Skincare series: Teen skin starter kit (or anyone with oily skin!)

Hello and welcome to the first article in my skincare series! I’ll be tackling several common skin complaints in a series of posts, but I’ll start by addressing skin issues that many teens have to deal with… and also many adults, unfortunately.

Too many people – teens and adults – rely on make-up to attempt to mask problem areas. However, I truly believe that skincare is a much better use of your time. These are not quick fix solutions, but you will be so thankful in the long term. Your make-up will apply much nicer too!

From the age of 11-15 I dealt with a really oily T-zone, enlarged pores and acne (mainly on my forehead and chin). Nowadays, at the age of 22, I have normal-dry skin (gets oilier in the summer) and very rarely get spots. I still have enlarged pores though, thanks to my teen years…

The issues I’ll discuss are skincare solutions for:

  • Oily skin

  • Enlarged pores

  • Acne

As well as make-up recommendations!


There are no sure ways of getting rid of oily skin, but there are steps in your skincare and make-up routines that can reduce the shine. I just naturally lost the oiliness when I was around the age of 20. I don’t know why.

Enlarged pores are caused by the sebaceous gland releasing oil, which then rises to the surface of the skin and collects in the pore. This is a common skin complaint for those with oily skin, even if you have a great skincare routine. If your skin naturally releases a lot of oil then there’s not much you can do to avoid enlarged pores.

You also can’t get rid of them – annoying, I know! There are, however, ways of to make them less noticeable and prevent them from growing bigger.

  1. Don’t resort to harsh ingredients

    The super clean feeling can be addictive, but using harsh cleansers will strip your skin of its natural oils, leaving your skin overly dry (flaky skin is not a good look) or making your skin even more oily. Wash your skin in the morning and at night. If you wear make-up, then use a cleanser that will take it off.

  2. Go easy on exfoliants

    Face scrubs are brilliant for sloughing away dead skin cells, improving skin texture and unclogging pores. Although glycolic acid is great for breakouts (what with its drying and resurfacing properties), a strong exfoliator will sensitise your skin if used too frequently. This can leave your skin even more dry and sensitive and may cause you to breakout. Limit the use of strong exfoliators to once a week or forgo them altogether if you already have sensitive skin.

  3. Same with face masks

    Clay formulas will be your best friend but, just like with face scrubs, you should limit the use of face masks to once of twice a week. I usually apply them after exfoliating my skin.

  4. Use a gentle toner

    A gentle, soothing facial toner will help to unclog pores by removing oil and grime. It also helps to restore your skin’s PH balance after your naturally acidic skin reacts to the alkaline cleanser.

  5. Don’t skip on the moisturiser

    Oily skin still needs to be hydrated. Opt for an oil free gel formulation that will absorb into your skin quickly without feeling greasy or heavy on your skin.

  6. Same with SPF

    Sunscreens have come a long way through the years. There are many formulas out there that are easily absorbed, non-greasy, don’t clog pores, and are suitable to use under make-up.

Make-up recommendations:

For enlarged pores

Use a silicone pore filling primer under your foundation.

For oily skin

Oil free mineral foundations will give you great coverage and control shine without making your skin look heavy and cakey.

Use a setting powder after applying foundation, and carry a compact in your bag to blot away shine during the day).


Ah, teenage hormones – they’re all the rage. Oh they rage alright! Your body and mind goes through immense changes during your teen years as you transition from childhood to adulthood. Unfortunately, most people still get spots as an adult – whether that’s due to hormonal changes (like your period), having oily skin, or not having a good skincare routine and diet. You need to figure out why you have spots and if you have a good skincare routine, drink enough water and don’t eat rubbish all the time then it’s probably due to your hormones.

I would advise a similar skincare routine as detailed above. Be careful with products that are aimed for acne prone skin because they tend to be overly drying and can sensitise your skin, which can lead to even more breakouts!

Make-up recommendation:

  1. Moisturise and prime your skin prior to foundation for smooth application.

  2. Go easy on the concealer – cakey skin is not a good look!

So that’s it for now! Stay tuned for the next post in my skincare series. If you have any questions then get in touch in the comments or find me on Instagram and Twitter @themayanirvana

Until next time,

Maya x