A thought popped into my head as I was analyzing a teen's skin last week: "Why do so many people assume teenagers are oily? All I'm seeing are DRY skin types!" That's right. 5 out of the 6 teens I saw this month were a dry skin type. Debunking the stereotype that teenagers have oily, acneic skin! Well-balanced teen skin happens when the ingredients in products that are used on the skin are right for the type and condition of that skin. The esthetician must analyze the client's skin to determine the skin type. This determines what methods and ingredients are to be used during the facial, and what at-home care should be recommended. The skin condition is as equally important to know. The condition tells us what is happening now. Are there break outs? Black heads? Is the skin overly sensitive? Dehydrated? Dry? Is there redness? Rosacea? Is there hyper-pigmentation? And is the client currently using products at home that is agitating or complementing their skin tone and condition?
So, what does skin type mean? Well, it's all about the pore size. A skin type cannot be changed- you're born with one skin type and that's it. You're locked in(skin condition, however, changes).
- Dry skin type: invisible pore size on the nose
- Normal skin type: visible pores on the nose, forehead, and near the ears
- Oily skin type: large, dilated pores on the nose, cheeks, forehead and usually chin
- Combination: two different pore sizes, on different areas
So, back to teen skin. Why are so many teenagers made to believe they are oily and acneic when they're not? Teenagers see commercials and ads that tell them they need to "fight acne and blackheads" with cleansers that have salicylic acid or other oil-fighting ingredients. These ingredients are amazing on the right skin and condition! But most people aren't aware of how ingredients react to type or condition. They figure, 'I'm a teen, I break out, I need to use this charcoal mask!' meanwhile, they don't really have a problem. So they use these products anyway because they figure that one pimple equals oily, acneic skin. Wrong. All of these active ingredients creates even drier skin on a dry skin type, making the skin desperate for oil so you'll see breakouts, redness and sensitivity, flaking and really dehydrated skin. The dry skin types out there need to wash once every 24 hours- and I recommend it is done at night. (Actually, I recommend to all my clients to shower or at least wash your face at night. Always) Cleansing at night guarantees happier skin! That's because a double cleanse at night, with the right cleanser for your skin type, removes the nano particles of pollution that wreak havoc while we sleep. What's a free radical? Generally, free radicals attack the nearest stable molecule, "stealing" its electron. When the "attacked" molecule loses its electron, it becomes a free radical itself, beginning a chain reaction. Once the process is started, it can cascade, finally resulting in the disruption of a living cell. Cleansing yourself of all of the typical agitators is great step to overall health and well-being. This goes for everybody. It washes off the day's grit, pollution, pollen, sweat, SPF, bacteria and lowers the chances of free radical damage to the skin. Next, applying an anti oxidant serum is also recommended to teens (or anyone). That's because antioxidants neutralize free radicals ending the electron-"stealing" reaction. Vitamins E and C are just two of many amazing antioxidants you can apply to your skin to help protect it.
If you're interested in bringing your teen son or daughter in to see me, I will help them understand all of this and steer them in the right direction for, hopefully, a lifetime of excellent hygiene, self-care, and healthy, happy skin.