16 Effective skincare for teens

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Finding the best skincare for teens can be a daunting task! With all the Tik Tok beauty trends and conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know where to start. And when you add in hormones, giving you teen acne, and changing skin types, it’s easy to feel like you are entering into a never-ending battle against your skin. 

We know you must be super-exposed to the beauty industry influencers giving "skin care talk" all over the internet. They probably have warned you about the dangers of not taking care of your skin, and now you're finally ready to start using skincare products. But where do you start? What should you buy? And how often should you be using them?

So many questions, right? Don’t worry – we are here to help! 

In this post, we will share our top tips for taking care of your skin during those tumultuous teen years. So read on, and let us help you slay the skin care game!

The Ultimate Guide to Skincare for Teens: Tips, Tricks, and Products for Clear, Healthy Skin

Why is skincare for teenagers a biggie?

During our teenage years, our skin goes through a lot of changes. Hormones are raging and we are starting to experience things like acne breakouts and oily skin for the first time. It can be a hard period for our skin!

The teenage years are a crucial time for skin care, since it's during this time that many teens first start to experience more serious skin problems. And while some teens are lucky enough to have glowing, normal skin, others have to deal with skin pigmentation, clogged pores, dry skin, excessive oil production, and the list goes on and on…

Don’t believe us yet? Well, the nasty hormones that are all over the place can make your oil glands produce excess oil, which can clog pores and give you pimples. Teen skin also tends to have more sensitive skin than adults, making them more susceptible to irritation.

That's why it's so important for you to know all the tips and tricks for teen skincare! A good skincare routine can help prevent or minimize the appearance of acne and other skin problems. It can also help keep your skin looking its best as you transition into adulthood.

Understanding The Difference Between Teen And Adult Skin

When your body hits adolescence, it undergoes a series of transformations.

Structural Changes

As a child, your skin frequently renews itself. However, as your teenage years begin, the frequency of renewal goes down. Generally, teenage skin is tougher and more resilient than that of children. However, as a teenager, it is still elastic and is able to regenerate quickly.

The facial skin of teenagers reserves plenty of collagen (the most abundant protein in your body). But as you enter adulthood, the production of collagen decreases. This makes your skin prone to sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Hormonal Changes

In response to hormonal changes in your body, several skin problems develop. Perhaps the most notable change within your skin is the increased production of oil or sebum. Excessive build-up of oil and sweat traps dirt and remnants of makeup within your skin cells. This results in clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Adults, too, are not safe from acne breakouts. Although the frequency is less in adults, unless it is due to an underlying health condition or a poor diet. In adults, women are more likely to develop acne due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and menstruation. However, adults’ hormones tend to level off and become more consistent, which results in less severe forms of acne.

The Importance Of Teen Skincare

Good skin care should begin when you are in your teens and your body is already beginning to change dramatically. It can help you keep your skin in its best condition and stop premature aging from causing problems down the road.

Determine Your Skin Type

First things first – it is crucial to know your skin type. A routine that is suitable for oily skin will not work as effectively for dry skin. So, let’s determine your skin type.

Teen acne

Acne-prone skin is a normal skin condition that happens when oil and dead skin cells clog your pores. It can cause whiteheads, blackheads, or acne breakouts. It is caused by hormonal changes and can be treated with over-the-counter skin care products, like acne treatments with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.

For some people, adolescent acne comes and goes away after a few years. But for others, it can last into adulthood.

Normal Skin

Normal skin usually has a soft texture and is smooth. It doesn’t have any blemishes and patches. The pores are tight, and the skin surface feels neither greasy nor dry. The water content and oil production are well balanced, and blood flow to the skin is good.

If you have normal skin, use a mild and non-alcohol cleanser to prevent over-drying.

Oily Skin

As the name suggests, oily skin looks shiny and is prone to acne, pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. The pores are open, and the skin has an excess of sebum on it. During teenage, the hormone levels are always fluctuating, which might make things worse for oily skinned teens. Experts believe that stress (be it exam stress or the stress before a date night) can cause your skin to break out (1). So, stay calm.

If you have oily skin, use a pH-balanced BHA cleanser and water to clean your face twice a day. Carry alcohol-free cleansing pads/ skin blotting paper strips with you and use skin care products that are non-comedogenic.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is flaky, not-so-smooth to touch, dull, and itchy. It has invisible pores, and the outer layer of the skin keeps shedding abnormally. Dry skin needs external moisturization to stay smooth.

If you have dry skin, avoid washing it with soap. Instead, use a mild pH-balanced cleanser. Also, never take hot showers. Avoid excessive washing and scrubbing.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is a concoction of all the above skin types! You may have an extremely oily T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin), and the other parts of the face may be dry. You may have blackheads and open pores. The cheeks may appear rough and dry while the other parts are overflowing with sebum and natural oils.

If you have combination skin, use Syndet soap and water to clean your face. Use moisturizer all over the face. Ensure you choose ceramide-based non-oily moisturizers.

Now that you know your skin type, let’s move on to the skin care tips.

15 Skin Care Tips For Teenage

1. Wash Your Face

That’s the first thing to do when you wake up in the morning. Why? Because you need to clear your skin of the oil and sweat that have accumulated on your skin all through the night. Do not use soap; use a mild cleanser. Do not rub aggressively as it can irritate the skin and increase oil secretion.

Use A Gentle Cleanser

To wash your face properly, use a cleanser that suits your skin type to avoid drying out your skin or causing irritation. Don’t scrub harshly; instead, use gentle, circular motions, making sure to reach every inch of your face.

Avoid using soap (unless it is specifically for washing face), as it can irritate the pores on your face and trigger acne and pimples.

If you have oily or normal/combination skin, use a daily cleanser that contains salicylic acid to control excessive oil production and increase hydration. Cleansers containing salicylic or lactic acid help in dissolving dirt and oil, thus unclogging the pores. [3]

You can also take Vitamin A or Zinc supplements to control the sebum production and thereby lessen the occurrence of blackheads.

2. Moisturize

Yes. Even the most problematic skin needs to be moisturized. Pick a light skin cream that’s suitable for your skin and addresses your skin issues (like acne or spots). Do not like the glossy finish? You can use matte finish moisturizers that are easily available on the market. If you are going out, you can use a tinted moisturizer.

Apply moisturizer twice daily to help keep your skin supple, hydrated and to prevent premature fine lines and wrinkles.

Make sure to use lightweight, oil-free moisturizer if you have oily skin in order to prevent clogging. You can use gel-based moisturizers too if your skin is prone to acne.

You can also choose a moisturizer that includes a broad-spectrum sunscreen to help protect your skin from the sun's rays. If you have sensitive skin, avoid moisturizers with added fragrance.

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Ancient Greek women used olives and olive oils to moisturize their skin. It kept their skin hydrated and healthy.

3. Powder On Your Face? (No! Please!)

If you have oily skin that gets glossy through the day, hiding the shine under layers of powder is not going to help. The powder will clog your pores and make your skin look patchy. The best way is to use a blotting paper or a tissue to absorb all the excess oil and shine.

4. Stay Away From Scrubs, Exfoliate Once A Week

To avoid clogged pores that result from hormonal surges, keep your skin exfoliated. Look for products that contain clay as it has natural antiseptic and astringent properties.

Chemical exfoliators containing AHAs and salicylic acid are also a great way to clean deep into your pores.

You can use homemade scrubs too. To make a homemade scrub, simply mix sugar and honey. If your skin is sensitive, you can go for oatmeal mixed with honey and milk.

Even the pore strippers. Wondering how on earth you are going to get rid of the blackheads (a type of non-inflammatory acne lesions)? The best way to get rid of them is to follow a cleansing routine religiously. Use a product that contains 2% salicylic acid (2), (3). You can talk to a dermatologist for a recommendation. In case you are under 16, always do this under adult supervision.

5. Treat Acne

While acne can occur at any age, teens are more likely to get acne breakouts due to hormonal changes.

Use sulfur cleansers and masks to dry out your skin. They tend to be gentler on the skin than salicylic acid.

Benzoyl peroxide face washes, creams, foams and gels are antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. They are very helpful in acne treatment.

6. Be Thrifty With Makeup

As long as you are cleansing your skin at the end of the day, a little bit of makeup is fine. Wash the makeup brushes (if you are using any) regularly. Avoid using foundation because it is too heavy for your delicate skin. Instead, use a tinted moisturizer. Pick a shade that’s closest to your skin tone. And how would you know that? Swatch it on the jawline (not the hand!) and pick the appropriate shade.

7. Don’t Try To Be Dr. Pimple Popper!

It’s tempting. It’s irresistible. And it’s so satisfying! But no. Don’t try to play Dr. Pimple Popper unless you want to scar your face for the rest of your life. Instead, try applying a bit of tea tree oil (diluted with water) directly on the pimple or acne (4). This will help clear the infection and kill any remaining bacteria.

8. Drink Water (Plenty Of It!)

Because water will keep your skin hydrated and glowing (5). Start your day with a cold (or warm) glass of water. Keep a water bottle with you when you are going to college. Keep sipping on it throughout the day.

If this sounds boring, here’s how you can add an interesting twist to it. Add a few slices of lemon, cucumber, and grapefruit to the water. Let it stay overnight, and the next day, carry the bottle with you. Refill it whenever necessary.

9. Keep Your Hands Off Your Face

And anything else that’s not clean and can transfer bacteria to your face. So, no more touching your face with your hands! Also, make sure you are using clean and dry towels to wipe your face. Wash your makeup brushes every week. Avoid sharing makeup products and accessories.

10. Check Your Diet

Acne and pimples are more hormone-related and less food or diet-related issues. But your skin needs vital nutrients to stay healthy. Stick to a healthy diet plan that is good for your skin and overall health. Also, keep track of what you eat to identify if you have intolerance to any food. Often, specific food items can cause skin issues, such as severe acne breakouts and eczema. In most of the cases, the culprits are dairy products (6), (7). However, it’s good to do an allergy test to rule out other possibilities.

11. Exfoliate Once A Week

Do not use a store-bought scrub. Instead, use a homemade scrub to exfoliate your skin once a week. Exfoliation helps in removing the dead skin cells and makes your skin soft. To make a homemade scrub, simply mix sugar and honey. If your skin is sensitive, go for oatmeal mixed with honey and milk.

12. Use A Face Mask Or Face Pack Once In Every Two Weeks

Face masks have several benefits. They not only remove dirt, impurities, and toxins from your skin surface but also keep it moisturized. Though you can easily buy readymade face masks and packs from the market, it is better to stick to natural ingredients. Spread the mask on your face and wait until it’s dry and then wipe it clean. Check out some natural face pack recipes that you can easily prepare at home by clicking here.

13. Take Care Of Your Lips

Just like your face, your lips too need special care. Avoid licking your lips as that will make them dry. Apply lip balm before going to bed. Your lips also need scrubbing. You can apply some cream on a baby toothbrush, wet your lips and then scrub gently with the brush for a minute. Wash it and apply lip balm.

You can also scrub your lips. Apply some cream on a baby toothbrush, wet your lips and then scrub gently with the brush for a minute. Wash it and apply lip balm.

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You can opt for a UV filter, nourishing, moisturizing, and medicated lip balms to take care of your lips.

14. Don’t Forget The Hands

Let’s not forget the hands. Buy a good hand cream and massage it on your hands every morning. Just ensure that you do not use too much of the product because it will make your hands slippery.

15. Have A Proper Nighttime Skin Care Routine

Your skin rejuvenates itself while you are fast asleep. Cleanse your face, remove all the traces of dirt and makeup, and apply moisturizer, lip balm, and hand cream before you hit the sack.

What is more important than building a skincare routine, is religiously following it! You might often get impatient and look for quick results. But remember, skincare is a process and a journey!

Stick to one routine and give it some time to show results. If you are using a particular product that suits your skin type, continue using it. Avoid changing your routine frequently.

16. Don’t Forget To Apply Sun Block

You are never too young to start using a sunblock. Before you leave for school or college, apply a broad spectrum sunblock or sunscreen (at least SPF 30 and higher) to all the exposed areas (8). Keep it in your backpack so that you can reapply it when needed.

Infographic: 6 Skin Care Tips Every Teenager Should Know


Maintaining a simple yet efficient skincare routine is crucial for every teenager. It helps keep their skin in the best possible condition and prevents premature aging. We have rounded up a few skincare tips every teenager should know. Check out the infographic below to know more!

Adolescence may cause various skin issues which need to be addressed according to your skin type. Teenagers with oily skin must opt for non-comedogenic products while those with dry skin should go for a mild cleanser. Following simple skincare tips such as washing your face after you wake up, using the right moisturizer for your skin, exfoliating once a week, and drinking plenty of water will keep your skin hydrated, smooth, and glowing. A simple skincare routine and a healthy lifestyle will give you soft and naturally glowing skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is toner necessary for teenage skin?

Toner helps remove remaining makeup and oil and balances the pH level of the skin. So, it’s better that you don’t skip it.

Is aloe vera good for teenage skin?

Yes, aloe vera has powerful antioxidants that help slow down the aging process (9).

Can I use vitamin C as a teenager?

Yes, you can use vitamin C to boost collagen production and reduce hyperpigmentation (10).

How do teenage girls use lemon on their faces?

Teenagers can make a homemade face mask with honey and yogurt or sugar to get healthy and glowing skin.


Articles on Lumispa review are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

The association between stress and acne among female medical students in Jeddah Saudi Arabia


Efficacy and safety of 2% supramolecular salicylic acid compared with 5% benzoyl peroxide/0.1% adapalene in the acne treatment: a randomized split-face open-label single-center study


Topical azelaic acid salicylic acid nicotinamide sulphur zinc and fruit acid (alpha‐hydroxy acid) for acne


A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology


Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics


Effects of Diet on Acne and Its Response to Treatment


Dietary modifications in atopic dermatitis: patient-reported outcomes






The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health


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