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Skincare for teenagers: discover our skincare routine for teenagers to take care of both inside and out

Discover our informative skincare guide for parents and teenagers that goes beyond skin-deep.

By Victoria David | Last updated Jan 31, 2023

Skincare for teenagers with 7th Heaven face masks

Once upon a time, school was the only real challenge for teens but nowadays, there’s more to take into account.

Following a pandemic, teenagers are finding themselves balancing curricular and academic responsibilities, maintaining healthy relationships, social media upkeep, and facing temptations - all the while being bombarded by the gloomy news that fills our TV screens… It’s no wonder, then, that they’re struggling to fit a bit of self-care into their routines.

The topic of self-care has been discussed on our Talk boards recently, with Mumsnetters sharing whether they do or don’t allow time for the practice. OP IHateFlies admitted “I barely spend any time or money taking care of myself and want to change that.”  

Crucially, we do not prioritise ourselves, despite knowing the impact this has on our mental health. And if we’re feeling this as mature, (arguably) fully-functioning adults then it’s no surprise this is a challenge teenagers are facing, also.

“Self-care is one of the first things to go when people are struggling in life…”, according to Fiona Yassin, the International Clinical Director at The Wave Clinic, an organisation that specialises in providing support to teens with mental health disorders, eating disorders, and problems with addiction.

But, she continues, “if we can model good stuff on the inside, it will develop on the outside and the other way around.”

After all, kids and teens are like sponges - they absorb, mimic and model themselves on those around them. When we don’t take time out for ourselves, they’re inclined to repeat that pattern. So as parents, how do we break the cycle for our kids? How do we help them (and us) make self-care a priority?

"Taking the time to slow down and focus on self-care is so important as a teen…"

Beauty and skincare brand 7th Heaven asked themselves the same questions when creating their new range of skin care products for tweens and teens.

They designed the 7th Heaven x Barbie ™  face masks to offer parents’ an opportunity to connect and introduce skincare to their children’s self-care routines. Their products are designed to encourage parents and teens alike to slow down and focus on self-care - a practice that should follow the latter into adulthood.

After all, if we want happy, healthy adults, we must first raise happy, healthy children.

To help you achieve this goal, we’ve created this informative guide to provide you with the knowledge you need to develop a skincare routine that works for your teenager’s skin, and supports their future health and wellbeing.

Different skin types for teenagers, explained

Skincare for teenagers with 7th Heaven face masks

Before we get to our step-by-step routine, it is important you and your teen know their skin type so they can choose the right products to fit their needs. These can change over time as their hormones change, so it’s important to adjust accordingly.

There are five different types:

  1. Oily skin is categorised by large pores, shiny skin and spots across the t-zone as well as the chest and back. It is the result of the body's over-production of sebum and can be caused by hormonal changes during puberty.

  2. Dry skin is the result of the reduced production of natural oils, as a result, the skin can appear dull and have patches where it is flaky. It may, also, feel irritated and sore. Dry skin requires soothing products that are designed to hydrate the skin and repair the skin’s moisture barrier.

  3. Combination skin is fairly self-explanatory, teens might find that their t-zone (nose, chin and forehead) is oily, but the skin on their cheeks is dry. This is quite a common skin type for teenagers due to fluctuating hormones.

  4. Sensitive skin is subject to change depending on external and internal factors for example cold weather or stress. Your teen might find they don’t have so many spots, but that their skin regularly becomes dry and sore.

  5. Normal skin is achieved when everything is in balance, though there would still be a few spots now and then, for the most part, skin is clear and matte and has small, less visible pores.

Once you’ve found your skin type, we can move on to our comprehensive skincare routine to tackle any issues your teen might be having.

Step-by-step skincare routine for teenagers

7th Heaven recommends that teens avoid ‘complicated regimes or rich formulas’ as part of their routine as they can irritate ‘young, sensitive, blemish-prone skin.’

Instead, they suggest that ‘teenage skin needs effective, results-driven products offering a streamlined approach. Less is more.’ So, we’re going to keep our routine quick and simple, that way it is easier for your teen to maintain consistency.

Step 1: Remove your make-up every night before bed. A great way to remember to do this is to keep face wipes or a product and cotton wool pads on your bedside table that way they’re within easy reach.

Step 2: Cleanse your skin of any dirt and oil buildup with a face wash, use clean hands to gently spread the product across your skin, making sure to include your neck, hairline and around your ears. Use a body cleanser when in the shower and make sure to include any areas where acne occurs.

Step 3: At this point is where you can choose to use a toner on your skin, though your choice to use one depends on your skin type and its ingredients. A splash of cold water can be effective here as an alternative if you don’t want to spend money on an additional step.

Step 4: Moisturising your skin is a very important step, it helps to regulate your skin's natural oils, hydrates dry skin and repairs your skin’s moisture barrier helping to protect it from breakouts.

Skincare for teenagers with 7th Heaven face masks

Step 5: Apply an acne treatment on blemish-prone skin. There are plenty of options out there, it is just a case of finding one that works for your teen’s skin. Try products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide for mild acne or products containing retinol or sulfur for more severe cases. A face mask once or twice a week might help here too, clay masks are a popular choice for treating acne.  If there is no improvement, it may well be worth visiting your doctor for access to medicated creams.

Step 6: We cannot say this loud enough, make sure your teen uses sun cream. Not only does it prevent sunburn, but it also prevents skin cancer and premature ageing. It is important to apply daily, even when it is cloudy outside. Sun cream can be expensive, so you can combine this step with your moisturiser by choosing one that has SPF in it already.

Step 7: Finally, exfoliate once a week to clear your skin of dirt, bacteria and leftover skincare products that can build up on the skin and cause breakouts. On young skin, it is recommended you choose a gentle one. To save money, you might like to make a scrub using sugar and honey.

The pressures teens are facing, and how self-care can help

Skincare for teenagers with 7th Heaven face masks

The rise of the cultural phenomena that is social media already has a lot to answer for, particularly the harm it causes to children and teenagers’ mental health.

Social media has teens these days bingeing on a diet of face tuning, post-edit re-touching and filtered selfies, blurring the lines between what is real and what isn’t. This emphasis on aesthetics and the endless pursuit of the picture-perfect selfie at a time when teenagers’ bodies are changing rapidly puts pressure on tweens and teens to mimic the influencers whose own bodies don’t even look like that.

Though there is a growing movement to change this, it is slow and laborious work trying to get everyone on board. People struggle to share the truth behind their photographs, that everyone has knobbly, wobbly bits, stretch marks and acne, whether they’re a model or not.

Chuck into the mix, our culture of toxic productivity and all of the demands on a teenager's time from school, part-time jobs, friends and family it's no wonder that their generation is increasingly suffering from mental health disorders.

According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), one in seven 10 to 19 year-olds will experience a mental disorder. Additionally, depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders are the leading causes of illness and disability among adolescents.

“That is why it is so important that we teach our kids to prioritise their peace and happiness… through self-care”

7th Heaven includes a similarly worrying statistic as part of their latest campaign, “Every month there are 90,000 searches on Google for depression.” Fiona Yassin adds that “50% of mental health diagnoses or mental health experiences will be prevalent before the age of 40.” All of this is made worse by a lack of affordable mental health support, long NHS wait times and the current UK financial and energy crisis.

Now more than ever, teenagers need a self-care toolkit that will help them to build resilience and deal with life’s challenges.

That is why it is so important that we teach our kids to prioritise their peace and happiness by taking time out of their day to rest and reset through self-care.

Final tips and tricks for teen skincare

Here are some final tips and tricks to help your teen’s skin:

This routine needs to happen twice a day for it to be effective. When they’re doing their routine, suggest doing it together or that they do it whilst listening to music or a podcast.

Ensure they wash their hands before carrying out their routine and avoid touching their face as much as possible throughout the day. This prevents bacteria from transferring onto their skin and irritating it.

Remind them that their skin covers their whole body, so it is important to take care of all of it, not just their face.

Clean bedding is very important because it can be a breeding ground for bacteria as the result of sweat, household pets and their skin. It is recommended that they change it every two weeks.

Diet and exercise and sleep all have an impact, help and remind them to eat healthily, get outside for exercise and to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.