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5 ways to support troubled teenage skin

| SEP 22, 2021

It could not be a more important time to open the conversation with our teenagers about feeling confident in their own skin. Teaching your teen how to have a healthy relationship with their body and food will give them the insight into how beneficial this can be for their skin, brain function and general wellbeing. The power of good nutrition, simple skincare regimes and regular exercise can lead to a strong body and an even stronger mind. With skin conditions and autoimmune diseases on the rise, it's essential to support their skin with a 360 degree approach. Here are my top tips...

1. Educate them on skin hygiene 

During the last 18 months the importance of hygiene has been paramount and hand sanitiser is now commonplace. 

This is a subject to be touched on gently with our teensWhen talking about hygiene I don't mean that they aren't being mindful fo their personal hygiene, it's the things we miss or may not even consider that could be adding to breakouts and affecting their skin.

Fabric softener on pillow cases that leaves a waxy residue could block pores. If your teenager is suffering with breakouts then wash pillow cases at least twice a week and stay away from the fabric softener.

If you notice that your teenager’s acne breakouts cluster around their hairline or places where their hair brushes against their face, it might be hair product that's to blame. You can try switching to spray products that are less likely to cause breakouts.

The main thing you want to teach your teenager is to avoid the spread of bacteria. Touching their faces too often and unclean make up tools can easily spread bacteria. Teaching our teenagers how to safely share cosmetics is vital. 

Lastly and most importantly, research has found that our digital devices carry more germs and bacteria than the average toilet seat. When we hold these “clinically” dirty phones to our cheeks, temples and chins, the bacteria transfers to our skin. Buy some anti-bacterial wipes and suggest a once a day wipe down. Better still, using earphones rather than holding the phone to the face with help the spread of bacteria.


2. Simplify their skincare regime

The skincare market has become a very crowded space and the cost and wasted products can be frustrating. The power of a brand message can be strong and trends are taking precedence over the skincare benefit to the teenager.

My advice is to do some good research for your teen before you buy and make sure to connect the brand to the skincare needs. A lot of the brands who focus on young skin use incredibly gentle and calming ingredients. Thats the key, gentle but effective simple routines. 

If you feel your teenager has very sensitive skin, it's best to do a patch test. If you can manage to get a sample or travel set this will limit wasted product and money incase of a reaction. You can also contact the brand before you purchase and discuss this as hopefully they would be open to a return on the product. But it's always best always to check. 

Make sure you patch test one product at a time at the back of the neck. One side is best so you can use the other side to compare. Leave the product on for 24 hours and make sure skin is clean before you apply the product.  If you have a teenager with known sensitivities it can be a good idea to test a couple of times just to be sure as some reactions won’t occur immediately. 
In any sensitivity occurs immediately on application ( burning, rash or sting)  wash the area and do not continue with the product. Once you find the products you feel will benefit your teenager, try to get them to stick with it for a minimum for 30 days, giving the products enough time to deliver results.
Mixing brands can often be counter productive, as well as over use of drying products. Products made to treat spots often strip the skin, getting rid of the natural sebum and oil which can cause even more oil to be produced.

Simplicity and persistence is key with a skincare regime.

3. Good nutrition and supplements

Teaching our teens how to have a strong body and a healthy relationship with it is one of the most powerful gifts we can give them. Helping them make the connection between the value of the food we eat and the affect it can have on our body is paramount. We are no longer eating foods that are “in season” and this along with the chemical impact to our food mean supplements have got a powerful place in our future.

We are so fortunate to have some great brands giving our teens the extra support for skin, sleep, brain and hormone health. Supporting growing bodies with these potent and superb supplements can have a profound effect on our skin and wellbeing.

Eating a healthy diet full of antioxidant-rich fruit and veggies plays a big part in keeping your skin looking good. But a good quality fish oil, rich in omega-3 can make a huge difference to teenage skin (and beyond!). That’s because, as well as being great for our heart, brain and eye health, omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role in the very structure of your skin.

Omega-3 supplements contain DHA and EPA, essential fatty acids the body can’t make for itself. These are incorporated into cell membranes in the top layer of skin (the epidermis), forming a protective web around them, helping to stop moisture being lost and giving skin a healthy appearance. Bare Biology's fish oil is high-strength and their Life & Soul capsules are loved by teens. They also get very batch 3rd party tested for heavy metals and toxins - another factor we need to be wary of for the health of our teens skin!

Shop Life & Soul capsules


4. Reduce blue light / screen time

Research shows that blue light is more damaging than the suns rays and this high-energy visible (HEV) light penetrates skin deeper than UV rays do. For our teens living with their phone in their hand at all times, fresh air and exercise can have a powerful influence on their wellbeing. Counteract the damage from the screens for their skin with antioxidant rich foods which will help neutralise and protect the skin from the effects of heat damage and radiation.

5. Don't be afraid to use concealer 

An old fashioned view, or at least one that I grew up with suggested not to use cover products if you had spots or acne as they block the pores but its very outdated advice. There have been some great advances in cosmetics over the last 10 years and especially in the area of foundations/concealers. For teenagers the key word for you to understand and look out for is non-comedogenic.

A product labeled non-comedogenic does not contain ingredients that are known to clog the pores so if your teen suffers with acne, blackheads, or are prone to clogged pores, using non-comedogenic skincare products and cosmetics may help reduce the number of breakouts they get. Lots of brands, especially those aimed at teenagers are very transparent and will often show full ingredient list and if not then you can always ask the question.

Ultimately, I believe a great amount of confidence can come from a tiny pot of concealer if used correctly. Concealer can help your teenager to stop focusing on the spots, touching their skin less and get on with their day feeling confident. 

I want to touch briefly on boys using concealer. I have been putting concealer on men for the last 20 years for film and TV, always on and never seen. In July this year the first cosmetic store opened for men in central London and it's about time that everyone, no matter what gender, should feel comfortable and confident to cover their spots too!


Annabel Jardella independent Industry expert, under the 360 degree skin philosophy brand, representing her holistic approach to skincare, make-up, camouflage and cover. Her clients range from teenagers to mature consumers, men and women including those wanting help with a specific skin condition including post surgery analysis and skin trauma. Currently she is hosting Confident Wellbeing Educational Masterclasses for teenagers 12 - 18 working with forward thinking secondary schools throughout the UK.

Follow Annabel on Instagram here.

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