There’s no better time than the present for teenagers to learn about healthy skin care practices.

Skin care isn’t something that can be neglected. It needs to be part of your daily routine. It needs to be part of your daily routine. It is something that should be as common and important as taking a shower and brushing your teeth. As adults, we tend to recognize and understand the importance of cleansing, moisturizing, treating and protecting our skin. However, have you taken the time to explain the importance of healthy skin care practices to your teenagers? If not, then there is no time like the present.

Many teens struggle with skin conditions that are totally influenced by their hormones. They tend to have oily skin and experience blemishes and breakouts. Educating your teens on the basics of a healthy skin care regimen and other daily practices can have lifelong effects. Think about it – did anyone every sit you down and explain the basic how-to’s of taking care of your skin? Well, if not, let’s make sure that you do it for your children. Being a teenager is challenging enough and unfortunately, so much of their self-esteem is directly related to their appearance. Let’s take a diligent approach to teaching the basics so they too can reap the rewards of healthy, youthful looking skin. Here are a few healthy skin care tips just for teens:

Use a Facial Cleanser, Not an Ordinary Bar Soap
Teens must understand the importance of washing their face every morning and every evening before bedtime. Cleansing helps remove excess oils from the surface, along with dirt, makeup and other pore-clogging debris. Cleansing the skin is non-negotiable! So, let’s make sure we are providing them with the necessary tools. Get them started on a healthy cleansing routine using a facial cleanser specifically formulated to target oily skin. Choose a sulfate-free cleanser for a gentler approach and be diligent on reminding them to cleanse twice a day. Clean skin can help put your teen on the path to clear skin quickly. Make sure they pat their skin dry and never rub post cleansing. Remind them to use only a clean towel to dry and never reach for the family hand towel. Any towel that isn’t clean is a breeding ground for bacteria. Yuck!

Teach the Importance of Sunscreen
Teenagers spend a lot of time outdoors. Between hanging out with friends, sports programs or simply walking to school and back, they are exposed to the damaging UVA/UVB rays of the sun. All teens need to realize that even minimal exposure to the sun can cause long-term damage, including burning, aging and skin cancer. Teens need to understand that they should always apply sunscreen, or a moisturizer with sunscreen, before heading to school in the morning. A product with a minimum of SPF 30, that is both water and sweat resistant, is ideal. Inform them that even on a cloudy day, in the dead of winter, that the sun’s rays can still cause damage to the skin. If we instill in our teens the importance of using sunscreen, it will become an everyday practice that will benefit them throughout their lives.

Hands Off
Picking at a blemish is a major no-no for everyone, not just teens. Make sure to tell your teens to never pick at a pimple! If they do, it can aggravate the condition even further and lead to permanent scarring. Explain why in general we need to resist the urge to touch our face. Our hands can be riddled with germs and bacteria and the last place we want these germs to end up is on our skin.

Moisturizer is a Must
Now is the time to get your teen to use moisturizer. Moisturizer keeps skin hydrated and elasticized. For the face, choose a product containing UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection. For the body, look for a product that contains Aloe vera and shea butter. They are great, natural hydrating ingredients. Look for label claims stating that there are no added parabens, the product is dermatologist tested and there is clinical testing available to support the claims. Remind your teen to apply every morning!

For Our Teenage Girls
There are a lot of makeup trends and products geared specifically for teenage girls, however, buyer beware. Talk to your girls about the importance of making the best product choices in the name of healthy looking skin. Plan a girls’ day, go to the store together and check out beauty products to make sure that they are selecting the right products for their skin. Look for oil-free cosmetics so they won’t encourage or aggravate any skin conditions. Inform them that while makeup may look nice, too much of it can cause breakouts and result in skin imperfections. Be sure to reiterate the point that if you wear makeup, washing your face before bed is MANDATORY! Makeup left on the skin while sleeping is a catalyst for clogged pores and breakouts. Also, remember that teens who have acne should use approved products to treat that condition in accordance with their labeling and seek the advice of their doctor for serious conditions.

Tip: Go with your teen to the cosmetics counter at your local department store and get a makeover from a professional. They can teach the ins and outs of the products and make sure your teen is getting the best products for her skin. You will both leave looking fabulous. It’s a great way to bond while educating your teen and having fun.

For Our Teenage Boys
Most boys start shaving in their teen years. Use this time as a teaching opportunity – this is a great time for a dad or an older brother to take the lead. Explain the different types of razors on the market. Electric razors are a great place to start with a newbie, while disposable razors are effective for a closer shave. This all depends on the teen. It’s important to walk your teen through the basics of shaving so he can learn how to carefully avoid nicking his skin. If your teen is suffering from blemishes, nicking the skin can be painful and can lead to further irritation. So educating them on how to shave, including choosing the right razor and shaving cream, will be a valuable lesson. In addition to shaving procedure, make sure you educate them on the importance of cleaning their electric shaver and when to use a fresh blade.

Take the time to teach your teens the importance of daily hygiene and best skin care practices. These are lessons that will provide them with wonderful, lifelong results. Remember, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful.

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter – Director, Worldwide Outer Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife.