Teen Acne? Ten Ways to Banish Breakouts

Acne tends to show up t the least convenient time–namely, when you’re a teen! Blackheads and whiteheads, nodules and cysts are quite common, but that’s small comfort when you see those annoying blemishes staring back at you in the mirror.

Typically, breakouts are caused by a combination of stress and fluctuating hormones. The hormone part helps explain why it’s often a teen issue, since this stress/hormone combo works to stimulate oil production and clog pores. When pores are clogged, and skin cells are slow to slough off, those old cells get sticky, lining follicles and clogging them up. And that appears as breakouts on your complexion.

But you can fight back! Here are ten ways to win the battle against blemishes:

1.     Never wear makeup to bed. Cosmetics left on overnight can further clog pores, and further cause breakouts. Be sure to remove every last bit of makeup, every night, before you hit the pillow.

2.     Choose a facial cleanser that contains benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient works to kill bacteria, so it helps stop pimples before they start.

3.     Always pat your skin dry gently. By rubbing too vigorously, you can unwittingly spread bacteria over your face–and that’s the last thing you want. And be sure any facecloth or towel you use is clean.  

4.     Use an exfoliating formula regularly to rid your complexion of dead skin cells. But don’t over-exfoliate: that can cause skin to get irritated and inflamed. Surprisingly, if too many oils are removed and skin becomes too dry, that can also lead to breakouts.

5.     Spot-treat any inflamed areas carefully, using a solution that contains salicylic acid.

6.     Along the same lines: If you medicate problem areas on your face, go easy. Just as with exfoliating, over-treating the skin can lead to irritation and inflammation. And when choosing products, look for formulas labeled non-comedogenic. That means they’re specially formulated not to clog pores.

7.     Keep your bed linens clean: you don’t want to be sleeping on bacteria! Sheets and pillowcases should be laundered once a week in hot water.

8.     Wash your makeup brushes often, too. A sudsy cleaning with shampoo and water should be the trick. Follow that with a thorough rinsing, then hang the brushes with bristles down to dry.  

9.     Do not–repeat, do not­–pop or pick at pimples! Yes, it’s tempting to try and make them instantly disappear, but popping a blemish can actually make it more visible. Plus, you run the risk of causing a scar or infection.

10.  Be smart with your lifestyle habits. Cut back on food that are processed or high in fat, since those can wreak havoc with hormones. Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, drink lots of water, and get a healthy amount of sleep. As you’ll see–literally!–these smart tips will help keep your complexion glowing.  


Suzi Barnett