As teenagers, we depend a lot on our physical appearance for our security. Confidence levels tend to depend on how we compare to movie stars and models. It is a curse of our generation; we cannot seem to escape constant exposure to tabloids, celebrity photo-shoots, beauty-product commercials, and self-help videos. Interestingly enough, it seems those teenagers who are most comfortable in their own skin, rather than those with the clearest skin, who tend to attract others. Training ourselves to look past the first impression is ideal and an effort every teenager should attempt. However, this is not to say you should ignore skincare altogether. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is exposed to everything in our environment. We should put in the effort to keep it healthy. Below are three of the top issues teens have with their complexion.
Dry skin can cause an uncomfortable, tight feeling, the appearance of aging produced by wrinkles, and peeling of unhealthy skin. Moisturizing your skin will give you a healthy glow and reduce future wrinkles.
One good solution for dry skin is to use face cleanser only once a day, preferably at night, to take off makeup, and avoid scrubbing roughly. Showering at night, before your skin starts to produce oils while you sleep, rather than in the morning, allows your skin to remain hydrated throughout the day. When you use a cleanser or face wash, you are removing bacteria and makeup, but you are also removing natural oils, especially if you are scrubbing too roughly.
Another cause of dry skin is, ironically, not only sunburn, but also heavy sunblock. Just make sure to use non-pore-clogging sunblock and a lot of it. Under healthy conditions, the top layer of skin cells will shed off at the end of its natural lifecycle. However, UV rays damage skin cells so that they do not shed off at the normal rate. This causes a buildup of dead cells on the surface of the skin which gives the appearance of dull or peeling skin. Another common result of this buildup is blocked pores. Preventing excessive sun exposure (which can happen long before a sunburn) will allow your skin to remain healthy, hydrated, and clear.
Finally, you can use Vaseline rather than moisturizer. A good product to try is Aquaphor. Vaseline acts as a sealant for your skin, allowing your skin to keep the oils that it naturally makes. This is a better option than moisturizer, because your skin will often become dependent on the moisturizer and stop producing its own oils, which are always going to be more healthy and effective for your skin. Also, when you try to stop using the moisturizer, your skin will become extremely dry, due to its addiction to the daily moisturizing product. There is some debate about the benefits of Vaseline on the skin, as it is not a natural substance; if you are interested in more natural products, another option is extra virgin coconut oil.
The number-one complaint from teens about their skin is acne, and innumerable companies jump at the opportunity to make a killing selling their new “magic” acne cream or wash to desperate teens. However, here are a couple of lifestyle tips that may decrease less severe acne. If your acne is too out of hand, it may be necessary to see a dermatologist to try out some oral medications.
Do not use foundation all over your face. Spreading foundation all over your face will suffocate your pores, depriving them of the oxygen necessary to break down the pus that results from infected pores. Evenly spread foundation will also irritate healthy skin, by transferring bacteria from problem areas of your skin to areas of healthy skin. This contamination is also cased by touching your face too much. Thus, clean hands are essential. It may be good to stop the habit of touching your face altogether.
Next, remove pus from clogged pores with two Q-tips or tissues, rather than using your nails. Nails harbor bacteria, and popping pimples will force that bacteria into your skin and cause more irritation. It is also important to know when pimples are ready to be popped. If you disturb deep blemishes, they may erupt under the skin, which will make matters worse. You will know that you are causing the least damage under your skin if you pop pimples when a white head has appeared at the top of the inflamed area.
Oily skin is actually a sign of health and usually does not need to be treated, though it can be unappealing to the eye. Because dry skin causes wrinkles, naturally oily skin means that you will look younger for longer. However, when your skin produces too much oil, it can clog your pores, a condition which sometimes requires medication to be resolved.
If you experience shiny or oily skin, try using oil-absorbing sheets. Oil- absorbing sheets remove surplus oil without disturbing makeup or forcing you to add another layer of powder. Not to mention, they are inexpensive, costing around five dollars for 30 sheets.
A T-zone facemask spread across the forehead down the bridge of the nose and even onto your chin if necessary will decrease greasy skin. Ingredients in facial masks designed to reduce oil production include ingredients such as clay and eucalyptus, which can decongest and clear out clogged pores. Be careful not to remove too much oil from your skin, or that may cause discomfort and aging in the future.