Best Acne Treatment for Teens? – With Photos

Teen Girl with AcneToday we will be looking at teen acne and what is the best acne treatment for teens. We have to take into account skin tone and type as well as the type of acne you have. There are 5 main types of acne and you may have more than one type. So what treatment will combat any type(s) of acne you may have plus is it effective against dry or oily skin and dark or lighter complexions.

Dark Skin Acne

The Best Way to Treat Acne in Teens

Clean your skin gently.

Don’t get all vigorous with it, this may actually make things worse. Use only your fingertips (no nails) or a soft washcloth. Clean all the areas, initially don’t go near break out areas, you can save this for last as you don’t want to spread any of the bacteria. When you have done all the areas on your face ( and if need be other parts of your body) then move onto the breakout areas. If you are a sporty type a double wash at night is a good idea, clean, rinse and repeat.

Use a Toner or Astringent

This helps remove excess oils and helps tone and hydrate the skin and depending on the ingredients it can help on blackheads and acne. Apply the product on a cotton ball or pad and gently smooth all over the face (and any other areas) and neck to help remove the last bits of cleanser and oil.

You do have to be a little bit careful of your skin type as you don’t want to dry out your skin too much or if you have oily skin you want it to be effective. It may be best to try to avoid products with too much alcohol ( do not drink it!!).

This step can be missed if you find it’s creating too much havoc with your skin but with the products we recommend it should be fine.

Apply Acne Treatment

After the toner has dried completely or after your face is completely clean and dry – don’t get vigorous with drying, patting the skin is better than rubbing it like crazy. Smooth on your acne treatment as directed. Let the treatment absorb or dry completely before going to the next step.

Apply an Oil Free Moisturizer or Gel

Before you say I’m crazy – you wouldn’t be the first though. It may seem like adding a moisturizer to already oily skin is counter-intuitive but this is an important step so please don’t skip it. Acne treatments can dry out the skin, so to reduce dry and peeling skin apply this twice a day.

Your moisturizer shouldn’t leave your skin feeling slick and greasy, good treatments are easily absorbed by the skin and won’t aggravate acne.

If you want to treat your acne there are two main products we recommend;

Exposed Skin Care – This company has been around for years and is dedicated to helping teens get rid of acne. They have thousands of happy customers with all types of skin and pigments. Their money back guarantee is second to none but you probably won’t need it as they have a 98% success rate. They have 3 kits available and the middle kit, which is the Expanded Kit and this has all the products you need to get on top of your acne.

The other is, Project E Beauty they have a range of both products and lights. They have also been around for years and we came across them when we were looking for lights for our girls. There is a link below which takes you to an article on light treatment. This is not just a light company, this is a company that is based around about skin care and has done a lot of development on their range of lights.

In case you don’t know too much about light therapy and you don’t want to read a whole article here is a quick overview of blue light treatment.

Blue Light Treatment

The wavelength of blue light has an antimicrobial effect, making it effective at killing several types of bacteria especially the

Propionibacterium acnes, or P acne that can collect in your pores and oil glands and cause breakouts. Using blue light eliminates the bacteria found in the oil glands on your skin. If you add in infrared light (heat) which is common with in home devices then this causes the oil glands to shrink in size as well. The result is less oil in the skin and less bacteria, leading to a noticeable reduction of acne in the treated areas.

There have been many studies conducted with blue light and the reduction in acne and in all the cases I have seen they have all been positive. Generally, it does take a few weeks’ treatment but please do not overdo this sort of treatment and follow the manufacturers recommendations. As an average from the studies I have read, people with acne who were treated with blue light therapy for four to six weeks’ saw an improvement in 70% percent plus of cases.

Keep it Up

So this is three or four steps, a couple of songs long in the morning and evening – or whatever you choose to do to offset the time.

It will take a bit of money but if it will help your skin and self-esteem and it is worth it.

A couple of other things that I have been asked. What about blue light treatment? This does help but you don’t want to swap out all the above steps for this. Blue light is more like another step you can do but not a substitution for the above. The link above will take you to an article on light treatment.

The other thing is about sun protection, with or without acne this is hugely important. With acne, a lot of the treatments you use may make your skin more susceptible to sun damage, it’s no good to get rid of acne but look 90 when you are 29, 39 or 49!!! It’s not that bad but be aware that sun damage is a possibility. A lot of moisturizers do contain a SPF factor, if yours doesn’t then look for a sunscreen for the face as these tend to be less oily and perfumed.

Probably the questions you may want to ask your self would be;

  • Are my pimples bothering me?
  • Do I hesitate before going out because of my acne?
  • Is my self-esteem lowered because of my acne?
  • Do I get teased because of my pimples?
  • Do I want clear skin (face and other areas)?

The five main types of acne are – A more in depth article with photos is available here.

Comedonal Acne

These are noninflammatory spots which include Blackheads and Whiteheads and they are usually caused by your skin pores being blocked from such things as dirt, oils and dead skin cells. These are the most common form and we are all likely to get them at some stage in our lives.

Whiteheads and Blackheads are very similar, the only difference being that whiteheads have skin covering them, Blackheads don’t and are referred to as “open comedones,” they are created from the blocked oil in your skin becoming oxidized by air and this turns them black.

Both Blackheads and Whiteheads are different from pustules as they don’t contain pus and cannot spread to other parts of the face.

They can be treated with salicylic acids, face scrubs and general upkeep of facial hygiene.

Inflammatory Acne

These Papules are small red bumps that often appear as clusters on the skin. They are caused by blocked pores mixing with bacteria and create inflamed lesions in the surrounding skin tissue.

For papules and other inflammatory acne, generally, the most effective treatment is benzoyl peroxide which kills the bacteria.

Pustular Acne

This is your typical “pimple” or “zit,” this type of acne looks large and red with a white or yellow core. The core contains pus from bacteria and it can spread if you pick at them, this can lead to further breakouts on other parts of the skin. They can be quite tender to the touch but can go away on their own.

The process can be sped up with the application of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid which kill the bacteria and draw out the excess oils.

Cystic Acne

One of the most severe forms of acne is cystic acne. Cysts are large and painful pimples without heads. They are caused by oil and bacteria being trapped under the surface of the skin and often appear on the chin or jaw. Do not pop or pick these pimples because it can lead to further breakout and scarring.


Nodules are painful and hard lumps and lie deep within the body, they have no heads or visible centers. They are caused by clogged pores which can then cause damage to the tissues and cells deep beneath the skins surface.

And as mentioned before you may have more than one type of acne.


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