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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

There’s a lot to be said about teen life, particularly when it comes to blemishes. While most teens get acne at some point, it’s almost universal that it’s a source of self-conscious embarrassment. While you can’t make it easy, you can help your teen to deal with this annoyance and maintain high self-esteem in spite of imperfections.

Remind Them It’s Temporary

They say that soldiers’ lives are measured in seconds. With tweeting, Facebook updates and the reminder that nothing happened if there aren’t any pics to prove it, teen lives might even be faster-paced. And the social stigma that can happen to a teen if they’re not seen as perfect can feel like a miniature death. So while a dark spot corrector is a great move to look better, it doesn’t work instantly. Your teen will have to wait a bit.

Do your best to remind your teen that for all the discomfort of having blemishes, they are just a temporary thing. Most people outgrow the worst of it by the time they graduate high school, and all but adult rosacea is generally gone by the middle of college. So it’s not worth getting too obsessed with. Worrying might even make breakouts worse!

Remind Them That Others are in the Same Boat

Teens are still children in some ways, regardless of what they like to think. So remind your teen that the blemish-free models and actors they see on TV are usually just in heavy make-up and even digitally altered. Ask your teen how many of his or her friends also have blemishes and they’ll probably admit that it’s a decent percentage. So with that being the case, it’s actually more weird not to have a little acne than to have some.

Remind Them to Keep Clean

Cleanliness is a big deal. With teen schedules being tighter and more demanding than ever before, it’s way too easy to get caught up in not regularly washing their faces very well. While scrubbing will only make acne worse, a few minutes with a wash cloth can do wonders to keep things clear, or even to clear up existing blemishes over a few days.

Have Them Take Acne-Minimizing Precautions

The average teen carries more stuff in an average day than a stevedore working on a dock. In a lot of cases, a large percentage of this “stuff” is makeup and that makeup may actually be part of the problem, as it can contribute to clogged up pores and bacterial buildup. Ask your teen to minimize the use of makeup and it may make a serious difference.

Remind Them That Their Looks Aren’t Everything

Everyone wants to look great, but it isn’t everything. Just because your teen isn’t perfect-looking doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to be around and a great person. Real friends don’t care if you look great, and dating that’s based on physical attraction usually doesn’t last very long.

While these are lessons they probably won’t heed until they’re older, you can’t say I told you so without telling them so first. Imperfections in skin happen. The good news is, your teen has a parent who really loves them and is willing to give the best advice possible.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want teens with good self-images.

Image courtesy of incurable_hippie via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.