The Best Upgrades For Your Teenage Skincare Faves

Routine 101

The Best Upgrades For Your Teenage Skincare Faves

By Hanna Yowell

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Whether you’re currently living at home (research—and maybe your IG Close Friends stories, too—shows you’re not alone!), visiting the fam for the holidays, or just going down nostalgia lane, chances are you’ll uncover a few soda-flavored lip balms, overly-aggressive acne treatments, and various other remnants from the beginning of your skincare journey.

With that, may we suggest something...better? Let’s be honest, you and your skin deserve it. Here’s a roundup of some of our once-favorite-now-cringey skincare, and how each can level-up.

Teen Product Upgrades:
THEN: Teen Spirit Deodorant
NOW: Corpus Deodorant

Although there’s no doubt Teen Spirit’s retro nostalgia is pretty iconic, we can’t quite say its formula has stood the test of time like the hit song it inspired did. Corpus, meanwhile, uses naturally-derived enzymes and fruit extracts (rather than some questionable ingredients like aluminum) to neutralize body odor. And besides being a much more natural, sustainable choice, there are several incredible scents to choose from—like the earthy, yet herbaceous Botanist and the refreshing, salt-and-sweet California.

THEN: St. Ives Apricot Scrub
NOW: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Okay, we know the pitfalls of the Apricot Scrub have been discussed at length, but we’re here to toss our hat in the ring and say this product is not our fave either. If you find it laying around your parents’ house, instead of throwing it out (unless it’s expired), go ahead and use it on dry body spots that could use some exfoliating love—like your elbows or heels. And to actually achieve that brighter, smoother skin that the scrub promised (but, didn’t quite deliver on), Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is a game-changer. This rice-based powder gently foams to release active ingredients that polish (not strip!) your skin.

THEN: Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Spot Treatment
NOW: Hero Cosmetics Micropoint For Blemish

Does this first product give anyone else flashbacks to panic-buying C&C spot treatments before a junior high dance, or is that just us? On second look, however, this formula can be quite irritating. Instead, try the latest and greatest innovation in spot treatments: pimple patches. The Hero Micropoint patches target the pimple’s core, where topicals can’t reach, speeding up the skin's healing process.

While our young, teenage skin may have been able to weather these poor formulations, the truth is, it no longer can. Now’s the time to be conscious about what goes in your products and on your skin.

THEN: Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit
NOW: Naturopathica Colloidal Silver & Salicylic Acid Acne Clearing Cleanser

If you still want a salicylic acid-rich face wash that won’t totally strip your skin barrier (sorry, Pink Grapefruit—you’re cute, but super drying!), reach for this velvety Naturopathica cleanser instead. Start fighting and preventing acne in the first step of your routine with this oil-clearing, hyperpigmentation-healing cleanser.

THEN: Banana Boat Tanning Oil
NOW: Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50

If you’re still using tanning oil in the year 2020, this is a safe space to repent and turn a new leaf. We’ll even make letting go of bad habits easy by recommending a true glow-up of an oil we actually do recommend wearing in the sun. You’ll love Supergoop’s Glow Oil, which has an SPF 50 to keep you safe and protected while also deeply hydrating the skin.

THEN: Clean & Clear Oil-Absorbing Sheets
NOW: Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30

Why absorb oil when you can prevent it altogether? These oil-absorbing sheets might’ve been a handy locker room go-to, but Dermalogica’s incredible sunscreen absorbs oil and mattifies skin while protecting it from UV light. Plus, it works great as a primer.

THEN: Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Wipes
NOW: Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes

Say yes to a slightly exfoliating, hydration-boosting quick cleanse with Ursa Major’s on-the-go face wipes, a stellar upgrade from the towelettes of the past that left our skin sensitized and raw. We love to keep these in a gym or work bag for a speedy refresh, plus they’re perfect for travel, or for now, an ideal treatment to swipe on right after wearing a mask to prevent acne and congestion.

THEN: DIY Acne Mask
NOW: Shaffali Volcanic Ash & Sage Facial Earth Mask

From toothpaste to avocado/lemon concoctions, dare say we’ve all done a bit of experimentation when it comes to masking. But keep those supplies in your cabinets and off your face, and use an esthetician-approved mask instead. Shaffali’s mineral-rich treatment is a detoxifying, pore-purifying mask that can double as a spot treatment for when you’re in a pinch.

THEN: Biore Pore Strips
NOW: Moon Juice Acid Potion

Pore strips may have been a fun (admittedly, quite instantly gratifying) way to pop surface-level gunk out, but the truth is, they aren’t getting to the root of what’s going on, like blackheads and congestion. Plus, they can be super irritating. Mature this ritual with an exfoliant, like Moon Juice’s Acid Potion, which uses a mix of AHAs and BHAs to clear follicles of debris and bacteria while promoting rapid cell turnover.

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