Tackling teenage skin

Adolescence is a time of tremendous growth, self-discovery, and, often, some skin-related challenges. “Teenage skin is unique and dynamic, with distinct characteristics that require specialised care. Plus, the pressure of academics, particularly exam stress, can significantly impact the health and appearance of teenage skin,” explains Ruan Winter, marketing manager for local skincare brand Vitaderm.

Below he shares the ins and outs of teenage skin, the best solutions, and products as well as the effect of stress on the skin.

Teenage skin is different from adult skin in several ways:

Hormonal changes – Adolescence triggers a surge in hormones, which can lead to increased sebum (oil) production. This often results in acne, blackheads, and whiteheads.

Sensitivity and changing – Teenage skin can be both sensitive and ever-changing. It may be prone to redness, dryness, or even flakiness.

Healing and resilience – While teenage skin is more susceptible to damage and inflammation, it also has the remarkable ability to heal and regenerate quickly.

The stress associated with exams can take a toll on both the physical and emotional well-being of teenagers, including their skin. 

Here's how exam stress can affect the skin:

Hormonal fluctuations – Stress triggers the release of cortisol, a hormone that can stimulate oil glands, leading to increased oil production. This can result in breakouts and acne.

Reduced skincare routine – In times of stress, teenagers may neglect their skincare routine, which can exacerbate existing skin issues or lead to new ones.

Unhealthy lifestyle choices – Stress can lead to unhealthy habits, including poor dietary choices and inadequate sleep. These factors can further contribute to skin problems.

Best solutions and products for teenage skin:

Gentle cleansing – Use a mild, sulphate-free cleanser to remove excess oil and impurities like Vitaderm’s Mild Gel Cleanser. It contains sandalwood, lavender and petitgrain extracts and effectively cleanses even the most sensitive skin without stripping the epidermis. Avoid over-cleansing, as this can strip the skin of its natural oils.

Moisturise – Contrary to popular belief, even oily skin needs moisture. Opt for a light weight, non-greasy moisturiser to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Vitaderm’s Ultra-Light Moisture Cream contains phyto extracts of sandalwood and orange leaf that provide effective sebum normalising benefits, and chamomile and lavender extracts offer soothing and healing properties.

Sunscreen – Always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect the skin from UV damage, which can exacerbate acne and lead to premature ageing.

Breakout targeted products – Salicylic acid is well-known for its remarkable ability to clear congestion and reduce inflammation. Vitaderm’s Salicylic Spot Treatment also contains Vitamins B3 and E content that help boost micro-circulation and skin healing.

It’s as easy as Vitamin C – Research shows that Vitamin C can help protect the skin from many issues, including sunburn, photo ageing, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, sagging, dryness, and an uneven skin tone. It’s also ideal for acne-prone complexions. Vitaderm’s oil-free Radian-C Serum boosts skin vitality and brightens the complexion. The addition of hyaluronic acid increases skin hydration.

Balanced diet – Encourage a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit the consumption of sugary and processed foods.

Hydration – Drinking plenty of water helps maintain the skin's elasticity and hydration.

Stress management – Help teenagers develop stress management techniques, such as exercise, meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.

Adequate sleep – Ensure teenagers get enough sleep. A well-rested body is better equipped to handle stress and maintain healthy skin.

Consult a dermatologist – If skin issues persist, consult a dermatologist for professional advice and tailored treatment options.

For more information visit Vitaderm’s website