This post was inspired by lovely Martha, my boyfriends younger sister. She is at the ripe age of 17 and suffers from a few skin problems (I don't think they are bad) however she is affected by them, feeling the need to wear foundation to leave the house. I have been here and do not want her to be affected by her skin this way. So, off I went teaching her to say no to make-up remover wipes, to double cleanse and to always moisturise. I was thinking about my most favourite products and what to recommend then I thought about how many other people this could help too so thought I would write it down to help anyone who is suffering from acne and blemish prone skin as I know how it can really get you down.

This will be the first post as there are more to come, in the series of Teen Blemish Prone Skin are:
#1 - introduction, basics, what to do and what not to do
#2 - recommended products which are available and affordable for all teens
#3 - investing, persistence and commitment and the future

So, shall we commence?
Perhaps the first thing to do, which is perhaps the hardest and something you can not buy is comfort. You do not need to feel confident and there are certainly some days where you feel your worst. However comfort and acceptance in yourself, your body, your appearance is something which we should all work on every day as things could always be worse. We are all quite lucky and blessed and must acknowledge that and find the things in us which make us special and beautiful. If you are walking to the shop for some milk, put that foundation down! You don't need it. It begins with simple things like this which allow us, and our skin, to take a deep breath and relax. Be comfortable and accept yourself because you are always going to be you and life is way too short to sweat the little stuff and one day you may regret not taking advantage of your youth, your great body or your happiness. Once we accept who we are, happiness really does become easier as we are able to stop looking at ourselves and look at all the beautiful things within the world and even more, within ourselves.

I understand that we can accept ourselves and still want to improve. Sometimes, it is a better change which allows us this happiness. This is where I come in! I will advise you in the things you should be doing and the things you shouldn't be doing. What to look for and what to avoid. Some of them may be simple, however for those young naive teens out there, this may actually be new news. Some of it will be new information which I will touch upon in later posts if it isn't clear in this post. So...

What to do
  • WASH YOUR FACE WITH WATER. Simple, yes however forgotten. Use a cleaser, even a bar of Dove soap is fine! Just get the tap water splashed on your face!
  • DOUBLE CLEANSE. Cleanse once in the morning, to remove any oils/products from the night. But always, especially if you have been wearing make-up double cleanse on an evening. Trust me, this little trick is the start to better skin!
  • MOISTURISE. Don't be lazy. Put your moisturiser next to your foundation. Hydrated skin is happy skin. Boost this by DRINKING WATER
  • BE GENTLE. Do not scrub and pick at the face. Think of your face as a beautiful silk dress - treat it delicately and with care. Pat the face dry after cleansing. Avoid rubbing your eyes and always use the ring finger when applying products around the eye area.
  • BUY SOME FLANNELS. Get some cheap Muslin cloths from amazon or mothercare or simply buy multi-packs of flannels from Primark. They are cheap so there is no excuse. This is the best way to remove your cleanser. Damp it under tepid water and buff or smooth away your cleanser. For the eye area, fold and press it gently onto the eye so the steam aids to remove any eye make-up along with the cleanser then gently wipe. Voila! Clean skin!
  • READ THE INGREDIENT LIST. Whether buying something cheap or expensive, read what is in your products! Within time you will know what works and doesn't for your skin. Take note (further down) in what to avoid or look for in skin care.
What not to do
  • USE FACE WIPES. Face wipes are the devil of skin care. Use them for festivals if you must but nothing else! They dry out the skin and make blemish prone skin terribly worse. Stop. Buying. Them. It is a waste of money which you can re-invest later.
  • SLEEP IN MAKE-UP. I have to admit that I have been a little naughty on occasion but never let it become a habit. Brush your teeth and wash your face, see them as a pair which you never miss day or night.
  • PACK ON THE MAKE-UP. Clogging your pores is just about the worst thing you can do when you have a few blemishes. If you are very insecure try to invest in a foundation with anti-blemish properties. Clinique and Hourglass have great foundations which will either aid with blemishes or just be a steady foundation and not make anything worse.
  • GET SUCKED INTO ADVERTISING. "Natural", "Organic", "Big Fat Lies". Do not base your purchase on advertising. If it says Organic, look at the ingredient list and see what percent! If it says natural, don't trust unless they have a pretty good list of ingredients they do NOT include.
  • Alcohol. Dry skins will become drier, Oily skins will become oilier. The skin will become more alkaline which will result in a breeding ground for congested skin! If it is in the top three in the ingredient list, put it back down. Alcohol is in a lot of products so can sometimes not be avoided but anything which strips the skin will do the opposite of what you want it to.
  • Mineral Oil. Mineral Oil is sold for cheap by oil companies. It sits on top of the skin and provides short-term smoothing effects however in skin-care no ingredients will be able to penetrate the skin and make a difference as the mineral oil won't allow it, making everything sit on top of the skin making no difference what so ever.
  • Shea Butter. If high up on the ingredient list, this may clog pores as it is too rich. Oily skins, avoid if this is high on the list. Dry skins, this will be suitable for you.
  • Others: Parabens, Silicones, SLS, Sulfates, Colours & Pigments, Fragrances (Parfum).
  • AHA'S & BHA'S: Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid and Fruit Acids. Acids may sound scary however these are the BEST thing for the skin and are ingredients which have made the biggest difference in my skin. They work by exfoliating the skin, basically, they eat away at the top layer of your skin, removing dead skin and allowing new fresh skin to resurface. This benefits oily; dry; normal; blemish and acne prone skins. Salicylic Acid is more specific for blemish-prone skin, aiding to de-congest the skin!
  • Hyaluronic Acid. This little angel retains water within the skin, hydrating it which is something we all need, even the oiliest of us. If a product has Hylauronic Acid it is probably a winner!
  • Fruit Oils. Natural fruit oils are great for all skins. A common misconception is that if we are oily or spotty we must strip. However hydrating the skin with oils helps soothe blemishes and hydrate the skin! Oils are better than heavy creams to hydrate and are great within creams and masks.
  • Others:  Peptides, Ceramides, Retinal, Vitamin C, Tea Tree Oil, Manuka Honey.
Stay tuned for Teen Blemish Prone Skin #2 where I will recommend products to rid you of those blemishes at a reasonable price!

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