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Best Acne Treatment for Teens in 2018

If there were ever a major design flaw in the universe, it’s the fact that acne hits hardest during our teen years. High school and middle school are already such an emotional roller coaster ride, and throwing acne into the mix just adds to the chaos.

If you’re a teenager and experiencing acne, you’re not alone. Nearly 8 in 10 teens deal with acne, and it’s totally common to feel anxious about your skin during these years.

Why Teens Get Acne So Often

Most teens develop a type of acne called acne vulgaris, which is the most common variety of the condition. This acne gets the most attention when it shows up on your face, but it can also surface on the neck, shoulders, back, or chest. Below are a few common causes.

  • Excess Oil In The Skin

The top cause of teen acne has to do with the hormonal changes you experience during your teen years. When you’re a teen, your body is likely to produce an excess amount of hormones called androgens.

This hormonal shift is normal during your teen years, so it’s nothing to worry about health-wise. The frustrating part, though, is that these hormones can wreak havoc on your complexion. The influx of androgens can cause your skin to produce too much oil, which can clog your pores and lead to pimples.

  • Genetics

If your parents had acne when they were teenagers, you’re more likely to experience it as a teen as well. The good news is that even when acne is genetic, it’s not a life sentence. There are plenty of products from the drugstore or from a dermatologist that can help you manage your acne.

  • Stress

Spoiler alert: stress can contribute to breakouts. When you’re stressed out, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, and that can cause your skin to produce more oil.

Reducing stress in your life probably won’t be as effective as a powerful acne product, but it can certainly help. There’s no doubt that high school is overwhelming, so it’s not like your stress will just melt away overnight. Still, every little bit helps.

Try to find little slices of relaxation wherever you can. Try calming activities like yoga and meditation, and get regular exercise. If you’re able to squeeze more sleep into your schedule, make sure you do!

How Acne Impacts Teens

While the immediate impact of acne is physical, the changes to your daily life can go far deeper than the surface. Researchers have found that acne can make you feel sad, anxious, shy, lonely, or afraid of meeting new people.

It’s true that other students might be mean or even bully classmates with acne, and you might feel tempted to skip trying out for new opportunities because of your skin. Don’t!

Even if you have to force yourself, get out there and try new things in spite of acne. The condition doesn’t have to inhibit your life.

If you start to experience symptoms of depression – sleeping more or less than you used to, changes in appetite, feelings of hopelessness, and lack of joy over activities you used to love – make sure to talk to a doctor.

How Teen Acne Is Different Than Acne In Other Stages Of Life

While teen acne is mainly caused by excess oil, adult acne is usually caused by slowing cell turnover in the skin. Adult acne is usually isolated to a few distinct parts of the face, like the jaw and chin, while teen acne can show up just about anywhere.

The toughest thing about teen acne is that it shows up during such a vulnerable time in life. Puberty is no picnic, so it feels especially unfair to be hit with acne in the middle of it.

Fortunately, there are plenty of trusty products that can swoop in to save the day. Instead of wading through your local drugstore’s overloaded skin care aisle, skip straight ahead to the tried-and-true treatments listed below.

Best Acne Treatment For Teens Who Want Comprehensive Care: Exposed Skincare Ultimate Kit

This nine-piece kit provides every step necessary to both eliminate acne and keep your skin healthy on every level.

Why we like it:

  • Combines Science And Natural Ingredients
  • Includes An Exfoliating Scrub To Help Prevent Future Breakouts
  • Provides Easy-To-Follow Steps With No Guesswork

You might want to choose this one if:

You want to make sure your skincare routine will manage both acne treatment and acne prevention.

This kit includes every aspect of teen skincare – from clarity, to moisturizing, to reducing redness, to acne prevention – in one complete set. All the products work together, and they come with a pre-set application routine so you never have to wonder which order to apply them in. This kit goes beyond the basics with added “extras” for your skin’s overall health, like probiotics and scrubs.

Best Acne Treatment For Teens Who Are Skincare Beginners: Kidskin Three-Step Acne Starter Kit

This kit is a great intro to the basics for teens, tweens, and kids who want to start tackling acne prevention early.

Why we like it:

  • Uses Tea Tree Oil, A Powerful Natural Ingredient
  • Uses Salicylic Acid, A Top Acne-Fighting Ingredient

You might want to choose this one if:

You don’t have a daily skincare routine and want to start one from scratch.

This kit includes a foaming cleanser, a serum, and a moisturizer. The cleanser can help remove any acne-causing oil or bacteria, and the serum is designed to work as a spot treatment to manage existing pimples. The treatment utilizes the bacteria-crushing power of tea tree oil and the acne-blasting effects of salicylic acid to clear up stubborn blemishes. It’s the perfect starter kit to lay the foundation for a lifelong healthy skincare routine.

Best Acne Treatment For Teens With Oily Skin: Neutrogena Rapid Clear Stubborn Acne Facial Cleanser

This cleanser uses some of the most powerful active ingredients available to blast acne in oily skin.

Why we like it:

  • Uses Benzoyl Peroxide, A Powerful Acne Fighting Ingredient
  • Especially Effective On Oily Skin

You might want to choose this one if:

You have oily skin and stubborn pimples.

There’s a reason Neutrogena has remained such a popular skincare brand over the years. This powerful cleanser uses benzoyl peroxide, one of the most common ingredients recommended by dermatologists to help fight acne. The cleanser simultaneously utilizes soothing ingredients to keep the formula gentle enough for most users to apply twice per day. (But be sure to still conduct a small spot test first before using!) This cleanser is a great option for both fighting existing acne and thwarting future breakouts.

Best Acne Treatment For Teens Who Prefer Natural Ingredients: BPT3.1 by Create Cosmetics

This product combines powerful natural ingredients to effectively crush acne with a little help from Mother Nature.

Why we like it:

  • Uses Tea Tree Oil, A Powerful Natural Acne Fighter
  • Uses Benzoyl Peroxide, A Top Acne Fighting Ingredient

You might want to choose this one if:

You’re looking for a nature-based product but don’t want to compromise effectiveness.

This treatment counters the drying effects of benzoyl peroxide with several plant-based ingredients, including tea tree oil, jojoba oil, and macadamia oil. The product also uses shea butter as a non-comedogenic (read: it won’t clog your pores) moisturizer rich in vitamin A and E. It’s a win-win.

Best Acne Treatment For Teens With Sensitive Skin: TreeActiv Acne Eliminating Face Cream

This trendy cream uses natural ingredients to soothe sensitivity while warding off pimples.

Why we like it:

  • Gentle Enough For Sensitive Skin
  • Uses Tea Tree Oil, A Powerful Natural Ingredient

You might want to choose this one if:

You have sensitive skin that doesn’t always mesh well with harsh ingredients.

One of the most powerful ingredients in this cream is tea tree essential oil, which destroys bacteria while cleansing your skin. It’s a great option for banishing acne while keeping your treatment natural. The cream also uses grapeseed essential oil and jojoba oil to soften the skin. Peppermint, spearmint, and lemongrass are mixed in for an extra kick of antibacterial and vitamin infusions. This one is important to spot test before full-on use, as it includes many herbal add-ins that could inflame allergies.

Don’t Forget: You Are More Powerful Than Your Acne

When you’re staring down chronic acne, remember that patience is your most valuable friend. While some treatments can literally make pimples disappear overnight, the reality is that fully managing your breakouts can take some time. That’s okay!

Stay consistent with your treatment and don’t give up. Each day that you follow your treatment routine is one day closer to completely clear skin.

I'm a travel writer, blogger, and copywriter based in New York City. My writing is all about creating cultural connections and celebrating the everyday nuances that make a destination special. I'm also an expert on short-term travel for busy people, because I believe everyone should feel qualified to use the word "weekend" as a verb. I’m passionate about providing readers with clever, actionable, and entertaining ways to make the most of their travels. I was raised by two lifelong adventurers, so the roar of jet engines has always been the soundtrack of my life. I quickly realized that no matter where one wanders, from Rome to Chiang Mai to Omaha, there are countless fascinating stories just beneath the surface that can't be found anywhere else on the planet. Every destination has its own brand of awesome, and I source great content by seeking it out.

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