Skin So­lu­tions: Teens and stress­ful times, how to help

Wirh Gaye Barlow, Sin­gle Mum, Nurse and Founder of The Skin Care Clinic

Lift Magazine - - Contents -

In this is­sue of Skin So­lu­tions, we’re look­ing at the skin of your chil­dren, how it may change dur­ing times of stress and what you can do to help them. It has been recog­nised for a long time now that chil­dren are en­ter­ing pu­berty ear­lier with the in­flu­enc­ing fac­tors blamed be­ing the growth hor­mones and sug­ars which are added to our foods. Our chil­dren are also un­der much more stress than we were with their busier lives, and per­sonal sit­u­a­tions such as a fam­ily breakup or times of grief can add to the fac­tors that lead to break outs.


Acne oc­curs when there is in­suf­fi­cient, or ab­nor­mal cell turnover in the skin which re­sults in re­tained skin cells that block pores and oil glands that bac­te­ria feeds off.

There are also stress re­cep­tors on the cells that pro­duce nat­u­ral oils. When the body is un­der stress, more oil is pro­duced, so these can be­come ac­ti­vated in chil­dren who are go­ing through a stress­ful time.


The body’s cy­cle of cell turnover or re­newal, is com­plex and there is sel­dom one thing we can change to cor­rect the prob­lem. Start by talk­ing to them, as dif­fi­cult as that can be. They will have no­ticed changes in how their skin feels and looks and are prob­a­bly surf­ing the in­ter­net to find out what to do. No doubt they’ll be look­ing at scrubs and harsh prod­ucts to solve their prob­lem. This is where you can step in to en­sure both life­style, diet and skin care is­sues are ad­dressed.


1. Med­i­ta­tion or yoga: teach them that a quiet time is a use­ful time.

2. Sleep: teens need a lot of it and it also helps their skin re­cover. Hav­ing a cooler bed­room and shut­ting down com­put­ers ear­lier can help get a rest­ful night’s sleep.

3. Diet: healthy foods re­duce the in­flam­ma­tion in our skin and de­crease the like­li­hood of break­outs while also help­ing our young adults deal with stress. Foods high in Vi­ta­min A, E and C, Zinc, and es­pe­cially Omega 3’s are great skin foods. Where can you get these?

• Vi­ta­min A: These need to be eaten with fatty foods for op­ti­mal ab­sorp­tion. You can find vi­ta­min A in or­ange foods such as car­rots, sweet potato, dried apri­cots, can­taloupe, as well as fish, liver adark leafy veg­gies and berries.

• Vi­ta­min E: again, best eaten with fatty foods. Tofu, spinach, almonds, sun­flower seeds, avo­cado, shell­fish, fresh wa­ter fish, broccoli, squash and pump­kin.

• Vi­ta­min C: dark leafy veg­gies, broccoli, dark berries, cit­rus fruits, tomato, peas, pa­paya, red cap­sicum, kiwi fruit.

• Zinc: cooked oys­ters, beef, veal liver, chicken and pork. Toasted wheat germ, cashews, pump­kin and squash seeds, mung beans, dark choco­late, mush­rooms, and spinach.

• Omega 3 foods: fatty fish such as salmon and sar­dines, wal­nuts, chia seeds, soy and spinach.

Teach­ing your child to avoid pro­cessed foods high in fat and sug­ars and re­duce foods con­tain­ing yeast is also a great place to start.

Re­search has also shown that a diet rich in pro­tein can re­duce acne by fifty per­cent within a month.

4. Gut help: Some chil­dren need a lit­tle gut help, and acne suf­fer­ers are of­ten in this group. Adding a high qual­ity, no added sugar or sweet­ener pro­bi­otic to their diet can re­ally help with stress lev­els, sleep, clar­ity of mind as well as skin health.

5. Wa­ter and lots of it: as well as pro­vid­ing hy­dra­tion, wa­ter flushes out im­pu­ri­ties and tox­ins. Cor­dial, juice and fizzy drinks have no part in the creation of healthy skin and mind.


The aim of be­gin­ning a skin rou­tine is to start sim­ple, col­lect your facts and be con­fi­dent that you are teach­ing the cor­rect thing.

First up: your child needs to wash their face morn­ing and night and as soon as pos­si­ble af­ter sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to clean off the sweat. You want to keep ev­ery­thing mov­ing to keep the sur­face clean.

What to use: avoid skin care prod­ucts with toxic in­gre­di­ents and be very scep­ti­cal about ‘nat­u­ral’, ‘botan­i­cal’ and even ‘or­ganic’ as the la­belling in the cos­metic in­dus­try leaves con­sid­er­able room for “nas­ties” to be added. When read­ing la­bels (take your mag­ni­fy­ing glass with you!), the words and groups of let­ters you want to stay away from are: parabens (propyl & butyl) sodium lau­ryl/ lau­reth sul­phate, PEG (poly­eth­yl­ene gly­col), TEA, MEA, DEA, Par­fum (fake fra­grance), Ja­panese Hon­ey­suckle Ex­tract, and any words con­tain­ing “eth”. These are the most com­mon ones – there are many more.

It’s ir­rel­e­vant whether a cleanser is a foam, a gel or a cream, what is im­por­tant is the main

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