Skincare is one of the most important things to pay attention to, especially in your teenage years. Breakouts, acne that never seems to go away, and finicky skin that is hard to keep under control are only some of the plagues. I personally struggle with breakouts. Make sure to follow these skincare tips for teens when you are planning your skincare regimen.
There are multiple DIY ‘remedies’ for varying skin issues all over the internet, but some of these could be hurting your skin more than helping it. Here is a list of harmful products for your skin, and how they hurt you.
First, what is the pH scale?
The pH scale is a form of measurement, just like kilometers or inches or gallons. It measures acidity, or amount of hydrogen ions. Acid covers a broad range of the topic, but it isn’t the scary, bubbly kind. Acid isn’t always a bad thing, in fact your skin needs a healthy balance of it.
The pH scale runs from 1 (overly acidic) to 14 (not acidic enough, or alkaline). 7 is neutral (water is a 7). The higher and lower you climb on the pH scale, the closer you come to damaging your skin.
A commonly suggested cleanser, but huge irritant is baking soda. Baking soda is a NINE (9) on the pH scale, which means it could severely damage your skin. Long term use can erode and eat away at your skin’s natural barrier, which keeps out bacteria and keeps in moisture. You can burn your skin with too much usage.
Lemon, with an acidic balance of 2, is just as bad for your skin. It can disrupt the acid balance and cause severe irritation. Applying pure lemon to your skin before sun exposure can cause blistering and burning.
Toothpaste. I have heard endless stories of toothpaste being the end all, be all, and I have tried it myself. Toothpaste is a big conglomeration of irritants that can contribute to worsening your skin. Peppermint, alcohol, peroxide, and harmful fragrances (to name a few) should stay in your mouth. Some of these things can erode the hard enamel of your teeth, imagine the damage it can do to your skin. Not recommended.
Hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol should be no brainers. These, much like lemon and baking soda, can eat away at your skin, irritate, and inflame. They can cause your skin to be unable to heal itself, and strip away the moisture.
Sugar and processed honey clog your pores like no other. The natural crystals in sugar are abrasive for your face, although many people use them. Sugar scrubs are fine for your lips, because they have a thicker and more resilient surface. Honey doesn’t clean your face, or have the same properties it would for your hair.
Natural honey, however, can be very beneficial for your skin. It can draw in moisture and remove bacteria. It can naturally exfoliate by rubbing in small circles as you apply it or remove it with warm water. Make sure to not get it in your eyebrows, or it can stick to them! Make sure you patch test the honey on another part of your body in case you’re allergic to pollen.
Body lotion is meant for the parts of your body that are not your face. Fragrances and dyes are irritants for most of the population, and simply switching to a skin moisturizer, such as a CeraVe, a gentle moisturizer for all skin types, can help immensely.
The most important thing is to wash your face. I went for so long not realizing that bacteria was a big contributor to my problems. I know that just washing your face won’t solve everything (I’ve been told the same thing!), but finding your skin type and researching the best products (face wash, moisturizer, and whatever may help your skin based on the type) on the low and high end of things can help a lot.
Research as much as you can. Play around with different combinations and such. I’ve found that a gentle salicylic acid scrub (a rank of 4-5 on the pH scale), salicylic acid cleansing pads , and a light moisturizer work the best for me. I have oily skin, acne problems on my cheeks, and a few diet issues. I take a prescription from my pediatrician, and have found that cutting dairy from my diet really helps. This won’t be the same for everyone, because different things will work and won’t.
An easy, hydrating mask is a banana mask. It’s super simple; just mash up half of a banana, add some natural honey, and maybe some aloe if you have it handy. My mom has an aloe plant, so I took a little bit from there, and just under a teaspoon of fresh, natural honey. I mashed it with a fork to mix it up. Leave this on for about 10 minutes, rinse with warm water, and follow up with your usual skin care routine.
Best wishes in your skin care endeavors!