January 27, 2022
That in-between age of not-quite-a-teen and not a child is one of the most difficult to navigate for any parent but for skincare at least, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With this simple guide to teen and pre-teen skin, looking after their complexion will be the easiest part of parenting.
Puberty and skin - But first, a little about how the skin changes during this time. Adolescence is actually the most significant period of change in a human’s life both physically and mentally. Increased hormones at this time affect many parts of the body, including the skin, where it presents as increased hair growth and oil production (aka: sebum) which can lead to acne.
Gentle does it - But, before you reach for the anti-acne products, know that stripping the skin with harsh ingredients and soap can actually cause the skin to react by overproducing sebum to compensate – which naturally adds to the problem. This also applies to rough manual exfoliants which can upset the skin and rupture acne lesions. Instead, look for gentle ingredients and soap and alcohol free formulations which will nourish the skin, without upsetting the delicate pH balance. If acne or oil production is also a concern here, opt for oil free or mattifying formulations that will keep shine in check.
Less is more - So how many skincare products are really necessary for a teen or pre-teen? The answer is: not many. It’s best to keep things minimal with the aim of balancing the skin, not overloading it. If you’re wanting to introduce them to a simple routine try:
Cleanser: look for gentle formulations that are fragrance and soap free (fragrance is a known irritant to sensitive skins). Introducing cleanser, especially at night, will help rid the skin of dirt, pollution, grime and excess oil.
Moisturiser: A balancing moisturiser will help regulate the skin, while keeping it hydrated. Fun fact: oily skin still needs moisture as sebum doesn’t hydrate the skin. Opt for an oil-free formulation if there’s a concern about shine and acne.
Sunscreen: Non-negotiable at any age, sunscreen is a must post-moisturiser step (start the habit early - they’ll thank you later). Again, choose an oil-free formula to keep excess oil and shine at bay.
The fun stuff - Experimenting with makeup doesn’t have to mean a full face and winged liner. This is a good age to play with safe formulations and have fun. If they’re keen to try makeup, start with lip balms and toxin-free nail polishes that allow them to express themselves in a way that’s still age-appropriate.