Teenagers around the globe, no matter their family's status, class or culture, have battled acne for millennia.
And teens on Guam today are no exception.
But there are an overwhelming variety of products to choose from that make creating an arsenal and strategy to win the battle against blemishes a difficult one.
Dermatologists and the trial-and-error approach
Anica Camacho and Nicholas Carrizales have been through the difficult journey of finding a perfect skin care routine that works for them.
Camacho, a sophomore at Academy of Our Lady of Guam, said eczema has made her journey tough.
“It’s a big problem on Guam and many are unaware of it,” she said, talking about eczema. About 40% of Americans have been diagnosed with some form and degree of eczema. And according to NationalEczema.org, atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema, can be a particular challenge for teens who are going through the stress of growing up. For Camacho, the smartest move was consulting a dermatologist and finding the right product that would become the center of her skin care routine. She was prescribed Hydrocortisone and the dermatologist told her how much to use and how often she has to use it for her particular case.
Nicholas Carrizales, a sophomore at Father Duenas Memorial School, honed his skin care routine with the help of YouTube and family. But to find the routine that was right for him took a lot of trial and error.
“I found the ones I liked the best," he said.
It took time to find the products that worked for his skin type, but watching YouTube videos helped him choose the right products.
Time and money
There are also teens who choose to not have a skin care routine, such as Matua Salas and Sera-Kayte Ly.
Salas, a junior at George Washington High School, just can’t seem to fit in a skin care routine into his packed schedule of homework and plays.
Ly, a sophomore at Academy of Our Lady of Guam, doesn’t have a skin care routine because she finds that those products are too expensive.
“I also have eczema and I realized it would take me awhile to find a good product suitable for me to use, which also includes a lot of money, and I did not want to waste any product,” she said. She said she has tried micellar water, but it didn’t work well with her skin so she stopped using it. She hasn’t tried another product since.
Peer advice for first-timers
Camacho and Carrizales have had their fair share of bumps along the road to a routine suitable for them. The AOLG sophomore advises others to keep it simple by sticking to one product at a time and not using many at once.
They also warn teens not to do too much. For example, overwashing your face can also become a problem. Washing too often can leave your skin dry. Additionally, certain cleansers can be too harsh for your skin and can leave it dry or result in reddish patches on your face.
Genetics also plays a role in good skin. And it's important that anyone with good skin not ruin it with unnecessary products. Sometimes the best skin care is simple soap and water when you shower.
Carrizales also urges others to consult with professionals to find your skin type before creating your routine. Knowing your skin type can help you find the right type of products, which can save you money because you're not spending on the wrong stuff.
A professional view
Winda Espulgar, a beautician with 19 years of experience in the cosmetics industry and currently working at Lancôme in Macy’s, said at least 20% of her customers are teens who want to buy makeup to enhance their youthful looks.
Espulgar said teens should start with a healthy skin and appropriate skin care routine. She notes that makeup is a personal preference but what you use and how much of it can impact your skin. Espulgar has provided some tips to keep in mind when purchasing makeup and other beauty products.
• Use hypoallergenic products, which have ingredients that are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
• Sample products before buying them. If possible, ask the consultant available to try the product to see if it works well with you skin type.
• Consult a professional before buying products for a skin care routine. Consultants at the cosmetic booths can share their knowledge about what products should be used for specific types of skin and skin tones.
Basic skin care
Here are the top skin tips for teen skin care from Everyday Health:
• If you have acne problems and don't know what to do, start with talking to your doctor to avoid costly products that may just harm your skin.
• Cleanse carefully. If your skin is oily, you'll probably do well with a foaming or gel cleanser for daily skin care. Cleanse once a day, or twice if your skin gets very oily or dirty throughout the day.
• Wash off makeup before bed. Jessica Wu, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Los Angeles who specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology, said sleeping in makeup can lead to acne breakout or even rash called perioral or periocular dermatitis.
• Exfoliate. You need to exfoliate only once or twice a week, using a relatively gentle product.
• Get the right acne products. If you have breakouts, try this approach: Wash your skin, use a toner, and then apply a medicated acne gel.
• Don't share makeup.
• Wash your hands before you touch your face and regularly clean other surfaces that touch your skin, such as your phone.
• Wear sunblock or sunscreen to protect your skin from the harsh sun, which will help keep your skin healthy today and for years to come.
• Hydrate. Another crucial component of great skin care is to drink water. According to altilisbeauty.com, having an adequately hydrated face will help to improve skin elasticity which will reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Additionally, hydrated skin also helps to combat oiliness. Dehydrated skin produces more oil because it is compensating for a lack of moisture.