Teen Acne: How to conquer breakouts in the Summer

Teen Acne:  How to conquer breakouts in the Summer

School is out and your teen is either away at camp, on vacation, in the pool and on the beach hoping that their pesky acne will disappear due to lots of fresh air, sun and water … while they may be having a blast, sun and beach time may exacerbate teen acne if certain measures aren’t taken.  

Why my teen?

Most teenagers will experience acne at some point during their adolescent years. There are many reasons why teenagers have the highest incidence of acne. Many parents attribute acne to poor diet or lack of attention to proper skin hygiene. However, even though the above factors may increase or prolong acne breakouts, the real cause of acne is a hormonal imbalance related to adolescence that over stimulates the sebaceous glands.  

A hallmark of teenage skin aside from pimples is "greasy or oily skin". The appearance of oily skin goes hand in hand with the increased appearance of acne. The oily skin is due to an over secretion of sebum (skin oil) by the sebaceous glands. This over production of sebum not only manifests itself as oily skin but can also lead to clogged pores that are seen as "white heads" and "black heads." Once the pores of the skin are clogged with sebum, they accumulate dead skin cells and provide a perfect breeding ground for the growth of bacteria. This combination of clogged pores and growth of bacteria is responsible for acne. 

Two Dangerous Myths about Sun and Teen Acne

These oily skin symptoms often lead to two rather dangerous myths regarding sun and teen acne

  1. Sun will dry over oily skin and help with acne breakouts
    Because of the greasy appearance of the skin, many people believe that getting a tan and being exposed to the sun's rays will help dry up that oil and reduce acne breakouts. Aside from the fact that there is currently no scientific evidence to support such a statement, the potential negative side effects from unprotected exposure to the sun far outweigh any unproven benefits for reducing breakouts. In fact, too much sun may lead to inflammation and over-drying of the skin, which may produce more dead skin flakes and cause your skin to produce even more pore-clogging sebum. In addition, overexposure to sun will cause inflammation that actually increases the seriousness of existing and forming pimples.  Finally, the dangers of skin cancer are real and documented.
  2. Sun protection is bad for acne
    Statements like these can cause a great deal of damage. While it's true that some sunscreens can make the acne problems worse, they are not the main culprit. Instead, we need to remember that not all sunscreens have been created equal and that they are a must in yours and your teen’s summer skin routine.  Sun protection against UVA rays is necessary, therefore you need to be educated and watch for those ingredients in sunscreens that can do more harm than good. The main chemical used in sunscreens is octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), which has been reported to kill mouse cells in tissue culture, even at low doses. OMC is present in 90% of sunscreen products. Another common ultraviolet filter, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, has also demonstrated some toxic properties. So look for sunscreens that base their protective properties on these two major ingredients: Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide

The Environmental Working Group does a fantastic job of composing a comprehensive list of the best sunscreens every year.  Visit their website for safe recommendations.

In addition – since teens love t-shirts and hats, encourage this - these provide for excellent sun protection. And here is a little surprise.  A white t-shirt will only provide SPF 7, and when wet, SPF 3. A dark green t-shirt will give you SPF 10 (when NOT wet); and black t-shirt, especially a thicker shirt, SPF up to 50! It is not surprising as dark colors absorb sunrays, and thicker materials obviously provide for more barrier protection

Steps to Control Teen Acne During the Summer

  1. proper skin cleansing routine with the use of non-irritating and non-over- drying toners and hypo-allergenic moisturizers can help but cannot really treat acne. Topical bacteria killing agents like natural essential aromatic oils can help. Use high quality, organic bergamot, tee tree or rosemary oil.  Do not combine.  You can use one concoction in the morning and one at night though.  The oils must always be diluted prior to use. Use about 12 drops of essential oil for every ounce (6 tsp) of carrier oil such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil. However, if you or your teen’s skin is particularly sensitive, you may want to begin with as little as 1% (or 6 drops).
  2. Wear loose clothes, which will help to keep the skin “unstressed”
  3. And finally remember that the only way to effectively eliminate breakouts is to target the underlying and internal causes of them - such as the hormonal imbalance. Teen acne will not usually go away on its own (about 35% of teen acne will not go away on its own and will become chronic acne) and summer does not provide the magic cure.  What your teen needs to avoid acne and acne related scars is a product that provides a barrier between their sebaceous glands and “raging teen hormones”.  We’ve guided countless moms who have decided to have their teen try AcnEase®, which is our all botanical acne treatment that is safe, has no harmful chemicals or side effects and is up to 96% effective. Moms rave about AcnEase and couldn’t be happier that their kids are now able to live a much happier life without acne.  The testimonials are our proof, and we can even put you in touch with some of them if you want to hear their stories. 

AcnEase works without actually affecting circulating hormones and was designed to help stop both teen and adult acne and prevent new acne from forming.  It’s a win win situation for all. 

What steps is your teen currently taking now to treat acne?  Tell us in the comments.  We’re here to help your teen live a much happier life being acne-free, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us.