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Back to School Skincare Tips

Going back to school can be an exciting time for teenagers. Don’t let acne and other skin concerns get in your way.

Unfortunately, going back to school means that many students are dealing with stress that leads to excess sebum production, oily skin, and breakouts. Teenagers also have issues finding the right foundation for their skin type, especially when they are acne prone. Once the school year gets going, those late-night study sessions can lead to unsightly dark undereye circles.

The good news is that we have tips for you to get your skin looking great for the school year to help combat acne, hide dark circles under the eyes, and find the perfect skin foundation.

Here are a few little-known acne prevention tips—so you (or someone you love) can be on your way to clear skin this school year!

1.) How to Deal with Acne

Acne is caused by a combination of the following:

  1. Oily skin (Increased sebum)
  2. Bacteria (P. acnes)
  3. Poor exfoliation of the inside of the pore (altered keratinization)

A good acne regimen should consist of one item from each of these three categories:

  1. Salicylic acid. A kit that contains salicylic acid is essential, since SA helps keep pores clear—and it also has an anti-aging effect. The new Olay Pro-X Clear Acne Protocol consists of a cleanser, treatment and lotion to heal blemishes and prevent new breakouts—without overdrying skin.  This kit should work well for those with mild adult acne.
  2. Antibiotic (topical or by mouth) and/or benzoyl peroxide and/or blue light device.  You can treat your skin to bacteria-busting blue light at home with the Tria Skin Clarifying System.
  3. Retinoid (Tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, retinol). Prescription retinoids are the best acne treatment in my opinion. But if you do not have time or cannot go to a dermatologist, try an over-the-counter retinol like Skinceuticals Retinol (available in 0.5 and 1.0 concentrations), or La Roche-Posay Biomedic Retinol or RoC Multi-Correxion Night Treatment.
  4. Sunscreen. Find an oil-free moisturizer with SPF 30 (you don’t have to spend a lot of money on this), such as Purpose Dual Treatment Moisturizer with SPF 15 or 30.

Using a consistent regimen is important. Many people are noncompliant, and your anti-acne products aren’t going to work if they stay in the bottle! Keep in mind the acne cycle is about 8 weeks, so any treatment will take 8 weeks to work, if you are applying the regimen the recommended twice per day.

Other little-known helpful tips for acne include reducing or excluding dairy and sugar from your diet, washing your face after your wash and condition your hair (shampoo and conditioner can cause breakouts!), and change your pillowcases and the towels you use to dry your face every few days. Think about it… Your face rests on your pillowcase for 7 or so hours a night, and it can become a breeding ground for bacteria and a great host for pore-clogging oils not only from your face, but from your skincare products as well. Your towels and make up brushes can also harbor dirt and bacteria, so wash them often!

2.) How to Treat Dark Under-Eye Circles

Going back to school doesn’t do much to help under-eye circles. Many students tend to burn the candle at both ends, and the lack of sleep leads to pigment-enhancing inflammation. While skincare products can help in most cases (as can more sleep and less stress), many of us have our DNA to blame.

What causes dark circles?

Most discoloration under the eyes is due to blood leaking from the capillaries, and since the skin is thinner under the eyes than other parts of the body (only about 7 layers deep compared to 20 layers elsewhere on the face), this pooled blood is much easier to see. Blood that is left unexposed to oxygen is a deep purple color, and when you mix this hue with most people’s basic skin tone, you get telltale dark circles.  Girls can get a bit of extra help with an undereye concealer while guys should stick to a facial powder or tinted sunscreen to hide the circles.

How to Choose the Right Undereye Concealer

Serious dark circles need more than coverage—you need to enlist the help of color correction products as well in order to disguise them.

And to make matters more confusing, the corrective color you need depends on your skin tone. Lighter skin tones have less melanin, and require less pigment to hide dark circles. A soft peachy tint should counteract the darkness. Medium to dark skin tones should try a salmon-colored corrector, and the darkest skins can go as deep as orange or rust.

To keep the color natural for back-to-school, apply it lightly with a soft concealer brush before applying concealer. And make sure your concealer is as close a match to your skin tone as possible. If you go too light, this can accentuate your dark circles more. Start with only a little cream, and blend, blend, blend!

Some of my favorites for all skin types are Keromask Masking Cream by Kristy Cosmetics and Amazing Cosmetics’ Amazing Concealer.

Remember that concealer is only a short term solution and is not a great option for guys.  Its best to try improve dark circles by getting 7 hours of sleep a night, using sunscreen around the eyes every day, and avoiding smoking which leads to constriction of the blood vessels.

3.) How To Choose A Facial Foundation

Although skin care plays the biggest role in beautiful-looking skin, the right facial foundation also helps. Choose one that does not contain acne causing ingredients like dimethicone, isopropyl myristate, and coconut oil.  Consider using a tinted sunscreen instead of a foundation.  If you choose to use a foundation, apply it over your sunscreen. You can never rely on a foundation (or powder) for your sunscreen protection because you would never apply enough of it to be able to achieve the SPF that is on the label. (You would have to apply 7 times the amount of foundation and 14 times the amount of power that most people use in order  to get the SPF on the label!)  For this reason, a daily tinted facial sunscreen is preferred over foundation but you won’t have the same range of color choices as you do for foundations.  If you really need a foundation to cover skin imperfections or even skin tone, here are some tips:

To keep foundation looking natural, dab foundation onto areas that need coverage and then blend with a damp, clean, synthetic foundation brush or a non-latex sponge. Using a swab prevents contaminating foundation with bacteria, and you use a lot less product than if you apply directly to a sponge or makeup brush. Lastly, make sure all of the edges are properly blended, and carry blotting papers to freshen the foundation. They remove excess oil, leave no residue and won’t disturb your makeup. If you have oily skin, brush a layer of powder over the foundation to set it.  

In Summary

These are some of my favorite skincare and beauty tips for teenage students going back to school. For more in-depth, custom recommendations year-round, and the exact products that you should use see a Skin Type Solutions Approved Doctor.  They will diagnose your Baumann Skin Type® and prescribe a customized skincare regimen just for you.
Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through Derm.net.

 

Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D. and her team at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology believe in proof, not promises. World-recognized for both cosmetic and general dermatology, our treatment strategies rely exclusively on evidence-based, scientifically verified products and procedures that promote skin health and a natural appearance. We combine effective medical procedures with individualized instruction on proper skincare, nutrition, supplementation and lifestyle in order to maximize the health of the skin and body as a whole while minimizing the effects of aging. For more, visit Dr. Baumann’s blog for daily updates Monday through Friday, or inquire about an appointment through Derm.net.

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August 18, 2016 Acne, Skincare
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