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Back To School Skin Anxiety

Hi fellow moms. With a teen of my own going back to school in just a couple weeks I started thinking how going back to school can be a stressful time for teens. Due to the hormonal changes they are going through, it is not uncommon for many teenagers to be dealing with various type of acne. Self-confidence can be impacted by the cysts, pustules, papules, and blackheads that come with dealing with acne. Many of these issues can be avoided with a good skin care routine (I’s hard to get them to follow a routine, but if you can they will benefit)

Here are some helpful tips for them to start school with clear skin. • Treat the skin gently - Teens have extra sensitive skin and it is important to avoid harsh skin care products that dry and irritate the skin. Avoid synthetic fragrances (a leading cause of allergic reactions)

• Don’t Pick (insert mom voice here) - Not all breakouts can be avoided, but when they do they typically only last only 5-7 days. However, the red or dark scar from picking can last weeks or even months

• Avoid harsh cleansers and alcohol-based astringents at all costs - Most cleansers and toners marketed for teens are designed to dry out breakouts and contain strong detergents and alcohols. This can be helpful in destroying the bacteria that can cause acne, but these ingredients will dry out the skin. This can result in a build-up of dry, dead skin, which in turn traps oil and bacteria under the skin – causing even more breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle. Any cleansers you purchase should be labeled as ‘sulfate free’ and you should avoid ingredients Sodium Laureth (or Lauryl), Sulfate, or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate as they can be extremely dehydrating to skin

• Wash face twice a day (mom voice again) - Acne causing bacteria needs oil to grow. Teens tend to produce more oil so keeping the skin free from it will help prevent more blemishes. Washing the face with a gentle cleanser twice (morning and night) a day will help keep oil levels down. Wash after sports or other activities (your kids do yard work right?) that generate sweat or expose them to dirt and grime. Follow washing with an oil-free moisturizer. Over-washing can actually dry out the skin

• Be sure to use a moisturizer - Our skin needs water to be healthy. Healthy skin is more resilient, will have fewer breakouts and recover from the breakouts that do happen faster. The idea that moisturizing the skin causes breakouts is a myth. Use a water based, oil-free, moisturizer

• Use products that are designed for your skin type - Everyone has different skin. There is no “one size fits all” treatment. Seek professional guidance to identify what will be best for your skin. Estheticians are a great source of knowledge or a Dermatologist. A good Esthetician will always refer you to a Dermatologist if their care is needed

• Use SPF - We all know sun exposure is bad for skin. Studies have shown that wrinkles that appear later in life can be attributed to skin damage that occurs in our teens. But, not all sunscreen is created equal. Use one specifically formulated for the face and preferably containing Zinc Oxide, which has antibacterial properties

• Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet - This is a subject that deserves a lot of space. In summary, everyone is different and will have different responses to the same diet. However, eating healthy has great benefits to the skin. Most importantly, stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. This especially important in our hot, dry climate

We hope these tips help you and your teen. If yours are like mine, sometimes what mom has to say goes in one ear and out the other. Hearing the same thing from someone else can sometime help them “hear the message”. At Silhouette Beauty we provide a free, no-obligation skin care consultation. Bring them in and we will diagnose their skin type and answer any questions you have about how to care for their specific skin needs. Call us to schedule an appointment (623)696-3420 or use our convenient, on-line scheduling system at

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