Bryn Mawr Dermatology

Villanova, PA | Collegeville, PA
Chesterbrook, PA

College Skincare Plans: A Comprehensive Guide for College Students


Did you know that your skin is your body’s first line of defense against the outside world and covers an area of about 20 square feet? Taking care of your skin is not just about looking good but protecting your overall health and well-being. As college students, you face unique challenges in maintaining healthy skin due to busy schedules, stress, and changes in lifestyle. But fear not, we’ve got you covered with a skincare plan tailored specifically for you. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of skincare, provide practical tips, and go over high-quality skincare products to help you achieve radiant skin throughout your college journey.  So let’s dive in and discover the secrets to glowing skin!

While this article spells out some important information about college skincare, we highly recommend you read the full article, here are the key points we will focus on:

Table of Contents

Understanding Your Skin

Before embarking on a skincare journey, it’s essential to understand the canvas you’re working with – your skin. In this section, we’ll delve into the different skin types, how to identify your own, and the common skin concerns that college students often encounter.

What Are the Different Skin Types?

Skin types can vary widely, and understanding yours will guide you in choosing the right products and treatments for optimal results. Here at BMD we like to categorize skin into these four main types: 

Acne Prone: Whether your skin is oily, or dry, you are a teenager or in your 40’s, you can experience breakouts. Acne comes in many forms, but is always an unwanted visitor on your skin. If you are challenged with clogged pores, inflamed pimples, or tender cysts under the skin the first step is to get your breakouts under control. 

Dry Skin: Dry skin often feels tight, rough and may appear flaky or dull. It lacks moisture and requires nourishing products that promote hydration and lock in moisture.

Combination Skin: Combination is our term for “normal,” because there truly is no normal when it comes to skin. You may experience dryness, oiliness, occasional sensitivity, random breakouts, and bouts of complete satisfaction with your skin. Because skin is affected by extrinsic and intrinsic factors every day, it is susceptible to going through phases depending on weather, UV exposure, irritants, how much water you’re drinking, how much sleep you’re getting and stress levels. 

Sensitive Skin: You know if you have sensitive skin if it tends towards red or pink and it takes very little to make it inflamed. You may experience chronic itching or burning sensations without knowing exactly what the cause is. When exposed to minor irritants like dyes, fragrances and environmental factors your skin will react in an exaggerated fashion when others’ skin may not react at all. 

Mature Skin (we applaud your college ambitions at any age): The skin experts at BMD believe that your skin can be beautiful, no matter how many years old you claim to be (wink). To combat the onslaught of aging, we have devised a collection of skin cleansers, moisturizers, protectors, and treats so you can organize a defense system against the evidence of time. Visit our collection of skin care products that help smooth fine lines and wrinkles, even skin tone, build strength and reinvigorate dull skin. 

Not sure what type of skin you have, check out our doctor-customized quiz to find out!

What Are Common Skin Concerns Faced by College Students?

In the hustle and bustle of college life, your skin might suffer from the consequences of stress, insufficient sleep, and constantly changing schedules, resulting in various skin issues and concerns. Here are some common skin issues college students face and ways to address them:

Acne: Stress and hormonal fluctuations can trigger acne breakouts. Consider using salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide products to combat acne-causing bacteria and keep pores clear.



Dryness: Lack of sleep and harsh weather conditions can lead to dry, flaky skin. Incorporate a hydrating moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture.



Dullness: Irregular sleep patterns and an unhealthy diet can result in dull, lackluster skin. Exfoliating regularly and using brightening serums can help restore your skin’s natural radiance.



Transitioning from knowing your skin type to addressing specific concerns will set the foundation for a personalized and effective skincare routine. With these insights, you’ll be better equipped to achieve a healthy, glowing complexion throughout your youth.

How to Develop a College Skincare Routine?

In the quest for healthy and radiant skin, consistency is key. Establishing a well-rounded skincare routine is crucial for college students, as it provides a solid foundation for maintaining skin health throughout the ups and downs of college life. Dr. Christine Stanko of Bryn Mawr Dermatology recommends following the simple sequence:

Cleanse. Treat. Moisturize. Protect. Repeat.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a skincare routine that can help you achieve your skin goals:

Cleansing: The First Step to Fresh Skin

Cleansing is the essential first step in any skincare routine. Invest in a gentle cleanser that removes dirt, excess oil, and impurities without stripping your skin’s natural moisture. Look for products with natural ingredients and avoid harsh cleansers that can disrupt your skin’s balance. Gently cleanse your face twice daily, in the morning and before bedtime, to keep your skin fresh and clean.



Toning: Balancing Your Skin

Toners are vital in balancing your skin’s pH levels and preparing it for better absorption of other skincare products. Choose a toner suitable for your skin type, and look for ingredients like witch hazel or rose water, known for their soothing properties. Apply the toner after cleansing by gently patting it onto your face with a cotton pad or using your hands.


Treat: Spoil and Revive Your Skin

This step is optional, but allows you to add in a bevy of products that address your specific skin needs. If you have acne-prone skin you may want to consider using an exfoliating pad with an α-hydroxy acid to help unclog pores. If you have extra-dry skin you could add a hyaluronic acid serum to help seal in moisture. If you are fighting the good fight against aging skin you might consider a retinol to increase skin cell turnover or a Vitamin C serum to neutralize free-radicals



Moisturizing: Nourish and Hydrate

Moisturizing is a non-negotiable step for all skin types. Hydration is essential whether your skin is oily, dry, or combination. Opt for a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer that suits your skin type to keep it nourished and protected throughout the day. Moisturizing also helps maintain your skin’s barrier, keeping it healthy and supple.



Protect:  Shielding Your Skin from Harmful Rays

One of the most crucial steps in any skincare routine is sun protection. Apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every morning before stepping out. Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays, preventing premature aging and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re spending time outdoors.



Repeat: Perform these steps twice a day (omitting sunscreen in the PM) to reveal healthy glowing skin. We recommend that you perform your regimen when you wake up in the morning, before your face faces the day, and once again before going to bed.

Remember to choose products that suit your skin type and address specific concerns to achieve the best results. Your skin will thank you for the care and attention it deserves.

What Are Healthy Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Skin?

Your skin is a reflection of your internal health, and adopting healthy habits can positively impact its appearance. Following are some habits that can help improve your skin: 

  • A Balanced Diet: A balanced diet containing foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats provide essential vitamins and antioxidants that promote skin health. Vitamins like A, C, and E protect the skin from oxidative stress and support collagen production, keeping your skin supple and youthful.
  • Staying Hydrated: Water plays a crucial role in flushing out toxins and delivering essential nutrients to your skin cells. When dehydrated, your skin can appear dry, dull, and prone to wrinkles.
  • Managing stress: When stressed, your body produces cortisol, which can increase oil production and skin inflammation. This, in turn, can exacerbate conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea. Stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or time in nature can help lower cortisol levels and promote clearer, healthier skin.


Skincare Tips for College Life

Managing Sleep Deprivation Effects on Skin:

Stress and lack of sleep can take a toll on your skin, leading to breakouts and a dull complexion. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to allow your skin to repair and rejuvenate. Consider using a silk pillowcase to reduce friction on your skin while sleeping, minimizing the risk of wrinkles and irritation.

Addressing Poor Hygiene in Communal Living Environments:

In shared living spaces like dorms or apartments, maintaining proper hygiene is essential to prevent skin issues. Wash your bedsheets, pillowcases, and towels weekly to reduce bacteria buildup. Avoid sharing personal care items like razors or makeup brushes, which can transfer germs and lead to skin infections. Keep your living area clean to minimize the spread of germs and prevent acne breakouts.

Prioritize Your Skin and Embrace a Skincare Routine:

With a hectic schedule, it’s easy to neglect skincare. However, prioritizing your skin is crucial for long-term health. Establish a simple yet consistent skincare routine that includes cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. Use products suitable for your skin type and concerns. Research indicates that college students with a regular skincare routine have better skin health and fewer skin issues. 

Remember, healthy skin is a reflection of a healthy lifestyle. So, invest in your skin’s health and make self-care a priority throughout your college journey. Your skin will thank you!

Why You Should Consult a Dermatologist or Follow the Online Trends?

In today’s digital age, social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok have become powerful platforms for skincare influencers to share tips and recommendations. These influencers often have massive followings and can influence their audience’s purchasing decisions.

While influencers can be a valuable source of skincare inspiration, they do not have the same expertise as dermatologists. Their advice might work well for some individuals, but it may not suit everyone, especially those with specific skin conditions or sensitivities.  Additionally, influencers may be sponsored by skincare brands, which could influence the products they promote. On the other hand, dermatologists are licensed medical professionals with specialized training in diagnosing and treating various skin conditions. They have in-depth knowledge of skincare ingredients, medical treatments, and the science behind skin health. Dermatologists can provide personalized advice based on an individual’s skin type, concerns, and medical history, making their recommendations more tailored and effective.

Why Choose Bryn Mawr Dermatology?

Choose Bryn Mawr Dermatology for personalized, expert skincare that prioritizes your skin’s health and well-being. Our licensed dermatologists have extensive expertise in diagnosing and treating various skin concerns, ensuring you receive the best guidance and treatments. We believe in the power of personalization, providing tailored skincare advice and treatments for your unique skin type and concerns. Moreover, our carefully curated selection of high-quality skincare products, recommended by our dermatologists, ensures you have access to effective and safe solutions for your skin. Take charge of your skin’s health by scheduling a consultation with us and exploring our recommended skincare products on our website to kickstart your journey towards healthy, radiant skin.

Your Skin is Our Business.



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