Skincare for teenage boys is not something you see marketed very often, but why not? Male grooming is on the increase after all and the 21st century teenage boy is just as conscious of his appearance and looking good as the teenage girl - if not more so in fact, if my household is anything to go by!
Unfortunately, many teenagers also have to contend with acne in their bid to look good, with NHS statistics showing that around 80% of teenagers will suffer at some point. Skin hygiene and developing a good daily cleansing regime have vital roles to play in keeping the pimples at bay during the teenage years and in my experience the sooner they start the better.
Finding the right products for teenagers, however, is a battle in itself. There is not a one size fits all solution to skincare and certainly when it comes to teenage boys it stands to reason that their needs will differ to those of teenage girls. Add to this the fact that there is not a great deal available in the UK and what is, can contain chemical ingredients which are just too harsh for young skin and the options available to our teenage boys are very limited.
With this in mind, Stephanie Capuano, a native Californian and a mother faced with this challenge herself worked with UK product developers whilst living here to create 31st State, a line dedicated specifically to the needs of teenage boys and derived completely from natural ingredients.
Knowing that her own boys would recoil at using products that looked too feminine Stephanie set out to create a brand that reflected the outdoor cleanness and freshness of the Californian lifestyle with products that were simple and "cool" to use.
With an 18 year old of my own who bucks the trend for wanting to look good and who has until now used a combination of high street as well as expensive male skincare products that put a strain on his university budget, my son was delighted to be offered the chance to trial the skincare products in the 31st State range. These included the Foaming Face Wash, Overnight Clearing Pads and the all important Spot Control Gel.
As anyone with a teenage boy will know, the simpler the better. They don't like fuss and they certainly don't like to waste time faffing about - oh no that is the preserve of the female species! You won't be surprised, therefore, to hear that when I asked my son what he liked the most about the products his response was "The ease of use and the clear instructions." His words not mine, I promise. Teenage boys may want to look good but they don't want to look like they have tried too hard and this effortless vibe is central to Stephanie's mission. As for the look of the products well in his own words again "I like the design, it is stylish, not too in your face." No pun intended of course - just the usual teen speak.
All the products use gentle, natural but effective ingredients that work wonders not only on cleansing the skin thoroughly and removing all the dirt, oil and bacteria that can lead to blemishes and spots if left untouched, but also on calming and rebalancing the skin. Their motto is keeping it natural is what it is all about. Anything that strips, irritates, bothers and otherwise annoys the skin is off-limits.
Tea tree renowned for its healing qualities releases into the skin slowly over a 12 hour period, reducing the likelihood of irritation and redness. Manuka is antibacterial and works to target spots by helping to get rid of oil. Witch hazel is widely used in acne products and is a natural antiseptic renowned for its anti-irritant, anti-bacterial and potent anti-inflammatory properties. Magnesium, Copper and Zinc prevent breakouts and restore healthier looking skin.
Of all the products, my son's hands down favourite is the Overnight Clearing Pads. The Foaming Face Wash he says is perfect for use in the shower in the morning, but at night and no doubt particularly if he has been out and just wants to go to bed, he likes the option of having something quick and easy to use and the pads tick that box.
He has learnt the hard way the result of not cleaning his skin properly so whilst he very rarely suffers from spots now, he likes the reassurance of having a topical treatment that will quickly sort them out if he does. His verdict on the Spot Control Gel is that it is great for use day and night. It quickly reduces the redness and inflammation associated with spots and unlike many other over the counter lotions he has used it is not drying.
As with all skincare products the real test is the opinion of others. It is all very well using a product yourself and thinking it is making a difference but if no-one else notices what is the point? Now that he is away at University the first time I saw my son since he has been using the products was last week when he returned home for a study break. As an over critical mother who can spot a dirty face at a hundred paces, I can honestly say his skin looked a lot clearer and brighter, which is not something you would naturally tend to say about a teenager's skin and certainly not one that is away from home for the first time. Thus, based on his feedback and the overall improvement in my son's appearance that I noticed, if you are looking for a straightforward natural skincare range for your teenage son or know someone who is, I would say you can't go wrong with 31st State. Take a look at the products here, they are good value and would make the perfect stocking filler - they are certainly on my son's list.