Teen years can be very stressful… especially as you experience a number of ‘firsts’. Navigating your first skincare routine can be particularly confusing. Qualified dermatologist Dr Cebi Sibisi shares some advice for dealing with teen skin concerns.
“It’s as if, all of a sudden, your hormones have all teamed up and decided to hit you with a one-two punch of oily skin and acne, and you’ve got to figure out how to deal with that,” says Dr Sibisi. “There is also so much information on social platforms adding to the confusion, and often some of the ‘DIY advice’ can end up being more detrimental to the skin.”
One of the most important things to remember, she says, is that apart from dealing with current skin concerns caused by hyperactive sebaceous glands, the products your teen uses will set up their skin for later in life.
“My single most important piece of advice is to always keep it simple and when in doubt seek professional help,” she says.
Acne is the most skin concern for teens. Dr Sibisi shares some advice: “The golden rule for cleansers is looking for a gentle foaming cleanser, which helps with oiliness or something with salicylic acid to fend off acne without excessively drying you out. On the moisturising front, opt for a lighter, oil-free lotion to avoid clogging the already over-active pores. Don’t be tempted to skip the moisturiser, this actually makes matters worse. Where there is mild acne, a benzoyl peroxide product can help. Introduce this slowly and with caution to avoid irritation. This is one of the gold standard acne-fighting ingredient because it immediately targets the source of acne breakouts.
“We often talk about how retinoids should become a part of anyone’s night skincare routine by the time they hit their late twenties, but the vitamin A derivative can be ultra-effective for teens too. Retinol also helps with acne, so it’s helpful in both the short and long-term. A good SPF is a non-negotiable at any age. Slather an SPF 30 or more on every morning as the final step in your routine for protection for which your skin will be thanking you for later (trust me). To make things easier for teens, I always recommend a good moisturiser which already has a sunscreen (minimum SPF30).”
Again, Dr Sibisi encourages parents to seek professional help if their teen’s skin looks serious or is not responding to over-the-counter options. “Never apply apple cider vinegar, toothpaste, lemons or whatever else the latest ‘influencer’ recommends! It may end in tears!”
Hidden acne triggers to avoid: Poor diet high in dairy products, not cleansing your face twice a day, being too harsh on your skin (over-cleansing with abrasive scrubs, using harsh skin aggravating ingredients – if it stings or hurts it’s probably bad for your skin.), going to bed with makeup on, hair styling products (very oily or waxy leave-on hair products can track to the face and cause break outs especially on the forehead), inconsistent skincare
DETAILS: Book a consultation with Dr Sibisi: [email protected], 6 Medigate Road, 031 566 4748