Got a tween that’s begging for the fancy-schmancy moisturiser trending on TikTok? Maybe your little one has dry and irritated skin that’s just so stubborn. Or early acne might be creeping up on your kiddo and they’re feeling shyer than ever.
As children enter their pre-teen years, their skin can start acting up. They might also be getting influenced by their friends about what’s “cool,” and believe it or not, skincare is now part of this (thank social media influencers). If you’re feeling totally in over your head with it all, we’re gonna clear the fog and break down the skincare do’s and don’ts for your tweenager (with some bonus product recs too!)
Can tweens use skincare?
Good news! It’s totally safe for tweens to use skincare – as long as you get the right stuff. Little faces need gentle products. You want to focus on protecting and balancing their skin, everything beyond that can be irritating.
There are currently a bunch of products trending on TikTok, getting tweens antsy for skin care that’s way too damaging (and expensive) for their skin. Even though your kid may be begging you for that Drunk Elephant product, your wallet will be happy to know that it’s far stronger than they can handle.
Here are some ingredient no-no’s to keep an eye out for:
- Retinol: A stunner for anti-aging, but also a culprit of damaging too-sensitve skin. Really strong for even adult skin, it could spark reactions like itching, burning, flaking and irritated skin. It also increases risk for sunburn and skin cancer.
- Vitamin C: Once your little one gets a bit bigger (say, 15) they could start including this in their routine. For tweens though, it’s still a tad too much. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant ingredient, but can cause irritation and burning in sensitive skin.
- Strong chemical exfoliants: Whilst chemical exfoliants sound super scary, not all of them are! As opposed to the rough friction of a face scrub, chemical exfoliants sink into the skin and unclog pores from within. A gentle chemical exfoliant can actually be a less invasive way to clear skin. But strong, high concentrate ones could damage the skin barrier, aggravating acne and irritating the skin.
- Benzoyl Peroxide: This one is a common acne treatment, but is prone to drawing reactions to sensitive skin. It could leave rashes and blisters or cause swelling in the face. But if prescribed by a doctor, you’re much less likely to experience these hiccups.
Our product recs for tween skin
Caring for your little one and their young skin is no easy feat in a market that’s saturated with pricey and overly-active products. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some gentle skincare products that are the perfect entry into skincare for little ones.
For the go-getter kids who can’t stop jumping, rolling, dancing and climbing – a soothing cleanser will wash off all that daily debris.
This gel cleanser from Mecca Max is designed for young faces. Starring best-in class ingredients like aloe vera and niacinamide, it binds moisture to the skin to feel hydrated and soft.
Let it lather on the face so that it builds to a lightweight foam, and feel the day wash away.
Your tween may be spotting some small bumps or pimples popping up on their face. Acne can start in tweens from eight years old, so it’s heaps normal.
But we all know how embarrassing it can feel (so not fun), which is why finding a gentle exfoliant can be a big time confidence-booster.
Go-To is the epitome of clean and simple, and their Gentle Exfoliator is no exception. It features low-strength lactic acid to clear and aloe vera to soothe.
If your little one is itching for some big kid skincare, a hydrating serum is the perfect extra touch.
Packed with skin-protecting goodies, CeraVe’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum gives skin that dewy finish that’s all the rage.
Ceramides rebuild the skin’s moisture barrier (keeping hydration locked in), and hyaluronic acid softens and smooths skin.
It also helps to comfort and soothe inflamed skin, so a fab fit for sensitive faces.
A silky moisturiser that softens with lightweight hydration, this pick works for literally everyone.
It’s sheer and non-greasy, helping to balance oil production and hydrate without pore-clogging. From dry skin types all the way through to high-shine faces, it’s great stuff.
Moisturisers are a stellar way to seal and balance the skin, plus give it some love at the end of the day, so you won’t want to skip this step.
Another skincare step that’s making the TikTok rounds is a facial spray. These are super handy on-the-go options for kids who need a little moisture boost in their busy day.
But a lot of them are heavily fragranced, which might seem fun but can cause sensitivity in the skin. This one by Clinique is fragrance-free and has a bunch of calming ingredients like antioxidants.
It’s never too early to get into the daily slip-slop-slap habit, especially in sunny Australia.
Did you know, sunscreen doesn’t have to feel sticky, look greasy or smell funky? I know, it’s wild.
The Cancer Council has come out with an SPF50+ that doubles as a moisturiser, feels lightweight and is fragrance-free. It also boasts hydrating aloe vera and vitamin E to enrich the skin.
Now that deserves five gold stars.