The problem: Many teens falsely believe the stronger the product, the cleaner – and clearer – their skin will be. Not so, says Barber.
"Teens don't need to use really strong products," Barber warns. "Yes, they experience more skin problems and, yes, their skin is more resilient, but harsher products may do more harm than good." That's especially true, Barber adds, if a teen is suffering from acne or various skin irritations.
What to do: Introduce your teen to gentle products like Dermalogica's Clean Start. Not only is the whole product line specifically formulated to the needs of their skin, there's also no fear the products in it will aggravate a certain condition. What's more, suggests Barber, teens should pat their skin dry instead of rubbing it; rubbing can irritate skin further.
The problem: Too many teens aren't getting the message that sunscreen is one of the most important facets of a healthy skincare regime; an issue that's evidenced by the increasing number of teens developing skin cancer. What's more, the skin damage done during the teen years will manifest in the form of premature wrinkles, age spots and dryness.
"It's important that teens start protecting their skin now so they can preserve its condition and prevent premature aging down the road," says Barber.
What to do: Remind your teens that sunscreen should be applied on top of moisturizer, regardless of whether or not they're heading to the beach. "Teens should be using a minimum of SPF 15 every day, regardless of the season," advises Barber. "And it should be applied liberally to the entire face and neck area, including behind and around the ears." Teens should also avoid tanning beds, which can damage the skin. If your teens want a natural-looking glow, direct them to a topical self-tanner.
The problem: At a teen forum held by the International Dermal Institute when they were developing their teen-specific Clean Start line, teens were very vocal about their No. 1 skin care concern: acne. "By and large, all teens are concerned about the pimples that pop up during puberty," says Barber. "It affects their self-esteem."
Other teen skin care concerns included oily skin, skin sensitivity and finding products that were easy to use. Boys and girls were both included in the discussion.
What to do: If your teen is experiencing a certain skin problem, take them to see a registered dermatologist, recommends Barber. And start looking for products that treat a number of problems with natural, skin-soothing ingredients.
The problem: If a product line contains too many products or a specific regime contains too many steps, teenagers may opt out of washing their face or protecting their skin. Finding a line that's easy to use and has as few steps as possible is incredibly important to them.
What to do: "All teens really need to do is cleanse, tone, moisturize and cover up," says Barber. "Anything more than that – unless it's to treat a specific condition – can be overwhelming." So look for a product line that's multi-purpose and can be followed by teens with little or no guidance. All they have to do is wash up first thing in the morning and then before they go to bed to see an overwhelming difference to the health of their skin.
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