Master Teen Skincare by Starting Regimen Early
You’re never too young to take care of your skin.
When shopping for school supplies for the next school year, you might want to add to the shopping cart a gentle cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen for your child, because as far as skin care is concerned, earlier is much better than later.
Your children will thank you years later for starting a regular skin care regimen when they were young. If they start a good habit early, it will become second nature, and all they will need later on is to adjust products accordingly as different skin concerns arise.
The recommended method for washing is to wet the face with warm water and use the fingertips to apply a gentle cleanser before rinsing — again with warm water — and applying a moisturizer, also gentle. I like Cetaphil or Cerave as a great starter skincare line.
As they get older, they will want to switch their cleanser to control oil and exfoliate to treat acne if it arises, or they may want to incorporate spot treatment with salicylic acid for particularly troublesome areas.
Puberty changes everything and there is a lot going on in the body of a 12-year-old, so it’s best to get a head start, particularly since you want to balance any misinformation kids can pick up on TikTok.
Speaking of social media, tweens and teens are so vulnerable to what they see on their phone screens and will sometimes try anything. Trying too many things incorrectly can cause long-term damage and premature aging of the skin.
Both boys and girls need to get into the pattern of gently but diligently washing their faces. There is a tendency to scrub, particularly with boys, and you want to discourage that practice, which can make acne worse. We tell our clients to set a timer to 2 minutes when washing their face and neck.
Girls tend to take better care of their skin and discuss the issue freely. That’s a great attitude, because with the fluctuations in female hormones they will be experiencing, they could have to contend with breakouts well into their 30s and even 40s, while boys are done with that frustrating phase in their lives by their early 20s.
However, boys feel a little hesitant to talk about skin care, and they also tend to be less consistent with a skin care regimen. Picking the correct product for the skin type, keeping it simple and, again, starting them young, is key.
I practice what I preach with my own boys, Jason and Peyton. They are now 15 and 24, and by watching and listening to me through the years, they have learned to do a great job taking care of their skin.
Living in Florida, your kids should be best friends with sunscreen. The first 18 years of life represent the time when the sun can do most damage. As tweens and teens exert their independence, they might shy away from sunscreen. Set a bottle of sunscreen on the bathroom counter next to their toothbrush and face wash and encourage them to become very familiar with using it. I prefer a mineral sunscreen, which is less irritating and offers longer-lasting protection.
Some of my clients treat their tweens and teens to facials. The kids love them and it also gives us the opportunity to informally discuss how food and lifestyle choices may be affecting their skin. With our younger clients, I keep it simple, regular and positive.
From the Archives
Read our April 2022 cover story on My Facial Girl:
My Facial Girl Empowers Glowing Clients With Skin Education
Meet Our Thought Leader
Licensed esthetician Christy Giovannini is the owner of My Facial Girl, at 1127 S. Patrick Drive, Suite 3, Satellite Beach. The practice offers advanced skin care treatment and customized facials. She loves reading (mostly self-help books), early morning walks on the beach and her favorite genre of music is 70s lite rock.