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How to get rid of teen acne?

Monday February 22, 2021

I have been helping teenagers for many years to combat their Acne skin without being treated by medication. Here are 3 case studies of teen boys that have gone on a skincare journey to accomplish clear skin.

The team makes the dream

In all the case studies below, the common reason we have seen such dramatic results is that we have all worked as part of the team; the parent, the teen, and the skin therapist. 

If we are all on the same page and all share the same dedication, then the magic will happen.  

We also need to be mindful that each teen has different skin, so what skincare or treatment is ideal for one is not necessarily suitable for another, and each teen needs to be treated as an individual! So work closely with your skin therapist!

5 Positive advice tips for parents to communicate to teenagers

It is essential to communicate positively with your teen to ensure they do not reduce their skin confidence. Once, I treated a lovely teen girl for problematic skin; the father picked her up, took one look at her skin, and said, "lucky you are not going to a party tonight." However the girl had just been treated to a clarifying facial and many extractions so naturally her skin was slightly red. My heart went out to her because of what he said.

What you could say to your teens are the following:

  1. Let's introduce some superfoods which will improve your skin health.
  2. As your skin is prone to inflammation, try not to touch or pick at it.
  3. Let's put your skincare routine on the bathroom wall/mirror.
  4. Your skin condition is hormonal. You will have good and bad skincare days. Always feel free to come to me if it affects you.
  5. We will speak to a skincare professional who will help reduce the pimples and speed up the healing process.

Tips to help reduce Acne

The following tips are key to helping reduce acne before it gets too inflamed:

  1. Reduce refined sugar dairy, white bread, white rice, and white pasta.
  2. Increased water or cleansing tea intake.
  3. Introducing supplements such as skin tissue salts, zinc, and/or omega3 supplements.
  4. Consume more vegetables or a green superfood powder.
  5. Avoid touching the face or picking spots.
  6. Changing a pillow slip at least twice weekly.
  7. Cleaning skin after physical activity.
  8. Sleep well.

Diet Recommendations

Chiza Westcarr, a skin nutritionist of Glow Skin and Nutrition Consultancy, has developed a 14-day meal plan dedicated to helping clear acne skin for my clients. In this plan, all the food is itemised and clearly laid out.

Please email us at sales@timeoutbeauty to request a copy of this plan.

Inner-Health Recommendations

In addition to improving the diet, I recommend for teens to add the following supplements:

  1. Omega3 supplements, e.g. Miss Vitality Good Oil
  2. Zinc supplements
  3. Schuessler Tissue Salts Comb D - skin disorder (available at chemists and health food shops)
  4. Sugar-free coconut yoghurt 
  5. Bone Broth

Further Resource

Cosmetic chemist, Terri Vinson (owner of Synergie Skin) has a whole chapter in her book Skinformation - A Clean Science Guide to Beautiful Skin, dedicated to acne, blemish and oily skin. This chapter details the different grades of acne, myths, skin routines, nutritional regime, and more.  

Case Study #1: My Son Jack

I see many teens, but this teen, in particular, is very close to my heart; my son Jack. In this case study I can express how I feel from a mother's perspective as well as a skin therapist.

Jack's acne started as stage 1 with blackheads and congestion when he was 14. As Jack's skin is very sensitive, I started him off with a gentle cleanser exfoliator and a light moisturiser. As puberty developed so did his Acne. I remember looking at his skin and having to hold back, saying, your skin is getting worse. Not wanting to make him self-conscious about his appearance. I also wanted to ensure he was aware not to pick his skin, knowing that it could lead to scarring.

Skincare Routine

As Jack is the sort of person that responds well to a structured routine, I started him on the Synergie Blemish Control Kit. This kit has an instruction card that clearly defines when to use all the products. He seemed happy with this and loved the routine.

As all of the Synergie products contain anti-inflammatory ingredients while still having the active ingredients such as Retinol, Vitamin B3, Salicylic acid, thankfully, his skin started to strengthen and look healthier. But that is also due to consistency. Every 2-3 weeks, I did a clarifying and purifying Synergie treatment, and within 6 months, the skin cleared. 

He still gets the odd blemish and skin congestion when he gets a bit lazy, but generally, he is very conscientious, to the point he even takes his products away on holiday or camps with him. I still ensure he eats well, with reduced sugar intake, and he also took Miss Vitality Good Oil as a supplement.

Case Study #2: Liam 16-17.

This is one of the most challenging acnes I had to deal with. As Liam has sensitive skin, we had to be careful about the type of treatment he needed. It was essential to keep Liam's skin super hydrated, so it responded well to the products and treatment and functions properly. There was a bit of trial and error, but we definitely got there in the end. Also, Liam's acne was very active; therefore, commitment and dedication were paramount.

Routine for Sensitive skin with Inflamed Acne



This skincare routine and products helped strengthen Liam's skin, rehydrate, regulate the skin, and reduce bad bacteria accumulation. So, all in all, allowing the skin to be at optimum skin health. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we had to rely totally on products, which was a good thing as they gave the skin a chance to function properly so that the salon treatments could respond well when we reopened. Regular monitoring by Video consultation during lockdown ensured good progress was maintained.

Salon Skin Treatment

In the salon we really need to address the inflammation and stop the spread of bad bacteria.

Liam had 12 Dermalux LED treatments using Blue Light to help energise the skin cell, reduce the P-Acne (bad bacteria), and re-oxygenate the skin; combined with Neo Infrared, which works to reduce inflammation. Blue light works very superficially, and this light needs to be very specific at 415 nanometres to target the skin cell. Neo Infrared penetrates through the dermis to reduce inflammation and helps to heal the skin.

The treatment had to be performed once or twice a week. But through this commitment, we started to see results. Also, before the LED, a thorough cleanse was performed with the SC Resurfacing Peel. After the Dermalux LED, we did some high frequency to boost the reduction of the blemishes.

I love LED because it is not invasive, and Liam did not have any trauma, and he could calmly listen to his engineering podcasts during treatment and even drift off to sleep!

By week 7 we started to see good results appear.  

Liam still comes in for maintenance treatment, and we will soon be focusing on reducing the scaring. We are all delighted with the results.

Case Study #3: Adam - 15

I first met Adam when he was 15, when his acne started to flare up. Acne is in his genes, and his mother and cousins have also suffered in the past. Unfortunately, the decongesting facials were not enough to get Adam's skin under control.

Adam worked at McDonald's, so the atmosphere of heat, oil, and sweat was the perfect breeding ground for Acne. His skin was very oily and typical for a teenage boy. However, the advantage of oily skin is that the skin barrier seems stronger, so a Peels' course would be ideal.

Skin Peels to help active Acne

I decided to do a course of Aspect Jungle Brew Peels, and then in some later treatments, I combined it with Aspect Retinol Brulee peels. The Jungle Brew peel is Salicylic based, an oil-loving acid, and mops up excess oil while being anti-inflammatory. Whereas the Retinol Brulee will help to regulate the skin and improve the skin's functionality. 

Before I do any peels, we needed to prepare the skin first at least 2 weeks before treatment with

These 4 essential serums prevent adverse skin reactions to the peel, such as pigmentation, red and irritated skin.

Adam has an Italian background and has skin that can pigment easily. I needed to prevent the skin from PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). After each peel, Adam had a gentle post-care product to ensure the skin was not overstimulated with active ingredients. The skin barrier remained strong to heal and repair properly. It all may sound pretty intense, but let me assure you if these peels are performed and prepped correctly, then the results are excellent.

The treatment took around a year to get the desired results, which may seem like a long time, but the slow and steady approach is long-lasting and after the sixth peel we could see the skin improved. The peels were performed every 3-4 weeks and occasionally, instead of a peel, I did a deep cleansing facial to control the underlying congestion and blackheads. Yet again, outstanding results due to commitment from all parties.

Do teens need a Dermatologist?

Each of these teens embarked on a different skin journey to suit their skin and lifestyle needs. What if you think your teen needs to see a dermatologist? I am not opposed to this, however, it is not the pathway I wanted to take for Jack as my priority for him was his gut health, and let's face it I can easily monitor his diet.

If the Acne is getting out of control, or if the teen needs to get a quick solution to prevent self-consciousness, or prevent excessive scarring, then seeing a recommended dermatologist can assist. Please also note if you go down the dermatologist route, you can still see a skin therapist to keep the skin healthy and strong.

When a teen achieves such good results from their skin journey, then they are likely to be mindful of good skincare habits as they enter adulthood.

Problematic skin in teens is not always a quick fix. It can take months and even a few years to get the skin to such a healthy state that the inflammation and blemishes have reduced significantly, and the skin is functioning properly. However, it is the most satisfying experience when we get results and uplifting to see a teen regain confidence.



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©2021 Time Out Beauty Pty Ltd
ABN 93 168 108 825