Skin care for kids is pretty simple: keep clean and protected with a moisturizing sunscreen.
Puberty changes all that.
Teens experience varying degrees of acne, dry skin, as well as changes and variations in skin tone. It’s at this time that they’re also exposed to heavy marketing and peer pressure.
“It is imperative to develop sun protection habits early to maintain lifelong skin health," said Susan Gaylor, master aesthetician with Carilion Clinic Dermatology and Mohs Surgery. "Parents can help set an example with daily sunscreen application.”
She recommends that teens develop the following five skin care habits:
Be protected. Protect your skin from the sun. In the short term, tanning can irritate acne-prone skin, and in the long term, tanning results in wrinkles and can increase your risk of skin cancer. So always use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15. Many tinted lotions contain SPF, serving triple-duty as moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup foundation.
Be neutral. Wash your face gently, twice a day, with a mild cleanser. Susan recommends periodically consulting with a skin care professional to determine your skin type and the most appropriate cleansing products for your skin.
Be selfish. Do not share dirt, oils or bacteria with others. This means no sharing makeup with friends, no touching your face without washing your hands first and no resting your phone on your cheek.
This is more important than ever, to protect against exposure to COVID-19.
Be imperfect. Don’t give in to the temptation to pop pimples or pick at your skin. Doing so can result in more irritation, infection and even scarring. After cleansing, apply an over-the-counter lotion containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to blemishes as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology.
Be patient. Acne treatments can take several weeks to work, but you will have the same skin for many years to come.
These habits form a strong foundation for a lifetime of skin care.
As always, and like never before, we're here to see you safely through all your health care needs. Visit CarilionClinic.org/safe to learn how. For up-to-date information about our response to COVID-19, visit CarilionClinic.org/coronavirus.