A Guide To Puberty:

1.12.13


Hi Guys, I hope you're all doing well. Today's post is going to be different to my usual posts about nails or make up, but it's one I've been wanting to do for a long time because I think it's something that could be really helpful for a lot of people. I know I wish I had something like this to come to when I was going through puberty.

I'm going to mainly focus this around keeping clean and hygienic throughout puberty as we all know your body goes through a crazy amount of hormone changes which can lead to feeling a bit gross and maybe looking (and smelling) a bit iffy too. But, just before that I want to mention the emotional side a little too.

Take it from someone who's been through puberty already the hormones raging around in your body can make you feel very confused, I remember almost feeling as if my head was in a whirr constantly. It can be very confusing and disorienting because puberty comes hand in hand with you becoming interested in the opposite sex (or the same sex whatever floats your boat), finding out who you are and when your school work starts to get much more serious too. You can feel like you're totally alone and no one else knows what you're going through, but believe me you are not alone. If you do feel like you're alone then just remind yourself that puberty is something everyone else in the world, will either have been through, is going through, or will go through at some point in there lives. Hopefully you'll be going through puberty roughly the same time as your friends, but I know it can be hard to be either the first or the last to start noticing changes in your body or your feelings. This is going to sound near impossible at the time but try not to worry too much you will get through it, and if you're the first then remember others will probably be looking at you thinking "wow! she's so mature" and if you're one of the last then you'll have plenty of friends to go to with questions about periods, emotions, spots you name it.

Another place you can go to for advice during this time is your parents, or whoever takes care of you. To some of you this may sound abhorrent but they are there to look after you and if you come to them with a problem or a concern then it's their job to listen to you and help you in whatever way they can. Whether that be your mum taking you out for your first proper underwear shop, or in the male case, your dad explaining the way you're beginning to feel emotionally.

Whilst on the subject of parents, there will be times when you're going to feel like they just don't understand, or you'll feel like you hate them or they hate you because of this or that. Yes, you will argue with them that's inevitable during these times, but please try hard not to argue with them too much because looking back - unless you're in an extremely difficult situation - you'll realise how ridiculous some of the things you argued about were and realise they really were wishing you the best. So, basically, as hard as it may seem please try and be nice to your parents, believe me if you make an effort to be polite and kind it will make everyone's life a million times easier.

Now, onto the hygiene and body side of things. You will notice that suddenly you'll start sweating. A lot. Something you're going to have to start using on a daily basis is antiperspirant. Be wary when shopping that you do buy an antiperspirant not just a deodorant because a deodorant will only mask the smell and not stop you sweating. Sweat patches are not a good look believe me. But I would recommend picking up a two in one with antiperspirant and deodorant too because something that comes with your hormone changes will be B.O. (a.k.a Body Odour) so you're going to want to mask the smells too. Also, please bear in mind that you can't just use the same deodorant over and over again until the day you die, because your body will get used to the chemicals in the product and it will stop working you'll need to change it up every few months or so.

Foot odour is another thing that can occur in some people and I don't think I've ever seen or heard it mentioned when it comes to puberty. It can occur throughout the school day because you're on your feet all day in those boring black school shoes. But it's super easy to deal with, at the end of the day just run your feet under the tap and give them a wash with a little bit of shower gel and it will get rid of the smell keeping you clean and fresh.

Carrying on from washing, puberty and the beginning of your teenage years is when your hair can start to become greasy. To stop this you need to get the balance right between washing it too often and not washing it enough. I would recommend having a bath of shower every other day and washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner every shower. Remember that you should never put your conditioner at the roots of your hair though because that will only make it more greasy, only ever apply conditioner to the  lengths of your hair. For in between days I would also recommend picking up some dry shampoo to keep it from looking greasy.

This part is specifically for you girls, and it's about boobs. We all get them some later than others, some bigger than others, but nonetheless we still all get them. As soon as you start to notice that you're getting boobs you need to take a trip to M&S (or whatever bra shop takes your fancy) and get yourself measured. This can seem like a terrifying experience standing in a room while a woman you've never met before measures you, essentially stares at your boobs until she's figured out what size you are. But please try not to be frightened of it because it really is an absolute necessity. To wear the wrong bra size you might as well wear no bra at all, you need a bra that fits you properly so it can support you in the right places and stop you looking like you've got a load of strange lumpy bits under your top. Being measured is no were near as scary as you build it up to be in your head. Every experience I've had has actually been a really nice once you let go of the initial awkwardness then you'll find yourself chatting away to the woman measuring you about everything and anything. These women are trained professionals, they're paid to be kind, polite and helpful, and they always have been. Usually kindly asking your budget and style likes then leaving you in the changing room while they go and pick out some things you might like in your size. After a bra shopping trip you'll always feel more confident in yourself and much more grown up.

Having breasts can make things a little awkward in the changing rooms, but only if you let it become awkward. Again, this is something that will sound almost impossible to the majority of you as your entire body s going to be changing in so many ways and you wont feel as thin as this person or have a bum like her or hair like your friends, but try your hardest to come across as comfortable as you can in your own skin. Please remember that you are beautiful in your own individual way, everyone in the world is different and I can promise you that on more than one occasion someone has looked at you and thought "aww I wish I suited that hairstyle" or "I love her top" or whatever, the point I'm trying to make is that no matter how you feel about yourself you should be comfortable in your own skin, and if you feel that you're a little too big here or too thin there you have the power to change that. But please do so only if you choose to and in a healthy way, I don't want any of you to feel like you have to think, act and look a certain way just to fit into what society seems to see as the perfect girl.

Whilst on the subject on changing rooms, I highly recommend bringing a little can of spray in your bag and maybe a little face wipe or tissue just to freshen up a bit if your make-ups started melting down your face or you started sweating again through the lesson. They can be an absolute lifesaver believe me.

Periods. We all have and hate them I'm afraid, but having had them for years and years now I feel like I could give you some advice on the subject that I'll try and make as helpful as possible. Firstly, with most girls, in the coming months before you get your first period you'll notice some "discharge", which is essentially clear goo. Now no one warned me about this when I was younger so when it started appearing I freaked out and thought there was something wrong with me, but there isn't don't worry it's totally normal, think of it as nature's little warning. I said most people because everyone's period is different no two are the same. Some women are crippled with pain every month and some don't feel a thing. Some women have a heavy flow (a lot of blood) and some have a light one (very little blood). Now your type of flow will determine the type of pads you're going to need to buy. There's plenty of different types from plenty of different brands so please don't be afraid to have a Google or read the packaging in shops that will help point you in the right direction. Another thing is to keep a pad in your bag AT ALL TIMES you never know when it could creep up on you. Plus there's always that friend who'll whisper to their friends "has anyone got a pad?" and you'll be loved forever if you've got one. As for the pains, pop a couple of paracetamol (although try not to rely on them too much so the effects don't wear off) or cuddle a hot water bottle and believe me it will make a world of difference. Never underestimate the power of the hot water bottle when you're on your period.

Ok I think that's everything covered, other than acne which I was lucky enough not to have to deal with but I'm sure there are plenty of posts and websites that could help you if acne effects you just a Google or two away. I really hope that this helped at least some of you, as I'm pretty sure you can tell this was just me typing out a train of thought on thing's I remember going through and that my little sister is going through now. If this has helped you in any way then I'd love to hear how and why in the comments section it would mean the world to me to know. If you'd like any more of this style posts, leaning away from beauty a little and more on the advice side of things then please let me know. I was thinking of doing a body confidence, or just confidence in general, post if anyone would be interested?

xxx

P.S. Remember you're not alone in whatever you're going through.