Did you know that acne, dry skin and blackhead issues are common during teenage years? Experts believe that a good teenage skincare routine can keep such conditions at bay even till a later age.
Starting skincare early provides your skin with topical nutrition that keeps it strong and helps delay signs of aging. However, there is also the risk of exposing your young skin to harmful chemicals present in commercial cosmetic and skincare products. Hence, it is important to understand which products will suit your skin type.
Read on to know the best beauty tips and ingredients to include for a beneficial teenage skincare routine.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Says
“As one achieves puberty, the surge of pubertal hormones affects the sebum production. Proper acne care can prevent scarring and hyperpigmentation, boosting one’s self-esteem.”
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
Know Your Skin Type
1. Oily Skin
While sebum keeps your skin healthy and moisturized, too much can lead to oily skin. This occurs when the sebaceous glands secrete more oil than required.
Oily skin can either be genetic or a result of underlying health conditions such as hormonal fluctuations experienced during puberty. Skincare for oily skin must be non-comedogenic and focused on oil regulation.
2. Dry Skin
Skin deprived of essential moisture is known as dry skin. When your sebaceous glands do not secrete enough sebum, your skin can become dry and dull.
Symptoms such as itchiness, skin peeling, cracking, flaking, redness and inflammation often accompany this. Dry skin  may be temporary and some teenagers tend to experience it in the winter when humidity is low.
3. Combination Skin
Combination skin experiences excess oil secretions in the T-Zone (nose, forehead, inner cheeks and chin) while the rest of the face has dry skin. This skin type is often prone to pore-clogging and comedonal acne.
4. Normal Skin
Skin that has balanced oil secretions along with a good supply of nutrition and blood is termed as normal skin. Teenagers with normal skin experience fewer skin problems and usually require a basic skincare regime.
5. Sensitive Skin
Your immune system is meant to protect your body from microbial invasions. However, people with sensitive skin tend to have a hyperactive immune system that perceives various things as possible threats. Applying a product that your skin is allergic to can leave you with an itchy rash. Those who have sensitive skin must be aware of their trigger factors.
According to the ancient science of Ayurveda, your skin type is determined by the level of your doshas - Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The characteristics of each dosha-dominated skin type are:
Nature And Texture
Dry skin with a darker skin tone
Soft skin which is warm to touch, may be sensitive
Soft, oily skin that feels cold
Visible pores mainly in the T-Zone
Flaking, peeling, eczema, wrinkles
Redness, inflammation, rosacea, moles, pigmentation
Comedonal and cystic acne, fluid accumulation
According to a study conducted on Sri Lankan adolescent girls, around 90% complained of acne problems. Most of them used cosmetic products to cover their pimples, which further aggravated the condition.
Recommended Skin Care Routine For Teenagers
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “As one achieves puberty, the surge of pubertal hormones affects the sebum production. The well-hydrated kapha dominant young tender skin now gets affected by pitta (hormones), triggering oiliness and inflammations. This cusp of kapha-pitta dosha at puberty, calls for special skincare measures.”
She further adds, “Resorting to the right skincare routine, appropriate for the skin type and prakriti can help prevent skin issues. Proper acne care can prevent scarring and hyperpigmentation, boosting one’s self-esteem. A well-cared for, healthy glowing skin can positively help an emotionally confused teenager.”
1. Always Keep Your Hands Clean
This first step to a healthy skincare routine lowers the risk of skin infection, pore-clogging, dirt accumulation and acne. Also keep your pillowcase, phone surface and make-up brushes clean for the same reasons.
2. Cleanse Your Face
Begin your skincare routine with a mild herbal cleanser. Choose a face wash/ cleanser that is free of chemicals such as sulfates (harsh surfactants), parabens (preservatives), artificial fragrances and colours.
Opt for a cleansing milk/ cleansing oil while removing make-up. Follow it up with a mild face wash if required. Cleansing twice a day helps remove dust, pollution, sunscreen, excess oil and bacteria from your face.
3. Use Facial Toner
Apply your toner on a clean face. Toners help balance your skin’s pH levels, improve texture and provide hydration. Using one that contains tea tree oil is good for oily skin. This helps regulate oil secretions and keeps acne problems away.
However, according to certain dermatologists, toners can be optional, especially for teenage skin. Opt for an alcohol-free toner that doesn’t contain high amounts of salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, mineral oil and fragrances. These can cause dryness and skin irritations.
4. Use Moisturizer
Skincare routine for teenage girls and boys must include a moisturizer. Regardless of your skin type, moisturizers help seal in essential moisture and strengthen your skin barrier. You can use aloe vera gel as a natural moisturizer. Moisturizing twice a day at the end of your skin routine keeps your skin healthy, soft and glowing.
5. Choose Products That Suit Your Skin Type
All products on the beauty aisle aren’t for your skin. Read the label carefully to check which skin type the product caters to. If your skin is acne-prone go for non-comedogenic products. For sensitive skin, choose hypoallergenic products that soothe your skin and are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
6. Gentle Scrub (Once A Week)
Exfoliating once a week helps remove product build-ups, deep-seated dirt and sebum plugs, all of which can lead to acne. Focus on your T-Zone and gently exfoliate using upward strokes. Herbal ubtans (exfoliators) are a good alternative to commercial face scrubs.
7. Use Herbal Face Packs Once A Week
Herbal packs act as great healers and rejuvenators of your skin. Apply herbs that balance your doshas, help maintain healthy skin and prevent common teenage skin problems such as acne, rashes, eczema and sun damage.
Mentioned below are herbs that are best for each skin type according to Ayurveda:
A. Oily Skin- Triphala, hibiscus, rose, aloe vera, turmeric, sandalwood, sariva, lodhra.
B. Dry Skin- Yashtimadhu, raw ghee, triphala, honey, coconut oil, sesame oil, shatavari, gotu kola.
C. Normal Skin- Kesar, brahmi, guduchi, amla, ashwagandha, daruharidra, moringa.
D. Sensitive Skin- Neem, tulsi, aloe vera, manjistha, brahmi, sandalwood.
Though some advice against including sunscreen in a teenage skincare routine, it helps protect skin from sun damage and skin cancer in your later years . Frequent exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause freckles, tan and dry skin. Apply a non-comedogenic, herbal broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15 and above every time you step out.
9. Use Lip Balm
Many teenagers are in the habit of licking or biting their lips leading to dry, chapped lips. Keeping a lip balm handy and applying it every time your lips feel dry is the best solution.
10. Remove Makeup Before Going To Sleep
Never go to bed with make-up. This can clog your pores and create the perfect breeding ground for acne-causing bacteria. Use a cleansing milk/ oil or micellar water and a cotton ball to gently remove make-up without scrubbing your face.
11. Avoid Sharing Makeup
Sharing makeup is a common mistake made by teenagers. This can spread infection-causing bacteria and other contagious skin conditions easily amongst a peer group.
12. Don’t Try Outdated Skin Care Hacks
A teenage skincare routine needs to be planned well and not based on social media hypes. Outdated or unverified hacks such as using toothpaste on acne, applying undiluted apple cider vinegar on skin or using markers to touch-up your eyebrows, can do more harm than good.
13. Balanced Diet
A wholesome Ayurveda recommended diet is the key to healthy skin. Include vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K along with zinc, magnesium, omega 3 fatty acids and proteins in your daily diet. Consume green vegetables, fruits and seafood for glowing skin. Avoid processed foods and sugary items that can contribute to skin inflammation and acne.
14. Less Is More
Stick to a simple skincare routine and be consistent. Applying too many products may adversely affect your skin by clogging it. Further, young skin repairs itself easily, hence teenage skincare needs to focus on supporting this function rather than loading the skin with unnecessary products.
Vedix Tip: Consuming herbs like manjistha, ashwagandha, nimba and guduchi can help treat your pimples and other teenage skin problems.
Simple Beauty Tips For Teenagers
1. Choose herbal products. These holistically improve your skin health while taking care of skin issues.
2. Minimal make-up is best for teenage skin. Use products that contain fruit extracts and other natural ingredients.
3. Switch to a tinted herbal lip balm instead of a lipstick which contains chemicals. This will help keep your lips moisturized.
4. Massage your face with oil once a week. This keeps your skin soft and improves subcutaneous blood circulation.
5. Avoid hot showers and harsh soaps that dry out your skin.
6. Avoid using make-up to cover acne and other skin lesions. This can increase severity of the condition and lead to scars and marks on the face.
7. Get good sleep. This helps your skin to repair overnight.
8. Keep yourself hydrated to avoid dry skin.
Top Skin Problems Most Teenagers Face
With the onset of puberty, over 80% teenagers worldwide face acne conditions (blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nodules). This happens when hormonal changes make your sebaceous glands produce excess sebum leading to pore clogging and bacterial infection.
A good teenage skincare routine consisting of antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing herbs can help treat acne vulgaris .
2. Sun Tan
Teenagers involved in outdoor activities are vulnerable to sun tan and sunburns. UV ray exposure stimulates melanocytes into producing more melanin pigment causing your skin to darken.
While severe sunburns need medical attention, a sun tan is likely to fade in a few weeks. Skin brightening herbs such as sandalwood, kesar, turmeric and yashtimadhu are great for sun-damaged skin.
3. Oily Skin
This can be a result of hormonal fluctuations that also cause acne. An oil-balancing skincare routine can help regulate excess sebum on the face. Further, astringent kapha dosha balancing herbs such as triphala, hibiscus, sariva and ashwagandha can help reduce oily skin issues.
4. Contact Dermatitis
Teenagers with sensitive skin are more prone to contact dermatitis. This occurs when your skin reacts to an allergen leading to an itchy rash.
Contact dermatitis can be caused by ingredients present in a new skincare product, hairsprays, make-up and bindi. Including skin-calming herbs such as sandalwood, neem, tulsi and aloe vera in your skincare routine can help.
Many teenagers complain about eczema which causes extreme dry skin, inflammation and red, itchy lesions. This usually affects the folds of your body such as the elbows and knees but can also affect the face and neck.
While the condition has no cure, flare-ups can be kept under control with a skin-soothing, anti-inflammatory and skin barrier strengthening teenage skincare routine. Herbs such as gotu kola, triphala, turmeric and manjistha are known to benefit eczema conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions On Teenage Skin
1. At What Age Should You Start Skin Care?
While there is no fixed age for starting skincare, the early teens are a good time to start. With puberty, your skin undergoes many changes. Hence, a basic skincare routine, which includes cleansing, exfoliation, occasional herbal face packs, moisturizing and sunscreen is likely to provide extra support to your gradually maturing skin.
2. What Skin Care Products Should Teenagers Avoid?
Avoid products that contain the following harmful chemical ingredients:
- Sulfates (SLS, SLES) 
- Parabens (methyl, propyl)
- Artificial fragrances and colours
The Last Word
While there is a lot of talk about teenage skincare routines for girls, the same for boys is often neglected. One must keep in mind that skin for both genders is prone to common conditions such as acne, dry and oily skin. Healthy, glowing skin is not just about genes, you can also achieve it with the right skincare routine, diet and lifestyle. So follow the tips given in this article and plan your perfect teenage skincare routine.Know Your Dosha Now
1. Ayurvedic Skin Types
2. Dry Skin: Children And Teenagers, 2021 August
3. Correlates Of Sunscreen Use Among High School Students: A Cross-Sectional Survey, 2011 August
4. Tips For Taking Care Of Your Skin, 2014 June
5. Human And Environmental Toxicity Of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Evidence For Safe Use In Household Cleaning Products, 2015 Nov
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