Navigating the Skincare Minefield for Tweens

Navigating the Skincare Minefield for Tweens

Thanks to the prevalence of social media and the use of platforms, namely TikTok and Instagram, by tweens and teens, there is a noticeable influx of young children dipping their toes into the realm of skincare routines that were once exclusively an adult domain. This burgeoning trend has raised eyebrows and concerns in equal measure. At the heart of this debate is the inclusion of active ingredients such as Vitamin C and retinol in products that are cleverly marketed to this impressionable age group, thanks to the use of engaging influencers, celebrities, and cute, catnip packaging. But unfortunately following this trend has the potential to adversely affect younger skin.

Why should actives not be used on children’s skin?

The delicate nature of a child's skin barrier makes it more susceptible to the effects of active ingredients. In fact, retinol, hydroxy acids, and other actives that claim to have 'brightening' or 'anti-ageing' properties are particularly concerning, as they have potential for causing long-term sensitivities or allergies in young skin.

What should children be using on their skin?

The skin of tweens and teens has lots of natural collagen and boasts an intact barrier and healthy microbiome, so the best skincare advice for tweens and indeed teens is to embrace minimalism. The essence of a skincare regimen for youngsters should ideally hinge on simplicity and safety. Sunscreens, along with gentle, soap-free cleansers and moisturisers, are the absolute cornerstone of a recommended skincare routine for children of all ages. This approach not only safeguards the skin but also fosters an environment where the focus shifts to protection rather than an unnecessary cure. After all, what child needs to adopt a routine designed for anti-aging?

How can you educate your child about skincare?

The difficulty is that parents and carers find themselves at a crossroads; tasked with navigating the fine line between nurturing a proactive approach to skin health and avoiding anything potentially harming. But with these products being constantly touted on platforms viewed by youngsters, what can adults do to convince children that these products are unnecessary? This is where education emerges as a powerful tool in empowering youngsters to navigate this complex landscape. Rather than allowing them to become enchanted by the promise of adult-like skincare regimen, why not teach them to carefully read product labels and understand the implications of using each ingredient with a discerning eye. This will make them feel more responsible (something children love!) and also arm them with the knowledge to make informed decisions. For instance, if they know that incorporating active ingredients such as vitamin C and salicylic acid can disrupt the natural pH balance of younger skin and its delicate microbiome, leading to chronic irritation and long term skin sensitivity, they may think twice about using these products. Given that the goal is for skin to remain healthy and beautiful, it is important that adults point children towards child-safe skincare options. Products suitable for children are those that are free from allergens, essential oils, or petroleum-based products, minimising the risk of allergic reactions. Instead, using light gels, mousses and water-based formulations that are non-comedogenic will respect and preserve the skin's natural, healthy state. This will more than achieve the goal of preserving the youthful glow of children’s skin while maintaining their interest in becoming skincare aficionados!

Our top picks for children’s skincare

"Children really only need three products in their skincare routine,” says Dandydill Way’s founder, Tania Rodney.

Cleanser: One of Dandydill Way’s best-selling products, the SLS and soap free cleansing mousse is a foam wash to gently and thoroughly cleans sensitive skin without causing dryness or irritation. It contains the brand’s signature botanical extract of antioxidant rich, wild hawthorn berries and more than 98.4% natural ingredients.

Moisturiser: Dandydill Way’s fragrance free moisturiser for sensitive skin. This includes sodium hyaluronate and jojoba oil to hydrate, nourish and soothe children's sensitive skin.

Sunscreen: Fragrance free, Green People's organic, natural lotion suited to kids with eczema prone skin, this one is ideal for those who suffer from irritating prickly heat - shea butter is known to nourish and calm.

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