Preventing acne breakouts among teeners

I have a teenager-in-the-making, and pretty soon she will be coming to me for skin care advice.

I hope she got my genes in this aspect, because I’ve been lucky all my life. I’ve never had bad acne breakouts in my life –  not in my teenage years, and I hope not ever. That’s because I have dry/normal skin.

Oily skin is more prone to acne breakouts because the oil glands are more active. When the pores become clogged with oil and dirt from the environment, there’s a chance the pores would become infected. When they are, the pores swell, the skin around them becomes red, and pus forms as the body’s immune systems tries to fight off the infection. The most common bacterial cause of acne is Staphylococcus aureus. So yes, pimples are skin infections.

However, hormonal changes also contribute to acne attacks. With teenagers, the body is adjusting to the changing hormone levels. Testosterone causes oil glands to become over-productive.

It’s good to know these things so that acne breakouts can be prevented even before they happen. The hormonal aspect is inevitable – there’s nothing much one can do to prevent acne caused by hormonal changes.

However, observing proper skin care is still the key. Prevention is always best, because acne treatments are quite expensive. Plus, acne leave unsightly scars. So if you have a teenager, teach him/her the basics of skincare as soon as possible.


  • Wash the face with a  mild foaming wash at least twice a day –  in the morning and at night before going to bed. Use a product that is appropriate for your skin type.
  • An astringent or skin toner will usually be needed for oily skin to help tighten the pores. I am currently using Human Heart Nature’s tomato/lemongrass natural toner. It’s a safe product with no harmful synthetic chemicals, ideal for young skin. Lemongrass is said to be a natural toner and potent antiseptic, so it does help prevent pimples.
  • Change your pillow case often. Dirt and oil from your face and hair accumulate on the surface of the pillow case.
  • Keep hair away from the face  –  hair continuously brushing against the skin may be an irritant, making skin more sensitive to pimple-causing bacteria.
  • Make sure your diet has enough Vitamins C, A and E – these are the vitamins for healthy and glowing skin.

It’s not easy teaching teenagers (especially boys!) these simple preventive steps, but it will all be worth it. Just keep prodding them, and hopefully they get the hang of washing their faces. 😉

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