Teenagers are so unlucky. 85% of them get breakouts - which is almost everyone!

At a time when their self-confidence can be very wobbly as they try to fit in, additional stress and pressure from exams or trying to get into new schools can often take a toll on their skin.Things may be especially tense this year after the events of the last 18 months, with more trepidation and even anxiety at the prospect of going back to school or starting university.

In today's video, I share practical tips on how to look after teenage skin. This is real, tangible advice that has helped me achieve skin success with hundreds of teens in the clinic. I’ve transformed shy teens who feel too uncomfortable to even make eye contact into confident beings who walk into rooms feeling proud with their heads held high.

The question is, why do teenagers get breakouts? Well, the whirlwind of hormones kicks in at puberty. This is often seen when the skin becomes oily in the t-zone and those first blackheads on the nose start to appear, as dead skin cells become sticky, rather than just exfoliating away.

Things can develop into more inflamed acne spots and the issue can spread to the chest and back. Cysts and scarring are matters to be taken seriously and usually need a physician’s input so don’t delay if these large tender swellings or dips appear in the skin.

If you’ve bought targeted treatments and given it to your teen, why isn’t their skin improving? Here are four quick tips to ensure they are on the right path to skin success.

1) Build The Right Skincare Routine

It’s often assumed that stripping foaming cleansers and oil-free moisturisers are the right accessories for treating breakouts. Somewhere in breakout folklore, someone decided that removing all the moisture from skin would solve blemishes. To be clear - it absolutely does not. Stripping the skin of its natural oils and starving it from moisture will only lead to tight, sore and dry skin which typically makes breakouts even worse.

Building their basic skincare routine is possibly the most important and easiest bit to fix. A non-drying cleanser, a non-clogging moisturiser and sunscreen are 3 must-haves for skin success.

2) Use The Product Correctly

How many times have you bought a new skincare product and not entirely known how to properly use it? It happens to all of us and teenagers are no exception. It may not be clear to your teen how to properly cleanse the skin or the best way to use a moisturiser to protect against the drying effects of a blemish solution. As many as 30% of retinoid prescriptions don’t end up getting used because people don’t know how to use them properly.

So maybe sit with them as they do their routine and learn how to use the correct products together! Head to my YouTube channel and watch the How To videos on using a retinoid and using a blemish solution.

3) Stop Using The Wrong Product

With countless new skincare launches aimed at fixing the skin overnight, your teen could be doing too much and using products that are making matters worse. They might have the correct active ingredients, but they may be adding in trend-driven products that dry out and irritate the skin. So again, it’s about honest communication and gently probing so that you fully understand what their routine looks like.

4) Acne Isn’t Only Found On The Face

It’s very common to get body acne but a shy teen may not tell you this unless you explicitly enquire. Breakouts on the back and chest can be embarrassing to discuss and they can also leave scars so it’s imperative that you find out where acne is affecting them. Dr Emma has done a great video on this topic recently so I’ll link to that below.

Fundamentally, the right products alongside clear communication are crucial to looking after teenage skin. Education is empowering and the key to transforming your teen’s skin.

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