Parenting, Wellness

Looking After Your Child’s Skin

After looking through TikTok these days, it’s easy to realize that kids are being influenced a lot. From the Stanley cup epidemic to the Drunk Elephant disasters, kids are asking for more stuff––sometimes without even realizing it’s not for them. While owning a giant, reusable cup isn’t a crime, using the wrong skincare products can have poor repercussions on your child’s skin. Instead of succumbing to the incessant noise of TikTok influencers, we’ve compiled a list of skincare products that experts recommend for each age range. 

Why Children Need a Skin Care Routine

While grown-ups have access to a wide range of skincare products, it’s worth noting that kids can benefit from having a skin care routine. A skin care routine is a good way for children to learn the importance of self-care and looking after themselves, as well as a way for them to take care of their skin. Most children need a gentle face wash in the morning and the evening; they need a moisturizer with sunscreen––preferably spectrum SPF 30 or higher; and a moisturizer before bed.

Skincare for Children (Ages 5-8) 

Your child has sensitive skin at this age, so it’s best to avoid products containing allergens, harsh chemicals, or anything that will irritate their skin. For this age range, your child needs minimal products to keep their skin fresh. Start with a gentle face wash (specifically formulated for kid’s skin,) follow up with a face cream to help hydrate the skin, and finish up with a face sunscreen. In addition to face wash and face cream, using a gentle body wash and lotion can help keep your child’s skin hydrated and protected from irritation, dryness, and other skin issues. 

Skincare for Children (Ages 9-11)

At this age, children are more capable of understanding the importance of hygiene and following a simple skin care routine. For a child’s skin care routine, they’ll just need, at most, three items in their rotation: a cleanser, sunscreen, and a moisturizer. For oily, acne-prone skin, opt for a foaming cleanser; for dry, sensitive skin, a milky cleanser is a great option. When it comes to sunscreen, there are so many options to choose from. Try to simplify your search by choosing a sunscreen that is skin-friendly and melts into the skin. As for moisturizers, try to find one that matches your child’s skin type the best. 

Skincare for Tweens (Ages 11-12)

As puberty begins, the skin will produce more sebum, causing excess sebum which can lead to clogged pores and spots. Continue to follow with the original lineup: moisturizer, SPF, and cleanser, but you can also incorporate face masks for further cleansing. Sheet masks are a fun way to start to “treat” the skin, without introducing harsh acids. Pay attention to potential allergens or strong fragrances that could irritate the skin. 

Skincare for Teens (13-17)

As your teen gets older, they will face new skin concerns as their skin begins to change and mature. As tweens become teens, their skin will start to face new issues, such as acne and routine breakouts. Teens will also face a rollercoaster of hormones, blackheads, and dry patches. To help target this, experts recommend introducing a weekly exfoliant to help unblock pores and remove the buildup of dead skin cells. An exfoliating scrub should only be used once a week to minimize damage to the skin’s barrier. While there are hundreds of skincare products to choose from, it’s best to keep your teen’s skincare routine simple. Quite simply, some of the products teens are interested in buying (like retinol or Drunk Elephant products, which contain actives) are too strong for young skin. Teen skincare needs to be simple, avoid harsh products or acids that can damage the skin barrier, enhance breakouts, or cause chemical burns or scarring. 

Which Skincare Ingredients Should Parents Look Out For? 

In addition to keeping skincare simple, it needs to be safe. Look out for non-comedogenic, skin-compatible ingredients in moisturizers such as hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil, both safe to use from birth. Look out for SLS and SLES in cleansers, which can strip the skin or upset its delicate biome. Avoid allergens such as “natural fragrances” which can irritate the skin or cause adverse reactions. 

Skin care is an important part of our lives—from childhood to adulthood. Since our skin is the largest organ in our body, it’s necessary to nurture, soothe, and protect it. While it’s important to keep your child’s skin care routine simple, always consult with your pediatrician, or a dermatologist if you notice issues with your child’s skin, such as excessive redness, dryness, or itching and rashes. 

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