An Education in Back-to-School Skincare

New hallways to navigate. New teachers to impress. New locker combinations to memorize. The start of a new school year is full of stressful situations for teenagers. Worrying about their skin shouldn’t be one of them. Help your high schooler put his or her best face forward on opening day with these back-to-school skincare tips that make the grade.

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Get With the Program

If your teen’s skin has been acting up this summer, start them on an acne-specific skincare routine. Start with a bacteria-busting cleanser containing salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide (we love Image Skincare Clear Cell Salicylic Gel Cleanser), followed by a water-based moisturizer (Olay Fresh Effects Dew Over Hydrating Gel Moisturizer is one of our faves), which keeps the skin delightfully dewy without clogging pores. Summer activities have you on the go? Try Neutrogena Rapid Clear Daily Treatment Pads Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment, which lets you wipe away dirt and oil without skipping a beat.  

Food for Thought

Your face isn’t the only place you should be attacking blemishes—it’s time to wage war in your belly, too, starting with the foods you eat. Cut down on foods high in carbohydrates and ease up on sugary sodas and sports drinks, all of which can lead to increased inflammation. And while milk might do a body good, studies have shown that diets high in dairy can be a contributing factor in acne flare-ups.

Hands Off!

Life is all about picking your battles. Picking at pimples is definitely one you’re not going to win. To help minimize and deflate bumpy blemishes fast, wrap a few ice cubes in a paper towel and press it gently on the area for 30 seconds. Trust us, it’s easier to cover up a deflated pimple with a bit of concealer or oil-free, mineral-based foundation (Neutrogena and Oxygentix both make great ones) than it is trying to camouflage a scabby one.

Last-Minute Fixes

Still seeing some spots just days before school’s back in session? Reach for a mask containing kaolin clay, like Environ AVST Hydrating Exfoliant Masque, which gently removes dirt and oil for instantly clearer skin. For particularly pesky pimples, try a spot treatment—Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Treatment Gel are two great ones—and leave on overnight.



big hat sunscreenWith only a few more weeks before summer says sayonara, now is the time to get outside and soak up the sun while you still can. Make sure you’re doing safely with these seven sun-smart skincare tips.

Stay hydrated with H2O – Higher temperatures and more time outdoors leads to internal dehydration, which can lead to headaches and dizziness. Drink 8 glasses of water or more of you’re a caffeine lover to keep your body and skin looking and feeling fabulous.

Cover up – The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing UPF+50 (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing and hats to block 98% UVA/UVB rays. Try to find fashionable UPF+50 swimsuits, clothing, workout gear, bandanas, and scarves that are summer chic and can avoid that awkward sunburn.

Lip Care – We tend to cover our bodies with sun protection but forget our pretty puckers. We see many cases coming in with sun poisoning on the lips resulting in puffy, red, chapped, dry lips. Find a chapstick that has SPF 15 or higher. Try these favorites Kiss my face treatMINT sport lip balm SPF 30 (water resistant up to 80 minutes), Coola SPF 30 sport Lip Lux, or Supergoop Acai Fusion SPF 30 lip gloss.

Exfoliate – Sun, sand, sweat, and sunscreen’s can lead to many breakouts and beauty blunders not only on the face but the chest and back. Choose a gentle yet exfoliating cleanser to get you through the hot humid summer. We recommend using Yes To Tomatoes Acne Control Gel Cleanser, a refreshing Salicylic Acid based cleanser that leaves skin feeling radiant and clean or Image Skincare Clear Cell Cleanser with tea tree to keep your face and body breakout free.

SunCare – Choose a sunscreen that has titanium dioxide and Zinc to give you the physical block you need and light weight non- greasy texture you crave and safe for everyone including the little ones in your family. Non-mineral sunscreens penetrate the skin, are potentially disruptive to hormones, are allergenic, can release free radicals when they break down. Oxybenzone is the most common ingredient found in sunscreens. Scientists recommend not using sunscreens containing oxybenzone on children because of this hormone disruption. We love Kiss my face SPF 30, Aubrey Organics SPF 30 Children’s Unscented Sensitive Skin, and Image Prevention + Hydrating SPF 30. Make sure to re-apply every 2 hours or sooner if in the water, Sunscreens are water resistant not waterproof.

Facial Moisturizers that contain vitamin C and antioxidants – Vitamin C is an antioxidant, along with vitamin E, and beta-carotene. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free-radical damage that change our DNA for the worse in our cells. Free-radical damage can age your skin. Using a vitamin C antioxidant moisturizer nightly can help repair and improve hydration keeping your skin healthy and youthful. Try Avalon Organics Vitamin C Repair Cream or Our Top Pick Environ C-Quence Moisturizer.

Bronze before the beach – Our bodies need 20 minutes of direct sunlight to get a daily dose of vitamin D, anything after that without protection can result in sunburns that result in fine lines and pesky brown sun spots. Sunless tanning can provide a safe, natural looking tan At home Self-Tanners have become flawless and easy to do in your own home. We recommend to use a body scrub in the shower to exfoliate dry skin and apply an even amount of your self-tanner like you would your body moisturizer and rinse your hands with soap and water to avoid streaking in between your fingers. The Top Rated Self-Tanning Winners for 2014 our Tanceuticals CC Self Tanning Body Lotion, easy to apply, dries fast, last 7 days, and smells like coconut or LOREAL Sublime Bronze Summer Glow Lotion, a daily body moisturizer that gradually builds a gorgeous tan.


Healthy Skin and Happy Summer,

Love EstheticaMD