Best ways to com­bat acne in boys

A good skin­care rou­tine will do a lot to help those strug­gling with stan­dard or late ado­les­cent break­outs

The Irish Times Magazine - - BEAUTY - LAURA KENNEDY

Afew weeks back, I had an email from a reader ask­ing me to write about young men’s skin is­sues. Al­most all beauty writ­ing, she rightly pointed out, is tar­geted at women. Apart from phys­i­cal and hor­monal causes, boys can strug­gle with skin prob­lems for two rea­sons – first, we are more dis­mis­sive of or less sen­si­tive to self- es­teem is­sues in teenage boys than girls aris­ing from skin prob­lems, and sec­ond, it is so­cially very ac­cept­able for girls ( but not boys) to use cos­met­ics to cover break­outs.

A good skin­care rou­tine will help, but in the case of se­ri­ous or chronic acne, noth­ing you can buy over the counter is go­ing to cut it, and a der­ma­tol­o­gist needs to be con­sulted. This is bet­ter done sooner rather than later, both for peace of mind, and to min­imise and pre­vent scar­ring.

If you or a young man in your life is sim­ply strug­gling with stan­dard ado­les­cent or late ado­les­cent break­outs, a good skin­care rou­tine will do a lot to help. Main­tain­ing a healthy skin pH is es­sen­tial .

If the skin veers too al­ka­line, the bac­te­ria which causes acne ( pro­pi­oni­bac­terium ac­nes) get far too com­fort­able. In­flam­ma­tion and dis­com­fort are also com­mon. The pri­mary means of tack­ling this is to ditch any and all ag­gres­sive, as­trin­gent, al­co­hol- rich over- the- counter acne prod­ucts which you may be us­ing. Skin­care should not cause tight­ness, red­ness, dis­com­fort or sting­ing. Let’s not be Kan­tians about our skin. Pain is not a sign that it is work­ing; pain is your body’s sig­ni­fier of dam­age.

What bro­ken out, an­gry or acne- prone skin needs most is a reg­u­lar, hy­gienic, gen­tle skin­care rou­tine, and kind­ness. 1. Alex Stein­herr X Pri­mark Pore Bal­ance Low pH Sul­phate- Free Cleanser (¤ 5 at se­lected Pen­neys stores) is a re­ally af­ford­able sul­phate- free cleanser which is ap­pro­pri­ate for cleans­ing con­gested skin.

If you would like a bit of ex­tra help, the range’s very af­ford­able 2. Pore Bal­ance Su­per Detox Clay Mousse Mask (¤ 6) is also a use­ful weekly treat­ment for es­pe­cially oily or con­gested skin.

3. Paula’s Choice Skin Per­fect­ing 2% BHA Liq­uid ( from ¤ 9.95 at cloud10beauty. com) con­tains the max­i­mum al­lowance of sal­i­cylic acid ( an in­cred­i­bly ef­fec­tive anti- in­flam­ma­tory and de­con­gest­ing beta hy­droxy acid) that you can buy over the counter. Splash a lit­tle on a cot­ton pad and run it over con­gested or bro­ken- out ar­eas af­ter cleans­ing.

4. La Roche Posay Ef­faclar Duo+ Anti- Blem­ish Mois­turiser (¤ 16.99 at Boots) is a sal­i­cylic acid fluid. Ex­cept on the oili­est skins, it is in­suf­fi­ciently mois­ture- rich to keep skin happy ( I think of it as more of a treat­ment prod­uct), so you can put your nor­mal mois­turiser on top.

To fin­ish a sim­ple skin­care rou­tine, choose an un­fussy, ef­fec­tive, non- ir­ri­tat­ing mois­turiser like

5. Malin + Goetz Vi­ta­min E Face Mois­tur­izer (¤ 55 for 250ml at Space. NK), which can be used day or night. A mois­turiser is re­ally just an outer layer de­signed to keep mois­ture in – ap­ply treat­ment prod­ucts un­der­neath it, and leave them to do the hard work.

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Skin­care should not cause tight­ness, red­ness, dis­com­fort or sting­ing. Let’s not be Kan­tians about our skin. Pain is not a sign that it is work­ing; pain is your body’s sig­ni­fier of dam­age

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