog pores, and that’s what leads to breakouts. Washing your face should be as much a part of your bedtime ritual as brushing your teeth! 

2.     Check the ingredient list, and choose a face wash with benzoyl peroxide. It helps kill bacteria, which works to stop pimples before they start.

3.     Make your cleaning regimen a gentle one; pat skin dry with a clean towel rather than rubbing it vigorously (a too-rigorous workout can actually spread bacteria).  

4.     If you do have any breakouts, carefully spot-treat them with a salicylic acid formula.

5.     Exfoliate regularly to rid your skin of dead surface cells¾but again, do it gently. Exfoliating products have a slightly rough texture already, so they’re meant to be used with a light touch. By over-scrubbing, you can irritate your skin and create inflammation, actually making breakouts worse.

6.     Adding a touch of medication to your face’s problem areas is a smart move. But again, be gentle. Over-treating your complexion with harsh products can irritate and inflame the skin. Be sure to use non-comedogenic products, which are specially formulated not to clog pores.

7.     Keep sheets and pillowcases clean. A weekly washing in hot water will ensure your bedding won’t accumulate bacteria that can impact skin while you sleep.

8.     Cleanliness is important for makeup material, too. Wash your makeup brushes often by giving them a sudsy shampoo and a thorough rinse. Then hang each brush with its bristles pointing down so it completely dries.

9.     Whatever you do, don’t pop pimples! Instead of making them disappear, it tends to make the blemishes more prominent, even risking infection and scarring. So hands off!

10.  Good lifestyle habits go hand-in-hand with a glowing complexion. A healthy diet is key: Think fruits, vegetables, whole grains (foods that are processed and high in fat can play havoc with your hormones, which leads to blemishes). Drinking plenty of water will help keep skin well-hydrated. And getting plenty of sleep helps assure you wake up bright eyed, rested and ready to put your best face forward!