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Helping Your Teens Understand Their Skin

The teenage years are a good time to work with your children on skin care. By this time they will have some notion of responsibility, and it is likely that puberty will give them matters of concern regarding their skin. Oiliness is common at this age, and facial and body hair begin to emerge as well.

Why Is My Skin So Oily?

Teenagers are experiencing intense waves of hormones that cause their skin to react violently. The sebaceous glands, the cells in the skin that secrete oils, are controlled by the same hormones that are triggering all the other changes in your teenager's body, and at this time they are in overdrive, since your teen's body is awash in these chemicals. You can reassure your teen that nothing is wrong, and in time the oiliness will settle down and go away. In the meantime, they can use a gentle oil-free cleanser and oil-absorbing tissues to cut down on grease and shine. Make sure they don't wash too often, because this irritates the skin and triggers more oil production.

Why Do I Have So Many Pimples?

Pimples, blackheads, and blemishes are a natural consequence of teen skin's oil production. When the oil comes in contact with bacteria in a clogged or dirty pore, the bacteria metabolize it into irritating substances that raise craters on your teenager's skin. The best way to handle this is to make sure your teen washes regularly, uses a medicated moisturizer to control bacteria and keep their skin from becoming too oily, and avoids touching their face to keep from contaminating it with additional microorganisms.

What Do I Do About This Hair?

If your teen needs to start shaving a part of their body, make sure that you introduce them to good shaving practices. It's wise to build good shaving habits at a young age so they don't need to unlearn bad habits later, when their skin is more sensitive to changes in routine, they heal more slowly,  and they have less room for error. It is best to shave after a shower, when the hair has been softened by the warmth, moisture, and steam.

To avoid irritating the skin, teach your teen to use a sharp razor and how to judge when it is dull, how to properly apply a shaving cream or other lubricant, and what to do after shaving. The skin should be rinsed with warm water, moisturized, and if needed a toner should be applied.

With these tips your teen should sail through their awkward years looking fresh-faced and confident.

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