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Skin care for children / tweens / young teens

Facial skin care for children, tweens, and young teens didn’t cross my mind when I first started Just the Goods; however this is something I’ve been asked about more and more frequently over the past few years. Originally this type of question mentioned children as young as 10, but I have now also been asked about children as young as three. 

I trust this question has become more common because caregivers want to help the children in their lives reduce exposure to synthetic compounds that increase risk of cancer, hormone disruption, allergy, etc. However, it has also occurred to me that this question may be a consequence of people being more accustomed to seeing highly filtered images on social media, and wanting to stop acne before it forms.  

Before offering skin care tips, I’d like to share one important thought: if the child in your life is developing acne, or if you’re concerned about it occurring in the future, please take care to not express shame. Being a kid/tween/teen is hard enough without the people they love transferring their anxieties about appearance, and asking the child to become even more self-conscious about how they look. 

Yes! It’s great to share information about good and necessary hygiene but -- in order to soften what are already really big feelings about bodies changing -- it’s helpful to let children/teens come to you with their concerns. And, when they do, never forget to tell them they’re wonderful people and how they look is one of the least interesting things about them. This support in the building of their self-confidence will go a long, long way 😊

Now, my tips for facial skin care:

I’ve observed that the best way to teach good habits at a young age is to focus on washing well with only water before bedtime, and applying skin care products only when needing to balance something out. For example: removing petroleum-based or waxy sunscreen/face paint or colour cosmetics, restoring moisture, or clearing acne (if desired by the child/teen). 

Many children are beginning puberty earlier than the average age several decades ago. Having said that, even if the 10 year old in your life is beginning puberty, it's important to remember that their young skin can still be very sensitive, which means that even face wash for sensitive skin may be too strong. Therefore, using an alcohol-free toner for normal/sensitive skin as micellar water is a much more gentle option. Rinse with water again if you wish, then follow with the tiniest amount of facial moisturizer for normal/sensitive skin in the areas that feel tight or dry after rinsing with water and/or toner used as micellar water. 

Find these items here: 

Detailed instructions for how to effectively use toner as micellar water (applying product to a cotton disc and gently wiping until no trace appears on the cotton) can be found here: https://justthegoods.net/pages/tips-for-daily-skin-care

Questions for children younger than 10 usually refer to skin care for the removal of sunscreen or face paints. Begin by gently washing as much off as possible with water and a soft face cloth. Then, if sunscreen and/or face paint is still present, use the above-mentioned alcohol-free toner for normal/sensitive skin gently with the method recommended. Even though alcohol-free witch hazel is often the ingredient in medical eye washes, it’s still a good idea to avoid contact with the eyes, nostrils, and mouth -- the same places you’d want to avoid sunscreen, face paint, etc. 

Important notes:

  • Just the Goods' products for acne prone skin are intended for adults with frequent and clustered acne --- not occasional pimples -- and only if they do not have sensitive skin. If children must use a product, please only use varieties for normal/sensitive skin formulated without essential oils
  • Exfoliating products should never be used by children or tweens
  • Please choose sunscreen recommended for children. A good source for information about safe, child-friendly sunscreen is https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/. Just the Goods carries non-comedogenic facial sunscreen produced by other makers, but they may not provide coverage typically needed for children playing in water, rubbing their faces, etc. 

Teens may wish to try JTG's facial care product selection quiz -- their response to each question will generate results offering both product sample suggestions and routine/technique recommendations to help them get the most out of each product. 

Please note that even products for normal/sensitive skin can effectively clear pores to reduce incidence of acne and that products with essential oils are not necessary for everyone. It is always better to start with the most simple items/routine then build up if/as required 😊