Navigating Skincare for Tweens and Teens: Expert Tips and Advice

14 February 2024

A comprehensive guide to establishing a healthy skincare routine for young adults

As tweens and teens navigate the complex world of adolescence, skincare becomes an increasingly important aspect of their self-care routine. However, with an overwhelming array of products and information available, it can be challenging for parents and young adults to know where to begin. In this article, we will explore the key message points to focus on when broaching skincare with tweens and teens, providing expert insights and practical advice to help establish a healthy skincare routine.

Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse:

According to Dr. Granite, a renowned dermatologist, the foundation of a good skincare routine for tweens and teens revolves around three essential steps: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Dr. Granite emphasizes the importance of instilling these habits from an early age. Surprisingly, many people, including adults, neglect to wash their face properly. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance and avoid excessive washing or exfoliating, which can harm the skin. Skincare expert Fidler suggests introducing skincare discussions when signs of congestion or occasional breakouts appear. By demonstrating the proper way to cleanse and treat spots gently, parents can teach their children the importance of skincare, just as they teach them to brush their teeth.

Know which actives to use—and which to avoid:

While buzzword ingredients like retinol or niacinamide are unnecessary for tweens and teens, there are active ingredients that can help soothe early hormonal skincare flare-ups. Dr. Granite advises against using most active ingredients at this age, as they are primarily geared towards adult skin issues like pigmentation and fine lines. However, salicylic acid or mild AHAs can be beneficial for acne-prone tweens and teens. Hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and vitamin B5, although not essential, can be used for very dry or sensitive skin. It is essential to choose products that are suitable for younger, more delicate skin and avoid potentially sensitizing ingredients. Fidler highlights the effectiveness of salicylic acid in clearing blocked pores and reducing spots, but emphasizes the need to introduce it gradually and select brands that buffer it with moisturizing and soothing ingredients.

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Be savvy when it comes to social media:

The influence of social media, particularly platforms like TikTok and Instagram, can make navigating skincare content challenging for young adults. Dr. Granite acknowledges the engaging and enthusiastic beauty community these platforms offer but warns against excessive focus on appearance and beauty trends. It is crucial for younger consumers to use products appropriate for their skin and maintain a balanced approach. Moderation is key, ensuring that skincare is viewed as part of a healthy routine rather than an obsession.

You can still have fun with your skincare, but buy wisely:

Skincare routines need not be dull and monotonous. Dr. Granite suggests that trying new products can still be enjoyable for tweens and teens. Hydrocolloid patches for spots and hydrating sheet masks are examples of products that can be both fun and beneficial. Fidler recommends exploring brands specifically targeted at the early teen demographic, as this category continues to grow. However, it is important to stick to the basics: cleansers, moisturizers, spot treatments, and SPFs. Toners, serums, and most masks are unnecessary at this stage. When purchasing skincare products, it is essential to consider individual needs rather than following trends.

Be supportive:

When tweens and teens are enticed by trending products or experience skin issues due to overzealous masking, it is crucial for parents to be understanding and supportive. Fidler shares her experience of engaging in lively discussions with her daughter about the ingredients and effectiveness of products she wants to buy. Sometimes, young adults need to make mistakes and learn from them. By providing a sympathetic ear and offering guidance, parents can help their children navigate the complexities of skincare while fostering independence and self-awareness.

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Establishing a healthy skincare routine for tweens and teens involves focusing on the fundamentals, avoiding unnecessary actives, and being mindful of the influence of social media. By emphasizing the importance of cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection, parents can lay the groundwork for a lifetime of good skincare habits. It is essential to choose products suitable for young, delicate skin and to prioritize individual needs over trends. With a supportive and understanding approach, parents can empower their children to make informed decisions about their skincare while embracing the joy and fun that can be found in self-care.

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