Start 'Em Young!

treating millennial skin and 20 year old skin
10 Facts about Treating 20-Something Skin

This excerpt from "Start 'Em Young" by Mark Lees is from the September/October 2017 issue of ASCP Skin Deep magazine, mailed to ASCP members as a benefit of membership. You can sample it online at www.ascpskindeepdigital.com.

Twenty-something skin can sometimes be a challenge to treat. These young adults are often beginning to think about preventing signs of aging, but are also concerned about oily areas, clogged pores, and periodic flares of acne papules and pustules. Here's what you should know.

1. Perhaps the most prevalent issue affecting 20-somethings is acne. Many of these clients have combination or oily skin. These clients will exhibit oiliness and enlarged or clogged pores in the T-zone area, and typically have a few papules and pustules present on the face.

2. Women in their 20s are often  affected by hormonal fluctuations, leading to premenstrual flares of breakouts and chin acne. Some women who never had blemish problems in their teenage years suddenly have acne conditions in their 20s. Birth control pills and pregnancy can also contribute to potential hormonal skin issues.

3. Make sure your acne-prone clients have home-care treatment products that contain benzoyl peroxide to battle acne bacteria, as well as alpha and beta hydroxy acid gels to flush clogged follicles and serve as spot treatments for isolated blemishes.

4. Deep-cleansing facial treatments that help free the skin of impactions are important to help these clients. Find a good desincrustation product to help loosen clogged pores for easy extraction.

5. Salicylic acid can be very helpful to oily and clogged skin. Salicylic acid is an exfoliant, an antibacterial, and a soothing agent used in both home-care and back-bar treatment products. Lowpercentage (5 percent) salicylic peels can also help remove dead cell buildup as prep for a deep-cleansing extraction treatment. Peels with heavier concentrations of salicylic acid (20 percent) are also helpful in drying up acne blemishes and treating mild hyperpigmentation, but these higher-concentration products may lead to a few days of flaking downtime. Salicylic acid should be avoided on pregnant clients and those allergic to salicylates.

6. Clients in their 20s may begin to notice dry skin, which can cause fine lines and wrinkles. Typically caused by dehydration (lack of water in the skin’s surface), these clients often make the mistake of treating dry patches with rich, antiaging creams loaded with oily ingredients intended for older skin. These fatty ingredients can potentially clog pores and contribute to acne flares for oily younger skin. It is the esthetician’s job to find lighter, less oily products and to avoid products that contain potentially comedogenic (pore-clogging) ingredients.

7. Products in fluid form are better choices for most 20-somethings. Look for water-based, liquid moisture products that contain humectants (water “magnets”) such as glycerin, sodium PCA, and sodium hyaluronate, rather than potentially clogging oils, waxes, and other fats. Always check to make sure products used for clog-prone and acneprone skin have been dermatologist-tested to ensure they are noncomedogenic.

8. Prevention of skin aging and sun damage should be the focus for young clients. Daily use of a broad-spectrum SPF 15 or higher sunscreen can be accomplished by finding a noncomedogenic hydrating product. Make sure you find a sunscreen moisturizer that is light and easy to wear under makeup. After all, clients need to love it and use it daily to prevent cumulative UV damage that can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. Teach your young clients the importance of using sunscreen daily to prevent premature aging.

9. The topical use of antioxidants in serum form is important for preventing inflammation that can lead to the beginning of physiological skin breakdown associated with eventual aging symptoms. Daily use of a serum that contains multiple liposomal antioxidants can help squelch reactions that can lead to this breakdown of skin structure over time.

10. A typical home-care program for a 20-something client should include a rinsable, light-foaming cleanser for morning use; a thorough, nonoily makeup remover; a nonalcoholic toner to complete cleansing; an alpha/beta hydroxy serum to help with both potential pore impactions and cell renewal; a noncomedogenic sunscreen for day use; a noncomedogenic hydrator for night hydration; a benzoyl peroxide gel if the skin is acne-prone; and a preventive antioxidant serum and eye cream.

Today’s 20-something clients are characteristically trendy and tech-savvy, but they also have a real-world appreciation for products that really work and make sense. Give your young clients practical advice and keep their programs simple. They will trust you when they experience the effectiveness of your professional programs and products.

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