I am a Mum of two Boys, okay grown men now. But I remember that first pimple on each of their beautiful baby faces. (If they read this, they will kill me)

As a mum, watching your child struggle with pimples can be tough. You see their confidence wobble and the frustration they feel each time a new pimple appears. And it is soooo tempting to squeeze a big whitehead on their magnificent, perfect face!

Much of what I am going to say is appropriate for all kids. With some very relevant boy stuff. (Whether we like it or not, there are still a lot of (toxic?!?) masculinity issues swirling around our young men)

Boys, in particular, can be reluctant to discuss skincare, often brushing off the topic as something trivial or unnecessary. But as we know, taking care of their skin is essential, not just for their appearance but for their overall health and self-esteem. Here’s my journey and some tips on how to gently bring up the topic of acne care with your reluctant teenage son.

By the way, not every one of these suggestions will be right for your child. You know them best, so pick and choose from these suggestions.

Bringing up acne care with reluctant teens, who have oily skin or acne breakouts


First off, it’s critical to understand why your son might be hesitant. In early teen years, on top of hormone surges, our boys are muddling through how they think they are meant to feel. Many boys see skincare as something feminine or believe/hope that their acne will just go away on its own. Some might feel embarrassed or think it's a sign of weakness to care about their appearance. Some may see pimples as an adult issue that they do not want to exist. Recognising these feelings can help you approach the subject more sensitively.

Start the Conversation Casually

I found that starting the conversation casually made a huge difference. Instead of sitting him down for a serious talk, bring it up naturally during a relaxed moment. Maybe while watching TV together or during a car ride. (Make sure he is not hungry or hangry when you bring it up)

Example: “Hey, I noticed you’ve had one or two tiny pimples. It’s totally normal at your age, but I thought we could look into some easy ways to help manage it.”

Normalise the Experience

Make sure your son knows that acne is something almost everyone goes through, especially during their teenage years. Share your own experiences or those of family members to help him feel less isolated.

Example: “I remember having some breakouts when I was your age. It was really frustrating, but there are ways to help keep it under control. Even your dad went through it, and look at his skin now!”

Focus on Benefits Beyond Appearance

While clear skin can boost confidence, it’s also about comfort and hygiene. Explain how taking care of his skin can prevent him from getting painful breakouts. You don't want to make him self-conscious. Avoid negative words like "ugly". Focus on treating a pimple, almost like a small wound. You want to encourage it to heal as quickly as possible. It can help to tie skincare in with healthy habits, like exercise, eating well and good hygiene.

Example: “Taking care of your skin isn’t just about appearance. It can also help prevent those painful pimples and make your skin feel better.”

Make It Seem Simple and Quick

Teenagers are often resistant to anything that seems time-consuming or complicated. Emphasise that a basic skincare routine can be quick and easy, taking just a few minutes a day.

Example: “You don’t need to spend a lot of time on this. Just cleansing your face in the shower with the right cleanser can make a big difference. It only takes a couple of minutes.”


  • Do introduce the products as specifically designed for their skin type. It can make the idea more appealing.

  • Don't ask them if you should buy it. Present it to them as a fait accompli.

  • Don't try to introduce a ton of steps, you will scare them off.

  • Do start with just 2 products. A cleanser to use in the shower & a pimple zapper. The cleanser is for prevention & the pimple zapper is for quick treatment. This can make them feel in control.

  • Don't offer your son the product that his older sister is using.

  • Do choose products with non-threatening/unisex aromas and packaging.

  • Don't present skincare as something which is cosmetic or judgy. They may feel like you are telling them they are ugly.

  • Do present skincare as part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth & showering.

Example: “Here are these products from QED Skincare that are really good for sensitive and pimple-prone skin. They’re easy to use and are formulated to clear up your skin. This cleanser will take 2 minutes to use every day in the shower. This is to prevent pimples from forming. And when you have a pimple, you can dab on a dot of this mask and it will help the pimple disappear quickly."


QED Skincare’s Clarify range is gentle, effective, and easy to use, which makes it perfect for teenage boys.

These products ...

  1. are Formulated to work! (By an Aussie Pharmacist)

  2. are Quick & easy to use.

  3. are Packaged in a non-threatening / non-gendered white & black.

  4. Smell refreshingly minty-cedar. They smell great & makes your skin feel fresh.

  5. are Made out of ingredients that are non-toxic and plant-based which makes them suitable for use in your teenager. (Young ones have a lifetime of hygiene product exposure ahead of them. While we have a little control of them, let's minimise chemical exposure)

The 2 Best Products to start with teenage boys.

1. Prevention: Clarify Shake to Activate Cleanser


How to Use:

  • Cleanse your face at least once daily. (Ideally twice a day & definitely cleanse after getting sweaty)

  • Shake the cleanser really well to activate it, immediately before use.

  • Gently rub a small amount of the cleanser into damp skin.

  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

2. Treatment: 5-minute Facial Clay Mask - Detox + Clarify Clay Mask

5-minute facial clay mask Detox + Clarify - face-treatments

How to Use:

  • Apply a dab of mask directly onto pimples. (Slip the end of a teaspoon in the sachet, dab it on the skin, seal the sachet & wash the spoon)

  • Rinse off after 5 minutes.

  • Use it as needed, at the first sign of a pimple and up to 3 times a day.

My nephew's call the mask, "Shosh's Poo". I have had their friends come into the shop and ask to buy "Shosh's Poo". They worry that I will be offended. I am not. I am a practical person. If it makes them happy when they apply it ... Great! The main ingredient is sticky mud. You will be happy to know that it naturally has a fresh minty, cedar aroma.

Additional Tips

A young boy who is self-conscious.  He doesn't want to talk about his pimples or acne with anyone.

Be Patient and Encouraging

It might take time for your son to see results and stick to a routine. Be patient and offer encouragement to keep him motivated.

Example: “I’ve noticed your skin is looking a bit better. Keep up the good work, and it will continue to improve.”

Make It a Team Effort

Suggest doing the skincare routine together at first. This can make it feel less like a chore and more like a shared activity.

Example: “How about we both start a skincare routine? It could be something we do together, like a quick part of our morning and night routine.”

Address Any Misconceptions

Some boys might think skincare is only for girls or not necessary. Reassure them that everyone benefits from taking care of their skin.

Example: “Taking care of your skin is important for everyone, not just girls. It’s about keeping your skin healthy, just like brushing your teeth keeps your mouth healthy.”

Why you should talk about pimples even if your kid doesn't want to.

Untreated acne can lead to skin scars, poor self-esteem, and affect overall health and wellness. You need to be delicate in your approach though. Go slow, if they are resistant to talk. Make them feel empowered, rather than self-conscious. Even opening the topic up with them, may help them feel empowered that there is something that can be done & that they are not the only one.

When to seek prescription acne treatment.

If your teen’s acne is severe, inflamed, or leaving scars, you should consider talking to your pharmacist or GP. If their self-esteem is being severely impacted by their skin and skincare options are not resolving things for them, you should also chat with your GP.

Finally ...

Starting a conversation about acne care with your reluctant teenage son requires empathy, simplicity, and encouragement. By normalising the issue, keeping the routine simple, and introducing effective products like QED Skincare’s Clarify range, you can help your son develop healthy skincare habits. With patience and support, your teen can achieve clearer skin and greater confidence.

Ready to help your son tackle acne with ease? Explore our Clarify range  and support them on their journey to healthier, clearer skin with QED Skincare!

You may also be interested in :

How to Manage Teen Acne

To squeeze or not to squeeze. A guide to Acne & Pimples

5 Steps to safe squeezing

Shop the best skincare for Oily & Break-out prone skin