Yuck! What’s happening to my skin?
Spots are a frustrating fact of teenage life (like your period and feeling emotional), but don’t feel too down...very few girls escape their teen years spot-free so you’re not alone. The good news is you can help your skin throughout this tricky phase by giving it lots of TLC.
Why do I get spots?
During puberty, the oil glands in your skin go into overdrive and produce excess amounts of a greasy substance called sebum. If the skin pores become blocked by dead skin cells or dirt, the flow of sebum is obstructed and bacteria can develop. Which causes spots.
What's acne and what causes it?
Acne is a more serious condition of spots and can be a real confidence basher. But it’s not forever...it usually clears up after puberty. A few factors can cause acne, including:
• Those hormones again! Androgen hormones become active in both sexes during adolescence and stimulate the sebaceous glands of your skin. That means more oil gets produced, which clogs pores and gives you pimples or blackheads.
• Stress and your period. That’s not to say either stress or your period will cause acne (they won’t), but may well aggravate it.
• Medication. Acne is a side effect of some drugs including certain seizure medications and steroids.
There are several myths about what causes acne:
Food. There’s no evidence that acne is caused by what you eat. But eating a balanced diet is good for your general health so aim to eat as healthily as possible.
Bad hygiene. Acne is not caused by bad personal hygiene. You may get it no matter how much you clean your skin. In fact, too much cleaning can make the condition worse by removing the protective oils in your skin.
Makeup. There is no evidence that makeup causes acne. Hurrah! However, touching your skin less means fewer bacteria will be spread. So if you wear makeup, wash your hands before putting your it on and always take it off before going to bed.
5 steps to clearer skin
Want to get rid of spots? Of course you do. Try these five steps and maximise your chances of clear skin:
1. Get into a routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising...do it twice a day.
2. Use specialist face washes or mild cleansers.
3. Look after your general health. Drink loads of water and eat healthily.
4. Don’t squeeze, pick or pop your spots. It’ll only make them worse.
5. Be patient ...spots don’t disappear overnight.