Skin Care

Teenage Acne Treatments That Work

Teenage acne is one of the most common skincare problems at the ages 15-19. At this age acne peaks for a lot of people, however, it often tends to go away after a while. For some girls teen acne starts to appear before they get their period. It can be very annoying and upsetting to many people and like anything else in life, learning more about it will you help you befriend it, take proper care of it and eventually resolve it. 

So let’s explain what causes teen acne, the different types of acne, acne treatments, home remedies for acne and what you can do to prevent it:

What causes acne?

A major cause of acne is the change in hormones we experience in our teenage years. The body releases more hormones, specifically the testosterone hormone that is found in both males and females. It is the reason behind a lot of teenage acne cases for girls and most young teens throughout that period. 

The glands beneath our skin produce a large amount of oils to keep the skin hydrated, but the dead skin on the surface of our skin prevents them from coming out to the surface. So the oils stay congested under the skin  and with the help of bacteria they come out in the form of acne and pimples. This not only happens on the face, but also in neck, shoulders and back areas. 

Different types of acne

There are many different types of acne that appears between the ages of 15 and 19. In some cases it is easy to treat without the need to consult a doctor, but there are some serious types and cases of acne that are best consulted and treated by doctors, who can put you on the right track of how to treat it properly. You can begin to tell the type of acne you have by taking a closer look at how it looks and its shape, in order to identify if it’s simple or serious and when you should seek the help of a doctor.

Whiteheads

Whiteheads can also be called pimples. This pimple has a white dot in the center and is generally easy to treat.

Blackheads

Blackheads clog the pores and accumulate on the skin. The best way to avoid them is to make sure your regularly cleanse your skin.

Papules

These are small pimples that are red and white. The almost always appear in large breakouts, not as an individual pimple and they are painful to touch. It is a difficult form of acne and is recommended to be treated by a doctor.

Pustules

Pustules are rosy and yellow. They also come in large amounts and are a difficult type of acne that should be treated by a doctor to avoid leaving any scars behind.

Cysts

Cysts are large in size and they are a form of acne that contains fluids. You should not touch them and resort to a doctor to treat them properly.

Daily habits to help prevent acne

1. You should not touch your acne or pop your pimples at all, because doing so will leave scars that are very very difficult to get rid of. 

2. Make sure you wash your face twice a day using the right cleanser for your skin (consult a dermatologist).

3. Use soft and gentle towels on your face so that the friction doesn’t irritate your acne or your skin. 

4. Never sleep without taking your makeup off, because it will clog your pores and increase your acne.

5. Try to minimize or avoid putting on face makeup (foundation, concealer) if you have acne, so you can let your skin breathe, heal and to avoid breaking out.

6. Try to avoid food that can increase acne, like chocolate, dairy and caffeine. 

Acne treatments

The treatments below are only for the minor cases of acne. For more difficult severe cases, you must seek the help of a doctor in order to treat them properly.

Cleansers and face washes for acne-prone skin

If you really want help minimize your acne and breakouts, finding the right cleanser is the best way to start. Give the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Cleanser a look. It contains salicylic acid, which is good for acne prone skin and congested pored. There’s also Skincode’s S.O.S Oil Control Clarifying Wash, which contains ingredients that help reduce breakouts and promotes clear, healthy looking skin. 

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Skincare acne treatments  

One of the things that help with acne is to apply acne treatment creams or serums. There’s the Bioderma Sebium Global Cream, which helps eliminate pimples and blackheads. There’s also the  Neutrogena On-The-Spot Acne Treatment, which contains ingredients that help treat acne and soothe the redness caused by pimples.    

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Home remedies for acne    

You can also help heal your acne with home remedies from your kitchen:

Lemon

Lemon is good for getting rid of bacteria, which is behind the appearance of acne. 

Aloe Vera, Honey and Cucumber 

These 3 are great at soothing the skin and reducing the redness caused by acne. 

If you want to know more about acne and what can help soothe it, click here. 


Throughout November, every Tuesday we’ll be talking about skincare problems, facts and treatments for ages 15-19, so stay tuned.

Main Image Credits: Instagram @leila

Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

You’re lucky because oily skin is trending now so that extra bit of shine is something you should proud of, because now they’re packaging it in bottles. I know a lot of oily skinned gals out there find it hard to have a consistent skincare routine for oily skin that they’re comfortable with and gives them results

I can say as a girl with previously very oily skin, it’s because a lot of us are trying to do too much, including stripping our skin from moisture. We buy these heavy duty cleansers and steer clear of the hydrating moisturizers, thinking this will get rid of the oil, when in fact, what it does is make it worse. That’s because when the skin is stripped of moisture it start producing excess oils to make up for the lost hydration. Those excess oils are probably why we end up breaking out and with very oily skin. 

So, let’s walk through a nice day and night skincare routine for oily skin that you can try and hopefully get the results you want

Morning Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

1. Mild Gel Cleanser

In the morning I don’t recommend using a heavy cleanser so that you skin doesn’t produce more oil throughout the day. Use a nice gentle gel cleanser that will clean the skin nicely making it feel fresh and giving you a nice base for your makeup and the day. Also using slightly cold water will help close the pores a little bit, which is going to help with oil control.

Tip: You can also use a cleanser that has antibacterial properties, which are good if you have acne.

2. Gentle Toner

In the morning, you want to not do too much to your skin, because it will be exposed to sun so you want to make sure it’s not too sensitive. That’s why you should go for a gentle toner, maybe even a natural one like rose water. The toner will balance your skin and create a nice base for the rest of your steps, while also helping with oil control. 

3. Hydrating Gel Moisturizer

You should always use moisturizer in the morning so that your skin is hydrated all day and doesn’t feel the need to produce excess oils. I used to think that applying moisturizer in the morning would make me look oily and cause my foundation to slip and believe me when I say, the exact opposite happened. However, I still recommend using a light gel formula that can be rich in hyaluronic acid, which will help add hydration without feeling heavy too heavy or oily on the skin.

4. Anti-Shine Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a very annoying thing for people with oily skin because it adds unnecessary shine, but it’s also an essential step in the morning that you should not miss at all. Thankfully skincare innovation has advanced and there are now a lot of anti-shine and oil control sunscreens on the market. A good one is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Anti-Shine SPF50.

5. Oil Blotting Papers

Throughout the day if you still get oily around your T-Zone, you should have oil blotting papers in your handbag. Pat the oily areas with the paper and it will remove the excess oil. 

Nighttime Skincare Routine for Oily Skin

1. Cleansing Balm or Oil Cleanser

I strongly believe in double cleansing at night. It will change your life and ensure that you removed all the pollution and dirt from being outside all day. I know the word oil will scare you, but oil or balm cleansers are actually very effective at makeup removal and prepping the skin for the step foam or gel cleanser. It will also help hydrate the skin and give it a nice plump texture. Your can try out the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm or The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil.

2. Clay Cleanser or Antipollution Cleanser

At night you can afford to use a stronger purifying cleanser than the morning’s. However, it should still be gentle and not dry or strip your skin too much. This type of cleanser will help further remove the dirt or built up oil from throughout the day and create a nice fresh canvas for your nighttime skincare routine. 

Tip: After your cleanse you should not feel like your skin is tight or overly dry. That would mean the cleanser was too harsh and it’s very important to moisturize afterwards. 

3. Light Chemical Exfoliation

I personally don’t believe in strong scrubs or physical exfoliants because I feel that they would damage the skin. Chemical exfoliants are a good alternative because they remove impurities and the top layer of dead skin cells, giving the skin a nice balanced texture and a healthy glow. There are plenty of highly reviewed gentle chemical exfoliants on the market. 

Tip: You can also opt with a serum with salicylic acid that would be gentle on the skin but effective in exfoliation. However, do that after toner. 

4. Clay Mask or Purifying Mask

This is obviously not for everyday, but once a week, apply a nice purifying mask will really clean up your skin and hopefully reverse the effects of a stressful week. Some of these masks, however, can be drying and stripping so make sure you make up for that by hydrating really well. Maybe use a hydrating sheet mask afterwards. 

5. Exfoliating Toner

Now you can go for a stronger exfoliating toner, like a product that has glycolic acid. A lot of people swear by exfoliating toner, especially people who suffer from acne. They are known to be a gentle form of exfoliation that is very effective and gives quick results. 

6. Tea Tree Oil on Problem Areas

If you have a breakout, pimple or an area infected with acne, I always go for tea tree oil. It helps release stubborn acne and dry them out faster, while reducing the size, appearance and swelling. We also previously talked about the fastest ways to reduce and get rid of a pimple overnight, so you can check that out. 

7. Strong Moisturizer

Here it is recommended to go for a more heavy duty moisturizer. A lot of people with oily skin hesitate to do so, but this is the perfect timing to slather on moisturizer and have it hydrate your skin all night as you sleep, so you wake up with healthy, plump hydrated skin. 

Main Image Credits: Instagram @jennycipoletti

how to determine skin type

How to Know What Type of Skin You Have

We must learn what our skin needs, what it likes and what it responds to. We forget to listen to our skin, just as we listen to our bodies. Our skin is a very important part of us and in order to take care of it, we need to understand it first. This means learning how to know your skin type. It is also important to note that our skin type can change over time or after a change in hormones, a pregnancy, medications, any medical problems or just age.

Let’s begin by explaining the 2 different methods that can help you know your skin type:

The bare-faced method

You start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser. It should get your skin clean, but without aggravating it or stripping it too much. After around 40 minutes, you check to see any signs of your skin type. Then you wait another 40 minutes and check again afterwards. 

Oil blotting sheet method 

Buy some oil blotting sheets and after washing your face and waiting for around an hour, you place them on different parts of the face. These sheets absorb the oil on the surface of the skin, so they’re a good indicator of the amount of oil production and where it happens. 

Now you can begin to identify your skin type: 

Oily Skin

1. The Bare-faced method

If you find your cheeks, nose, forehead and chin to be shiny or greasy, you have oily skin. 

2. Oil blotting sheet method 

If the blotting paper is greasy and soaked with oil from all the areas you placed it on, including the cheeks, you have oily skin. 

You will also notice that your pores are very visible and large. People with oily skin sometimes have really visible pores that are clogged and enlarged with excess oils. You are also likely to have blackheads, whiteheads, acne and pimples. Oily skin is actually considered healthy if you take care of it, because the natural oils in the skin hydrate it and keep the skin young and glowy. 

Dry Skin

1. The Bare-faced method

Try smiling, if your skin feels really tight, dry and flaky to touch, you have dry skin. 

2. Oil blotting sheet method

Almost no oil comes on the sheet or very little. 

Your skin probably feels tight all day, dry and can even end up flaking. When you touch it doesn’t feel bouncy or elastic, almost like it needs moisture. Your skin probably swallows and soaks up any cream or skincare you apply to it really quickly.  You should drink a lot of water. You should also exfoliate to remove the outer layer of flaky, dry dead skin, but use a really really gentle exfoliant. With exfoliation, the skincare products you apply will absorb better. 

Combination Skin

1. The Bare-faced method

If you can see clearly shine on the T-zone; the nose, forehead and chin but your cheeks feel normal or a little dry, you could have combination skin. 

2. Oil blotting sheet method

The sheet used on your cheeks had very little or no oil come off. The one used on your forehead, nose and chin soaked up some noticeable oil. 

You skin is divided, which can be confusing when it comes to skincare and treatments, because you don’t know which to target. The goal is trying to balance them out and bring them closer to each other in the ideal middle zone. Don’t use products that will overly produce oil or overly dry your skin.

Sensitive Skin

For sensitive skin, the symptoms and signs can’t really be identified by the methods above, however, they are also clear and you can point them out. 

If you get red sometimes, get sunburnt easily, breakout from heavy products, or your skin can feel inflamed or itchy, you could have sensitive skin.

The symptoms are different depending on each person, but another common one is that when you apply warmth or move your skin, it gets really red easily. 

You should always do a 24hr patch test on your arm before applying any product on your face. The  esteemed skincare brand Tatcha recommends that people with sensitive skin should always test the product by applying it behind the ears first, before the face. You should also look for products catered for people with sensitive skin. Stay away from products with fragrance, Parabens, harsh chemicals and avoid alcohol.

Normal Skin 

1. The Bare-faced method  

If you see a small bit of shine on the T-zone, but one that looks more like radiance and less like grease, you probably have normal skin. You should also not feel any dryness and the skin should feel nice and velvety.  

2. Oil blotting sheet method

The blotting sheet has a small amount of oil, but not excessive at all.

You’re lucky, you have very nice skin. It feels good and balanced, not too oily or too dry. The skin usually has a nice healthy glow to it and feels soft and smooth. You still want to take care not to use anything too intense on your skin that can change that nice balance. You also want to still take care of signs of aging. So, make sure your skin is hydrated and moisturized and if you’re in your mid 20s or above, you can start to include gentle anti-aging products.  

Note:  There is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin means you need to drink a lot of water and it is affected by things like the weather, environment  or if your body’s dehydrated. It’s mostly temporary.

Main Image Credits: Instagram @jullsjuly