Skin care, sun protection and a healthy lifestyle

As adults, we know acne is usually temporary, but for teenagers it can seem like the end of the world.  Parents can certainly try to bring some perspective into the acne discussion but when your child simply wants his or her acne gone, it’s more about pointing them in the right direction.

Skin care

Good skin care doesn’t need to be complicated but it does need to be consistent. And it’s much easier if the process becomes a habit from a young age.

Although acne is not usually dirt related, it's still a good idea to teach your children to cleanse their face twice a day, morning and night. Just as you’ve taught them to clean their teeth, get them into the habit of washing their face in the morning and again before bed.

All About Acne recommends using gentle liquid cleansers that won’t irritate or dry the skin. Moisturisers aren’t always necessary if your child’s skin is oily. However, if their skin is dry because of the weather, over scrubbing, or as a side effect of some acne treatments, they can use a light oil free moisturiser, which won’t clog the pores.

Find out more about skin care

Sun protection 

All Australian children need to learn to use sunscreen every day to protect their skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Many acne treatments make the skin extra sensitive to sunlight, so keep reinforcing those sun safe messages.

Look for sunscreens that are light and oil-free for acne-prone skin. A pump pack in the bathroom or near the door makes applying sunscreen easier to remember and hats are an effective way of reducing UV exposure on the face.

Diet and exercise

You already know that healthy eating and regular physical activity have benefits for your children – developing strong bones, maintaining a healthy body weight and so on. 

While diet alone can’t prevent or cure acne, there is growing evidence that some foods might contribute to acne.

Avoiding foods with a high glycaemic index (GI) – typically highly refined and processed foods – may be useful for some people. There is also a link between excessive milk consumption and acne, but don’t limit milk intake without seeking overall dietary advice from a health professional first.  

Find out about treatments for acne