Right now, their skin has a cell turnover rate of about 20 to 30 days under normal conditions. That means that old skin cells are being replaced by new, fresh ones roughly every few weeks at this stage of their lives. That cycle will slow down considerably as they age, so as an aesthetician, it is extremely important to take advantage of that quick turnover rate while you still can. By the time these teenagers reach age 50, it can take double or even triple the amount of time for their skin to generate new cells. By starting them on a healthy skin regimen in their teenage years, you are ensuring many years of youthful, radiant skin. As teenagers are starting to learn, anything in life worth having is going to require some work. The same goes for beautiful skin; as an aesthetician, recommend that your teenage clients focus 10 to 20 minutes a day on caring for their face. Impress upon them that there is no time like the present to start those good habits that will lead to great skin, which will reap the benefits for years to come. Educate them to do the three things for themselves that their skin will thank them for in 30, 40, and 50 years: prevent, maintain, and reverse.
Inside Out Just like keeping the body healthy, caring for the skin starts from the inside out. Help teenagers understand that what they put into their bodies is just as important, if not more, than what they put on it, so a healthy diet is key. Water is the skin’s best friend, so encourage them to get plenty, especially if they are very active. Guidelines for exactly how much to drink vary, but a good rule of thumb is that individuals should consume enough water throughout the day that they do not ever feel thirsty. Foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and good fats (think leafy greens, nuts, and avocados) also help to nourish skin and aid in maintaining a supple, glowing look. On the other hand, just as they harm the body, foods high in saturated fat, sugar, and excessive dairy can wreak havoc on the face. Even worse are things everyone should avoid, like tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, which cause skin to age rapidly and cause more trouble in the body and life than they are worth. In addition, caffeine is a dehydrator. It can leave skin dry and deepen the color of dark under-eye circles, making people who consume too much look tired and older.
Outside In Now that we have covered what teenagers should and should not put into their bodies, let us focus on what goes on the body. Since we now know that the first step in any skin care regimen is prevention, the best thing anyone can do for their skin at every stage of life is to protect it from the sun and tanning beds or booths. Exposure should be avoided when the sun is at its strongest, between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If exposure cannot be helped, applying a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 about a half hour before going outside is crucial. Reapplication is also a must after sweating, swimming, or every couple of hours, regardless of whether the bottle says the formula is waterproof. Protective clothing and hats are also recommended, if possible. Overexposure to the sun and tanning bulbs not only causes premature aging and wrinkles, but the Skin Cancer Foundation states that even one sunburn can greatly increase one’s risk of various types of skin cancers. If teenagers end up with a burn, encourage them to use plenty of pure aloe and give their skin an overdose of moisture by amping up water intake and slathering on the cocoa butter.
Teach them the cardinal rule of clean skin to prevent breakouts: Never, ever go to bed with makeup on!
Proper cleansing and moisturizing are also key aspects in preventing premature aging and are at the core of skin care maintenance. It is important to teach teenagers that no two faces are the same and that knowing your own skin is a must. Explain to them that, for dry and sensitive skin, dermatologists recommend avoiding products with the word acid in them, as they can further dry out and irritate the face. Natural, creamy cleansers meant for sensitive skin are best, and should be used morning and night. If teenage skin is extremely sensitive, educate them that cleansing once a day should suffice. Help them choose a moisturizer that is specially formulated for dry or sensitive skin and recommend that they apply after washing and toning. For those teenage clients with oily skin, face washes with acne fighting ingredients and oil-free moisturizers are the way to go, as they will give their skin the hydration it needs without adding excess oils. If all else fails, teach them the cardinal rule of clean skin to prevent breakouts: Never, ever go to bed with makeup on!
Internal and External Stressors Most teenagers’ biggest concern when it comes to their face is acne, which, unfortunately, is most often caused by another thing teenagers have a whole lot of: stress. While there are some factors that may be out of their control, like changing hormone levels and certain environmental factors like indoor lighting, there are steps they can take to minimize the stress on their skin. Talk to them about the importance of taking time for themselves to balance out internal stressors. It is crucial for their well-being, both physically and mentally. Whether it is issues with peers, boyfriends or girlfriends, financial problems, family matters, or a tough upcoming examination at school, internal stress can take a significant toll on teenage skin. While some amount of internal stress is unavoidable, finding healthy ways to manage it will go far in regards to the health of your client’s skin and overall well-being. It may be joining a team or club, talking things out with a school counselor, or just dancing around to a favorite song on repeat to get it out. Whatever the outlet, teaching teenagers to handle stress in a healthy way leads to less breakouts, and less breakouts equals less stress. Ta-da!
Environmental stressors, such as the sun and harsh weather, can do just as much damage as a fight with a best friend or the pressure of earning a perfect report card. Poor air quality can lead to premature aging and more immediate side effects like dryness and redness. Many natural, plant-based ingredients in moisturizers and serums have proven effective in protecting the skin from the perils of the environment, providing teenagers a gentler option rather than adding harsh chemicals to the mix.
Effective Products The most effective products for the long-term health of the skin follow the trend of natural and purely derived botanicals. It may surprise your teenage clients that some of the gentlest ingredients from nature pack as much preventative and corrective power as harsh chemicals, without the undesirable side effects. For red, irritated skin, let them know that they should look for products containing pure botanicals like arnica and marigold flower, which work to calm inflammation and redness. Arnica also possesses antiseptic cleansing properties, making it a multifunctional must-have for your teenage clients with sensitive skin. Temulawak, a member of the ginger family, is a powerful antioxidant, working to fight free radicals in the skin that can cause premature aging. Millet seed is not just for the birds; it boasts powerful properties that aid in both cell metabolism and regeneration. The list goes on; from sanitizing tea tree extract to correcting fennel, natural enzymes are at the forefront of modern skin care research. Educate teenage clients about the benefits of these botanicals. Help your teenage clients understand that harnessing these gifts from Mother Nature is a science in itself. While some manufacturers simply incorporate natural botanicals, finding a brand that extracts the enzymes in a way that preserves potency is essential. CO2 extraction is the latest technology that maintains both the integrity of the ingredients, while being environmentally friendly. Through this method, the extracts are in their purest form and remain preservative free, water free, and highly concentrated. This method excludes oxygen and high temperatures, preserving the valuable plant ingredients for the most significant impact on skin. This extraction process is not only recognized as safe, but is certified for organic products and ensures purity. A healthy helping of botanicals extracted by the CO2 process will deliver superior results and a fresh fragrance. Consult with your teenage clients regarding the proper use of masks for their skin type and offer advice on the best products to use for prevention and maintenance. Help them choose cleansers, moisturizers and even makeup. While a lower price tag may be attractive to teenagers, sub-par ingredients will not give them the results they want. Educate them that many people find that with higher quality products, they use less, making their products (and dollars) last longer. For those teenagers who are guilty of neglecting or even abusing their skin, there is still hope. Start teenage skin off right by helping your teenage clients to invest in quality products with natural ingredients. Help them build time into their schedules to incorporate a balanced skin care regimen and stick to it. Let them know that by remaining disciplined and putting forth the effort, their skin will be clear and radiant.
It is up to each of us to care for the skin we will have for a lifetime, and it is never too soon to start. By taking advantage of this beautiful youthful time, your clients will ensure years of smooth, glowing, healthy skin. All it takes is a little time each day, some worthwhile investments, and a bit of research into what is best for your client’s skin. When you educate teenagers to pamper their faces with natural ingredients extracted with the latest technology, you start them on their lifelong skin care journey on the right track. Looking good is feeling good and having confidence in yourself is something everyone desires. Here is to helping teenagers attain healthy, happy skin!
Dr. Dieter Kuster is the founder of CA BOTANA International. He has developed over 3,000 products for the cosmetics industry including the in-house brands Doctor D. Schwab, Sea Enzyme, and Ambrosia Aromatherapy. One of his breakthrough achievements is the development of the highly acclaimed molecular penetrator Alphasomes®, an advanced delivery system to increase product effectiveness. His other specialties include target-specific enzymes and superior peptide technology. During his 50-plus years of experience, he has authored many articles for magazines and trade publications and is a sought-after lecturer and speaker for the beauty industry on an international level.