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AMA: Teen Skin Edition

AMA: Teen Skin Edition

Oh, to be young again! As nostalgic as we are for aspects of our teen years—puppy love, pop music, trips to the mall—few miss the unpredictability, even agony of caring for teen skin. Products have come a long way over the decades: abrasive cleansers, harsh acne treatments, and—gasp!—sunbathing without SPF are thankfully a thing of the past. But when trying to advise our teens on the best skincare routine, the choices can still seem confusing.

“The teen years can be a perfect storm of skin stressors,” says La Suite Skincare founder Rhea Souhleris Grous. “Hormonal changes, sweaty sports gear, makeup trends, sleepless nights… these factors and more can affect the health and stability of teen skin.”


What’s up with teen skin?

Hormone production, mostly! The reason that acne is so common in teenagers is the hormones coursing through their veins in these years. The main offender is testosterone, which increases in our bodies during puberty in boys but also in girls. This boost in testosterone makes the sebaceous glands in the skin grow bigger, resulting in increased oil production. When this increase in oil causes the pores to become blocked, where it attracts the bacteria that causes redness and swelling, you’ve got acne. In the teen and pre-teen years, acne is common on not just the face but on the back, upper chest, neck, and shoulders—anywhere that pores can get blocked and bacteria can get trapped.

Aside from the hormone rush, teen skin is not that different from adult skin. But there’s nature and then there’s nurture: Teens may not as good as adults at taking care of their skin. That’s why we at La Suite keep our teen skincare solutions extra simple. 

Here’s the good news: If teens treat their skin with care, it will set them up for better skin for a lifetime. “Whatever you can do to keep your cells functioning optimally during your teen and young-adult years will create a great foundation for healthy skin later in life,” says Rhea


So what is La Suite’s solution to teen skincare?

Because of the hormonal changes associated with acne (increased sebum production, potential for clogged pores, the prevalence of bacteria), teens need a healthy skin routine that achieves four goals: 

  1.   Regulate sebum production
  2.   Exfoliate to keep pores clear
  3.   Kill acne-causing bacteria
  4.   Reduce inflammation                            

Less is truly more when it comes to teen skincare. The best routine is the one your teen will do every day. It comes down to just two non-negotiables: washing your face every night; and SPF in the morning! All the products below are safe for daily use for pre-teens and teens.

Here are the daily basics:


Environ Mild Cleansing Lotion gently lifts surface impurities while maintaining the effects of the skin’s natural moisture balance. It rinses off easily, and leaves skin feeling refreshed and conditioned.

Sheer SPF 40 La Suite’s weightless, transparent formula is perfect for sensitive teen skin. It’s a full-spectrum sunscreen with the added benefits of humectants and shea butter. It’s a great base for makeup as well.


Use the same cleanser as in the morning (Environ Mild Cleansing Lotion) each and every evening.


That’s it! But for times when your teen skin is acting up—as it will—here’s what La Suite recommends:

  • Breakouts: Target occasional breakouts with La Suite Skincare 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Spot Treatment. This powerful formula helps kill harmful bacteria that cause inflammatory acne and blemishes. Use just where you need it.
  • Shiny skin/T-Zone: Try La Suite Clear Skin Alpha Beta Peel Pads. These fast-acting, easy-to-use pads lift away dead skin, surface oil, and impurities, decongesting clogged pores and targeting breakouts with minimal irritation.
  • Clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads: Double cleanse at night to remove every trace of sunscreen, makeup, dirt, and excess oil. Be sure to finish with a clean, wet washcloth. You can cleanse twice with the same cleanser, or try our aesthetician-approved favorite double cleansing combo: Environ Pre-Cleansing Oil followed by Environ Hydrating Clay Masque. This best-selling duo sweeps away impurities, then conditions and hydrates the skin, leaving it radiant and refined.

Exfoliate and treat skin with La Suite Clear Skin Alpha Beta Peel Pads to decongest clogged pores and target breakouts.

Retinol—for teens? Absolutely. La Suite Skincare Retinol Serum can help balance sebum production and increase cell turnover to keep pores clear. 

What’s a post on teen skincare without a rapid-fire AMA (ask me anything)?

Here are Rhea’s quick takes on the FAQs:

Q: When should my teen seek professional skincare help?
A: If your teen has troublesome skin, an aesthetician should be your first stop, to help establish a healthy skin routine. “If after a few months of consistent (that means every day) home care and a facial or two, your teen still experiences issues that aren’t improving (cystic acne, psoriasis, eczema), it’s time to see the dermatologist,” says Rhea. Dermatologists can suggest prescription-only solutions that go beyond at-home care.

Q: I’m obsessed with @drpimplepopper—what’s the harm of picking?
A: Picking is a no-no. It can make blemishes worse, sending bacteria back into your pores—yuck! It can lead to scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). That’s the technical term for that discoloration or scarring that comes from picking at acne, insect bites, or scabs. PIH is one of the reasons why extractions are best left to professionals! Instead of picking, apply La Suite Skincare 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Spot Treatment.  

Q: Can I use drugstore products on teen skin?
A: Many drugstore products absolutely work. “The key is to identify the right products for your skin that won’t overstrip it, which is a common problem with drugstore cleansers,” says Rhea. Call us for a La Suite Virtual Consultation: we’ll review the products that you use already, and suggest some others that might boost your routine.

Q: How long should I give a routine to work?
A: We know three months seems like a lifetime to a teen, but no routine will work overnight. Give any new routine ninety days. That said, daily cleansing will help skin look cleaner, clearer, and brighter right away. Looking for faster results? A deep-cleansing professional facial can help unclog pores and start your teen with a clean slate.

Q: Do boys and girls need different products?
A: Nope! La Suite’s simple AM/PM routine works for all teen skin.

Q: Does tanning help dry out my acne?
A: Don’t do it! Suntanning makes PIH worse, and damages your skin for a lifetime. Use bronzer or self-tanner for a little color. 

Q: How do I keep my skin clean from sweaty helmets/hats/sports uniforms?
A: It’s true that bacteria, dirt, and rubbing occlude and irritate the skin. Try these three solutions:
  • Keep your gear as clean as possible.
  • Don’t sit in sweaty clothes—stash extra clothes in your bag, or change as soon as you can.
  • Try to clean your face after sports. (Face wipes are great!) 

    Q: Does makeup lead to acne?
    A: Not if you cleanse your skin properly—that means no sleeping in makeup, no matter what, ever! Remove your makeup fully every night to keep pores clear of excess goop that can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.

    Teen skin will always be a challenge, but if you follow a consistent routine with a few key products, you’ll see great results. Share this blog with your son or daughter—or schedule a virtual consultation! La Suite believes that it’s never too early to embark on a lifetime of healthy skin.