Ed. Note: this is a major update of this article!
Puberty is a tough time for young men. Hormones tend to go wild and all sorts of changes occur. Unfortunately, not all these changes are pleasant. Here are some good teenage skin care tips.
The biggest self-esteem killer for all teenagers may be teen acne. There is something about this detestable condition that can create so much unhappiness in a person already struggling with their changing body. But other common teenage skin conditions include Eczema and Dermatitis, dandruff, and athlete’s foot.
If you are a teen boy reading this, chances are you have made plenty of trips to the store and saw a huge rack of skin care products for the teenage male, each promising to restore the confidence robbed by acne or some other skin problem.
All this can certainly get overwhelming but fear not! This article will tell you all that you need to know to save your skin.
What Is Your Skin Type?
If you want to treat skin problems, you have to know your skin type. Skin can be categorized into the following four types:
Normal skin has the appropriate amount of water and oil hence it suffers from few flaws. Pores are not prominent, skin tone is even, blemishes are few and far in between, and the texture is neither greasy nor flaky.
Dry skin suffers from lack of adequate sebum production and a high cell turnover rate. It appears lackluster, flaky, and almost poreless.
Teenage boys with dry skin should use a mild cleanser to gently remove dirt. Always moisturize with a non-fragrant and non-alcohol moisturizer. Avoid hot showers–high temperatures and humidity can make dry skin worse.
If your skin gets unbearably dry, try taking a warm bath for 20 minutes. Don’t use soap or scrubs. Afterward, dab excess water with a t-shirt or microfiber towel but do not dry completely. Use pure mineral oil or glycerin all over your body to moisturize.
Oily skin has visible pores, a greasy texture, and is very prone to breakouts. Unfortunately, since hormones levels determine the amount of oil produced, stress or anything that affects hormones could also trigger them.
Teenage boys with oily skin should wash their skin with cleansers formulated for oily skin (but take care that over-washing can lead to irritation and a lack of moisture). Wash your hair frequently and avoid touching your face. Use tissues to blot the skin throughout the day.
When your body undergoes puberty, hormones go whack especially the sex hormone androgen. The increase in androgen levels causes your oil glands to get larger and secrete more of an oily substance called sebum. Too much sebum will cause your pores to get clogged with skin cells. This is how pimples are formed.
Teenage boys with combination skin might have areas of their face which are oily such as the T-zone while the rest could be dry. The T-zone is the area of your forehead and your nose area. This skin type is also prone to blackheads.
Use specially formulated cleansers and moisturizers for this skin type. Wash the face 2-3 times a day.
How To Get Clear Skin For Teenage Guys – Great Teenage Skin Care Tips For Guys That Will Help Get Rid Of Acne Too!
Once you have figured out what your skin type is and what kind of pimples you have been suffering from, you can begin treating them. Simply follow the steps below:
Use Products That Suit your Skin
There are a multitude of skin care products for the teenage male lining store shelves that promise to take care of your skin problems. However, you don’t need all of them. Pick products that are formulated for your skin type (or for all skin types) and keep them to a minimum. Get a cleanser and a moisturizer. If you need a little extra help get a toner and/or a medicated acne gel. Some suggested products are listed later in this article.
Before You Begin, Clean your Hands
Your hands touch all kind of surfaces and they can contain a lot of germs. Always wash your hands before you touch your face. Resist the urge to pick your pimples at all cost–popping pimples can cause scarring.
BTW, Clean your phone and anything that touches your skin, such as pillows (it may help to change pillowcases daily).
Wash Your Face With A Good Cleanser (And Why It’s Important)
Not washing your face regularly can result in serious skin issues like redness, inflammation, uneven skin complexion, and acute acne with scarring. And compounded over the years you may see the uncomfortably dry skin with wrinkles and fine lines that come with premature aging.
When cleansing the face, it is important that you don’t completely strip away too much of the skin’s natural oils from your skin (even if your skin is oily). The best face wash for teen boys is a product specifically made for cleaning the face: pH balanced products containing Glycolic acid or Salicylic acid that aren’t too harsh to your skin can be beneficial (there are some suggestions further down this article). Don’t use “body bars” or “deodorant bars” on your face. And don’t scrub your skin aggressively.
Oily skinned teenage boys should opt for foam or gel cleansers whereas dry skinned teenage boys should try milky cleansers.
Teenage boys with oily skin should wash their skin at least twice a day with cleansers formulated for oily skin (but take care that over-washing can lead to irritation and a lack of moisture). Wash your hair frequently and avoid touching your face. Use tissues to blot the skin throughout the day.
Maybe Add A (Mild!) Toner?
A toner refers to a lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skn and shrink the appearance of pores on the face. It can also moisturize, protect and refresh the skin. It is a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers skin a quick hit of hydration and helps remove some dead cells off the surface of the skin.
Toners used to commonly contain high concentrations of alcohol to help remove oil from the skin. But the latest generation of toners have more than astringent properties and now there are toners on the market to address almost every skin concern.
Toners look like water and act like water. But they can also contain acids, glycerin, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories. Toners can be used as a “primer” before rest of your skin care routine (like a moisturizer).
Use A Moisturizer (Even If You Have Oily Skin)
When the skin loses moisture, it becomes dull and flaky. A moisturizer helps replenish lost moisture in the surface of your skin (a common misconception is that it’s done by adding moisture but it actually works by preventing loss of moisture). Choose a moisturizer that suits your skin type such as an oil-free moisturizer for oily skin and a fragrance-free moisturizer for sensitive skin (or go for a product that works with all skin types).
What About “Exfoliation?”
Normally the skin cells go through a progression from the bottom layer to the top. They form a layer of dead skin cells that helps protect our skin from the irritants, allergens and germs of the outside world. When functioning normally, the dead skin is shed at the right time and our skin looks normal and healthy. When the skin isn’t functioning normally, these dead skin cells can build up and make the skin appear flaky or dull.
Exfoliating means removing some of the dead skin cells, oil and debris by using a chemical, or physically removing them. If your skin appears dull due to a buildup of cells, then exfoliating can make it appear brighter and less dull. When exfoliating removes these skin cells, however, it can also increase the risk of irritation and even infection since this skin layer does serve an important function. Exfoliating is about balance and it’s based on each individual’s skin.
Exfoliate about once a week to ten days. Going overboard may aggravate some conditions like acne.
Related post: Exfoliation Before Or After Shaving? Experts Weigh In
Adding A Dedicated Acne Product
For mild to moderate cases of acne, a good cleanser and moisturizer should be able to deal with it pretty effectively. For more severe cases adding a dedicated acne product may be helpful. See the acne section below for more information.
Switch to Hair Cream Or Pomade To Hair Spray
Hair cream or pomade can give your hair that polished look. Unfortunately, if you notice irritation or pimples crowding around your hairline, your hair product may be to blame. Switching to spray hair products reduces the chances of breakouts.
Protect your Skin
UVA and UVB rays from the sun cause premature aging, sunburns, and skin cancer. It may cause your acne scars to darken. Protect your skin using an oil-free sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and PA rating of +++.
Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. Wear long-sleeved shirts, full pants, and wide-brimmed hats as protection.
Don’t use tanning beds to conceal acne or scars. These are very damaging to skin. Spray tans are a much better alternative.
Acne, Pimples, Zits
When your body undergoes puberty, hormones go whack especially the sex hormone androgen. The increase in androgen levels causes your oil glands to get larger and secrete more of an oily substance called sebum.
Too much sebum will cause your pores to get clogged with skin cells. This is how pimples are formed.
Pimples come in many different forms. These include:
- Whiteheads: When pores get clogged, the top of the pore closes. These look like small lumps beneath the skin.
- Blackheads: When pores get clogged, the top of the pore remains open and thus becomes oxidized. Oxidation causes the top of the blackhead to darken.
- Papules: The oil and skin cell buildup may cause the walls of your pores to collapse. This spilled buildup aggravates surrounding skin cells. Hence, papules appear red and are painful to the touch.
- Pustules: These differ from papules in that the top of a pustule has a white or yellow appearance because of pus buildup.
- Nodules: Increased irritation may cause pimples to get larger. These are very painful and lie deeper within the skin.
- Cysts: These are the most painful and largest form of acne. Cysts lie even deeper underneath the skin than nodules. They can cause deep, permanent scarring.
Use Anti-Dandruff Shampoo
Dandruff can exacerbate acne. Use anti-dandruff shampoo to treat dandruff. For best results, lather the shampoo twice, and wait for 5 minutes after lathering the 2nd time, then rinse it off.
Always try to keep your hair off your face.
Try Over-The-Counter Medication
You can try using benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid creams to treat mild acne. Use them once a day (or as directed). It may take at least a month for the medication to work so be patient.
Keep in mind that these medications can be very drying to skin and cause irritation. If you experience stinging, wash it off and try again the next day. Discontinue use if irritation persists.
Unfortunately, if you have allergies to some medications, stop using them immediately. You can develop life-threatening symptoms such as feeling light-headed, difficulty breathing, hives or itchiness. Seek medical attention immediately if this happens.
Don’t Use Toothpaste as Spot Treatment
Using toothpaste as an overnight pimple fix could do you more harm than good. The ingredients in toothpaste will cause your face to sting or even worse if you are allergic to any ingredients.
And Don’t Just Use A Spot Treatment
Spot treatments can be a big help for healing individual blemishes but they won’t do anything to prevent future breakouts. Apply a medicated acne treatment to the entire area affected.
Visit a Dermatologist
If none of the above helps control your acne or if it is painfully severe, then visiting a dermatologist is your best shot. Medicines prescribed by a doctor are far more effective than over the counter medications. Severe forms of acne are best treated by a doctor to prevent scarring or discomfort.
Related Post: Sharpologist’s Guide To Shaving With Acne
Skin Care Products For Teenage Male
[Note: Amazon, Grooming Lounge, and Tiege Hanley links are affiliate.]
An Uncomplicated Approach To Skin Care
You’ve probably absorbed a lot of information reading this article and you might be a little concerned that you’re going to have to spend way too much of your time (and money) messing around with fussy skincare products. Luckily, there is a simple, quick solution.
Tiege Hanley has made a real effort to make skin care as quick and uncomplicated as it can probably get for the results you’re looking for. Everything is very straight-forward and not too expensive. None of the products require a lot of effort or time to use. And their products are formulated for all skin types. Basically:
Wash your face and use a moisturizer twice a day, morning and night. Tiege Hanley tweaked their product line to offer a morning moisturizer (with SPF) and an evening moisturizer. An Acne add-on addresses that condition if necessary.
Although I’m an older man I’ve been using Tiege Hanley products for a while now and I’ve been getting great results.
The Tiege Hanley website also has a lot of really good information about simple skincare for guys, too.
Some Other Options
Another, more complex solution is picking and choosing from a curated set of products from Grooming Lounge. You’ll have to research which products are best for you, and it will cost more (maybe a lot more) than Tiege Hanley, but it might be nice to have the ability to select some different options from one place.
If you insist on diving down the rabbit hole and getting skin care products “a la carte'” (and spending more money) here are some other products to consider. I’ve chosen these products as something you may be able to find locally but I’ve included Amazon links for convenience:
Best Face Wash For Teen Boys (You May Find Locally)
Best Face Moisturizer For Teenage Boy
Best Acne Products For Teenage Guys You Can Get Over The Counter
Best Shampoo For Teenage Boys
Being a teenager is all about experiencing and learning new things. This is a time where you should be busy exploring your horizons. Skin problems can bring you unnecessary stress and emotional pain that can interfere with your growth.
Hopefully, following the above advice will help you control breakouts and restore your confidence.