Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies and plays several important roles in keeping us healthy. For one, it is literally like our armor against the environment and acts as a barrier between our internal body and harmful parts of nature, like bacteria, that try to reach it. As a result, taking care of our skin is not just a luxury, but imperative to optimal health. Adult skin can quickly show the visual signs of neglect, but children’s skin is far more resilient. So, when is a good time to start instilling healthy and positive habits in kids when it comes to properly caring for their skin? Here’s some easy guidelines to consider!
Ages 2 to 5 years old
All parents know that children develop at different rates, but this age range tends to mark a time in a child’s life when they are learning how to brush their own teeth and potty train. As a result, this is an excellent time to start instructing children how to wash their hands and faces and teaching them about germs! If a child is opposed to getting their face wet, introducing a very soft chamois or terry washcloth, especially with a fun animal print can be useful. One pump of a gentle, natural based cleanser can be applied to the cloth to help break down surface oils, but not strip your child’s skin. It is also important to make sure any cleansers used do not sting your child’s eyes. At this age, children love to mimic others, so making a fun game out of having your child copy you as you wash your face can be enjoyable for BOTH parties!
Ages 6 to 9 years old
Childhood development marks this age range as when your child will start to develop some independent habits, as YOU are not their only influencer anymore. As a result, this is a great age interval to encourage your child to perform two skincare steps; cleansing and moisturizing. Because your child is growing rapidly and human skin can absorb topical ingredients into the blood stream, it is encouraged that you introduce 100% natural skincare that is pH balanced and gentle. Having your child start caring for their own skin at this early age can be incredibly empowering to them and lay down the foundation for reinforcing good skincare habits for years to come!
Ages 10 to 13 years old
A child’s body and hormones can go through some dramatic changes in this age interval. As a result, their skin can start to express some common concerns such as acne, oiliness and even eczema. This can definitely be challenging to parents and children alike! In addition to feeling more independent, children will also be subject to a lot of peer pressure at this age which can impact the way they feel about their appearance. This is a great time to discuss positive body image and self-esteem with your child.
This age interval may also be a good time to introduce “condition specific” skincare to your children. If your child is suffering from light acne, you may seek out cleansers and moisturizers that contain willow bark (salicylic acid) or cedar wood to regulate sebum production. It is also imperative to educate your children not to pick at acne lesions to prevent future scarring.
Ages 14 to 18 years old
Most children will be at the height of puberty during this age range and it will be evident in their skin. From cystic acne, to oily skin and hormonal breakouts, a barrage of conditions can affect your child’s complexion at this time. In fact, this is a common age range for a child to visit a dermatologist, when topical skincare has been exhausted in the case of acne.
A good morning and evening skincare routine is crucial at this time in a young adult’s life. Many young women begin wearing makeup at this age, so it is very important that they are effectively removing makeup at night to prevent breakouts. Young men tend to be more prone to hormonal acne, as their testosterone levels increase. Using natural products that contain Ravasara Extract, a hormone balancer, can be highly effective at this age!
The teenage years are a great time to introduce an exfoliant to your child’s regimen. Because they are growing rapidly at this age, they will be turning over an incredible amount of dead skin cells. If these cells are not effectively removed from the skin they can combine with surface oils to congest a pore and exacerbate acne. Opting for a natural exfoliant that has gentle particles that bump dead skin cells off the skin’s surface and doesn’t aggravate skin is beneficial. Some young adults, will also take the time to apply facial masks each week to help purify their skin, regulate surface oils, and kill bacteria!
It is important to note that young adults sometimes have the tendency to OVER-exfoliate, especially if they are suffering from acne. This can not only cause dehydration and sensitivity, but also flare up their acne. This is especially a concern if they are using topical acne prescriptions that contain benzoyl peroxide or retinols. Be sure to consult your dermatologist about home exfoliation if your child is on any oral or topical medications or is using other acne products.
Educating and instructing your child about great skincare habits early will set the stage for them to take care of their skin into adulthood! Start now to ensure them the opportunity to have healthy, beautiful skin for life!
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