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5 Ways Your Skin Changes During Adolescence

You've Struck Oil
When dealing with oily skin, all you can do is wash and wash often.
When dealing with oily skin, all you can do is wash and wash often.
Manchan/Getty Images

Like so much in adolescence, you can blame your oily skin on hormones. When kids reach puberty, their brains release a gonadotropin-releasing hormone. That causes the pituitary gland to release luteinizing hormones (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH). If you're a girl, these hormones tell your body to produce estrogen. If you're a guy, you get testosterone. No wonder you sometimes feel as if somebody's conducting a volatile chemistry experiment inside you.

These hormones prompt your sebaceous (oil) glands to make lots of a fatty substance called sebum. Sebum is that oil that makes your face shiny and your hair drippy. You have lots of sebaceous glands on your face, back, shoulders and chest. A bonus: Each strand of hair has its own sebaceous gland.

What to do? Wash a lot. Wash your face two or three times a day with a soap designed for oily skin. It's also fine to blot with alcohol or witch hazel, but don't overdo it, or your skin will get too dry. When you shower or bathe, pay attention to the areas that get oily. Shampoo your hair every day. Avoid products such as oil-based makeup or oily conditioners that will only make things worse.

Be thankful that oil is making its way to the surface of your skin. Keep reading to learn about the problems you'll face if it doesn't.