Every woman (and man) remembers the horror of their first proper pimple – the monster spot that arrived just in time for the Year 10 formal, that long-anticipated first date or first day of the school term. But blemishes of any kind – be it a smattering of spots around times of stress or persistent acne – can be treated. And thankfully, those treatments have come a long way since we were teenagers.
If you’re now shopping for acne fixes for your teenagers’ skin, rather than your own, read on.
1/ Consider their skin type
The right approach to acne depends largely on their skin type. If they’re prone to sensitivity, you may want to steer clear of synthetics like benzoyl peroxide, which is the active ingredient in many spot treatments but can be drying and irritating on sensitive skin. Instead, consider ingredients like tea tree oil, a natural antibacterial agent that helps to dry out pimples and reduce the occurrence of acne and blackheads.
Every teen, no matter how clear their skin, needs an effective spot treatment in their bathroom cupboard for that inevitable day when a pimple pops up when they least need it. Try the Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Medicated Gel for Acne or Tea Tree Blemish Stick for a natural solution or for something synthetic, the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo Plus, which contains salicylic acid to control breakouts.
2/ Change their routine
Effectively treating acne is about more than just zapping rogue spots as they pop up – encourage your teen to take a preventative approach with a simple skincare routine. We’re not talking anything overly complicated – just a gentle daily cleanser, mild exfoliant (to be used once or twice a week), oil-free daily moisturiser and sunscreen. We’re serious about that last step – sun exposure can aggravate acne and increase inflammation, and acne treatments such as those mentioned above can increase sensitivity to the sun.
Try the Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Face Wash For Acne, a soap-free foaming cleanser that effectively yet gently removes oil buildup; and the Dermalogica Clear Start Oil Clearing Matte Moisturiser SPF 15+, a non-greasy moisturiser designed for teenage skin.
3/ Call in the experts
Having a facial makes dealing with problem skin a more enjoyable experience for everyone (especially if mum gets to book in, too). Many skin therapists specialise in treatments for teenagers – find somewhere local to you that can customise the treatment for your teenager’s skin.
Or, look to at-home treatments for something a little more low-key – think clarifying and detoxifying face masks (charcoal and clay-based formulas help to draw out excess oil from the skin and clear pores) or for something more high-tech, the Neutrogena Visibly Clear Light Therapy Acne Mask.
Of course, if your child’s skin is really bothering them and the above steps don’t help, book in an appointment with your GP. They’ll be able to prescribe acne medication or refer your child to a dermatologist if necessary.