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Teen Health

Skin Care Tips for Teens

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Are you a teen in need of some skin care tips? Maybe you've had an experience like 15-year-old "Cristina" had. She used a popular lotion on her skin for weeks before realizing that it clogged her facial pores, causing a full acne outbreak. She was relieved to learn how to clean her skin effectively, and now uses a moisturizer for her dry skin that does not trigger acne.

What's Your Skin Type?

Before you can care for your skin and keep it healthy, you need to identify your skin type. The four main types of skin are normal, dry, oily, and combination:

1. Normal Skin Care

Normal skin has an even, smooth skin tone; soft texture; and no visible blemishes, red spots, or flaky patches. Pores are barely visible, and the skin surface is neither greasy nor dry. Normal skin has few imperfections because of the balanced amount of water and oil and good blood circulation.

If your skin is normal, wash your face two to three times each day, with mild cleanser or plain soap and water, to remove dirt and sweat.

2. Dry Skin Care

Dry skin is dull, rough, scaly, and itchy, with almost invisible pores. Dry skin is usually caused by an abnormal shedding of cells from the skin's outer layer. In normal situations, lubrication from the body's natural oils helps to prevent water loss from the skin.

If you have dry skin, wash your face daily with a mild cleanser. This will help prevent your skin from becoming drier. Moisturize with a non-perfumed, non-alcohol-containing lotion after washing.

Also, limit very hot showers, high temperatures, and low humidity, which rob your skin of moisture. Even using soap and excessive washing or scrubbing of the skin increases dryness. Many teens have drier skin during the winter months, when humidity is low and heaters force hot, dry air into enclosed rooms.

If your skin is very dry, take a warm bath for about 20 minutes. Avoid using soap or other drying products. When you get out of the tub, pat your body dry, then rub mineral oil (found at most supermarkets and drugstores) or a non-perfumed, non-alcohol lotion all over your skin. Pat your skin dry again. The oil or lotion helps to lock in healing moisture, keeping skin supple and soft.

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