A Teenager’s First Skincare Routine: 5 Essential Products to Get Started

By  | 

The teenage years can be a very turbulent period in a young person’s life. Their bodies change and hormones begin to rage, causing a lot of turmoil both physically and emotionally. Puberty presents itself in many ways, but skin troubles can often kick in long before the rest of the signs. If you are a teenager or know one who might be looking for guidance on how to keep their skin woes in check, this guide is for you. Read on below for the 5 essential products every teen needs in his or her skincare arsenal, especially if they want to know how to build a skincare routine that works for them:

Facial Cleanser

Out of all the skincare steps available, cleansing should be the one a teenager should pay the most attention to. Proper cleansing will remove some of the most common causes of acne breakouts from the surface of the skin, such as excess oil and impurities. It’s especially important to emphasize cleansing if the teenager has also started to wear makeup, as the residue from it is also one of the leading causes of flare-ups. 

Different cleansers exist for different skin types, and it’s important to choose the right one. For dry to normal skin, a cream-based cleanser packed with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides is recommended. Using a cleanser that is both non-comedogenic and has oil-controlling properties can be a lifesaver for teenagers with oily skin, so seek out the ones that contain tea tree or aloe vera. 

For acne-prone skin, keep an eye out for facial cleansers that contain mild chemical exfoliants such as salicylic or glycolic acid. Those who have sensitive skin should go for gentle cleansers that do not contain any artificial additives, fragrances, or foaming agents. Overall, it’s also a good idea to steer clear of sulfates and parabens. These ingredients have been linked to the exacerbation of certain skin conditions such as rosacea and dermatitis. 


Toning is an essential skincare step that can tighten pores, rebalance the skin’s pH levels, and prep it to better absorb the ingredients from the products that follow. Different toners can address different skin concerns, but in general, going for an alcohol-free product is a teenager’s safest bet. 

Teenagers with oily skin often also suffer from enlarged pores. Both issues can be addressed with a clarifying toner that contains oil-controlling properties from ingredients such as witch hazel and green tea. For those with acne-prone skin, a powerful toner that contains both alpha and beta hydroxy acids can keep breakouts under control. Those with dry skin will surely appreciate the deep moisturizing effects of a hydrating toner that includes rosewater, chamomile, or vitamin E in its list of ingredients. 


Just because a teenager produces more oil during this stage in his or her life doesn’t mean that he or she can get away with skipping moisturizer! Integrating a lightweight moisturizer into your routine can help with oil control. Thirsty, improperly hydrated skin tends to produce more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. 


Water-based or gel moisturizers are the way to go to for young skin. The shorter the ingredient list, the better. Keep an eye out for labels that say “non-greasy”, “non-acnegenic” or “non-comedogenic”; these products should be free of any clogging emulsifiers, oils, and waxes.

Topical Treatment

Young people all over the world are often fed all kinds of old wives’ tales and misinformation regarding acne and how to treat it. Teenagers who routinely suffer from breakouts and acne flareups are best served by a topical treatment solution that is intended for daily use all over the face instead of a spot treatment product, which can be unnecessarily harsh and drying to their skin. 

Seek out a treatment solution that contains an ingredient that provides gentle exfoliation, such as the aforementioned salicylic acid. Teenagers with troubled skin may also benefit from products that contain natural ingredients that fight acne, such as bija seed oil and cica. 


Many teens spend hours under the sun without being aware of the harmful effects its rays can have on the skin. Exposure to UVA and UVB doesn’t just cause the skin to darken and burn; both damage the DNA in skin cells and increase the risk of developing wrinkles, premature skin aging, and developing skin cancer later in life.

To keep your skin healthy now and keep it looking supple and youthful in the future, use a good sunblock or sunscreen product. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF level of at least 30, which can block 97% of both UVA and UVB rays. Active young people can skip a step if they use mineral makeup that contains built-in sun protection from titanium dioxide or zinc dioxide, or products that already contain SPF. 

With so much already going on, the last thing a teen needs is the additional stress of having bad skin. Don’t ignore the changes that teenagers go through, and start taking care of these issues as soon as possible.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply