'My teenage son has acne. Here are 4 things that actually help.'

Thanks to our brand partner, SkinB5

Acne sucks. 

There, I said it. 

At 15, I had a face littered with pimples and blackheads. I was 1000 per cent sure I was the only person this was happening to at school. Everyone else appeared to have beautiful, clear skin. And yes, the cool kids let me know it.

Thirty years later, the memories still haunt me.

When my 16-year-old son started to get acne earlier this year, I didn’t want him to have the same awful experience I did. I didn’t want acne to be one of the enduring memories of his teens. But he wasn’t me. Maybe it wouldn’t affect him.

He said it didn’t bother him, so I didn’t worry about it. Until I noticed signs that he wasn’t happy with how he looked. 

My tinted sunscreen kept disappearing from my bathroom. I suspect my son was using it to ‘cover up’. 

He was no longer taking countless Snapchat pics daily or posting selfies on Insta.

He was saying no to hanging out with friends in person, preferring to catch up with them on Xbox.

What made me act? When he said no to a party with friends at a girl’s house. 

As I sat watching Netflix with him later that night, I asked if the acne bothered him more than he was letting on. I asked if it was getting him down and changing how he felt about himself.

He finally admitted he wanted to hide until it all went away. 


My heart was hurting. This was a feeling I remember well.

We agreed to find ways to figure out his acne together. Thankfully, with no shortage of mum WhatsApp groups on my phone, I didn’t even have to get off my lounge to find advice (which was plentiful).

So, here's some sage advice that helped.

1. Start from the inside, out

The first piece of advice I received was ‘drink more water’. I was sceptical. Sure, water is good for hydration and cleansing the body on the inside, but impacting his acne?

We decided to test it out and see what happened. He tells me that upping his water intake makes a difference to his skin looking brighter and his mood — double win.

As I went down the rabbit hole of what to eat and drink for acne, I discovered a world of vitamins and supplements I hadn’t known about before. The one that caught my eye was SkinB5 – their Extra Strength Acne Control Vitamins, and the handy alternative to tablets, their Clear Skin Superfood Booster

SkinB5 uses a patented formula called SB5-BIOTRx™, a fancy name for a potent dose of Vitamin B5 + B3 led complex combined with folic acid, zinc and copper, which helps manage the root cause of acne and target overall skin health.

Image: Supplied.


And the upside? 

They can be super simple additions into your morning routine and be easy to stick with. 

My son has been having a teaspoon of the Superfood Booster mixed into his smoothie for breakfast every morning – it's a good reminder that he is taking the time to care for himself and how he feels.

Image: Supplied.


2. A simple skincare routine

There is nothing simple about suggesting to a teenage boy that they need a skincare routine. 

However, with the acne impacting his confidence, my son was willing to try it. As we were on a roll with SkinB5, trying the skincare felt like an easy work in to his new routine. The Australian Botanicals Cleansing Mousse and Hydration Essence feel awesome on the skin, really soothing and hydrating (yes, I may have stolen them to try on my 45-year-old skin). 

It's taken a couple of weeks of daily nagging from me for him to remember to use them. But it's beginning to stick.

Best of all, I can hear him singing to himself in the bathroom again, which fills my heart with joy.


Image: Supplied.

3. New bedtime habits

There was a lot of WhatsApp advice about changing up the bedtime routine.

From changing sheets daily (unlikely), meditating before bed (even more unlikely) and no nighttime snacks (hello, I have a 16-year-old boy who eats Weetbix before bed).

No chance.

But two bedtime habits made more sense:

  • One friend told me silk pillowcases are great for acne because they don’t irritate the skin. As the selfless mother I am, I handed over my silk pillowcase for my son to try. He keeps telling me how soft and smooth it is. Although my lined forehead wants it back, I suspect it's gone forever.

  •  8 hours sleep. I initially wrote this off (with changing the sheets daily) as unlikely. But as I thought about how sleep impacts our mood, and his had already taken a battering with the acne, I realised it was likely to make a difference to his skin and his mood, and perhaps even his schoolwork. Yes, he moans he isn’t tired at 10pm, but he is waking up a happier teen – another double win.

4. Talking with the teen

At first, I avoided discussing the acne with him. I didn’t want to project my insecurities on him or make an issue where there wasn’t one.

But the signs that things were wrong were enough to make me change tact. It turns out that talking about it, looking for solutions together (and laughing at the most ridiculous ones) has made him realise that sharing stressful things does help make it less awful than it seems on your own.

Weirdly, acne may have brought us closer together.

Was there a winner?

Having habit-stacked the advice, it's hard to know what advice was the winner. From skincare to silk pillowcases, I imagine the combination has made a difference to my son's skin.

More importantly, I know that my son's confidence is returning, along with his Insta feed and desire to hang with his mates. 

His focus now is no longer on his skin but on his semi-formal. And that’s a win.

Shop SkinB5 at your local Priceline, or use the code MAMAMIA20 for 20 per cent off online.

Always read the label and follow the directions for use. 

If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant do not take Vitamin A without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. This information is general in nature and does not replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Always seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional.

Feature Image: Getty.

An innovator at heart, SkinB5 challenges the status quo by introducing nutritional supplements as the 1st step to any skincare routine. We know problematic skin affects people’s confidence and quality of life, that is why we’ve created effective solutions to help people regain their skin health. SB5-BIOTRx™ is a potent Vitamin B5 & B3 led complex that helps to control production of skin oils, clogging up pores. Our deep understanding of the skin’s biology enables us to choose the best ingredients at the right dose to tackle skin conditions from their root cause. We are proudly Australian made and owned.