Rain or shine, it’s great to have enjoyed the summer break and, whether your teenagers have been dipping into Cirencester Open Air pool or heading off to Feastival or Womad, it’s now time for them to settle back into a routine and get ready for a new and challenging year.

It can be pretty full-on for teenagers, studying, preparing for these next important years and you are the back-up support, helping with whatever is needed to make the journey a little less stressful. It’s the seemingly little things that can help so much, eliminating extra anxiety by putting in place a few simple routines or fixes will mean just a little less to think or worry about.

One of those things is skincare; just a five-minute morning and evening ritual is just enough time for your teen to take some deep breaths and tell themselves ‘I am doing okay, I am alright.’

Get them in the habit

Establishing an easy skincare routine now will see them through life. Different brands and products may come and go, but a simple routine will stay with them as an integral structure they can build around. A simple act, like brushing teeth or combing hair, gives them a framework that can hold the rest of the day together. They can adjust according to each change of season, checking in with a brief assessment: ‘Is my skin looking dehydrated or looking a little congested or dull?’ With a seasonal observation they may need to up the moisturiser or give a little more attention when doing their evening cleanse.

Let’s start with water. Yep, drink some regularly. But also use it to wash your face – like Goldilocks and the three bears, not too hot, not too cold; it needs to be just right. Warm tepid water is what’s needed to keep the skin clean and fresh; too hot and it can damage and irritate your skin, setting off a flare up. Too cold, whilst great as a wake up and to reduce puffiness, it won’t remove the grime or make up, so make like Goldilocks and keep your water just nice and warm and plenty of it.

Keeping the balance

Always use a good, soft face cloth. No face wipes or cotton wool as they are simply too harsh for any skin, particularly young delicate skin. Even muslin cloth can be abrasive, I always opted for super-soft bamboo, naturally antibacterial, anti-fungal – easy to put through the wash. Combine this with a cleansing balm. I know an oil-based cleanser may scare them, but it’s going to remove dirt, grime and make-up without cutting back through their natural skin oils. This is crucial to allowing their skin to find its natural balance and not get into that vicious cycle of stripping back the skin’s oils, triggering the skin into over-production that leads to breakouts. If they can get this right now it will save lots of angst and upset later trying to correct the imbalance caused earlier.

Set the right toner

Toner, what is it good for? It’s a light refreshing wake up for their skin. It cleanses, invigorates, tightens the pores and hydrates the skin, preparing it to receive a face oil. The two work in collaboration, both drawing in all the antioxidants and vitamins from the oil, whilst moisturising and retaining the hydrating effects from the toner. Keep the toner gentle, free from alcohol, non-astringent.

Skin food

Face oil should be a natural blend of oils most rich in vitamins and nutrients, such as rosehip, evening primrose, calendula and camellia. These oils will not make the skin oily; they will feed the skin, maintaining elasticity whilst nourishing.

A moisturiser is then optional, and this may change throughout the year, the month and environmental conditions; sometimes needing none at all, sometimes your teen’s skin may need a bit more moisture and protection.

In short: Stress-free teen skincare routine

1) Cleanse morning and evening with a cleansing balm and a good, soft cloth. Tip: if they can’t manage anything else, no matter how crazy things get, do the cleanse at night; they will feel so much better in the morning and their skin will thank them a million times.

2) Spritz with toner, allowing 15 seconds for the skin to take up the hydration.

3) While skin is just damp from the toner, place eight drops of oil onto the palm of the hand, press palms together and gently press palms onto the face and neck until all the oil is taken up. Tip: breathe deeply throughout the process, be in the moment, look in the mirror and have a smile.

Of course, you can offer all manner of teachings and wisdom, but whether a teen takes it on board is quite another matter!

Follow on Twitter: @aniskincare