Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty

5 mins


Offering teenage facials in your salon will attract younger clients, with many of them remaining loyal to you into adulthood. We asked some professionals about Gen Z skincare

Adding teenage facials to your menu can be a great way of boosting business and expanding your client base, so make sure you are armed with lots of knowledge about how to treat this specific skin type.

“Oily skin caused by hormones is the most common skin condition among teens today, both males and females,” explains Emer O'Callaghan, owner of Emerald Beauty Clinic in Cork. “If neglected, this oily skin will often become acne, but this can easily be prevented if treated in time. Early intervention is crucial when it comes to teenage skin. I try to educate parents on the importance of not turning a blind eye to their teens’ breakouts, or dismissing them as just a phase they will outgrow. I believe teens should be taught basic skincare when they are young.”

“The primary cause of all issues with teenage skin is hormones, and while acne is the most common problem, other conditions such as eczema and dermatitis can flare up as a result of these hormones,” says Katie Slattery-Coll, therapist at Eternal Beauty Salons in Limerick.

“An issue I am seeing more and more of at the moment is impaired skin barriers from the over-use of harsh active ingredients,” says Sandra McCarthy, owner of Orah in Midleton in Co Cork. “Teenagers are sometimes using products that may be too harsh for their skin, and this is stripping the barrier of the elements it needs to function efficiently, causing the skin to become sensitive.”

Treatment options

Like their adult counterparts, consultation is key before any teenage facial treatment. “As a Dermalogica-certified skin therapist, I first do a skin analysis on my teenage clients so I can assess what course of action is needed,” says O'Callaghan. “Depending on the severity of the oiliness and acne, I grade the skin, always being careful on how I word this as teens can be very vulnerable, and self-conscious about their skin and overall appearance. I assess the skin’s sensitivity level to find out what type of exfoliation would be best, if the skin is suitable for a steam or power brush, if its pH needs to be balanced, and if the teen is happy to have extractions done. I also ask them about their main areas of concern, and find out what products they have been using at home.”

“We offer several different teenage facials, using Image Skincare and Guinot products, which we tailor to suit the needs of our clients,” says Slattery-Coll. “Our facials start with a deep, double cleanse, followed by a suitable masque. We may even use different masques on different areas of the face. This is then followed by an extraction of any pimples or blackheads that are ready to come out. Lastly, we finish the facial with a serum, SPF moisturiser, a light massage and some lip complex to hydrate the lips too. We also offer a microdermabrasion facial, which is a deep, skin-cleansing facial using Crystal Clear products.”

“As well as discussing what products they are using at home, we ask our teenage clients about their diet and any supplements they are taking,” says McCarthy.

“This helps us to see what might be causing some skin issues. We mainly use DMK products in our facials, and they can be adapted to suit individual skin conditions, In general, we don't believe in aggressively treating the skin; we follow DMK's approach, which is to ‘remove, rebuild, protect and maintain’. This involves gentle exfoliation, extractions of blackheads if necessary, and applying serums/masques.” facial with a simple at-home skin regime," agrees Slattery-Coll. “We recommend cleansing morning and evening, using a suitable cleanser, followed by an SPF moisturiser during the day. SPF should be a part of everyone's daily routine – it protects the skin from harmful UV rays, even when the sun isn't shining.”

'Teenagers are sometimes using products that may be too harsh for their skin, and this is stripping the barrier of the elements it needs to function efficiently'

“All under-18s must come to the salon with a parent or guardian, so I usually discuss homecare with them,” says O'Callaghan. “Some parents cannot afford both the treatment and homecare products, so in that case I will do up a homecare plan with the three basic cleansing, toning and moisturising.

Homecare habits

Having a good homecare routine is recommended in order to maintain results. “When it comes to treating skin concerns such as acne, 70-80% of the work is done by the client at home, when they are consistent with a morning and evening routine,” says McCarthy. “I believe less is more, and try not to overload the client with products. An appropriate cleanser is important – this step is often overlooked, with teenagers opting for wipes or cheaper micellar water that leaves skin red, irritated, dehydrated and not fully cleansed. A treatment cream is also necessary.”

“It is essential that teens follow up their products, because it's important to accommodate clients' needs and budgets. I always tell teenagers that their skin is very fixable, and I will do my part, but they must follow through with their part too. We work together.”

Social media

With teenagers today never knowing a world without social media, it stands to reason they will be influenced by these platforms. “Social media can be great for educating teenagers on their skin and normalising different conditions, however, it needs to be made clear that there is no skincare routine that is universally suitable for acne or other skin concerns,” warns McCarthy. “Each treatment plan needs to be specific to their needs.”

“Social media plays a huge role in influencing teens today, but not always for the best,” says O'Callaghan. “Filters are giving a false image of some of the people on these platforms. And many influencers and bloggers, who have no beauty or skin qualifications, are giving out inaccurate advice and recommendations. As professionals, we need to make sure we are offering our expertise on social media.”

Such expertise includes encouraging teenagers to give their skin the attention it deserves, as this will be beneficial both now and in the future. “Having a basic cleansing routine and adding the appropriate treatment creams or home masques can help prevent impaired skin barriers, scarring from acne and keep skin healthy,” says McCarthy.

“Teenagers also need to be aware that nutrition plays a major role in chronic skin conditions, and a nutritious and balanced diet is needed in order to promote skin health.”

“Cleansing and moisturising daily, and using SPF can all help to combat premature ageing, pigmentation and dehydration,” says Slattery-Coll.

Meanwhile, treating and educating teenagers can lead them to becoming adult clients. “I have clients today who I treated when they were teens in school, and they’re still coming to me 20 years later,” says O’Callaghan.

“They are married now with their own kids, but they were educated on the benefits of doing regular facials, and have kept their skin clear and healthy for all these years.” 

This article appears in the MAY 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland

Click here to view the article in the magazine.
To view other articles in this issue Click here.
If you would like to view other issues of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland, you can see the full archive here.

This article appears in the MAY 2023 Issue of Professional Beauty & HJ Ireland