In the not-so-distant past, it was common for teens with acne to be told it was normal to have blemishes, and that their skin would clear up in time. While a lot of acne is related to the changing hormones associated with the teen years, that doesn’t mean that teens should just wait out their acne breakouts. Instead, there are skincare products and other steps teens can take to minimize the number and severity of their acne breakouts. In this blog, we’ll go through some of the simple steps teens can take to manage acne breakouts as well as some of our most recommended skincare products for treating acne.

Acne 101

Acne is a common, chronic skin condition that occurs when clogged pores become inflamed or infected and lead to pimples. While there are many underlying causes, hormonal fluctuation is one of the main reasons people develop acne, which is why the changes in hormone levels during the teen years often lead to acne. Changing hormone levels increase sebum (oil) production. This excess oil production can cause dead skin cells, debris, and bacteria to be trapped in the pores, leading to pimples. Bacteria trapped within the pimple can cause infection and inflammation that leads to more severe pimples like cysts, papules, pustules, and nodules. Keeping skin clean, using products to promote skin cell turnover, and reducing oil production are all essential elements to minimize the risk of acne breakouts.

Building the Ideal Skincare Routine to Manage Teen Acne

The most important step to preventing and managing teen acne breakouts is to develop an effective skincare routine. The basic steps of an acne skincare routine are the same as skincare routines for those without acne - they should include a cleanser, toner, treatments, moisturizer, and sunscreen. However, when it comes to treating acne-prone skin, the best skincare routine means choosing the right products. Below, we’ve outlined some of our most recommended skincare products to ramp up your teen’s skincare routine.

MD Skin Essentials Cleanse It – Acne Face Wash

Many people use harsh, drying cleansers to strip the excess oil away from acne-prone skin, but these cleansers can lead to more skin inflammation and irritation. MD Skin Essentials Cleanse It is a cream-based acne face wash that is gentle on the skin while delivering a complete clean. Rather than drying ingredients like salicylic acid and alcohol, this cleanser uses the much gentler colloidal sulfur to remove excess oil without increasing irritation.

MD Skin Essentials Control It – Medicated Acne Toner Pads

Toner is one of the essential skincare steps that many people misunderstand or skip altogether. For those who struggle with acne, toner is especially important. Toner helps to thoroughly cleanse pores to prevent clogging and blemishes. One of the best toners on the market for acneic skin is the MD Skin Essentials Control It. These medicated toner pads make it easy to get a complete clean and allow acne spot treatments and other products to absorb fully.

MD Skin Essentials Minimize It – Acne Spot Treatment

During an active breakout, MD Skin Essentials Minimize It acne spot treatment can help to clear up blemishes more quickly and with significantly less discomfort. Unlike other spot treatments that work simply by drying out the blemish, which can cause itching and dryness. This spot treatment gently clears the pores while helping to improve the appearance of redness and inflammation.

MD Skin Essentials Crush It – Acne Treatment

For active breakouts and prevention between breakouts, the MD Skin Essentials Crush It acne treatment is ideal. This product will help to quickly clear up blemishes and reduce discomfort and inflammation during breakouts. It’s also gentle enough to use on the skin between breakouts to keep skin clear without over-drying.

Epionce Acne Kit – Purifying Spot Gel & Purifying Wash

If you’re looking to boost your daily skincare routine, consider incorporating the two products in the Epionce Acne Kit. This kit comes with a purifying wash to cleanse skin thoroughly, and a spot treatment to help quickly clear up pimples during a breakout.

EltaMD Acne-Prone Skin Kit

If you want to take the guesswork out of your acne skincare regimen, the EltaMD Acne-Prone Skin Kit has you covered. This kit includes the EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser, Skin Recovery Toner, AM Therapy moisturizer, and a broad-spectrum sunscreen. It’s a complete morning skincare routine to manage acneic skin during breakouts and between flare-ups.

Revision Skincare Retinol Complete

Isotretinoin is an acne product also commonly called Accutane. It’s a strong, oral medication that contains retinol. It’s recommended for people who have severe, treatment-resistant acne. However, topical retinol are recommended for almost all people with acne. These products help to promote skin cell turnover and reduce the risk of clogged pores. Revision Skincare Retinol Complete is a great option, and there are two strengths available. You can learn more by clicking the links below:

SkinCeuticals Perfect Pair, Oiliness & Blemishes

SkinCeutical Perfect Pair, Oiliness and Blemishes offer a great combined effect for oily skin and blemishes. This SkinCeuticals duo is great for adult acne and aging skin, but it can be beneficial for teens as well to prevent sun damage and keep pores clear. Silymarin CF helps reduce oiliness without stripping moisture from the skin. Blemish + Age Defense helps to clear up blemishes. It also tightens skin, leading to a smoother, more youthful appearance.

Avene Cleanance HYDRA Blemish Recovery System

For teens experiencing a tough breakout, the Avene Cleanance HYDRA Blemish Recovery System helps to reduce redness and inflammation while clearing up the breakout more quickly and with less discomfort. In addition to helping recover skin during a breakout, it also soothes skin for faster healing and minimizes the risk of acne scarring.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

Sunscreen is an important part of the daily skincare routine for every person, but it is essential for acne-prone skin. Sun damage can make blemishes worse, especially for those who are using retinoids regularly. Any broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is adequate to protect the skin with daily use. However, it is important to find a sunscreen that is non-comedogenic, so it is less likely to clog pores. Our dermatologists recommend EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. This sunblock is lightweight and effective.

Work with a Dermatologist

While developing and maintaining a good daily skincare routine is beneficial for teens with acne, they may still need to visit a dermatologist to achieve and maintain healthy skin. If you’re interested in scheduling a visit for your teen with a board-certified dermatologist, we hope you’ll consider entrusting their skincare needs to the knowledgeable professionals at U.S. Dermatology Partners. These experienced dermatologists curated the list of skin care products in this blog and throughout the DermSkincare site. If you want to get started working with a dermatologist, simply take a few minutes to complete our online scheduling request form. Then, a U.S. Dermatology Partners team member will be in touch to finalize the details of your visit.