What Is a Good Product for Teen Breakouts?

Updated on December 08, 2015
S.G. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
11 answers

My son has started getting some minor breakouts. I didn't get many pimples as a teen and think one tube of Clearasil lasted me throughout my teen years. I was just wondering if there is a better product I can get him to help with this. I think my husbands side of the family is more prone to acne than my side, so I want to be prepared.

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answers from Washington DC on

clearasil wasn't strong enough for my younger son. proactiv worked well for him. but i know that's not always the case either.
might need to consult a dermatologist if the OTC stuff doesn't do the trick.
i'm in awe that you got through adolescence with one tube of clearasil! oh, how pimples plagued me!
S. (candy queen who STILL gets an occasional zit! in my 50s!)

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answers from Dallas on

I took my daughter to the dermatologist as a proactive move when she was around 11 and I knew puberty would be approaching.

Thankfully, she's never had any big issue other than an occasional zit.

One thing drilled in my head as a teen was the routine facial cleansing twice a day. I did the same with daughter. Once you're in the habit, it's not much extra time from a morning or evening routine.

Our Dr suggests Clinique products for cleansing as well as Purpose and Cetaphil. Clinique has an acne line and we will use the spot medicine if a zit appears.

Best wishes to you and good for you for taking a proactive approach as well!

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answers from Portland on

There are washes (like Neutrogena Acne Wash) that they recommend - they have salicylic acid in them and the kids can leave on their face a minute or two. Mine would never do this as it's just a chore to get them to wash their faces, so we stick with the Dove soap recommended by our dermatologist. Mine have sensitive skin (eczema and allergies) so this works well for us. It's in the shower already, so they will use it. And especially after sports.

If they clean their skin twice a day (morning and night) it keeps the pimples and blackheads at bay. If they don't, they break out - nothing major, but just washing is the big thing here. Mine have a tube of salicylic acid acne breakout stuff not too strong a strength that we just got at drug store, for the occasional breakout. Can't find the tube, but I just asked what the top seller was. It usually comes in regular strength and extra - I started with regular strength. Works for us. I would start there and see how it goes. They say if washing and using salicylic doesn't help within 2 weeks, then you go see a dermatologist.

Good luck :)

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answers from Philadelphia on

Take your son to a dermatologist and get expert advice about the type of acne your son has.

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answers from Beaumont on

My son had HORRIBLE acne. We tried everything including a dermatologist who wanted to put him on Accutane. Ahhh....NO. After much research, I landed on acne.org and used the products they sold (which are very reasonably priced) and they worked like a charm. Just letting you know in case the rest of your suggestions for milder products don't work. Good luck!

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answers from Washington DC on

The product X Out works for my teen. It's made by the company that also makes Proactiv brand acne products for adults, but X Out is marketed for teens. The good thing is that it's a single product--kids wash their faces with it twice a day and that's all; they don't have to wash, then apply other creams etc. It contains benzoyl peroxide which seems to work much better for my daughter than salicylic acid-based products ever did (benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are the two ingredients that are in most acne products). Your son might need to be patient and try more than one product before he finds the one that works best for him.

If his acne is really mild, you might start with a less expensive product like a non-medicated wash (Cetaphil or Purpose as someone mentioned below) and then medicated cream only on the pimple.

All these products can be drying to teens' skin, so be aware of that. If product over-dries, it's not for him.

By the way, X Out is not in stores, you'll have to go online and order it there. It's not cheap but for my kid it does work well enough that it's worth the cost.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

Anything with that Salicylic Acid in it. Dial has a bar soap that we use sometimes. There are several products for "bumpy skin" too.

It depends on the cause of the acne.

Our pediatrician said our girls was due to too much Keritin building up in the pores. Then when it's not cleaned off it gets hard on top, makes a white head, and then it gets inflamed due to more being produced. So it gets red and irritated and sore.

The research I did helped us to make a plan. She washes her face each day and gently exfoliates her skin by using the Salicylic Acid product. THEN, THEN, THEN the skin has to have tons of moisture. We used Coconut Oil for a while but when she would give me a hug or sit by me my face would itch. She uses a different moisturizer now.

If the skin is cleaned but doesn't get a layer of moisture on it it makes it worse. If it's not exfoliated when it's cleaned then the pores don't get unplugged up and they get even more irritation and stuff.

Please check with the pediatrician and then do your own research. You can also take him to a dermatologist but even doing some research on your own will help you find a lot of information.

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answers from Boise on

I would say a face scrub they have several out there i found that the apricot scrub is the best...i have a bad tendency to break out, i have oily skin doesn't help i am in my twenties and still get breakouts from time to time and just use a facial apricot face scrub.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I would be careful with "acne" products. The acne products are usually drying and strips the skin of its oils, which will cause the skin to produce excess oils to compensate, which will then cause more acne. I would have him use a regular cleanser (not made for acne) like Liquid Neutrogena/Neutrogena bar soap or Cetaphil gentle cleanser. I would then have him use a spot treatment product. I found Zirh's Fix works well for spot treatment. Dermatologist prescribed acne products are usually very potent so I would try over the counter stuff first before seeking prescription products. In the end, everyone's skin is different so you will probably have a try different products to find the one that works. Good luck! I know what he's going through because I had acne into my 20s.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My son had some success with Defense soap. I buy it online. He was on the wrestling team 2 years ago, and they constantly battle skin infections and can be sidelined for having one. Can't remember how it was recommended to me, but he used it and his acne also seemed to respond positively to it. (has some essential oils in it)

He doesn't have near the acne situation he was having anymore, but he is also 2 years older, so perhaps he's aging out of it a bit as well. Hard to say. It's not terribly expensive (not like a prescription treatment or anything, probably cheaper than some of the OTC facial washes, too), but if you're not an Amazon Prime member, you may spend a few dollars on shipping. You can get it in liquid/gel form, but I just bought the bar soap. He's pretty particular about scents and things, and he likes it fine.

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answers from Houston on

Our dermatologist recommends the Neutrogena face washes. I have found that with my teen, regular washing of the face (she only does it once a day but could do it twice) has helped keep acne down and is easier than spot treating flare ups. She also uses the oil blotting strips when something starts to pop up and that seems to help it from getting too out of control. Good luck!

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