How young do we start?

Is it ever too early to get in the habit of washing our face? To introduce tweens and teens to skin care is a necessary and dire for their skin care success and their self-esteem. Teenagers are just learning to care for their appearance as they struggle to develop their identity. Education is the key to capturing these clients and making significant skincare changes.   

Proper skin care is as much an essential part of a young person’s education as proper diet and lifestyle habits. Adequate skin care also needs to be introduced at a young age. Young people do not have to, and should not, wait for acne to appear to start practicing good skin care habits.

It may take a shift in ideology to believe that a child as early as eight years old needs to start practicing good skin care to prevent acne and other skin problems. Research is finding that hormonal changes leading to puberty, and the subsequent onset of hormonal skin changes leading to acne, are happening far earlier than was imagined. The Medical Journal of Pediatrics recently cited that acne is very common in children ages 7-12. According to physicians, this is the result of an earlier onset of adrenarche, the process in which adrenal or hormonal glands first start to kick into adulthood.

Teen Skin Enemy #1- Acne.

As skin care professionals, one of the most rewarding jobs we do is help our teenage clients win the epic battles against acne.  The first thing that usually comes to mind when thinking about teenage skin care is acne treatments. A teenager will usually make their first visit to a spa in a state of crisis and are visibly and physically uncomfortable. The impact of severe skin problems at an early age can significantly lower self-esteem at a time when teenagers are emotionally and psychologically vulnerable.

Although not every teenager will suffer from acne, it often rears its ugly head during puberty when there is an increase in the androgen hormones. With the approach of puberty, most teenagers become self-conscience of their appearance, and the onset of acne comes with changing hormone levels. As a skin care professional, approach the teenage client with sensitivity towards their concerns.

When treating acne, the skin care professional should consider multiple factors such as heredity, digestive health, immune health and hormones, as well as lifestyle factors such as diet, cosmetics, inflammation, and stress. Addressing internal factors are just as important to consider as the external condition of the skin.

Benefits of Teen Facials- What to tell the Parents.

There are many benefits of facials, but for teens, facials will help clean out white heads and blackheads and clogged pores caused by oil production. It takes a professional esthetician to properly prepare and soften the skin before manual extractions can take place in a safe and effective way. Every time they squeeze a pimple, they are risking acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. Regular, professional extractions will help keep the skin clear and prevent long-term damage that may be caused at home.

Part of getting a facial is receiving a lesson from experts on how to problem solve and care for the skin properly. Shopping at beauty stores is not the way to buy skincare.  The associates working there are not skin experts or estheticians.  They don’t know what anything about skin type is or what products would be beneficial.  It’s a gamble taking the cashiers advice about skincare. A knowledgeable, licensed esthetician will provide personalized skin recommendations and information which includes which products will work best for each person based on his or her skin type and specific skin concerns.  They will also educate the client on how to care for his or her skin at home.

Estheticians have better tools and equipment that will enhance the facial and create healthier skin.  We utilize steam, high frequency, exfoliating tools, LED light therapy, Gua Sha, and other modalities that will assist in making the skin as healthy as possible. Each modality is different but utilized in the facial will decreases inflammation, bacteria, and healing time while increasing circulation, lymph drainage, and cell growth.

Making sure the goals for the client are attainable is a big task.  The parents and teen need to understand that clear skin doesn’t come from just one treatment, especially with acne.  It’s an ongoing battle sometimes during the teen years.  To get the best results, they have to commit to a series of acne facials and to a home care regime.

Home Care for Teens- What to tell the Teens.

To a tween or teen, an esthetician is a skin coach.  A coach is someone there to teach lessons, give tips on how to do better at the game and explain strategies on how to make the game stronger. 

Teach them to avoid things that can cause acne, such as touching their faces. Also advise them that talking on the phone can spread bacteria as well. Most teenagers have cell phones these days, and they can carry a wealth of bacteria. Advise them to hold their phones off their faces and to keep them clean.  Also teach them the importance of a healthy diet, which is important for beautiful skin at any age.  The importance of what we put in our bodies greatly influences how healthy our skin looks and feels. A lot of processed and boxed foods that are readily available for teens these days are the culprit to escalating certain types of acne.  Knowing to stay away from certain foods and to drink more water are helpful hints that can make a big difference for clear skin.

Make sure that the teen clients receive complete and simple instructions for their home care regimen and when they should be needing refills for products.  Write steps down or have a card with instructions is the best bet for them.  Even texting the instructions would be beneficial so they can save the info in their phones.

In the treatment room.

The professional’s first consideration should be to make the teenage client feel comfortable.  Always be professional and respectful.  Teenagers respect when they are treated and talked to like adults. Always provide a thorough explanation in simple terms so that they can easily understand what is being performed on their skin. Remember that when dealing with teenagers, it is important to incorporate a fun element into the mix. Encourage selfies and social media usage during the treatment or offer to take pictures of them with a face mask on. This motion also creates that feeling of comfort and ease that teenagers can appreciate. It can even be a way to give the business a little attention on social media.