Take Care of Pre-Teen & Teen Skin Naturally

by Chalease Linderman, Volunteer, The Launch Pad Teen Center; Co-founder, New Legends

Close to 80% of people between the ages of 11 and 30 are plagued with acne.

It occurs when hair follicles beneath the skin become clogged. Sebum — oil that helps keep skin from drying out — and dead skin cells clog the pores, leading to pimple outbreaks.

While in certain cases the cause of acne is hormonal and requires prescriptions, or the lesions have become infected and require antibiotics, most cases can be managed with gentle, natural ingredients.

Look for:

  • Sea buckthorn oil: An oil extracted from the berries, leaves and seeds of the sea buckthorn plant, a small shrub that grows in the Himalayan region. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and redness associated with many skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
  • Kaolin clay: The most gentle and mildest clay used in skin care. Face masks that contain kaolin help prevent acne, manage dry skin and absorb excess oil or sebum
  • Grapeseed oil: Extracted from tiny grape seeds using a cold-pressing extraction method, grapeseed oil has antimicrobial and antioxidants that help treat and prevent acne, while also healing acne scarring.

Grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that can help control acne by decreasing clogged pores. Acne prone skin is deficient in linoleic acid, so adding more of this fatty acid to skin via grapeseed oil can help reduce breakouts.

  • Green tea: It contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce skin irritation, skin redness and swelling.
  • Willow bark/salicylic acid: Contains both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, clearing pores and alleviating acne and irritation.

Create a healthy skin care routine

Helping your teen establish good self-care and skin care habits will help with their self-confidence and self-esteem.

1. Wash with a gentle cleanser morning and night. Afterward, apply a light moisturizer.

2. Use facial masks two to three times a week.

3. Wash off makeup.

4. Get the right acne products.

5. Keep hands clean; keep off the face.

6. Wash hair regularly to remove product build up around the hairline. For curly haired girls who need to wash their hair less frequently, use products with hydrating properties such as jojoba oil and shea butter; pull hair back into a headband to wash up to the hairline.