Monday, May 12, 2014

Teen Skincare Series: Cleansers

I know a lot of younger gals (and boys) read our blog and I thought it would be a fun idea to do a series talking about skincare in your teens.

Skincare evolves so much during our lives and varies greatly whether you're in your teens, twenties, and beyond. We all have to modify our skincare based on our ages and our personal skin needs.

Your teens is usually when you start off your skincare journey and because you're filled with hormones and your body is constantly changing, you could be experiencing different skin issues that we all have had to deal with.

Today I am going to start with the most basic step and that is Cleansing.

It is so important to cleanse your face twice a day (morning and night) to keep it clean and healthy. Many people make the mistake of cleansing only at night and not in the morning because they figure they just washed their face a few hours ago and they haven't gone anywhere but that is a big mistake. Oils still produce at night time and you need to get that residue off your face and start off with a clean slate.

As a teen, you don't want or need to get in the habit of using pricey skincare items. There are plenty of great cleansers at the drugstore for less than $10.00 but which one should you buy?

Here are some things to consider and a few options...

What is Your Skin Type?

This is the number one question your need to answer before going on the hunt for a cleanser. You need to know what to look for.

*A good way to test your skin type is to take a blotting paper in the morning (before you wash your face) and swipe it across your face. If the paper is very oily all over that means your have oily skin. If the paper only reveals a ton of oil when you swipe it down your t-zone, that means you have combination skin. If the paper is only slightly oily, you have normal skin (like me); and if the paper doesn't look much different from before you swiped, well you have dry skin.

Gel vs. Cream?

In General, gels tend to be less hydrating and more drying so anyone with dry skin really should be careful with the gel cleansers they choose because they don't want to over dry their skin out.

Gels, I do find, clean the skin better so if you like a gel cleanser but you have dry skin, make sure to read the labels and don't buy a gel cleanser meant for oily or combination skin because that will mess with your skin.

Acne? Pick Your Poison. 

Yep, the teen years are full of those dreaded spots that no one likes. Luckily there are ways to handle most spots (certainly not all) with over the counter means. If you have not seen my Acne Spot Treatment Comparison Post, you can do so here.  I go over those more in depth there but starting off with the right cleanser is the first step.

You have to know which acne medication will work best with you. Unfortunately, the only way to really know this is by trial and error.

For me, I have found that Salicylic Acid works the best on getting rid of my spots fast without being overly drying but Benzoyl Peroxide is the other big one.

Luckily you can find and try cleansers that have these two magic ingredients at the drugstore without breaking the bank.

This has been a favourite of mine since I was around 12 and was starting to see a few breakouts and my mom took me out and got this. It is a Foaming Salicylic Acid wash that is quite gentle but is very effective at cleansing and cleaning thoroughly. To this day I still keep this on hand for when I get bad breakouts. 

This is a cream based cleanser and despite having Benzoyl Peroxide as its main acne fighting medicine, it doesn't dry my skin out too much and is actually very refreshing when I use it. For me, I do see that my skin stays clear with this but I haven't noticed it taking away pimples but that is again personal skin preference. Benzoyl Peroxide may be your saving grace or it may not be. 

No Spots, No Problems.

If you are a teen and you don't suffer from spots, don't use a cleanser meant for acne plain and simple.  You don't want to get your skin used to harsh ingredients if there is no need. If you're blessed with spot-free skin (jealous) then embrace it but still you need to take care of your skin. Don't take your clear face for granted because if you skimp on cleansing, bacteria will form and spots will arise. Your best option is to use a gentle cleanser that cleans well.

This is one of my favourite cleansers at the drugstore for sensitive skin. So much so that I did a post about it, almost a year ago which you can find here. It really is not irritating and gets the job done. 

This cleanser is really great value for the amount of product you get. It is 350 ml when standard cleansers are 150ml to 200ml max. This will last you a long time and it foams up nicely to remove dirt and makeup and is dermatologist recommended. 

This one is not my favourite, but a lot of people swear by it. It doesn't remove makeup well so that is why I don't like it too much but if you don't wear makeup (which you shouldn't be wearing too much in your early teens anyways) this will work for you. 

It takes some time as well as some trial and error to figure out which cleanser is right for your skin but it is definitely worth it. 

*Please note that I am not a dermatologist or skin specialist and these are just my tips that have helped me during my dreaded breakout periods. If your acne is severe, please consult a dermatologist for help.

I hope you find these suggestions and tips helpful and make sure to let me know in the comments your holy grail cleanser.

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