One of the most common questions from clients with preteens is when and how to start a skincare routine for their child?
My response is always the same ... It is never too early to start a healthy skincare routine.
Like most parenting, building good habits is half of the battle - ideally before there is even a problem!
I was introduced to caring for my skin in my early teens. My mother immigrated from Europe with her parents as a fifteen-year-old. They were not wealthy. My Grandmother, Esther, worked crazy, long hours running a restaurant near Bondi Beach, but when she came home, she had a strict beauty regimen. It was as routine as brushing her teeth. I guess it was a European thing. Her products were not fancy, but they were good quality, and she used them strictly daily. ( Esther was SO not fancy. She never wore any makeup other than the occasional lippy ). Esther also used to visit this wonderful Hungarian facialist, Violet, once a month without fail. These European skincare habits were ingrained in my Mum, and then in turn to my generation and in turn, I have promoted the same with my boys.
Start laying the foundations of a healthy skin regimen early!
Exactly how puberty will affect your teen’s skin is a bit of a lottery - it is a complex formula affected by many factors. The most substantial factor, of course, is genes. The hormonal changes associated with puberty can trigger extra oil production, which is the primary cause of skin breakouts.
However, many children as young as 10 may start seeing changes in their skin.
Puberty-related skin breakouts often coincide with parents losing some of their all-knowing authority (also puberty-related). This is another reason why establishing good skincare practices early is a good idea.
Below are my 7 tips for starting your child on their skincare journey
1. Keep the message simple
Reassure your child when starting the discussion that this is about skin cleanliness. It is not about trying to anticipate or highlight flaws. We wash our bodies regularly. We brush our teeth regularly. We wash our face regularly.
2. Keep it as natural as possible
They have many years of skincare use ahead of them. And what they put on their body goes into their body. This is why you should keep your skincare products as natural as possible. Choose effective products that address their skin concern AND are safe for long-term use.
3. Before they have skin issues
4. If their skin becomes oily and/or they start having breakouts
Time to amp up the skincare regimen to one which specifically targets oiliness and breakouts. At this point they may need to add an exfoliator, toning mist and mask. For teens who are not into "girly" stuff this can be a bit threatening, so in their case, try to offer unisex brands, with fresh scents and gender-neutral packaging. For product suggestions, click here. It may also be time to introduce professional facial treatments. At QED Skincare's Concept Store in Sydney's Bellevue Hill, we offer a non-threatening and effective treatment called the Teen Steam Clean. A deep treatment can help boost their skin's condition and also is very helpful at extracting deep congestion.
5. Once they start wearing any makeup
It is time to reinforce the idea of cleansing off makeup thoroughly at the end of the day. It is also time to introduce a regular moisturiser to restore their skin to prime condition. If a lot of makeup is worn, either by choice or even for performing, regular exfoliation may also be required. Remind them that smoother, healthier skin will require less correction. It is amazing how many teens (& adults) have regular, multi-layered makeup routines, without a thorough skincare regimen. And often, they have not linked the need for more makeup with inadequate makeup removal and skin prep.
6. Say NO to squeezing
Easier said than done I know but advise your teen to avoid squeezing anything red or angry. And if they must pop spots, make sure they practice safe squeezing techniques.
7. Be SUPER sun smart
Although our children are taught sun safety literally from birth, surprisingly most don't adopt the application of sunscreen on their face as often as they should and this will have a major impact on their skin as they get older. Each time you leave the house to go outdoors, your child should apply a broad spectrum SPF to their face. Make this routine. Don't allow them out the house without it! Find a sunscreen that they like to apply to their face and always have some in their school bag so it can be re-applied during the day. And at the end of the day, it needs to be cleansed off. See Step 2.
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