Hey there, amazing parents! You've weathered the toddler tantrums and survived the 'Terrible Twos', but now you've got a teenager on your hands. Teenagehood brings its own set of challenges—pimples and oily skin being top of the list. We get it, guiding your teenage son through a skincare routine can feel like navigating a minefield.
Let's be real—when it comes to skincare, boys often get the short end of the stick. While the media showers girls with skincare tips, boys often think it's not 'macho' enough. Think again! Just like brushing teeth or showering, skincare is a basic hygiene necessity for everyone.
Establishing a men's skincare routine now can set your son up for a lifetime of healthy, happy skin.
Beyond the Physical
Stepping into the world of teenage skincare can be as complex as navigating their ever-changing moods. When it comes to your teenage son, understanding and addressing his skin concerns is vital—not just for his physical well-being, but for his self-esteem too.
Aurora Escalante, a licensed esthetician with Flycatcher, sheds light on this: "When parents bring their teenagers in, they have a mix of both physical and emotional concerns. They're often seeking guidance not only on treating conditions like blackheads and oily skin but also on how to boost their child's confidence." She adds, "The first thing parents ask is what can we do for their child, and they always request that we educate their teenager on proper skincare and hygiene."
This underscores the dual role skincare plays in a teenager's life — as a guardian of both skin health and self-esteem.
Understanding the Teenage Skin
The teenage years come with a rollercoaster of hormonal changes in boys. It's like the stock market for skin; ups and downs are inevitable! These increased hormones, such as testosterone, can lead to an overproduction of sebum, the oily substance that can clog pores and contribute to acne breakouts. According to Aurora, "Blackheads and acne are the most common problems we see in teenagers. With boys, it's mostly on the nose and chin, unlike girls, where blackheads and acne are more prevalent on the cheeks and forehead."
In addition to hormonal changes, other factors like stress, diet (or lack thereof), and genetics can also play a role in the condition of a teenager's skin. It's important to remember that every teenager's skin is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. That said, a basic four or five-step routine is recommended while the specific products and ingredients may vary.
The Ideal Skincare Routine for teenage boys
Beautycounter is a leading skincare company that believes in a future where all beauty is clean beauty with a collective mission to get safer products into the hands of everyone, including teenagers. Heather Willison is a Founding Member and Managing Director with Beautycounter. She's also the proud mother of a teenage boy right here in Austin, Texas- so she's an expert on multiple fronts.
Heather emphasizes the importance of simplicity in a teenager's skincare routine, "I have found that the simpler the routine the more likely for them to follow it." At a minimum, Heather suggests a four-step skincare routine for teenage boys:
- Cleansing: "Begin with a gentle facial cleanser to remove dirt and oil, ideally used twice daily," advises Heather. "Optionally, your teenager can alternate with an exfoliator cleanser a few days a week."
- Exfoliating: "Use a mild exfoliator once or twice a week to slough off dead skin cells and unclog pores," Heather recommends.
- Moisturizing: Heather recommends a lightweight moisturizer with SPF: "Apply a lightweight moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated without clogging pores."
- Sun Protection: "Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily," Heather insists, especially for active teens.
If your teen can manage more steps in their routine the next recommendation would be a gentle toner that maintains the skin's proper pH levels. "Other common add-ons would be a serum for acne control, spot treatment for acne breakouts, a detoxifying mask, and an eye cream," Heather adds.
Navigating the Ingredients Maze: What to Embrace and Avoid
Selecting the right skincare products for your teenager involves knowing not just what to look for, but also what to avoid. Heather Willison from Beautycounter offers comprehensive guidance for us: "When choosing skincare products for teen boys, it’s essential to look for ingredients that address specific skin concerns while being gentle and non-irritating," Heather recommends.
- Cleansers: "Look for cleansers with salicylic acid or tea tree oil to combat acne and control excess oil," Heather advises. These ingredients are effective yet gentle on young skin. She adds, "Non-comedogenic and sulfate-free options are also beneficial for sensitive skin. Avoid exfoliators with plastic microbeads, opt for natural sources like jojoba beads."
- Moisturizers: "Opt for moisturizers containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides. They hydrate the skin without clogging pores." suggests Heather. "Synthetic fragrance-free and lightweight formulations are preferable for daily use."
- Sunscreen: Heather recommends sunscreens with "zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for effective UVA and UVB protection. Water-resistant and non-greasy options are ideal for active teens."
- Spot Treatment: "Consider products with sulfur, charcoal, witch hazel, or natural antibacterial agents like tea tree oil to target specific blemishes and prevent further breakouts," Heather suggests.
Heather warns against certain skincare ingredients and products: "Unfortunately, there is very little health protective regulation on personal care products in the USA. We are way behind other countries." This lack of regulation means parents need to be extra vigilant.
"A great tool to screen and choose products is the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Healthy Living app," Heather suggests. "This app helps in selecting safer skincare products by providing ratings and identifying EWG Verified products."
Heather also suggests using Beautycounter's Never List as an ingredient reference.
By being informed about both beneficial and harmful ingredients, parents can make more educated choices for their teen's skincare, paving the way for healthier skin.
The Cornerstone of Skincare: Basic Hygiene
Now, let's take a step back and broaden our perspective on your teenager's overall well-being, focusing on the foundation of basic hygiene.
Aurora Escalante, a licensed esthetician at Flycather, emphasizes the importance of basic hygiene practices: "Prevention would be easy with teens if we could just get them to wash their faces at least once a day!" she remarks with a smile.
She's only half-joking. Many issues with teen skin could be avoided by following basic hygiene best practices. But, as a parent, you know all too well how difficult even these simple tasks can be to implement in your household.
"Wash your hair regularly, wash pillowcases and washcloths regularly, and stop touching/picking at your face," Aurora chides.
And, again, it often comes down to education. Kids don't always understand the link between these things, as Aurora adds, "Kids with acne often don't know what causes it, yet they use their greasy hair and bangs to hide their faces."
Embarking on a skincare journey with your teen son is not just about managing acne or oiliness; it's about fostering habits for lifelong skin health and confidence. At Flycatcher, we're dedicated to guiding you and your teen through this journey. "As the skin care specialist, my job includes educating and helping them feel better about themselves," Aurora concludes, encapsulating our mission at Flycatcher.
Ready to take the first step but unsure where to start? If you're in the Spicewood, Bee Cave, Lakeway, or surrounding areas of Austin and the Texas Hill Country, we're your go-to guides for all things skincare! Feel free to call our office at 616-530-3897, text us directly, or fill out our contact form.
Elevate your routine by choosing Flycatcher!