We’re always asked by K-beauty junkies to share the best skin care routine for teens. Here’s your answer.
One of the biggest factors to consider when determining the best skin care routine for you is how old you are. This is because, over time, our specific skin care concerns and goals change simply as a result of the aging process. For example, people in their 30s maybe be more concerned about hydration and prevention, those in their 40s and 50s may be more focused on treating fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and firmness, and people in their teens and early 20s are determined to zap excess oil and acne.
Today we’re focusing specifically on skin care for teenagers, which requires a completely different routine than for any other age group. This is because teenagers often deal with a rollercoaster of hormones that affects their skin via excess oil production and an ongoing battle with acne. To make things simple for you, dear teenagers, we’ve created a straightforward skin care routine that you can adopt completely, or refer to as a loose guideline, for your own regimen.
Makeup Remover + Oil Cleanser
It may seem counterintuitive to use oil on your face if you have oily skin. However, one of the reasons why your skin is producing so much is because is because it needs more! There’s such a tendency to “beat your skin into submission,” when you’re dealing with acne and oil, but a gentle and calm approach is much better for your face in both the short and long run.
We recommend the Erborian Black Cleansing Oil, which is infused with charcoal to deeply clean your pores. Another option is the Hanskin Cleansing Oil & Blackhead [PHA], a very gentle oil cleanser that can help refine your overall skin tone while giving blackheads the boot.
You’ll want to follow your oil cleanser with a water-based cleanser to completely rinse away any oil, makeup, or grime that got left behind. The Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser is a hydrating cleanser that’s made with soothing aloe leaf extract to calm irritated skin and tea tree leaf oil that helps prevent breakouts for greater skin clarity. If you’re looking for something slightly stronger to battle consistent acne, we highly recommend the COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser, which is formulated with .5% salicylic acid.
After cleansing your skin, it’s important to reset its pH balance, which is the primary purpose of applying a toner. If large pores are a concern of yours, try Missha’s Super Aqua Mini Pore Tightening Toner. This is an astringent toner, meaning it helps to soak up excess oil and make your pores appear smaller. Another option is Dr Oracle’s A-Thera Toner, a nourishing and gentle toner that rebalances your pH level while calming, healing, and hydrating the skin.
Don’t be so quick to skip over the essence portion of your regimen, as it’s the heart of the K-beauty skin care routine! This step will prepare your skin for the following steps, allowing it to better absorb ingredients so your products can be used to their full potential.
We recommend an essence that will nourish and hydrate your skin, such as Tony Moly’s The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Essence, which is made with 80% green tea to soothe, moisturize, and brighten. If your skin feels particularly irritated or dry, try something like Missha’s Near Skin Simple Therapy Essence Lotion instead.
This is the part of your routine that you can dedicate toward a specific cause, if you will. For example: a desire to brighten, intensely hydrate, or target large pores.
If you have lingering redness from old acne, now would be a good time to apply Acwell’s Anti Mark Gel Cream. Another option is Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum which is made with a bounty of organic ingredients — including celery, carrot root, and broccoli extract — to moisturize, nourish, and soothe red and irritated skin.
While a sheet mask isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s a fun step in any skin care routine. Consider it an opportunity to double-down on your skin care goals. For teenage skin, an excellent option is the Manefit Beauty Planner Mugwort Sheet Mask. This is a super hydrating, soft, microfiber mask that’s infused with mugwort-derived salicylic acid to zap acne and cica to calm and clarify.
Next comes your moisturizer, which is a key in your skin care routine. (If you opt to forego your treatment and sheet mask, you can apply a moisturizer following your essence.) Again, even though it may seem counterintuitive to add extra moisture onto your face if you’re dealing with acne or oil, the moisturizer will actually help to balance your skin and prevent it from going into oil production overdrive. Trust us!
For this step, try Missha’s Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream, an oil-free moisturizer that helps control sebum all day long while keeping skin hydrated. Another wonderful option is Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream, which is ideal for irritated or sensitive skin that could use some serious TLC.
One of the best ways to take care of your skin is to prevent any sun damage via religious application of SPF. As a teenager, you’re in a very advantageous position to get a head start on this. Remember, it’s much easier to prevent issues than it is to treat them. Also, note that even if your makeup has SPF in it, you need to wear a proper sunscreen underneath.
For acne-prone skin, we recommend Dr Oracle A-Thera Sunblock SPF 50. For a redness-taming alternative, try Klairs Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion SPF 40/PA++ .