Teenage Acne and Sunscreen

ACNE is one cause for sunscreen avoidance in teenagers. The big concern with this is that most acne treatment medication makes the skin more susceptible to the sun and increases the chances of long term damage. However, when you have teenage, cystic acne, the concept of applying greasy, sticky, oily, chemical filled sunscreen to it is very unappealing… I shudder just thinking at the idea.

Acne is caused by overactive oil glands in the skin and a buildup of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, which leads to inflammation in the pores. Oil glands get stimulated when hormones become active during puberty. That's why people are likely to get acne in their teens.

If you have ever had acne you will understand how self conscious it can make you feel, and even worse - how painful it can be! As a teenager in the early 90’s I had terrible acne. I was fortunate (in a bitter, sweet way), that my mother also experienced acne growing up and so was very conscious of ensuring that my sister and I didn’t have the same scarring to our skin that she had. I tried a million different face cleansers and topical creams, antibiotics and eventually Roaccutane to find a cure for my troubled teenage skin. 

We have come a long way since the 90s when it comes to sunscreen knowledge, production and ingredients. The key to balancing teenage acne and sunscreen is to find the right one that works for your skin type - and the good news, they exist! In fact mineral sunscreen (like New Day Skin products) can actually benefit sensitive and acne prone skin, by not only creating a mattifying effect to the skin, but also protecting the skin without worsening breakouts.  Who would have thought!

Clogged pores from comedogenic ingredients or a sensitivity to chemical UV-blocking agents are two of the main sunscreen irritants that can worsen acne in teenagers. It is best therefore best to choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen that won’t gunk up pores or irritate vulnerable skin. 

Ensuring good skin cleanliness and a healthy diet will also have an impact on teenage acne. One of the best ways to ensure healthy, wrinkle-free faces as adults is to start caring for your skin as a teenager. Start simple with a good facial cleanser and if you’re treating acne at home, look for topical treatments with benzoyl peroxide. Always apply SPF 50 sunscreen every day to the face regardless of how troubled the skin is. There are some great products on the market that will actually help.

The only guaranteed anti-aging product is sunscreen. Wrinkles, brown spots, freckles, moles and cancers and even acne can be prevented if SPF 50 is applied every day. 

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