Best Teenage Skin-Care Products, According to Experts

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Good skin care is essential, even for teens, so developing healthy skin-care habits early is a must. Applying SPF and moisturizer is only the beginning; there are a few more steps to take your beauty routine from good to stellar, but before you start adding just any products to your cart, there are a few dos and don’ts to make note of.

You don’t want to rely on just any old skin-care products. Just because the packaging may look aesthetically pleasing doesn’t mean it’s filled with ingredients for you. During your teenage years, your skin is going through changes, which can make it more sensitive and prone to acne. The last thing you want is to apply a skin-irritating formula that clogs pores, leading to more breakouts.

Determining the best skin-care routine and even the proper order to apply skin care can feel like another homework assignment, but it doesn’t have to be. We spoke with a few dermatologists and an aesthetician to get tips for building a regimen and learn about the best skin-care products for teenagers.

The Best Skin-Care Routine For Teenagers

An endless number of products are within reach, but not all are made equally. This can make shopping for skin care for teens tricky, according to board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD.

“Adolescents often struggle simultaneously with dryness, sensitivity, oiliness, and acne,” Dr. Engelman tells POPSUGAR. “Products designed to clear up acne and excess oil can be too harsh on young, sensitive skin, while products that address dryness can be too occlusive, resulting in clogged pores.”

You’ll also want to keep things simple when it comes to the type of products you apply to your skin and avoid incorporating anything too harsh. So, what does a simple routine consist of? Usually, it is a cleanser, treatment, moisturizer, and SPF.

“Teens do not need to use active ingredients like retinol and acids designed to help with signs of aging like texture, hyperpigmentation, or wrinkles,” says board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology Corey L. Hartman, MD. “The goal of a simple routine is to keep the skin clean and protect against sun exposure.”

It may not seem like it, but the order in which you apply your skin-care products does matter, which is why you should know the proper routine beforehand. This usually involves cleansing, applying a toner, and then finishing with a moisturizer.

“Start with a gentle and hydrating cleanser that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils,” Dr. Engelman says. From there, you’ll want to follow up with an alcohol-free toner, which she says “will hydrate the skin and regulate the skin’s pH levels.”

From there, you’ll want to add a moisturizer rich in ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid. Dr. Engelman notes those will help seal moisture into the skin barrier for long-lasting hydration. “Mixing in a few drops of a face oil is an optional way to add even more moisture,” she says.

If you wear makeup, include a makeup remover in your nighttime regimen, too. And finally, both dermatologists stress that you should wear SPF daily to protect your skin from damaging UV rays.

Best Skin-Care Ingredients For Teens (and Ones to Avoid)

It’s tempting to want to slather on the first thing you come across, but as a teen, your skin doesn’t need too much. “When searching for good teen skin-care products, look for formulas that contain high-quality, noncomedogenic, and gentle yet effective ingredients,” Dr. Engelman says. “Avoid anything that contains harsh, irritating ingredients.”

You should also try to stay away from retinoids unless recommended by a dermatologist, advises Nichelle Temple, an aesthetician and founder of Inderma Studio.

“I would [also] avoid using excessive exfoliants and scrubs, products containing fragrances, and astringent toners with high alcohol content,” she says. “Always patch-test new products and introduce them gradually.”

Best Teenager Skin-Care Products

Ahead, shop the best skin-care products for teens, as selected by the experts themselves.

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