By Sam, Teen Beauty Expert
Sam is 14-years old, lives near Atlanta, Georgia with her mom and two (of three!) older brothers. She was born and raised in Georgia, but her family originally hailed from Illinois. You will find her busy meeting new people and enjoying teen soap operas/dramas (like Vampire Diaries)–and of course, she’s madly in love with all things beauty. When she’s not playing around with makeup, you’ll find her with headphones on listening to everything; from classical to rap, pop to heavy metal, and almost everything in between (though she favors rock!).
Sam’s Teenage Acne Must-Haves
Almost every teenager goes through breakouts and even some adults still deal with it. It happens. And it sucks. I could go on and on about how frustrating it is to wake up with a surprise on my face, but you probably already know how that goes!
A little history on my experience with acne: I had my very first breakout when I was around ten-years old. I’ve never heard of anyone breaking out as young as me, even though they were far and few in between. I was around twelve when I started getting worried about my skin. My breakouts were on the moderate side but becoming more frequent. I would drag my mom to Walmart or CVS to buy a new cleanser every few weeks. I literally tried everything I could buy at the drugstore. Usually the product would work fine for about two weeks, give or take, but then my skin would tolerate whatever I was using, and just like that I was back to square one.
I’m almost fifteen and I’m still struggling to keep my skin tame, but from trial and error, I have learned a few things that I want to pass on to readers, teenagers or not, who relate. I really wish I had some “before” pictures, but either the camera washed me out or it was taken too far away and you couldn’t see it at all!
Stay Confident No Matter What
Self-confidence isn’t a product you can buy at the store or a topical treatment you apply to your face or a prescription a dermatologist can give you. It comes from with in, and trust me, it helps!
I’ve shed my fair share of tears over my skin and that’s totally fine! Acne can really take a toll on one’s self esteem, if they allow it. Sure, sometimes it may seem like you’re the only one among your friends who’s breaking out. But you’re not alone in this! I’ve watched all three of my older brothers go through it, and now it’s my turn.
Staying positive is key! Look in the mirror and list a few things you love about yourself. You’ll feel better instantly and having a good attitude will make a world of a difference! If you focus on the negative, you’re only battling yourself and nobody wins. That isn’t worth the time or energy, now is it? Remember that having acne isn’t the end of the world!
Check out three products Sam uses to help with her acne!
My holy grail acne/skincare product would have to be my Clarisonic Mia ($119.00). It has changed my life as well as my view point on traditional skincare. Mia is a one-speed face cleansing gadget. There are interchangeable brush heads for different skin types, and the bristles vibrate and rotate to rid your skin of dead cells and deliver a much deeper clean. It also helps boost the absorbency of post-cleansing products (such as moisturizer) making them more effective. The charger is a neat little magnet rather than a plug, which makes Clarisonic waterproof so you can also use it in the shower. The $119 price tag may seem a little steep to some, but I can’t express enough how much it is worth it!
I use my Mia at least once a day, twice if I remember, with my Benefit Foamingly Clean Face Wash. Just how fresh my skin feels after is worth the money itself. I could see a difference in my complexion’s radiance and cleanliness after the first use. After one day (two uses), my skin was already noticeably softer and brighter than usual. About a week of use, my complexion evened out significantly and the redness from my (current and past) breakouts were subtly vanishing.
Two weeks into use, I noted that when a pimple or two did show up it wasn’t like my typical acne type. Normally my skin would get flaky and red near my breakout zone, but now if there is a pimple underneath the surface, I can feel it before I see it–cystic acne. Experiencing a breakout with Clarisonic is normal and expected, though. I believe it’s just bringing all of that dirt, oil, and toxins to the surface. After giving it some thought, I think the cystic zits are a small price to pay compared to the decrease in amount I breakout. Breakouts aren’t as visible as they used to be, and I haven’t scarred once since using my Mia. Has it eliminated acne completely? No, but it has shed some light into my skincare regimen.
After a few months, the results in using my Clarisonic were almost unbelievable. I still have some scarring that needs a little extra TLC, my skin is smooth to the touch and major breakouts are merely a thing of the past. I can recommend this tool to anyone, regardless of skin-type or age, with complete confidence! I’ve never been one to share my skincare products – or really any products – with my brothers (too much money + too many people + too little amount = a rather quickly diminished product), but I actually felt this was too good to pass up and encouraged them to try it for themselves! If I can pry it out of one of my brothers, I’ll definitely provide some information on how their skin has reacted.
My favorite moisturizer is Josie Maran Argan Oil ($48.00), as mentioned in my must-haves list. I only need a minimal amount, and since using my Mia, I cut down from three drops to one! It sinks into my skin quickly, which always makes or breaks a moisturizer for me. The reason I love it most is because it has made a huge difference in my acne scars. I don’t think I breakout as much as it looks like I do. The deepest and most red “pimples” on my face are actually scars from past breakouts. A few days after I switched to this moisturizer, one of the first things my mom mentioned in the morning was how great my skin looked.
I feel this moisturizer is universal enough for several skin types to get away with using. Both the oily and dry areas of my face have benefited from it. I don’t feel like I have applied a thick lotion to my face. Instead, my skin feels hydrated. I don’t think I would recommend this to people with skin that’s super oily; and somebody with skin on the more dry side may want a little extra hydration. It is a great addition to my skincare routine. I also like to mix it with other products such as a thicker moisturizer for my evening routine.
I will admit that I was nervous about spending $14 on a small vile of oil (0.5 oz.) since I’m a teenage–my budget doesn’t have much breathing room! I’ve been applying this religiously for three months and so far about two thirds is gone. I’d say it gets my value stamp of approval, and it’s money well spent.
Biore Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips ($7.49) have worked for me in the past and are still a favorite of mine to use occasionally. They are easy to use and clear out most of the gunk on/around my nose. But why should I pay almost seven and a half dollars for six strips?! Ridiculous! My solution was to start using a well-known flavorless gelatin + milk recipe. The recipe is: 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin + 1 tablespoon of milk; mix, then cook in the microwave for ten seconds and mix again, and then apply as much as needed. It’s much more cost-friendly and just as effective, if you can get past a few of the cons: the smell is awful (and I haven’t found a way to get rid of it) and the consistency is thick and gel-like, which may be different from other products (like the strips). My skin felt soft and almost moisturized after I peeled off the rubber-like mask. I don’t get that result with the ones you can buy from the store. Overall, I recommend trying one of these if you get those annoying little black dots on your nose and can’t seem get rid of them.
That’s everything I can think of that’s changed the life of my skincare routine. Let me know in the comments any useful tips/tricks you have to send acne packing!