What Causes Teen Acne?
Teen acne is a skin condition causing bumps on the face, back, and chest. They are commonly referred to as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, pustules, and cysts. Brantley, MD, a dermatologist at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. “Sebaceous glands, also known as oil glands, make a natural moisturizer for your skin, called sebum.”
In teen acne, sebum can clog the hair follicles, also known as pores, which makes the skin “sticky” and difficult to shed. The combination of sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria within a clogged pore causes a pimple.
- Keep your hair conditioner off your back. Hair conditioner can clog pores because of the heavy moisturizing ingredients it contains, and if it is left to sit on your back while you shave your legs or clean the rest of your body you are risking getting breakouts on your back. Instead of letting your hair full of conditioner sit on your back, clip your hair up on top of your head until you are ready to rinse out your conditioner. Also be sure to wash your face at the end of your shower not the beginning. If you wash your face at the beginning of your shower hair products and soaps that shouldn’t be near your face can get on your skin and clog your pores. In order to make sure your skin stays clear wash your face last before exiting the shower.
- Use a gel cleanser. Gel cleansers are typically made for those with combination to oily skin while cream cleansers are made for normal to dry skin. You don’t need to spend big bucks on a cleanser, either, as there are plenty of drugstore brands worth trying. Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleanseris a great example. Apply a cleanser very gently with just your fingers, and then lather the cleanser by rubbing in small circular motions. Foam cleansers are also a good product for oily skin. CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser will get rid of excess oil without drying out your skin in the process.
- Keep your hands away from your face (except during washing)! Do you know where your hands have been? If you’re a chronic face-toucher, keeping your hands away from your skin will absolutely help improve your skin. Everything you touch has the possibility of having germs and bacteria on it plus dirt and oil, so DON’T touch your face! We know this is a tough habit to break, but if you touch your face frequently with unclean hands, you’re only contributing to your acne problem! Also make sure you keep your cellphone clean. Cellphones are covered with bacteria and dirt which is then transferred to our faces when we press our phones to our ear. Wipe your phone with anti-bacterial wipes frequently. Consider talking on your cellphone with an earpiece so that your screen doesn’t touch your face.
- Try Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can kill bacteria. Some people use it to treat minor skin irritations, including acne. There isn’t much research on how effective it is, but tea tree oil is safe to put directly on your skin in a diluted form. Try it on a small area first to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.
- Reduce Swelling With Ice
For swollen pimples, gently apply ice for a minute or so. It doesn’t work for everyone, but there’s no harm in trying. Just don’t keep the ice on so long that it irritates your skin.
- Look for products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. You’re going to need some type of treatment product for your skin – be it a toner, a spot treatment or a serum. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the most common acne-fighting ingredients and both quite effective, so look for products that have one of these ingredients. Depending on your individual skin type, one may work better than other so try a few out and see how your skin reacts.
- Don’t scrub your skin. While it may be tempting to use an exfoliating scrub, steer clear of these types of products since they can irritate your skin. If you have acne you need to exfoliate just not with a scrub. Chemical exfoliators are your best bet, so consider a gentle exfoliating pad like St. Ives Exfoliating Pads.
- Practice sun safety (and don’t tan!) The sun can really damage your skin (as can tanning beds). Help your acne heal by avoiding tanning beds and using proper protection when out in the sun. Make sure you wear a product with SPF in it every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or not—wear SPF! We recommend using between SPF 30 to 50 everyday like Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 which won’t cause breakouts. (Reapply every 2 hours if you are outside of the day) Wear a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses when outside to keep your skin free from sun damage. Remember, the less sun damage your skin gets, the better your skin will look years from now.
- Don’t pick at your skin. Popping those pimples is very tempting; however, in the long run you are just damaging your skin. Avoid picking at any white or blackheads that appear on your skin. When you don’t pick at your breakouts they will heal faster and will leave less of a mark behind. Don’t pop your pimples even if they have a white head on them.
- Apply Crushed Aspirin: If you search the Internet for acne home remedies, you may come across a suggestion to use crushed aspirin paste. Aspirin is related to salicylic acid, a common ingredient in over-the-counter acne products. But salicylic acid products are specifically made for the skin. Applying a paste of pure aspirin could irritate your skin.
- Save the toothpaste for your teeth. Although some ingredients in toothpaste might help dry out pimples, toothpaste can trigger acne. To make matters worse, the fluoride and whitening ingredients could cause an allergic reaction when applied to the skin.
- Camouflage With Accessories: If your pimples are only on your forehead, you might be tempted to hide them under a tight-fitting cap or headband. Although that’s fine for a quick event, you may pay a price for long-term camouflage. The heat and friction could make your acne worse.