Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Mahek Chawla (Dietitian & Nutritionist)  on 23rd Dec 2020

The Best Skincare Routine For Teens: Advice You'll Thank Us For!

The Best Skincare Routine For Teens

Adolescence: the period we are thrilled about just before we step into it but realize soon after we step that it is no less than a rollercoaster. Peer pressure, educational load, anxiety, topped with inevitable hormonal changes! Too much to take in.

The hassle that we face during this period is often the past when we laugh and cry about adulthood. While it's all so hazy and chaotic at this age, skin woes add to the emotional trauma! Don't you worry, with so much available on the internet, we would want you to have easy access to the ultimate know-how of your complete skincare in one place?

We seldom come across some information that tells you "less is more "in this consumer-based economy.

Furthermore, the influencer-driven society has so much to offer virtually that you can either save the most out of your cash or spend your whole allowance on extravagant products. Today we are here to address the former approach and include the following : 

  • Know your skin.
  • Build a workable skincare routine.
  • Use active ingredients for acne.
  • Opt for Natural ingredients. 

Know Your Skin:

At any age, the skin is affected by a host of factors, but you cannot always control these culprits. What can be controlled by you needs preliminary information for you to act accordingly.

Skin type, tolerability, allergies, et al. are crucial considerations before starting with any skincare routine.

According to dermats, there are more than five skin types but without getting into those excruciating details, identify your skin type out of the five basic types known.  

How to identify? 

Visit a dermat or aesthetician and get a clinical test done and spend a huge sum? 

NO! Below is a cost-effective way to know the same: 

  • Take off any product or makeup from your face by using micellar water or makeup remover.
  • Cleanse your face properly with the help of a mild face wash or cleanser.
  • Leave it untouched for about 30 mins.
  • Observe these things: shiny or greasy ( OILY SKIN ), dry, tight, and flaky ( DRY SKIN ), shine on the T zone, and dryness all around ( COMBINATION SKIN ), no change at all, i.e., fresh and subtle ( NORMAL ) and itchy or redness ( SENSITIVE ).

Try the same for a day or two if you are not sure about it.

After you know what your skin type is, it's essential to know your skin's tolerability. The skin's tolerance power varies from individual to individual and can be known only after you have had an experience of using multiple products. Use small quantities of the products you think will be good or prescribed to you and see yourself if your skin responds efficiently.

Additionally, allergies come with teenagers because of the constant wear and tear in the outside world and the cell differentiation within our bodies. Histamine, a chemical present in certain cells responsible for these allergic reactions, is aggravated due to a varied food intake or external applications, or auto-immune activities. Even if you don't have any genetic allergy, it's good to do a patch test before using any active ingredients to check for allergies.  

Build A Routine

Understanding your skin completely can be a tremendous job. One thing that is common in all teenagers is the hormonal spike. This hormonal spike is the one responsible for turning us into physically and biologically active individuals. This spike stimulates the activation of sebaceous glands present in the layers of the dermis. Excess sebum or oil is the most common sign of puberty and in the majority of teens. Thus, to keep control of this sebum production and maintain a healthy pH of skin is a must.  

  • Cleanse: use an SLS, paraben, non-comedogenic cleanser that takes off the accumulated dirt and oil on the skin but does not strip off the natural oils. A cleanser should be ideally used twice a day; in the morning and before bed. Single cleanse is enough in the AM for there is much of the natural oil than dirt or debris. For a night, it's recently been discovered that a double cleanse can be better. Using an oil or oil-based cleanser can slough off all the accumulated oil that builds up during the day due to exposure and various products. Later, your daily foaming cleanser should be used to leave a fresh surface.  
  • Toning: we have often skipped this step because it needs a gentle application and takes more than a minute to do. Buttoning can efficiently shrink those open pores. Many OTC toners are now available without any irritants. Apart from this, it also takes off the little residue left post-cleansing. Toners constitute certain ingredients that go deep into the pores and prevent them from clogging.
  • Moisturise: no matter who says you don't need cream or a moisturizer if you have oily skin, every skin type needs moisture. All our body cells need moisture to function and synthesize energy. Use a good and suitable moisturizer as per your skin type but use it at least once a day. Light water or gel-based moisturizers are ideal for all skin types except dry. A cream or fat-based moisturizer is better for dry skin. It should be applied post morning cleanse preferably. Also, acne-prone skin needs moisturizer because acne is also caused by dehydrated and dried tissue base. Mild moisturizers with no active ingredients and non-comedogenic are recommended.
  • Sunscreen: do not step out without the shield. Sun exposure can cause highly persistent damage because of the harmful rays combined with the dirt and dust present in the environment. From increased melanin to skin cancer, it can cause a wide range of issues you might find difficult to deal with. Thus, a minimum of 30 SPF is recommended for all age groups, irrespective of your skin type. For those of us who are extremely delicate or sensitive to sunscreens and find them greasy or oily, now there are several oil-free and aloe-based sunscreens available. Try it on your own, or refer to a general doctor who might recommend a product that suits your skin. 
  • Exfoliation: the sloughing of almost everything attached superficially is exfoliation. Dead skin cells form a layer nearly every 21 days, which needs to be scrubbed off for the underlying layer to breathe. Physical scrubs do the job quite well but leave rashes or blackheads behind. The minute particles present in the physical scrubs are not potent enough to debunk the pores' debris or sebum. Nevertheless, physical exfoliation 1 to 2 times a week is suggested for all teens.  

 Chemical exfoliation can also be done under supervision or by an expert after being aware of what will suit your skin. Chemical exfoliation shouldn't be a part of your routine at all in your teens. Thus, chemical exfoliation is to be done occasionally only.  

  • Masking: indulging in a mask on the weekend can not only nourish your skin but also de-stress your cranial nerves. Mud or clay masks are most used at this age because they are better to reduce excess oil and refresh the pore-lining after a stressful week. Multi-masking, according to your skin, is a new trend and has gained positive attention.
  • Spot treatments: rather than making your whole face habituated to a particular product, it's always better for teenagers to target the issue and heal that in the first place. Acne, marks, pigmentation, zit, blackheads, etc., all occur on specific parts of the face. Hence, they should be treated via spot treatment without exposing the whole face to that ingredient.  

Morning routine : 

It should include -


Night routine: 


Active Ingredients That Can Help With Acne

Salicylic Acid

a beta-hydroxy acid that is present in almost all the teen-targeted acne products. It deserves the attention of every teenager while looking for ingredients at the back of your product. It gently exfoliates the dead skin cells, removes blackheads and whiteheads, unclogs pores, and reduces the prevalence of acne and breakouts. It also has a relation with decreased sebum production, which is why it is a hot favorite.

Products in which it is present: cleansers, spot treatments, exfoliators, serums, etc.

Preferable percentage : 2-5 % for teens.  

Salicylic Acid 2% Face Serum
Salicylic Acid 2% Face Serum
Salicylic Acid 2% Face Serum
Salicylic Acid 2% Face Serum

Salicylic Acid 2% Face Serum

₹ 545

When to use: PM

Frequency: Alternate days

View details

Benzoyl Peroxide

an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory chemical compound that is used by every individual in their teens. You'll invariably see a tube of this compound on a teenager's dressing table. It resists the growth of acne forming bacteria and also deactivates the active acne. It does so by attracting oxygen to the cells and making them thrive. It also treats redness, dryness, itchiness, et al. 


benzoyl peroxide ointments, combination treatments, creams, etc.  

Preferable percentage:

2% is widely acceptable and tolerable but consult a dermat before going for a higher percentage or if you observe any side effects.  

Vitamin C: L - Ascorbic Acid

There are countless studies and benefits known to us now to start using this magic ingredient. Antibacterial, skin brightener, anti-pigmentation, etc., are the adjectives attributed to vitamin C because of how potent it is.


Face washes, serums, creams, spot treatments, ointments, etc. 

Preferable percentage:

 depends upon your skin penetration, but a concentration higher than 5 % has shown visible quick results than anything lower. Hence, 5 - 20 % percent is recommended.  

Vitamin C 10% Face Serum
Vitamin C 10% Face Serum
Vitamin C 10% Face Serum
Vitamin C 10% Face Serum

Vitamin C 10% Face Serum

₹ 695

When to use: AM / PM

Frequency: Everyday

View details


 a vitamin B3 form that is a holy grail for teenagers. It is the mildest ingredient for you to try. It reduces excess sebum production, lightens acne marks, soothes skin, and gives an energy boost by penetrating deep into the skin and getting converted to NAD, a biologically important compound.  


gels, creams, cleansers, water-based products, etc.  


a form of vitamin A that is generally suggested to adults but has also shown significant benefit in curing acne. It increases cell turnover, builds a barrier, is antibacterial, etc. It is also recommended to teens if they have persistent or recurring acne but only medical supervision.  


creams, serums, spot treatments, etc.  


retinoids should be started with the lowest concentration because they may cause a little irritation or purging in the beginning. Consulting a dermat is better before buying medicated retinoids. OTC serums are far safer.

Granactive Retinoid 2% Face Cream
Granactive Retinoid 2% Face Cream
Granactive Retinoid 2% Face Cream
Granactive Retinoid 2% Face Cream

Granactive Retinoid 2% Face Cream

₹ 689

When to use: PM

Frequency: Twice a week

View details

Natural Ingredients

What better than dealing your skin with the best of what we have. Look out for all things natural. Look for witch hazel (antibacterial), frankincense (astringent), tea tree (anti-inflammatory), willow extract (anti-acne ), wheat germ (skin brightening), green tea (soothing), etc. Natural ingredients that are potent enough to work according to your expectations. There are various concentrations and combinations available to these ingredients as well. Look out for somethings less concentrated initially and later go for higher concentration.  

The Final Word 

Above all, consistency is the key to flawless skin. Eating clean and adopting a clean skincare routine is the ultimate approach to see desired results.