Pre-teen Acne Remedies

Updated on January 20, 2010
J.D. asks from Grapevine, TX
20 answers

My 6th grader will be turning 12 next month. He's very athletic and active, so I assumed this would start at some point. He's beginning to get little pimples on his nose (minor) but noticing. I'd like to find out what is recommended for boys at this age. With them being so young, I didn't know if something like ProActive was too "potent". I've seen something by Burt's Bees and Nutrogena. I was hoping for some good suggestions for pre-teens, what's clinicially okay and what's worked to curb the oncoming acne. We are just using facial cloths at night right now for any preventative. Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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answers from Dallas on

i have tried proactiv and several fo the other things listed. the only thing that has worked for us is PanOxyl it can be found at walmart or cvs. It is excellent. i mean better than anything else i have found. i have tried neutrogena, oyx, noxema and can go on and on. this is a bar of soap that truly works. it is so hard to find at walmart because it is usually sold out. so i have started buying it at cvs now. good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I had very oily skin as a teen and to avoid acne would use Noxema both morning and evening. In the mornings, I would swab the problem areas of my face with Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol that acted as an astringent and helped close up the pores to prevent excessive dirt and oil build up creating black heads.

You may advise him to avoid chocolate, carbonated beverages and increase his water intake.

Good Luck!

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answers from Dallas on

I have two boys (12&20) they use Cetaphyl(I think that is spelled correctly). It is over the counter and walmart even has a generic one. It is not drying like some are yet it controls the oil. We did the proactive with our older son and it never worked. We also tried clearasil and did not have any luck with that. It is trial and error and could take a while. I was like you and did not really want anything too strong. My sister used proactive and it did not work so she gave us what she had left or I would never have tried it. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hello JD,
The biggest key is to get into a routine that covers the following steps a dermatologist will tell you...
1. Cleanse Am and PM
2. Mask/exfoliate (at least twice a week)
3. Tone/freshen AM and PM
4. Moisturize Am and PM (yes even with oils if you have the right moisturizer that locks in the natural oil and soaks up the excess oils)

Then when an acne spot pops up...Acne treatment gel to apply after the toner step or anytime as needed during the day.

The Mom's who are clients of mine keep the Velocity skin care set with an Acne Treatment gel for their sons.

With Mary Kay you receive a 100% Satisfaction guarantee. This allows you never to have a buying "mistake". The key to the system is to use it consistently.
My oldest daughter didn't beleive me and so she kept skipping it. Well, when she got some deep acne spots she started being consistent and she was much happier. Lesson learned, I hope.

You can check it all out on my web site.
I deliver at no extra cost and you are welcome to ask as many questions as you need throughout the years of caring for your skin.

If you would like a photo of a young man and his results from horrible acne I will look it up on my new computer and see if I can access the file.

Just for you,
[email protected]



answers from Kansas City on

Hi JD,
I had acne growing up and continued into adulthood until I found an awesome new face wash and acne system from the company I help set up customer accounts for. Feel free to visit my website at to get more information if you're interested. I tried numerous medications from my dermatologist, but never cleared the problem. I tried ProActive and it only aggravated my skin more. The skincare system I'm using now is wonderful. It has tea tree oil in it which is proved to be a fantastic alternative to the highly alcohol and benzyl peroxide treatments you find at the local supermarket. Hope this helps!



answers from Dallas on

NuSkin has a product that my kids were all on. It is incredible for teens. It is Glacial Marine Mud. It is all natural, opens the pores and pulls out all the oil, and other things (pollution, smoke, etc) that gets in his pores. We also have other items that would help him. You can look at them and contact me through my website. I will be happy to answer all you questions and guide you to what would be best for him. I know you will not be disappointed with the results, as we have a money back guarantee. M.



answers from Dallas on

Many parents have found our Velocity line to work great for their teenage sons and daughters. It's light but is made specifically for blemish-prone skin. I would be more than happy to send you a sample if you'd like to try it out! You'd probably get a few days use from a sampler. It's extremely affordable and first orders are an additional 20% off with me! :) God Bless....and good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I would suggest putting him on a routine for cleansing his face. In the morning and in the afternoon. I don't like the Burt's Bees products( so heavy) and i would go with the Nutrogena. The simplest way is to get him into using the Oxy sensitive cleansing pads twice a day and an exfoliant once a week. whenever he gets a pimple make sure he doesn't touch it at all and if you have any antibiotic oinement ( like nueospor ) put it over it. Using a good moisturizer,cleanser and an exfoliant are the key. I know it sounds so much for a 12 years old but it is either or i guess and a this age they are so much about the way they look :).


answers from Dallas on

Hello J.D.,

I just wanted to give you another option.

Arbonne is a botanically based skin care, health and wellness company. They have an acne line that does not contain benzoyl peroxide. Which is what makes a lot of other acne lines so strong. Arbonne's products are botanically based, ph correct, dermatologist tested, contains no animal products or by-products (Vegan certified), never tested on animals, no mineral oil, and hypoallergenic.

The acne line has a supplement which works from the inside out and also a spot treatment for break outs in addition to wash, toner, and moisturizer.

Please let me know if you'd like further information.

Take care and God bless!



answers from Tyler on

My 15 yr old dgtr began using proactive at your sons age, it is very potent..if you have any doubt just ask to see the towels of a proactive user! That being said, it works for my dgtr, she has beautiful skin. She also uses the battery operated pore cleaner available over the counter (I want to say it neutrogena) and since it may look and sound more like a "tool" it could be appealing to your son.

Good luck!


answers from Dallas on

As a pro-active approach when our daughter was somewhere around 11, we went to the dermatologist to get a heads up and be ready.

Dr. Menter and his group at Baylor are awesome. Great Dr.s.

My daughter is 15 now and has flawless skin....(not by chance...she works on it. We have gone to Dr. Menter every year since she was 11 or so for a check. She uses Duac on a daily basis. The Rx comes with a face wash as well. It is pricey....I have a mail in Rx and pay $100 for 3 months worth...OR if I mess up and need it asap, it is $40 a month.

Proactive did not work for us, it was too strong.

Clenasers that the Dr. recommends are also very reasonably priced at Target, grocery stores, etc Purpose, Cetaphil are 2 of the best. Nutrogena is also a good one.

We are avid users of Clinique products (also Dr. recommended). You are guaranteed if you don't like them you can return them. They have an acne wash that daughter uses and a moisturizer which is a gel which is good for teen skin.

We are very diligent on face washing at night and morning. It is habit your son needs to develop. It helps a lot to maintain the skin.

Good luck!!



answers from Dallas on

FYI: Our dermatologist said is not uncommon for athletic kids to get acne on their back, that is how our athletic daughter was. Good Luck.



answers from Dallas on

I was interested in the responses to your question because my DD who will be 8 in 6 weeks(!!) is starting to show a few little pimples at her hair line under her bangs and every once and a while on her nose. When I read the one about Milk of Magnesia, I was like, Oh, yea! I used MOM when I was in high school. Would put it on before bed, just on the breakout and it would dry it up. I remember one time before leaving on a trip with the youth group at church, I woke up with a zit and totally freaked out (you know teens.) I put MOM on it and when it had dried, I would flake it off and reapply. By the time I left that afternoon, the zit was gone! Thanks for reminding me about what I already knew!



answers from Dallas on

Maybe he could start of with something gentle like Cetaphil or Purpose because they don't dry out your skin and make pimples worse like a lot of these products out there. They were recommended to me by my dermatologist when I was 15 and dealing with acne. He also told me to stay away from things like ketchup, mustard, pepper (of all things), and basically anything that was really acidic and had vinegar in it, as well as fried foods and sugary snacks and drinks (of course). I was amazed that my face cleared up within a month. It's not fun to deal with but at least you're being proactive and taking care of it now. Good luck!!



answers from Dallas on

I have gone the dermo route before...ended up using Accutane which worked for several years but last year, my acne resurfaced with avengence. I tried antibiotics again to no avail...was about to get serious and head back to the doc again when my mom sent me a link like this:

I can't believe it but Milk of Magnesia has been working so WELL for me! $3.50 a bottle for the generic kind, plus I use my current products (apricot scrub to exfoliate and then Cetaphil daily cleanser) and just before I get out of my morning shower, I pour a handful of MoM, apply it to my face and let it sit about a minute of so. I rinse before I get out of the shower, and poof! A MUCH clearer face! Instead of a constant crop of 10+ blemishes, I've ended up with only ONE during my monthly cycle. So cool!

Other folks use it differently too, they let it dry and keep it on over night. If you're willing to try something new, Milk of Magnesia is sooo cheap and even I can't believe how effective it is.



answers from Dallas on

Some of the different cosmetics lines also offer skin care for teens. MaryKay has a line and I've heard good things about it. I just started my own business with MaryKay, so I don't have personal experience with the teen line, but I can check with my associates for you to see what might be helpful :)



answers from Boston on

Check out there is some good advice there on skin care



answers from Dallas on

I suffered with acne and had to go to the extreme of taking accutane at two diferent times in my life, teens and post baby. I started trying to prevent problems for my very active son in the 5th grade. My dermatologist, and several others that friends have gone to, recommended starting a regimen with Cetaphil, cleanser and lotion. Walmart carries an equate brand of this, as well. But, your son MUST use it on a regular basis. Using the oxipads can cause more trouble, espcially on young sensitive skin. They over dry the skin and cause more pimples. Don't think that all people with acne and pimple have oily skin. I have always had dry skin, yet suffered for years with acne. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

Hi, since he is so young would NOT recommend pro active or anything else that strong. Your best bet is clearasile or neutrogena. Both brands have a "for guys" product line. It sounds like all he needs right now is a facial wash followed by a vanishing cream. He should do this morning and night as part of his routine. Since he plays sports it would be even better if he could wash up after practice too. Unfortunately no matter what you do he is still going to have acne. He's going into puberty and it will be a part of his life. Hopefully this will help make it not so bad. Good luck.



answers from Dallas on

i would go with ProActive and get him started on the best non prescription acne regime i can.

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