A teen’s first skin care routine

Many pharmacy assistants have the privilege of being part of a teenager’s first skin care routine, with retail pharmacy offering products for all skin types. Here, Retail Pharmacy Assistants breaks down the simplest skin care routines for teens and suggests how you can help them achieve their skin care goals.

What to remember
Teens most likely won’t have a huge amount to spend and will therefore search for items that are budget friendly and won’t hurt their skin.

  • While teens will be battling a range of concerns due to puberty, such as acne, blackheads, whiteheads and oil build-up, it’s often best to keep it simple, especially to begin with.
  • Some teens who suffer from severe acne will need to seek advice from a GP, with the possibility of being placed on prescribed medication.
  • Teens can conduct patch tests by rubbing a little of the product on the back of their hand to begin with, to ensure they don’t experience any irritation.


Step by step 

Dermatologists suggest keeping skin care routines at their simplest, especially when starting out. This consists of:1

Cleansing. The first step in a skin care routine helps rid the skin of any dirt build-up. Considering the teen’s skin type – dry, oily or combination – will help determine the kind of products suggested. Teens with dry skin should use a hydrating cleanser to help build up the skin’s barrier, whereas those with oilier skin should use a cleanser focused on preventing acne, which can all be found at a pharmacy.

 Moisturising. Using a moisturiser is the second step in the skin care routine and will help lock in all the appropriate skin nutrients, increase hydration, and prevent dryness and wrinkles. It’s never too early to start thinking ahead.

 Sun protection. No matter what that skin type, using sunscreen is an important part of the routine and should be used by everyone after applying all other products.1,2<superscript> Australians are at high risk of being affected by sun spots and skin cancer if they’re not kept protected from the UV rays.

Vital role of the PA
When a teen begins to explore makeup and skin care, the experience can be a little nerve-racking. Some may not have a role model or family member they feel comfortable with in asking for help in this area, which is where a pharmacy assistant comes in.

Ensuring the customer is comfortable and asking them about what they’d like to achieve with their skin care routine, and how much time they have to put into it, will allow you to provide genuinely helpful answers, and also break the ice to help allay any discomfort they may feel.

If your pharmacy has testers, then ensure the client can try the products before buying, so they can walk away confidently.


  1. The Strategist, US, 2023. ‘The best skin care routine for teens, according to dermatologists’. nymag.com/strategist/article/best-skincare-routine-for-teens.html
  2. Banner Health, US, 2022. Dermatologist-recommended skin care tips for teens and young adults’. bannerhealth.com/healthcareblog/better-me/dermatologist-recommended-skin-care-tips-for-teens-and-young-adults

This article was in Retail Pharmacy Assistants February emagazine.