Teenage Years

Skin problems are the bane of most teens, facial skin becomes greasy, pores block and whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, acne or cysts develop. A healthy diet and teens don’t necessarily go hand in hand however encouragement in this area is also a positive step to enduring these times.

During adolescence the hormonal imbalance, in amongst a myriad of delightful teenage behaviours, generates the production of excess sebum in the glands of hair follicles particularly on the face, but may also affect the neck and the back. Add to this adrenaline and stress hormones. Researchers believe the cells producing sebum have receptors for stress hormones, therefore, those prone to elevated stress and anxiety levels often experience increased acne flare-ups. Also, breakouts and acne may increase around ovulation and /or menstrual time due to more hormone imbalances. Medications can also increase acne problems. Then add hereditary factors to the adolescent years and you have a minefield.

These skin issues begin where the excess sebum sits in the sebaceous glands under the skin, which then combines with dead skin cells and bacteria. This bacteria grows in the trapped oil, breaks it down to produce fatty substances that irritates the skin, pores become clogged causing minor or major breakouts. The pores of the skin do not actually change size. The pore itself is an opening in the skin that allows sebum to flow to the surface to keep the skin supple. However the pores can look larger than usual when irritated if squeezed or through the build up of dead skin cells, continual removal of the dead cells can make the pores appear smaller again.

Basics to treat breakouts and acne naturally?

  • Resist the temptation to touch, pick or squeeze blemishes. Harassing blemishes may cause prolonged aggravation, inflammation and can cause further infection with the possibility of scarring.

  • Manage the skin with a twice a day skin care program.

  • Gentle regular cleansing is fundamental. Cleanse morning & evening, each day with a gentle cleanser that removes the build up of excess oil and daily grime but does not completely strip all of the natural oils from the skin. However it is important to avoiding excessive scrubbing.

  • Allow the skin to breathe. Super conscientious teenage girls need to avoid the cover up trap of clogging their skin with a mountain of make up.

  • If make up is a must. Using an oil based makeup remover prior to cleansing will remove makeup without excessive activity and help to dissolve sebum.

  • Moisturise. Apply a small amount of a light day moisturizer gently to the skin, while skin is still damp after cleansing. N.B. Oily skin is due to an excess of sebum – hydration via moisturizing, providing a humectant (attracting water) is still required after cleansing.

  • Weekly exfoliation and mask.

  • Be patient, the skin is regenerating continually and with consistent care healing and balance will be restored.

Add essential oils to your regime.

  • Tea Tree Oil – benefits for breakouts include antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

  • Lavender oil - antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics for treating acne. Diffuse 5 drops of oil to reduce stress and anxiety and improve your quality of sleep, thereby promoting healthy and radiant skin.

Topical Use — For acne apply 2–3 drops of Tea Tree or Lavender essential oil to a clean cotton ball and apply topically to the area of concern. These oils are safe for neat or direct application, when used moderately.

Essential oils may also be added to a spray bottle filled with water and spritzed on the face or body, or dilute essential oils by combining with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil.

A dilution method is recommended particularly for those who have sensitive skin when applying topically.

N.B. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight when treating acne with essential oils. UV rays may increase the sensitivity of the skin and may lead to skin irritations or redness.

If using essential oils causes any skin irritation, cease use immediately.

There is no easy cure for acne.

Clean skin is healthy skin but as with all things, excessiveness is detrimental.

Always use gentle action on the skin.

Over-cleansing and over-stimulation can either dehydrate and irritate the skin or cause the sebaceous glands to respond by producing even more oil.

Light application of delicate moisturizers.

Make up; if you must.

Less IS best.

A continuity of care is required.

Add an extra DIY cleansing treat to your regime

Salubrious Face Wash — This wholesome face wash is full of probiotics to invigorate the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria. Combine the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 20 drops tea tree oil

  • 2 capsules of live probiotics

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