SKINCARE • By Carole Aponte, MD
How to Research the Best Skincare Products for Teenage Skin
We know, there are tons of products out there to choose from claiming to be the best skincare products for teenage skin. So without going through the tedious process of trial and error one-by-one (and potentially damaging your skin in the process), just how should you go about choosing the right skincare products? Well, we here at PREP like to keep things as simple and easy as possible when it comes to teen skincare, so here are 3 tips to keep in mind when choosing a product.
1. Know Your Skin Type
The first thing you should do, even before you begin researching your skincare options, is to get acquainted with your skin type. That way, you can make sure that the products you’re using on your skin won’t just exacerbate the problem, rather than clear it up. Here’s a quick rundown of skin types:
1. Dry Skin: If you notice that your skin is often itchy, flaky, or even cracking, you most likely have dry skin. Of course, even oily skin types (more on that in a minute) can get dry occasionally, but you want to think about what your skin is like most of the time. If it’s typically on the dry side, you’ll want to be extra careful about choosing skincare products with gentle ingredients that won’t end up drying it out even more. (Mayo Clinic)
2. Oily Skin: You might think of oily skin as being the opposite of dry skin. If you typically notice a shine to your face, this could be a sign of oily skin. Although some natural oil is healthy and normal, it can become a problem if your body produces too much of it. Excess oil, especially on your face, can lead to acne flare-ups. Teens with oily skin should also try to stay away from harsh ingredients in skin products, which can actually trigger more oil production. (Everyday Health)
3. Combination Skin: Combination skin is when some parts of your skin are dry and others are oily. Many teens with combination skin will notice that their skin is dry except for in the T-zone (the forehead, nose, and chin), which may be oily. Because you’re dealing with multiple skin types with combination skin, it can be a bit tricky to find a product that won’t make matters worse for one or the other. That’s why choosing a gentle cleanser is extra important for those with this skin type.
2. Look for Natural Ingredients
Anyone noticing a pattern? No matter which skin type you have, using only natural, gentle cleansers and other skincare products will ensure that you’re not just treating one skin condition, only to realize that it has caused another. While some harsh chemicals can dry out oily skin, the problem is that they actually strip the skin of its natural layer of protection, which can cause your skin to become too dry. To combat this dryness, the skin may actually ramp up oil production again, which then leaves you right where you started. Instead, here are a few natural ingredients that we love for their gentle, yet powerful properties:
1. Jojoba Oil: This ingredient can work wonders for dry or combination skin because its properties are actually very similar to those found in your body’s natural oils. So when you use a moisturizer with jojoba oil, you’re helping your skin retain moisture in much the same way as its own natural oils would. This means that it’s also light enough that it won’t leave that heavy, greasy feeling that some other moisturizers would, and it also won’t clog your pores. Our P.R.E.P. face + body lotion harnesses the moisturizing power of jojoba oil to keep your skin hydrated.
2. Beeswax: This is another natural ingredient that we love to see in skincare products for teens. Like jojoba oil, beeswax has amazing natural moisturizing properties that can help to keep your skin healthy. Additionally, beeswax is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to keep your skin clear and clean as well. Beeswax is one of the main ingredients in the P.R.E.P. lip gloss.
3. Willow Bark: Acne is a common skin concern for many teens, and although harsh products may appear to fight breakouts at first, these can make acne worse in the long run. Instead, look for natural ingredients like willow bark, which naturally contains salicylic acid, to fight acne. You’ll find willow bark in the P.R.E.P. everyday clear acne.
3. Look for Sun Protection
You might say we’ve saved the best for last, because we can’t stress enough the importance of using daily sun protection in skincare products for teens. Contrary to popular belief, UV rays can penetrate the skin even on a cloudy or rainy day. That’s why a reliable sunscreen should be a central part of your skincare routine every day. But we still recommend looking for natural ingredients in your sunscreen, especially if you’ll be applying it to your skin every day. (Environmental Working Group)
Our P.R.E.P. face + body lotion uses zinc oxide to provide SPF 30 protection. Other sunscreens list oxybenzone, a harsh chemical, as their main ingredient. We love zinc oxide because not only is it gentle enough for everyday use, but it also doesn’t absorb UV rays like oxybenzone does. Instead, it actually reflects those harmful rays away from the skin, which is much more effective, not to mention safer.
The Bottom Line
Researching the best skincare products for teenage skin doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. By keeping these 3 simple tips in mind, you can choose great skincare products that will keep your skin healthy, clean, and bright. And best of all, you can rely on gentle, natural products to keep your skin protected from the sun. Remember that establishing healthy skincare routines now really will carry into adulthood and throughout your life, so taking a little extra time researching the best ingredients to put on your skin will have long-lasting benefits.