6 Natural Ways to Prevent Teen Acne

Having a pimply teenager moping around the house, obsessing over each new zit they see in the mirror might almost seem like a rite of passage for moms. And dermatologists agree that these kids definitely have a LOT of company. "Teen acne affects about 85 percent of all teens, so it's a very common problem," says Susan Stuart, MD, a dermatologist in San Diego. And since hormonal changes are to blame for these breakouts, many moms might assume there's not much they can do to help. On the contrary! While it's impossible to keep the occasional pimple from rearing its head, there are plenty of things parents can do to ward off perpetual pizza face.

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6 natural tips to prevent acneHere are 6 things dermatologists recommend you try to help your teen curb breakouts:

  1. Watch your teen's diet. "Certain diets may trigger acne -- in particular, diets high in dairy and carbohydrates," says Fayne Frey, MD, a dermatologist at West Nyack, New York. Instead, encourage your kids to eat a healthy diet rich with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and carbohydrates from low glycemic-index foods like whole grains, beans, and vegetables. Limit high-glycemic index carbohydrates like white pasta, bread, cakes, and cookies.
  2. Make sure they get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation has been shown in several studies to increase stress and may exacerbate acne.

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  3. Encourage exercise. Moderate exercise might minimize acne formation. Just be sure to hit the showers after heavy sweating to remove the excess oil.
  4. Make sure they don't keep their face too clean. Yes, regular face washing is good, but you can go overboard. "Frequent facial washing can remove the lipids and proteins that maintain a healthy skin barrier," says Dr. Frey. And this can cause even more acne -- the very thing your kids are trying to avoid. Vicious cycle ensues.
  5. Make them moisturize. To restore some of the moisture they may lose from harsh soaps, teens should apply a fragrance-free, oil-free moisturizer to their face after washing. "Pick a moisturizer that is 'non-comedogenic,' which means it doesn't block the skin pores and avoids causing whiteheads and blackheads," says Stuart.
  6. Tell them: Hands off! Many teens have a nervous habit of frequently touching their face -- particularly if they're poking at pimples. Only guess what? The bacteria on their hands mixes with the skin on their face and produces -- you got it -- MORE pimples. So encourage your kids to kick this habit.

Have you found a natural way to prevent acne in teens?

 

Image © Sverre Haugland/Image Source/Corbis

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