08 Jun Boy oh Boy! Your son and his skin.
Tween or teen skincare is mostly initiated by Moms when they see changes on their sons’ skin, be it congestion, oiliness, occasional breakouts or acne. This can be a rollercoaster ride in constant nagging and getting them on board to start using their products on a regular basis. Boys and skincare seem to be like oil and water – they don’t mix well and so we need to find a simple, easy routine to get them going.
Heading into the adolescent years, the testosterone levels (androgens) start to increase in their bodies, leading to an increase in oil production within the skin. The first sign of this may be the appearance of oilier hair and therefore the need to wash their hair more frequently, the start of the dreaded ‘body odor’, an occasional minor skin breakout or the development of blackheads. If you have not yet introduced skincare into their daily routine at this stage, now would be a good time to start.
The best way forward is to keep the daily routine as simple as possible.
A vital first step is a good cleansing routine – and not with body wash or a cake of soap, as this will tend to strip the skin of the essential natural oils and may lead to skin irritation. A mild foaming cleanser that can be used morning and evening such as Environ’s Sebuwash that contains tea tree oil, it gently cleanses while providing a mild anti-bacterial action. This cleanser is gentle enough to use on the skin even if there are no significant breakouts. Other popular cleansers are the Lamelle Clarity Cleanse, Exuviance Purifying Cleanser and Sun Kidz Gentle Gel face wash. The chosen cleanser would depend on the condition of the skin and our therapists can guide you on which would be the best option for your son. For the sporty boys, a gentle cleansing wipe may be used as a quick freshen up – we recommend the Susan Obagi Cleansing wipes.
For regular breakouts, mild acne or congestion in the skin, an introduction of salicylic acid would assist in mildly exfoliating and reducing the ‘blockages’ in the skin. This oil-soluble ingredient can be found in the Susan Obagi Acne wipes or Obagi Pore Therapy. This can be used as often as every evening or a few times a week – all depending on the extent of breakouts. An alternative option is the Environ Sebu-Tone that can be used morning and evening. For spot treatment, the Lamelle Clarity Active Control or Environ Sebu-Spot can be used twice a day on the affected area for the occasional breakouts.
A light-weight moisturizer should preferably be applied morning and evening. Boys don’t necessarily like to apply too many products nor do they like feeling ‘greasy’. Skins that do not show signs of active acne can be introduced to the Environ Debut moisturizer and this product can be doubled as a day and night cream and is safe to introduce on a skin from 6 months old. A mild form of Vitamin A, namely Retinyl Palmitate – the ‘storage form of Vitamin A’ (and does not cause sun sensitivity), assists with oil and water balance within the skin, and also plays a role as a potent anti-oxidant that will prevent damage within the skin. Environ Moisture Gel can be used for oiler skins. The Lamelle Nourish Lite or Cream are good options for more normal skins with no breakouts and are rich in anti-oxidants and DNA repair ingredients. You are winning the battle if they are applying their moisturizer at least once a day however we recommend that you encourage them to try and do this twice a day – just like cleaning their teeth.
For break-out prone or mild acne skins, we recommend the Environ Sebu-Lac Lotion and Sebu-ACE oil – the two products are combined together in their hand and then applied to the skin. These products nourish the skin with Vitamins A, C and E while improving texture and reducing breakouts. The Lamelle Clarity Range consists of an AM (day cream) and PM (night cream) and is suitable for problematic skins by reducing breakouts and inflammation within the skin. Once again, our therapists can guide you on the best option for your son’s skin.
As we know – boys tend to raid the pantry cupboard and are constantly hungry. This often leads to them eating the ‘wrong’ foods due to snacking on junk food and fizzy drinks. Gut health is a vital component of healthy skin and although the odd treat is not a problem, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. For problematic skins, a zinc supplement such as the Lamelle Acnevelle capsules can be taken daily, after food, to further assist with the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory action from within the body. A good comprehensive daily pro-biotic can also be introduced to maintain the healthy flora in the gut.
Last but not least – let us not forget the importance of protecting their skins from the damaging UV rays that they are exposed to each and every day. A good broad-spectrum sunscreen should be applied each morning, come rain or shine, winter and summer and then re-applied if they are out in the sun playing sport. We have many lightweight, non-greasy options that can either be added over the day cream or in some cases be used instead of their morning moisturizer (an option for those less inclined to layer products or for those skins that are not suffering from consistent breakouts).
The Heliocare Water Gel SPF 50, Sun Kidz Sunscreen Spf 50 or Environ Rad Spf15 or Environ Alpha Day Lotion Spf 15 are all well-liked options.
In clinic treatments may further assist with regular cleansing of the skin – our Cleanse and Extract treatment do just that – they deep cleanse, mildly exfoliate and allow us to gently extract congestion and soothe and hydrate the skin with a calming mask, followed by a suitable moisturizer and a sunscreen. This is also an ideal opportunity for us to guide and educate them on a good skincare routine. These treatments can be done as regularly as once a month or as, and when you see the skin is in need of a good cleanse. For the mild acne prone skins, we may suggest gentle peels with intervals of 2-4 weeks. The peels mildly exfoliate, and assist with reducing congestion and breakouts.