My daughter is 10 years old. I'm finding the early signs of acne on her face, and I'm so concerned that it's going to start early. She only uses water to wash her face, and to be honest, I'm not sure how well she washes it. I don't want to get her skin care products that will be too harsh for her age, but I also want to get her on a good first step. What do you recommend?
I was just having basically the same question with my friend, except she was talking about her 10 year old son. The thing to remember about this age, is that they are responsible for bathing themselves, so you don't really what is all involved with cleansing habits. But I have some great tips and product recommendations that will make it easy on you and your tween.
First, your tween doesn't need an acne line, their skin is simply too sensitive. Instead, talk to your tween about their skin care habits. Are they only using water? Are they using a bar soap? Are they possibly using your facial cleanser? The last two options can cause havoc with sensitive skin, so once you know what they are doing, you can give advice on what the better option would be.
Tweens shouldn't be using anything other than a gentle cleanser on their skin. Two good options you can find at the drugstore are Cetephyl Gentle Skin Cleanser (compare prices) and Dove Sensitive Skin Cleansing Cloths (compare prices). Cetyphil is a cream cleanser that comes out in a pump. One pump should be enough for their entire face. Dove's cleansing cloths come set with cleanser already in them. Simply run under water and rub them together to create the lather. (Cut them in half to save money!)
Your tween should realistically need to only wash once a day, unless they have been active in after-school sports or other activities where they have become sweaty or visibly dirty.
Make sure your tween doesn't use their body lotion on their face. These often contain ingredients which can cause the gentle face to react. And rarely do tweens need to worry about facial moisturizer at all. If you find their skin is extra dry, again, Cetyphil Facial Moisturizer is very gentle. (compare prices).
Skin care at this age is really about cleaning the dirt off the top layer of skin. There is no need to go further with extra steps at least for a few more years, and only if acne is a major concern. But by teaching them some basic steps and give them responsibility by purchasing skin care items just for them, the habit will start early. (And eventually they'll thank you for that!)