Oily skin, pimples, acne, and breakouts are a rite of passage for teenagers. With everything that we now know about dermatological care it’s easier than ever to show your teen how to take care of their skin so that they prevent permanent scarring and further breakouts in the future.

When you think of the stereotypical teenager, one of the first things that spring to mind is pimply skin. Thanks to all of the surging hormones that come and go during this age and the lack of knowledge or care about keeping their skin clean, this makes the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of skin conditions.

Teenagers often get pimples, acne, and other blemishes, which normally go away on their own over time, but due to their poking and prodding, they can actually make things worse. There are some easy ways to can help your teen keep their skin clean and healthy though, so it’s an important topic to discuss with them.

What Happens to Skin During the Teenage Years

There’s certainly nothing strange about getting pimples and acne during your teenage years. If we think back we can likely remember how bad our own skin was and how desperately we wanted to do whatever we can to make it clear and healthy.


Many people chalk the teen acne phase up to hormones, and while they certainly do play their part the rest of the cause is unknown. Androgens are a type of hormone that increases during puberty, for both girls and boys, and they cause the oil glands to get larger which can then lead to pimples.

There are other factors that might come into play like medications, cosmetics, and the hormones that occur during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy. For the most part, though, we can assume that hormones and puberty are the main culprits.

Common Skin Problems for Teens

There are quite a few different skin conditions that we experience with a prevalence seen during the teenage years. These are the types and what they might look like, so you can help your teen identify and treat their skin.

  • Oily skin: As the androgen hormone causes the oil glands to enlarge this is typical of skin during teenage years.
  • Pimples: A stray pimple or two is quite common among teenagers but something that needs to be treated correctly.
  • Acne: A more serious condition that usually consists of pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and pus-filled pimples.
  • Blackhead: This might appear on their own without other conditions, but they have the potential to become infected. They are caused by clogged skin ducts.

Talking to Your Child About Skin Care

It’s normal for teenagers to feel embarrassed about their skin problems, especially if it’s a new issue that seems to have popped up overnight. Have an open conversation with your teen about implementing a skincare routine and ask if they have any issues they might be concerned about.


Explain to your teenager that pimples are completely normal, and they can be caused by a number of things. Their skincare routine, choice of makeup and cosmetics, diet, hormonal changes, and water intake can all play an important part in achieving healthy skin, so you should teach them what you can.

Other times, you teenager might come directly to you with their problems so you should be equipped to help them. In most cases, it’s the matter of showing them some basic skincare routines and explaining the potential triggers that can cause problem skin.

The Essential Products They Need

For most of us, skin problems can actually be prevented before they happen just by implementing a simple skincare routine. These are some great products you should invest in for your teenager and show them how to use, which might be just what they need to prevent further breakouts.


A facial cleanser can be done in the shower each day and will wash away the grime and debris of the day and keep skin clear.


An essential part of skincare that will remove further impurities from the pores and help to keep them free from infection, to be applied after the cleanser.


An exfoliating scrub can help to remove dead skin and get into the pores to clear them out, but should only be used once a week.


People mistake their skin for the type that doesn’t need to be moisturized, but oily skin can sometimes be a sign of your body trying to hydrate itself.

Body wash

When pimples and acne are breaking out on other parts of the body and not just the face, the answer could lie in a cleansing body wash. Look for one that’s free from oils, fragrances, and harsh chemicals.

Tips Your Teen Can Try For Healthy Skin

Sometimes, getting healthy skin is just a matter of educating yourself on what could trigger a breakout. Here are some tips you can share with your teen to help them achieve clear and clean skin.

Look at your hair products

Sometimes what we put in our hair can be affecting our skin, especially if it’s one that’s rubbed into the scalp. Stick to spray hair products and keep the face protected as you use them otherwise they might cause an outbreak.

Don’t share makeup

As tempting as it might be to swap with your friends and use each other’s cosmetics, this can be a leading cause of breakouts and skin conditions. As parents, this might mean investing in some basic beauty products for your teen and ensuring they keep them at home.

Keep your hands off

Our hands pick up a lot of dirt and debris during the day without us knowing, and as we touch or rub our faces we are transferring it into our pores. Keep your hands washed during the day and try not to rub your face as it may be causing breakouts.

Resist the urge to pop

When you do see a pimple arise, it’s best to leave it alone. Popping pimples or trying to pick them off will aggravate them and potentially infect them. This will cause permanent scarring on your face. The pimples will go away eventually so yu need to leave them alone.

Wear sunscreen

Sunscreen is hugely important in skincare, and these days you can find some quality moisturizers with SPF properties. Look for one that matches your skin tone and apply it all over your body and face each day.

Wash off makeup

Makeup can get into your pores and cause build up which leads to pimples and acne. Whenever you get home, make a note of washing off your makeup and keeping your face clean before you go to bed.

Learn your skin type

Take some time to study your own skin and understand your skin tone. There are cosmetics and skincare products specifically tailored to the different types of skin so you need to know what yours is. Oily, dry, sensitive, normal, and combination are just some possible options.

Watch your diet

What we eat and drink has a huge impact on our skin, so stay hydrated with lots of water and try to avoid foods that are high in fat and sugar. Many people notice an instant breakout the day after they’ve eaten a lot of sweets or pizza.

When to Seek Further Help

Pimples, blackheads, oily skin, and breakouts are all part and parcel of growing up. However, if your teenager’s skin problems seem to be affecting their self-esteem or you feel that a simple skincare routine isn’t helping, it’s best to seek medical help.

Your family doctor will be able to recommend further action, which may be treating acne with medicinal creams or speaking to a qualified dermatologist. In the case of acne or the other more serious conditions, your teen might find instant relief in one of these more potent treatments.

A Little Prevention Makes A Lot of Difference

As is with anything in life, prevention is worth a whole lot when it comes to skin care. From watching our nutrition to getting adequate water each day, and implementing a simple skin care routine, there are plenty of things you can help your teen with to tackle the problem before it becomes a bigger issue.

It might not seem like to them, but your teen will eventually grow out of these skin problems, and the rate of pimples popping up will slow down. For now, they need to treat their skin with care and resist the urge to get pop-happy, otherwise, they may be left with reminders for the rest of their life.

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