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Dealing with skin issues as a teenager can feel annoying, to say the least. Everything from acne breakouts to rosacea can leave you feeling frustrated and ready to throw in the towel.
However, there are ways to have a good skincare routine as a teenager without breaking the bank or wasting hours in front of the sink.
As with all things skincare, the first step is making sure that your skin is properly cleansed. “Wash and rinse morning and night, each time for at least thirty seconds,” Cybil Solyn, a 15-year licensed esthetician and owner of Solyn Studio, told In The Know. “Make slow, small circles so you really break up any dirt and oil. You don’t need a strong cleanser — what you really need is elbow grease!”
One of Solyn’s go-to products is the Honest Beauty Gentle Cleanser, which she says is one of the easiest (and cheapest) cleansers for skincare newbies to use.
“Be sure to get into the sides of the nose, the hairline and the eyebrows,” Solyn said. “Teens get oily and catch sweat in those areas and I’ll see them using all this acne product to clear up those zones when really they just need to wash and rinse more carefully.”
Shop: Honest Beauty Gentle Gel Cleanser, $12.99
Speaking of rinsing, the removal of your cleanser is just as important as washing, according to Solyn. “If any cleanser is left behind, it builds up a soap scum film and attracts dirt, which makes the skin flaky and more prone to zits,” she explained. “I see people come in all the time and complain of flaky skin. So often it’s just built-up cleanser that hasn’t been washed off properly.”
The next step deals with hydration, which is something no one should overlook. “The skin needs hydration,” Solyn said. “If it doesn’t have enough on the skin, it will produce extra oil and the next thing you know you’re an oil slick.”
One of Solyn’s go-to products is The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid, which she recommends applying “slightly wet and just a dime-size amount on the skin.”
Shop: The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, $6.80
When moisturizing, it’s also important not to bog down your skin with products that are too thick, explains Dr. Bruce Robinson, a board-certified adult and pediatric dermatologist based in New York City. “To reverse skin that is too dry, use a moisturizing cream rather than a lotion because creams have more oil than water and therefore do the job better,” he explained to In The Know. “Also use a moisturizer that has humectant, which draws moisture from the deep layers of the skin to the surface.”
Similarly to Robinson, Kate Hancock, a licensed medical aesthetician and spa owner, also believes in the power of a great cream moisturizer. “The other issue besides acne is eczema,” she told In The Know. “I recommend an oil-based cleanser for the skin followed by a heavy cream moisturizer after showering.”
Eventually you’ll want to incorporate things such as masks and toners for skin management as well as ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide for acne into your everyday routine, but taking one step at a time is key to getting your skin under control.
So what budget-friendly products should you check out to treat some of the skin issues above? We’ve rounded up a few skincare items that deserve all the awards — because they’re just that darn good.
Shop: Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Cleanser, $21
Shop: Sephora Collection Clean Skin Gel, $10
Shop: The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Acne + Pore Cleanser, $9.99
Shop: Sephora Collection Face Mask, $6
Shop: Origins GinZing Oil- Free Gel Moisturizer, $15
If you liked this post, check out these beauty editor-approved tinted moisturizers.