“Put your best face forward”

Pampering skin helps banish blemishes

Put your best face forwardYou wake up and look in the mirror and there it is  — a huge red zit right in the middle of your face. Well, don’t freak out. Close to 100 percent of people ages 12 to 17 have at least an occasional whitehead, blackhead or pimple, according the American Academy of Dermatology. So if you’re plagued by acne, here are some steps to take to ensure pimple-free prom pictures.

Spa solutions
Many teens are finding that facials are a great way to combat acne an dry skin. But schedule your facial at least a week in advance so your skin has time to calm down afterward. The same goes for any exfoliating treatment; it can be great to help clean up dead skin cells, but it can leave your skin with some redness.

“You want to look really hydrated so you can have a healthy glow,” explains Lindsay Carlisle, esthetics learning leader at the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology (SFIEC). “A hydrating treatment will really help your skin look fresh and glowing, healthy and beautiful for the photos. It will also help your makeup go on smoothly.”

“Get a mild facial,” agrees Marjorie Prince, recent SFIEC graduate. “Wait for any dramatic treatments until after prom. A good hydrating treatment will help your skin glow the next day so get a skin brightening treatment or a customized face treatment the day before prom.”

Home treatments
For at-home treatments there are a few great products available. Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion ($17; www.mariobadescu.com) makes a great overnight spot treatment. It’s made from a blend of calamine and salicylic acid. It doesn’t smell great and it can sting a bit, but you’ll see a huge difference by morning.

Another amazing home treatment product to try is the Zeno Acne Clearing Device ($149 and up; www.myzeno.com). This little gadget is completely painless and safe and uses heat to zap away your zit.

“In a clinical trial, 90 percent of blemishes treated with Zeno faded or disappeared within 24 to 48 hours,” explains Hannah Abney, spokesperson for Zeno. “The
two-and-a-half-minute treatment cycle kills the bacteria that cause mild to moderate acne. The precisely controlled heat and the treatment time are what makes it so much more effective than anything else.”

The handheld device beeps to let you know when your treatment is done. It works best at the first sign of a pimple, says Abney, and then you can use two or three treatment cycles over 12 to 24 hours. Zeno is available in different colors and comes in a leather travel case with a mirror inside.

Getting a routine
No special, at-home product treatments or spa services are meant to replace a good routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing. Keep your face fresh and healthy looking by implementing your routine every morning and evening.

Be careful not to be overly vigorous with washing and scrubbing because that can actually irritate your skin and make acne worse.

“Make sure you moisturize your skin all the time, every day,” says esthetician and makeup artist Isabel Ureña of the San Francisco Institute of Esthetics and Cosmetology. “If you have oily skin, use an oil-free moisturizer. The moisture will help your makeup go on more smoothly; it’s really an essential step. The common misconception is that oily skin doesn’t need moisturizer, but it really does.”

The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends against squeezing blemishes or picking at acne, using noncomedogenic cosmetics and avoiding
excess exposure to sunlight.


Article published in The San Fransisco Chronicle’s “Prom Guide” custom publication in March 2008. Download PDF of original article to view full layout with PHOTOS!

© Gabriana Marks 2012.

Tags: style, beauty, skincare, teen, prom, pre-prom skincare