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Tips & Tricks for Tackling the Acne Stress Cycle From Neutrogena & Dr. Kathleen Gouley

The changes associated with the middle school years are often stressful for kids. With bodily changes, increased work load and more responsibility, adjusting to the changes experienced during this time period can heighten stress levels, which can contribute to breakouts. Often the onset breakouts can generate additional stress for kids, therefore creating a cycle.

We know that stress not only takes its toll on your emotions, it can affect your skin as well so Neutrogena, the #1 Dermatologist recommended skincare brand, and Dr. Kathleen Gouley Ph.D, a leader in clinical child psychology, have partnered to offer expert tips to help children break the acne stress cycle - reducing stress levels and breakouts, while easily adapting to middle school. 

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control® products are specifically designed to make fighting acne one less stress! So advanced, it stops 70 percent of acne before it emerges. Formulated with MicroClear® technology, which cuts through dirt and oil and delivers 2 percent Salicyclic acid right to problematic areas - Neutrogena helps fight acne right where it starts. By reducing the visible signs associated with acne, such as irritation and redness, kids can feel confident about their skin.

  • New! Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control® Power-Gel Cleanser
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control® Power-Clear Scrub
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control® Power-Foam Wash
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control® 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment
  • Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control® Power-Cream Wash

With acne stress out of the way, Dr. Kathleen Gouley offers tips to help reduce the other stressors in a middle schooler’s life.


Sleep is of the utmost importance and often isn’t emphasized enough to middle school aged children. Most don’t realize that a lack of sleep is a primary cause of stress which can be easily addressed. Children in this heavy growth period need 8-10 hours minimum of sleep a night.

Tip: Judge what time children need to be up in the morning and work backwards from that time to determine bedtime.


Communication with parents is vital to help children unwind and decompress from their day, but often adults make the mistake of “peppering” kids with questions, which can cause frustration and lead to additional stress.

Tip: Open the lines of communication by phrasing questions as statements, i.e. “I remember you had a test today” not “how did your test go?” Create a dialogue by discussing how your day went as well.

Time Management

Parents should teach children how to prioritize and set appropriate examples on how to juggle workload and activities. Traditionally children come home, decompress, have some playtime prior to dinner and then do work, but with demands and after school activities this method is not always efficient. If there is no time due to activities, children are overstretched and activities need to be re-prioritized.

Tip: Establish a time and place for children to do work. Make this allocated area “their place.” Providing a small desk and necessary tools helps children become more efficient. 

To learn more about Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Stress Control® visit Neutrogena.com.

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