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's never too early to start a healthy skincare routine. Like most of parenting, building good habits is half of the battle - ideally before there is even a problem!
I was introduced to caring for my skin from 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. The products she used were not fancy but they were good quality and she used them strictly every day. ( 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've 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 strongest factor of course, being genes. The hormonal changes associated with puberty can trigger extra oil production, which is the major cause of skin breakouts. However, many children as young as 10 may start seeing changes in their skin.
Puberty-related skin breakouts can coincide with parents of a teen becoming mean, idiots (also, puberty-related). This is another reason why establishing good skincare practices from an early age 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 about skin cleanliness is not about trying to anticipate or highlight flaws. We wash our bodies regularly. We brush our teeth regularly. We wash our face regularly. Keep the message simple.
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 skincare choices as natural as possible. Choose products that are effective to address their skin concern AND safe for long term use.
3. Before they have skin issues
Cleanse away all the impurities the face encounters daily with a gentle, light cleanser. Start this routine as early as 10-12 Years and this will become habit. Keep it simple. Make it fun. QED Skincare Lite Protect No Rinse Cleanser is a great option that is easy to use, won't make their skin oily or strip away their natural protections. This product can also be customised into the scent of their choice, so it can make them feel like they have some control.
4. If their skin becomes oily and/or present with 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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