The perfect skin care routine

Kaelyn Rashti, Reporter

After wearing masks all day for two years straight, students may be wondering what it takes to keep their skin clean and healthy. Dr. Beth Berman, a dermatologist at Annapolis Dermatology Center, is giving students first-hand tips on the perfect way to maintain healthy skin care routines. 

Maskne has been an issue for teens since the start of the pandemic. Dr. Berman says it can be very difficult to find something effective when it comes to finding a treatment for maskne. 

“It’s a result of the masks causing occlusion of the pores of the skin, and it can be a bit more resistant to treatment compared to routine acne,” Dr. Berman said. 

Freshman Isabel Jacobs first started her skin care routine around the beginning of quarantine. Jacobs’ routine starts with her washing her face with an acne cleanser, using an acne solution made for clearing and preventing acne and once that dries, applying moisturizer to finish off her routine. 

In addition to the positive effects it had on her face, taking care of her skin made her feel more confident with herself. Her skin care routine is crucial to her self-care and can help improve her self-confidence. 

“I always think self-care is important, especially skin care because it reflects… myself,” Jacobs said. “My reflection on myself is partly based off of my appearance and part of that is my skin.”

Jacobs is not the only teenager who feels more confident after taking care of her skin. However, not everyone may have access to prescription medication for acne. Dr. Berman says that there are over-the-counter skin care products that she recommends, but individuals should use prescriptions products custom to their skin types. 

“For mild acne… the products that tend to be the most beneficial that are sold over the counter include Benzoyl peroxide, either in a cleanser form or in a cream, salicylic acid cleansers, and Differin gel, which is the only retinoid available over the counter,” Dr. Berman said. 

Differentiating between your skin type may not be an easy task, especially for beginners. 

“Typically someone with oily skin will have a sheen or a shine to their skin… People who have more of a dry skin tendency often have flaking or scaliness to their skin. Some individuals have mixed T-zone type combination skin,” Dr. Berman said.

She recommends that teenagers use non-comedogenic products, ones that are specifically made to avoid pore blockage, in their skin care routines. She says that avoiding touching your face is one of the many habits you could pick up to decrease acne irritation. She also recommends steering clear of picking at your skin. 

“One of the worst things that a teenager could do to their skin would be to pick and squeeze at their pimples to the point where they develop scarring,” Dr. Berman said. “That scarring can be irreversible.”

Taking care of your skin is never easy, especially as a beginner. What is important to keep in mind is that you’re never alone in this process. Skin care is something that almost everybody will experience and acne is not something to be ashamed of.

“Everyone struggles with it… as a growing kid, that’s just something that you have to expect from time to time,” Jacobs said. “And it’s not like it’s regardless of what you do for your skin, sometimes you just can’t avoid it.”