Changes teens can make to help their skin

Good Morning CT at Nine

(WTNH)– As students start heading back to school, there may be bad skin triggers plaguing your teen.

Holistic Skincare Expert and Herbalist Rachael Pontillo shares what can help during this time.

The teen years are often synonymous with bad skin. That’s why teen years so challenging for the skin:

  • The teen years are full of hormonal activity and rapid growth and changes! 
  • If genetics aren’t on your teen’s side (meaning parents, older siblings, etc. experienced teen acne), then lifestyle factors become even more important because that’s something that your teen can change! 
  • Teens commonly go through phases of poor hygiene and not the food and sleep patterns as they are adjusting to their changing minds and bodies. Issues like these can make skin issues worse than genetics alone would.

Pontillo gives simple lifestyle changes teens can make to help their skin:

  • The most important factors are food, hydration, sleep, and stress management.
  • Certain foods such as dairy, sugar, and gluten are known to trigger skin issues like acne breakouts or eczema flare-ups.
  • In general, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables! 
  • Make sure to drink enough water
  • Set a regular sleep schedule. This helps to keep cortisol and blood sugar levels regular, which also supports hormones. Consistency (the same bedtime and waking times every day) is more important than early or late.
  • Stress management practices such as journaling, spending time outdoors, regular exercise, and mindfulness can make a huge difference.

You should also practice good, basic hygiene for teen skin:

  • With teens, removing makeup thoroughly with a lightweight oil like jojoba, and then cleansing with raw honey. A simple toner such as witch hazel or rosewater will be the next step. This can be sprayed on, or gently applied with a cotton ball or pad. Moisturize with a simple, lightweight carrier oil like jojoba or hemp seed oil. If you have breakouts, you can add a drop of lavender or tea tree essential oil. You can also use a simple clay mask for breakouts once a week, and then as an overnight spot treatment. Look for powdered French green, bentonite, or white kaolin clay and make a paste with water, honey, or toner. Tone and moisturize after.
  • Besides cleansing, toning, and moisturizing twice daily, use simple lifestyle hygiene practices such as changing pillowcases and towels daily, frequent handwashing and avoiding touching the face, and keeping phones, touch screens, and keyboards sanitized daily.
  • Also check detergents and household cleaning products and make sure they are fragrance free. Synthetic fragrances can cause irritation, which can make breakouts worse.

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