You’ve turned around for just a moment, and now your baby isn’t a baby anymore. Puberty is on the horizon, and along with it comes acne.
In fact, some research suggests that the appearance of acne is the first outward indication of puberty in females. Typically, sebaceous (oil) glands in our hair follicles become more active at puberty or during the menstrual cycle, and can easily become clogged with excess oil, dirt, and skin cells.
Although as many as 95 percent of adolescents are affected by acne, there is plenty you can do to keep it under control.
From the inside out
For many reasons, including maintaining a healthy weight and happier moods as well as reducing acne flare ups, it’s important for ‘tweens to keep their blood sugar balanced throughout the day. Be sure they have a high-fiber breakfast that includes a source of protein, along with regular protein snacks and meals throughout the day.
Keep sugar, processed foods, and dairy to a minimum: milk can be a strong promoter of acne. An alternative calcium source is dark green, leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Research also shows that high omega-3 essential fat intake promotes clear skin. If your child doesn’t eat deep-water fatty fish a couple of times a week, be sure to supplement with daily fish oil capsules.
And if you have trouble getting your ‘tween to bed, let him or her know that lack of sleep has been linked to acne flares!
Clean, clear skin
Girls often start to experiment with make-up about the same time that acne appears. To reduce irritation, avoid waterproof products and limit use of cosmetics to natural, non-comedogenic (pore-blocking) products.
Boys and girls must develop good skin hygiene habits, including nightly face washing to remove dirt, sweat, and make-up. Avoid products containing alcohol that can dry skin and trigger more oil production.
Use lukewarm water—never hot or cold—and remember that scrubbing skin can also promote oil production, so encourage kids to be gentle.
To kill bacteria, apply tea tree oil to blemishes. Most importantly, remember that this phase, too, shall pass!