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The A-Z Guide to Teen Skin

A is for acne, the bane of any teen’s life! Bad news is it comes with the territory of being a teen. Good news is most teens will lose the acne once they pass those teen years. Not exactly reassuring when you are at that crucial self-conscious stage and you are covered in lumps and bumps! Basic deal is that acne is caused when your sebaceous glands (oil glands), which make oil to keep your hair and skin moist, go overboard and produce too much oil. Your skin can also go into overdrive shedding cells (which it does heaps – about a million little cells are shed from your body every minute!). The combo of too much oil and too many little dead cells leads to some major clogging of the pores. Bacteria gets trapped and, da da, you have spots! These can either be white heads, blackheads or the more severe hard nodules. There are some basics that can help. Avoid greasy food and go for a healthy diet instead. Wash your face twice a day with a gentle facial wash free of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (like Bellaboo All That Facial Wash for clean, wicked skin). Use non-comodogenic, oil-free or non-acnegenic makeup or sunscreen. Keep hairsprays or gels away from your face as they can also clog pores. Keep long hair away from the face and wash it frequently. Avoid squeezing or picking spots. Steer clear of harsh chemical creams to treat acne as often they over-stimulate the skin causing it to create more oil and more problems!

B is for blackheads. Blackheads are caused when the pore gets clogged but stays open. The top surface darkens and you are left with a blackhead. To fight blackheads, make sure you use a gentle and natural cleanser to keep skin clean. Exfoliate twice weekly to keep those dead cells away from open pores. Make sure you use a gentle exfoliator, as anything too harsh will only over-stimulate skin. Try putting a warm towel on the blackhead area and then apply gentle pressure as this may unclog the pores. Do not pick or squeeze.

C is for cleanse. Make this your daily mantra and it will save your skin! Cleansing skin and using the right type of cleanser is the number one thing you can do for it. Alkaline cleansers or ones that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) strip surface oil from the skin, leaving it in need of more oil. The oil glands respond by pumping out more SkinCell PRO oil to compensate, leading to skin that is out of balance and prone to problems. Just do a quick check of ingredients on the pack and if you see these two then give it a miss! SLS is also used as an engine degreaser so it doesn’t take a degree in cosmetics to figure that it can’t be that gentle on your skin! Use an SLS-free cleanser with natural ingredients – it will do the job gently! Cleanse skin morning and night.

D is for dermatologist. If you suffer from really bad breakouts then be off to a dermatologist. There is no point in trying every potion and lotion in an attempt to blitz zits ‘cos putting on all that stuff will probably only make your skin worse. The more you over-stimulate spotty skin the more your skin is likely to try and produce more oil to compensate for all the drying effects of products. A dermatologist has made skin their life’s work, so they know what they’re talkin’ bout! They will professionally analyse your skin and give advice about what you need to do to get your skin back to normal.

E is for exfoliate. Exfoliating skin is a must as it removes dead cells from the skin’s surface. It’s an instant way of refreshing skin’s appearance and also stimulating cell renewal, so that fresh, plump cells are brought to the surface. Avoid abrasive scrubs on problem skin. If you have pimples, blemishes or acne, these can be easily opened up or irritated with the abrasive particles contained in some exfoliators. If you don’t have problem skin, a harsh exfoliator can create problems by over-stimulating the skin sebum, resulting in over-production of oil. Exfoliating is a vital step in a skin care regimen, but you should always opt for gentle exfoliation.

F is for facial. It’s a luxurious way to pamper yourself. It can be done by a professional or you can give yourself one at home. A beauty therapist will analyse your skin and pick a facial to suit your skin. It will usually involve deep cleansing, exfoliating, extraction (professional term for squeezing zits); massage, mask and intense moisturisation. Now, don’t expect miracle results. All that work on your face can actually bring zits to the surface but the facial does work to balance and remedy skin so that after regular treatments you will notice the difference. Advantage of going to a therapist is that they know what they are doing. If you choose to do it at home make sure you know what you are doing and use only natural, gentle products.

G is for gorgeous skin and there are some simple things you can do to get it. Eat healthy – if you put rubbish into your body it will come out as rubbish in the form of zits. Get plenty of sleep – your skin does its best work when it is at rest. Drink plenty of water; it keeps your body hydrated. Don’t smoke, it will add years to your skin age. We’re not going to get all rental on you but don’t binge drink. A heavy session will dehydrate skin. Not to mention, that being off your face is soooo unattractive!

H is for hypoallergenic and that means a cosmetic that does not produce allergic reactions. But, as how allergic you are can vary depending on your sensitivity, it is difficult to state that any product is 100% hypoallergenic. Usually when this term is used it means that a product is fragrance-free and uses very mild preservatives.

I is for in-grown hair and that means ouch! Usually happens on areas that are waxed or shaved. They are caused when the shaved hair gets trapped inside the hair follicle and grows into the skin. This then gets infected and you get a raised lump that is quite painful. Whatever you do DON’T use a product with alcohol in it as its drying effect will only make it worse. Exfoliating skin where you shave can help prevent the problem. You can use a gentle face scrub on the area. Don’t shave too close to razor bumps. To remove, lift the ingrown hair out gently with tweezers but don’t pluck as it will only make the hair regrow deeper.

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