Simple Skin Care Tips for Teens for Healthier Skin

7 Tips for Treating Acne, Banishing Oily Shine, and Keeping Your Skin Healthy

You know taking care of your skin is important, to keep acne in check and simply to keep your skin healthy. But teens have so many obligations today. You're super busy! The last thing you need is a long, complicated skin care regimen.

Taking care of your skin doesn't need to take a lot of time, and you definitely don't need a bunch of expensive products. Your daily skin care routine can be fast, simple, and inexpensive.

These 7 skin care tips will help you develop a great skin care routine that works for your budget and your life.


Expensive Skin Care Products Aren't Necessary

Photo: Bruce Ayers / Getty Images
Photo: Bruce Ayers / Getty Images

Forget the hype—you don't have to spend a ton of money on a high-end skin care line. The products you buy at the drugstore, even generic or store brands, will work just fine.

So, unless you have money to burn on expensive products, forget about the brand name.

Focus more on how it makes your skin feel. If you like the way it feels, you like the scent, and you like the price, it's a good product for you.


Cleanse Twice a Day (or More if You Sweat)

Wash your face at twice a day, morning and night. And since sweat can make breakouts worse, you'll want to throw in an extra cleansing right after gym class, sports practice, or after working out.

Dove, Cetaphil, Aveeno, and CeraVe are all inexpensive and gentle cleansers, perfect if you're using drying acne treatments.

Do you need an acne treatment cleanser? Look for one that contains benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, or glycolic acid if you need an acne treatment product.


Ditch the Scrub (Or Use It Gently)

When you're breaking out, you might feel tempted to grab a facial scrub and going hard on your skin. Don't!

Using super abrasive scrubs will irritate your skin, can tear scabs off of breakouts that are trying to heal, and leave your skin looking more red and inflamed than it was before.

Exfoliation is important, but there are gentler ways to do it. Instead of an abrasive scrub, try over-the-counter glycolic acid or alpha hydroxy acid "peels" (these are basically masks that remove dead skin cells).

If you do use a scrub exfoliant, use it gently. Massage lightly with your fingertips and don't overdo it. If your skin is red or stings afterward, you're using too much pressure or the scrub is too abrasive for your skin.

Many acne treatments are already doing the job of exfoliating. So if you're using any prescription acne medication (Retin-A Micro, isotretinoin, etc.) you don't need an extra exfoliant. It will just irritate your skin.


Grab an Astringent for Super Oily Skin

If your skin pumps out the oil, an astringent may be helpful. Astringents remove oil from the surface of the skin, and leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed. (Although they're sometimes called toners, toner and astringent are slightly different products.)

Over-the-counter (OTC) astringents containing salicylic acid are good choices for breakout-prone skin. If your skin tends to be sensitive, pick an alcohol-free product.

Not super oily? Then skip the astringent. You're not harming your skin by not using one (no, you don't need a toner to close your pores.) In fact, using an astringent product can dry you out if your skin isn't oily to begin with.


Moisturize Daily to Soothe Tight, Dry, Flaky Skin

Acne treatments can make your skin super dry, but using a good moisturizer every day can help your skin feel a whole lot better.

The trick is to choose a moisturizer that says oil-free and noncomedogenic. This way, it won't leave you feeling greasy and won't clog your pores.

You get bonus points if you choose a moisturizer that has SPF. Use it daily and you'll protect your skin from the sun too.


Don't Pop Pimples

It's hard not to pop pimples! But try to fight the urge, and leave them alone. Popping pimples damages the skin, and can cause dark spots and acne scarring.

But nobody wants to walk around with a big whitehead on their face. Instead of squeezing them, shrink them with an over-the-counter acne spot treatment overnight. For those just-woke-up-to-a-big-whitehead blemishes, a warm compress can help quickly (and gently) drain.

If you absolutely must get rid of that pimple now, at least extract it safely.


See a Dermatologist (or Your Primary Care Physician) for Help Treating Acne

Even if you take perfect care of your skin, acne can happen. Acne isn't caused by lack of good skin care (that's just one of many myths about acne).

Sometimes, you can get breakouts under control with acne products you buy at the store. Use them consistently for about 12 weeks to see the best results.

If you've tried store-bought acne treatments, and you're still breaking out, it's time to see a dermatologist about your acne. They have prescription medications that are stronger than the OTC products.

The good news is that, even though acne is common at your age, you don't have to wait until you outgrow it. With good skin care and the right treatment medications, you can have clearer skin.

A Word From Verywell

You don't need to spend a lot of time, or a lot of money, to take good care of your skin. You can do so quickly and easily with products you buy from the drugstore.

Whatever products or treatments you use, the most important thing is to be consistent. Just a few minutes every day will go a long way in creating healthy skin.

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