Acne and skin problems used to be a teen issue, but, with kids enter puberty earlier, tween acne is on the rise. Dermatologists are seeing kids who are 10 years old and even younger seeking help for skin issues. Each year they are diagnosing more and more kids younger than 12 years old with pre-adolescent acne.
Parents are eager to help their tweens and bring back the sweet, smooth baby skin that they had just a few years ago. Parents can help their children by reviewing (and then reminding them as needed, probably many times) dos and dont’s of tween skin care, which can establish healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Remember, this is all new to tweens who aren’t always stellar at self-care and they need your help.
DO have your tweens and teens wash their face TWO times a day. Cleansing morning and night is one of the best ways to promote healthy skin.
DO use the cold, hard, rather gross facts to motivate your kiddo. Tween boys in particular love gross info, so try this on them:
Bacteria love to feed on the oil your body’s sebaceous glands naturally produce, including on your face. Oil production increases during puberty. Washing helps eliminate that oil and thus the bacteria. Gross, yes, but also motivating.
DO have kids wash their face (and take a shower, if possible) as soon as possible after sports practice. Should they wash more than twice a day? It can be helpful if a tween is especially active and sweating a lot. This will also help with body odor issues.
DON’T scrub too hard. How a child washes his/her face matters, too. KidsHealth.org recommends that kids be careful to wash gently and not scrub, which can irritate the skin and exacerbate the problem.
DO use oil-free soap and look for products labeled “noncomedogenic.” Such products will not clog skin. And if you need another reason to keep your tween girl out of makeup, explain to her that products like foundation and cream blue can clog pores.
DON’T skip sunscreen, but DO use one that is oil-free. Again, look for the noncomedogenic label. Review the importance of using sunscreen of SPF 30 with your kid, who likely feels invincible and doesn’t think about skin cancer.
DO wash using a product with either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. WebMD.com recommends leaving the cleanser on the skin for a one to two minutes “so that its active ingredients can penetrate your skin’s epidermis.” Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Wash is considered the #1 recommended product among dermatologists for acne, according to Project Inspired.
DON’T let tweens and teens keep touching their face. Encourage kids to keep their hands off their faces so as not to add to the oil on their face, irritate the existing pimples or pick at them causing a scar.
DON’T let a skin problem go too long and DO consider seeking medical help. If a few months of an over-the-counter product containing either salicylic acid of benzoyl peroxide does not clear up the problem, it is likely time to see a doctor according to the Parents can either take a tween to their family doctor or pediatrician, or go to a dermatologist. The same is true if the acne is impacting a tween’s self-esteem or leading to social isolation. Doctors can prescribes creams or medication that can make a world of difference.
DO remember how hard it is to deal with acne on top of a body already going through a lot of changes. Becca from My Crazy Good Life shares three important things parents should tell tweens before talking with them about acne here.
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