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Skin Care for Parents - How to Help Your Teen with Their Acne

Posted by Nikki Wisher on Sep 26th 2023

Skin Care for Parents - How to Help Your Teen with Their Acne

As a parent, you want only the best for your child, so it’s hard to watch your teen struggle with acne. As common as acne is in the teenage years, it can make anyone feel self-conscious at a time when their appearance means so much to them.

So what can you do to help? It can be a tricky balance because only your teen can wash their face and manage their acne care, but there are plenty of ways you can help without stepping on their toes.

Try a Pre-Assembled Acne Care Routine

Chances are that you’re the one bankrolling your teen’s acne needs, so it’s important to work with them to find the best products for their skin. It can help to try a pre-assembled acne care kit like the Jan Marini Clear Skin Bundle.

A kit like this has a full skin care routine for your teen with products that are curated to work well together; all your teenager has to do is use it as directed. Rather than trying to piece together a lineup of products on your own, a pre-designed skin care routine gives you an excellent starting point. If it isn’t getting the results your teen wants, you can swap out products one by one to find the right combination.

Pay Attention to What Touches Your Teen’s Face

Adolescent acne, at its core, is caused by high oil production because of the natural hormonal changes during this time of life. You can’t do much about those hormones, but there are other contributing factors you and your teen can control. One of those is the amount of debris and bacteria that makes its way onto their face, because the extra oil will allow acne-causing bacteria to thrive.

To minimize this issue, think about items that touch your teen’s face most often and make a habit of washing them frequently. That could involve their pillowcase, makeup brushes, phone, gaming headset, and so on.

Lead by Example

In your teenager’s world, spending time every morning and night on skin care doesn’t exactly seem exciting. You can help with their motivation by setting a good example and being consistent with your own skin care. As they see you valuing your skin health and investing time in healthy habits, they’re more likely to do the same.

Buy Acne-Friendly Makeup

As much as your teen might love to create their favorite daily look with makeup or explore the endless world of makeup tutorials, that makeup can contribute to their acne. Some makeup products clog pores or otherwise make acne worse.

There are, though, makeup products that are designed to be acne-friendly. Consider the Jane Iredale Disappear Full Coverage Concealer, for example. The concealer helps to cover breakouts but it also soothes them and eases inflammation from acne so your teen’s makeup will be helping their acne instead of hurting it.

Make a Habit of Checking In

You want to help your teenager with their acne as much as possible, but for teenagers, it’s important to feel like they still have control, not that their parent is dictating to them. Make it clear to your teen that you’re their teammate in their acne care, rather than you making a plan that they have to follow. As part of this, make a habit of having routine check-ins with them – perhaps once a month or so. Ask them how they’re feeling about their skin care, what they’re struggling with, what changes they might want to make, and so on.

Consult a Dermatologist for Guidance

Most people with acne try to treat their acne on their own with over-the-counter products, and in many cases, that works. But if your teen’s acne is persistent and nothing seems to be working, it may be time to get a doctor involved.

Acne can be tricky because there are so many different factors and causes that may be contributing to it. A dermatologist will be able to examine your teen’s acne and find out the primary causes, creating a custom treatment plan to address those causes directly.

Keep the Reminders to a Minimum

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to help your child feel their best, but if you go about helping them the wrong way, it can backfire. If you ask or remind your teen about their skin care too often, it will feel to them as if you’re nagging them, and their natural instinct as a budding adult will be to protect their independence by resisting you.

Try to keep the reminders to a minimum – maybe once every few weeks instead of every day. It often works better to give them tools that let them track and manage their progress on their own, like a daily checklist that they maintain on their own.

Pay Attention to Your Teen’s Mental Health

The relationship between acne and mental health is twofold. First, acne can have a serious impact on a teenager’s mental health. Their brain chemistry at this age makes them strongly value their peers’ opinions, so it’s particularly painful for them to have a skin condition that makes them self-conscious. Second, mental health can actually impact acne because stress can make acne worse. Keeping watch over your teen’s mental health is an important part of acne care.

Helping Your Teen Get Healthier, Clearer Skin


Acne is such a common problem that most people don’t view it as a big deal, but to a teenager who feels self-conscious on a daily basis, it’s a very big deal. With the tips above, you can help your teen work toward healthy, beautiful skin that will give them back their confidence.