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Great Teen Skin Is As Easy As 1-2-3 (4-5)


The above photo was taken a few weekends ago, and features me in black suspenders with my teen daughter most decidedly oh my gah mom not in black suspenders.

But the above photo also serves as an example of my daughter’s luminescence, which, on the color chart, is located just left of Moon.

She is lucky. Even as she pushes past her sixteenth year, she has had very little trouble with her skin. I had similar skin, which I tested to the max with the occasional ill advised use of rubbing alcohol on my face followed by a scalding washcloth.

I became lucky when my 18th year included a trip to the dermatologist I still use. Rather than simply treating whatever skin issue delivered me to his exam room, he instead put me on a long term skincare regime which consisted only of things available at the cheapest drugstore.

I’m grateful to my dermatologist for the skin I have today, minus those wrinkles and those lines and that set of issues, which aren’t his fault, but matters of the clock.

It seems there are armloads of facial skincare products aimed at girls of a significantly younger and younger age bracket. I didn’t know how to feel about that until realizing it isn’t about the product, but the notion that establishing a routine is always a good thing — even if that routine shifts as your skin changes.

It’s about understanding that good skin comes from good habits and good regimens and okay good genes never hurt anyone. After all, you can find kin in the word skin.

But regardless of your type of skin, it seems all teens can benefit from the following five facial skin care tips:

  1. Apply sunscreen. Do it even when thinking it’s early in the day, or late in the day, or the sun is behind that cloud, or any of the other excuses. Sun damage causes aging and worse: dying! Sunscreen greatly reduces the chance of skin cancer. Don’t forget to reapply after the designated time.
  2. Cleanse the face. Although skin type varies greatly and ranges from dry to oily, there are enough facial cleansers on the market to meet every need. And it seems there is general agreement that cleansers remove built-up sweat and oils that can clog pores. Do not over clean the skin, which can dry it out, which causes the skin to produce more oils, which causes the teenager to over clean the skin, which, which, which. Begin with once every day or once every other day and monitor results.
  3. Moisturize. It is never too early to begin this most important facet of anti-aging. Moisturizers help build and maintain a moisture barrier that keeps skin more elastic — and although elastic may not be the first word a teen wants associated with their face, the loss of elasticity is what produces sagging, and wrinkles. Those with oily skin should choose a lightweight oil-free moisturizer.
  4. Exfoliate. This should only be done weekly. There are tons of products on the market that provide the smallest bit of grit for removing what a daily cleanser cannot. In addition, there are tools that help achieve exfoliation — things containing words such as sonic and dermabrasion and brush — but really they are probably just battery operated gadgets meant to keep us all entertained and engaged with our skincare routines, which as we now know is a good thing.
  5. Apply lip balm. Although the lips are located directly on the face, they are often not considered a part of a facial routine. It’s important to maintain moisture in the lips, which is often best achieved while we sleep and aren’t constantly smacking our lips together or biting our lips or picking the dry skin from our lips — not that I know anyone who does any of these things.

Lastly, I am not a doctor although I play one on the internet. Please consider taking your teen for their own dermatology appointment to help determine which products and routines are best for their individual needs. It’s a small investment on a lifetime of good habits.

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