ANY skin condition, particularly on the face, can not only feel uncomfortable but affect our self-esteem.

It is common for teenagers to get a congested skin, particularly on the T-zone. Ironically you get through the teenage years and as you reach your 40s, particularly during the menopause for women, problems such as acne rosacea – otherwise known as adult acne – can appear.

Men can also suffer with this skin condition too.

The good news is there is help and steps that you can follow to help to combat both teenage and adult acne.

Teenage acne

Teenage years can be tough for some.

Raging hormones, exam stress, experimenting with the wrong products, anxiety, late nights, incorrect cleansing or for some not cleansing on a regular basis, and sometimes poor diet can all contribute to acne flair ups. For others there looks to be no prominent cause.

As soon as the skin starts to break out, take action so that it doesn’t get out of hand.

Using harsh products is not always the answer. In my experience, often a teenage skin can be extremely sensitive and, whilst oily, can also be dehydrated.

My approach is to calm and balance the skin. A thorough consultation is the key to finding the correct treatment or products.

My main concern with acne is the risk of scarring if it isn’t treated – so don’t leave it.

Always patch test any new product, and as I have said many times before, don’t introduce too many products at once.

A good time to apply a twice weekly mask for teens is after school when staying in, it can be left on whilst doing homework.

I advise a lot of teens to use the Elemis Herbal Lavender Repair Mask. It repairs and calms the redness of a congested skin without being overly drying.

I use a combination of machinery to treat problem skins. An oxygen facial from my Comcit machine is a gentle way to start as it both cools the skin and has antibacterial properties.

If necessary microdermabrasion can be used to alleviate scarring. I have also used LED treatment to calm the acne, or IPL which falls under the umbrella of laser.

Using IPL on acne can be very effective as it reduces inflammation and can help to reduce some acne scarring but not all. That is why it is wise not to let your skin condition get out of control.

Every treatment plan can vary as we are all unique and individual, skins need to be treated with careful consideration and planning.

Adult acne – Acne Rosacea

This skin is usually recognised by persistent high colour or redness in the central part of the face, sometimes butterflying out to the cheeks.

It can be swollen and may have red spots too, or at times you may feel stinging or burning sensations, often small blood vessels in the skin become more visible. Some people also notice that they have developed a very red nose.

I find that IPL is often a good treatment for some rosacea as it can treat some of the small vessels that contribute to the red appearance of the skin.

How to treat

Use a recommended home care routine, avoid perfumed soaps or any products containing alcohol, and wear a good but gentle sun screen.

Avoid triggers (see right), eat a healthy and well-balanced diet and consider taking turmeric (check with your GP if you are taking other medication).

Use a good anti-redness moisturiser, cover up with a green camouflage concealer under foundation, and see a skin specialist or dermatologist for some specific treatment.

If you have depressed or sunken acne scars from your teenage years, then there are other treatments available.

I have observed good results from a treatment called Profhilo, this treatment is where a type of hyaluronic acid is injected in to the skin.

The result that I have observed is that pitting of the skin looks more even. Always go to an experienced doctor for this, so do your research.

Top tips

Don’t just leave your skin condition to get out of hand and get professional advice.

A good skin specialist can be a great first point of call as sometimes an adaption to your skin care routine may be enough.

If those adaptations don’t work, then a skin specialist can use a variety of treatments to help to clear the skin. If all those options don’t work then a visit to your doctor may help. I would ask to be referred to a dermatologist or if you can afford it may be quicker to pay privately to see a dermatologist.


  • Alcohol, often red wine is reported to be the worst offender in triggering a flair up
  • Spicy food
  • Heat or extreme temperatures, so from going outside in the cold to going indoors to the heating or a roaring fire
  • Certain skin care or cosmetics
  • Wind and cold
  • Certain medication
  • Stress
  • Exercise as it can make you warm, don’t give up exercising, as once the rosacea is under control you will gain other benefits from exercising
  • Washing powders, make sure that you are not allergic and if necessary, use a non-biological product.
  • Hairspray, if you use hairspray avoid spraying it near your skin

Observe triggers. Does eating certain foods or using a specific product make the skin react? Keep a diary so that you can avoid triggers.

Cleanse, tone and moisturise every morning and evening. I find that many teenagers even if they are cleansing, they are not doing so thoroughly, near the hair line on the forehead often gets missed as with the crevices of the nose, chin, and jaw line. Encourage your teen to concentrate on those areas.

Apply tea tree oil to spots in a morning and lavender oil at night. Only on the spots so that you don’t dry out the surrounding skin.

Take time to de-stress and relax.

Change bedding regularly, for teenage acne, change your pillow case daily and put on a hot wash, and use cotton pillow cases.

Avoid eating junk food and eat a well-balanced diet.

Avoid alcohol and get enough sleep.

Email Emma with your skincare queries on