Teenage acne and skin care

Acne is often unfortunately associated with the teen years.

Acne can be damaging for teen self esteem as well as be uncomfortable and irritating. Taking care of the skin with the right routine can have a big impact on the condition of teen skin. Teens usually start to experience acne around the ages of 12 to 13 (and sometimes as early as 10 and 11) right through until they’re 24. It can even occur later in life as well.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when the pores of the skin get clogged with dead skin cells, oils and dirt. Bacteria gets trapped in their as well and can lead to white swollen lumps forming in the skin. There are different types of acne, and we’ll go in that in more detail further on.

What causes it?

The major cause of acne, particularly in teens is hormones. Diet, climate and genetics can also have a big impact.

First we need to understand the different types of Acne

There are several different kinds of acne, separated into two categories; Non-inflammatory and Inflammatory

Non-inflammatory types are blackheads and whiteheads, also called comedonal acne. Inflammatory acne types are papules, pustules, nodules and cysts.

Let’s look at non-inflammatory acne in more details first. This type of acne doesn’t have any swelling or redness associated with it, is the mildest form and the easiest to get rid of.  Blackheads are the result of clogged or blocked pores. Oil, dirt and dead skin cells get trapped in the pores. The skin will look like it has dark spots. The pore is still open though, and exposure to air turns the poor black. This is the mildest form of acne and the easiest to get rid of. 

Whiteheads are also blocked pores, but in this case the pore is closed. The outer layer raises up in a small white bump sticking up from the skin. 

Inflammatory Acne is associated with swelling and inflammation. This is because bacteria gets trapped in the pores with the oil, dirt and dead skin cells.

Acne Papules or pimples are inflamed and swollen bumps on the skin. They develop when a hair follicle’s wall is ruptured, allowing the bacteria to enter. This rupture causes the bump and the inflammation. 

Acne Pustules are typical pimples with a white colour head that contain pus, along with the oil, dirt and dead skin cells. The pus is created as a defence mechanism by the body to protect against the bacteria.

These are both moderate forms of acne.

More severe forms of acne are:
Acne Nodules are large inflamed lesions that feel hard and painful. While pustules and papules are formed on the skin’s surface, nodules are more buried in the skin. They occur when hair follicle walls rupture deep under the skin, and polluted debris enters into the dermis and contaminates other follicles. The damage leads to swelling in this part of the skin, which are called nodules. They contain pus and can be painful. Since they are formed so profoundly inside the skin, a white head will not appear.

Acne cysts are the most severe and painful forms of acne. They are large, soft, fluid filled bumps under the skin surface. They are formed in the same way as the Nodules but are often filled with pus and blood and can lead to scarring.

Why is popping or squeezing a pimple a bad idea?

Don’t do it! No matter how tempting it is, touching pimples can spread the bacteria or push it deeper in to the pore - making the spot much worse.

So what is the best way to treat acne?

With the milder forms of Non-inflammatory acne, prevention is often better than a cure! Having a healthy diet, drinking lots of water and getting lost of sleep will mean teen stay as healthy as possible. Hormones though, will increase oil production and bring about breakouts, regardless of how healthy your teen is. This is why it’s so important to keep skin clean and remove dead skin cells by washing with our CLEAN FACE cleanser. The all natural ingredients not only wash away oil and dirt, they also gently exfoliate the dead skin cells and encourage new cell growth. They also include a combination of natural ingredients that protect against the bacteria that cause pimples. It is also really important to follow with our HYDRATE FACE moisturiser, not only because it also protects from bacteria but as dry skin will over produce oil. Our ON THE SPOT blemish gel is a great natural product to treat pimples - the natural antibacterial and antiflammatory ingredients are not as harsh as some of the over the counter, non natural equivilants.
Whilst our products will help and have an impact on skin suffering from Inflammatory acne, it is best to get professional advice from a doctor or dermatologist. If acne is very severe, this is even more important. Options for treatment include antiobiotics, topical corticosteroids and retinoids.
Other things to do help keep skin clear:
  • don’t touch the face!
  • exercise daily
  • follow a healthy diet, with low sugar and avoid processed foods
  • drink lots of water
  • change sheets, particularly pillow cases weekly
  • get plenty of sleep
  • avoid stress