Kids Skincare 101: How to Help Your Child Develop a Skin Care Routine
It's never too early or too late to encourage a healthy skincare routine.
Children need to learn to take care of their skin and it’s your responsibility to teach them how to properly do so!
The skin is the largest organ of the body and it’s appearance can make a big difference in a child’s self-esteem. Encourage good skincare habits during these formative years and your child will be well on his or her way to a lifetime of healthy, clear skin.
What should you tell your kids to do to properly care for their skin and what products should they be using during the different stages of childhood?
Here’s a quick guideline of how to take care of your child’s skin at every stage of their development.
Infant to Toddler Years (Birth - 3 Years)
Extra TLC is needed when caring for babies’ skin. Their skin is ten times thinner than adult skin. Their delicate skin’s acid mantle, the protective topmost layer that keeps bacteria out and locks moisture in, does not fully function until they are about three months old.
Choose gentle products
Infant skin is more fragile and prone to dryness which is why it’s best to use gentle soaps and shampoos specifically formulated for their delicate skin needs.
Read the ingredient list carefully and look for products that do not contain dye, alcohol, parabens or synthetic fragrance.
Do a patch test
Always do a patch test on your baby’s skin before using any new product. Place a small amount of the product on your fingertip and put it behind your baby’s ear or on the inside of their elbow. Wait 24 hours to see if there is a skin reaction. If there is not, it’s safe to use. If there is any sign of redness or irritation, do not proceed using the product on your baby.
Babies’ skin also tends to lose moisture quickly which is why moisturizing is very important. Within 3 minutes after bathing, lather their skin with a gentle baby lotion to keep it hydrated and protected.
Do this at least once every day and as often as you feel necessary. This will help hydrate your baby’s skin and help it to be much more resistant to irritation from the environment.
Avoid sun exposure
Your baby's skin is sensitive and can easily absorb too many chemicals which is why experts DO NOT recommend using sunscreen for infants under six months old.
To protect your little one’s delicate skin from sun damage, seek shade as much as possible and avoid direct sun exposure when outside. Use the sun cover on their stroller, make use of wide-brim hats and dress them in protective clothes.
After six-months of age, you can then start using sunscreen formulated with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as these ingredients will not irritate your baby’s skin.
Make bath time fun
Some toddlers hate bathtime so try making a fun game out of it to make it more enjoyable.
Get some bath toys like rubber duckies, play peek-a-boo as you wash their face, sing songs or tell them stories about their skin and the importance of taking care of it.
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), teaching these habits to infants and toddlers help support language development and pave the way for later conversations about their skin health and proper hygiene.
Pre-School (3-6 Years Old)
At this age, you should start teaching your child the fundamentals of basic hygiene. Start by teaching proper hand washing. Kids like to explore things with their hands AND mouth — teaching them the importance of regular hand washing in order to stay healthy is very important.
Allow bath independence
As your child gets closer to age 4 or 5, give them opportunities to practice washing their own bodies. Allow them to clean themselves while still keeping a close watch. You also wouldn’t want to ruin the experience if they get soap in their eyes so invest in tear-free formulas!
Keep baths warm and short
This is also the perfect time to teach them the right water temperature to use: not too hot and not too cold. Instill in them that lukewarm water should ALWAYS be used for their skin and that they should not spend more than 15 minutes in the shower or bath otherwise, their skin will shrivel.
Reinforcing this habit as they grow creates a solid foundation for skin health and will prevent their skin from drying out!
If they experience skin dryness, regularly apply baby lotion. Teach them to avoid scratching itchy skin as that will only further irritate it. Keep their nails short so they don’t damage their skin by excessively scratching.
Start a sunscreen routine
Children at this age should already have a regular sunscreen routine. As they enter nursery school or kindergarten, kids will be more exposed to the sun so include a broad-spectrum sunscreen in your daily morning routine.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for all kids — regardless of skin tone.
School-Age (6-12 Years Old)
Children around this age are more independent and are starting to make decisions of their own. Habits that they form during these years will likely carry over into adulthood. A simple skincare routine done twice daily is a good foundation for their skin health.
Some kids also experience early signs of puberty so you might notice a pimple here and there. Soaps can be irritating to their skin, so it might be the ideal time to introduce a gentle cleanser for your child to use on their face. Talk to your pediatrician or dermatologist before jumping in.
Start a simple skincare routine
In the morning when they get ready for the day and at night when they clean up before bed, they can do the following:
You can have more elaborate conversations with your children about skin health and hygiene during this time. Explain what the products do, why they need to use them daily and what the consequences are if they don’t take good care of their skin.
You can also come up with incentives that will help encourage your child to be consistent with their skincare routine. Simple rewards like staying up an extra 15 minutes before bedtime can motivate children.
Avoid irritating products
A lot of hygiene products that are marketed towards children and pre-teens are loaded with glitters, dyes, bubbles, and synthetic scents. Unfortunately, these ingredients can irritate the skin on some children.
On a side note, glitter is also very bad for the environment because it consists of microplastics that when washed down the drain, end up in the ocean where it is then consumed by marine life.
Have a talk with your children about these products. Should you allow them to use them, ask your child to let you know if their skin feels itchy or irritated.
Teenagers (13-19 Years Old)
Skincare becomes extra important during the teenage years. Teens undergo hormonal surges that can make their oil glands hyperactive, leading to oily skin that is more prone to acne, blackheads and whiteheads.
Teens go through a lot of changes physically and mentally
Think back to your own teen years and remember your insecurities with your appearance. Your teen is undergoing the same identity crisis and although you cannot help them fully navigate these confusing times, you can help ease their problems a little by helping them maintain healthy skin. Blemish-free skin can boost anyone’s confidence level!
Unlike when they were much younger, there are now a lot of factors to consider when it comes to keeping a teen’s skin clear and healthy.
Great skin comes from maintaining a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, having adequate sleep, living a healthy lifestyle and practicing an excellent skincare routine. Unfortunately, you do not have control over all of these, especially now that your teens are asserting more independence and making their own choices.
Support your teen with the right skincare
You can, however, provide them with the right skincare products to use for their skincare routine. It’s wonderful if your child already has a solid skincare understanding as well as a quality skincare routine, but if they do not, it’s not too late to encourage and teach them to follow a simple day and night skincare regimen.
Your teen can begin their skincare journey with YEOUTH Teen Skin System. A carefully-selected bundle of four amazing products formulated with zero parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and fragrance. Suitable for all skin types, especially for those new to skincare.
Help them achieve that blemish-free glow with this easy 4-step day and night skincare routine:
If your teen is suffering from acne, you can try a more thorough skincare regimen such as YEOUTH Acne Skin System. A skincare kit containing professionally-curated products infused with potent ingredients that target acne, blackheads, whiteheads and pimple scars. With this kit, your teen will be well on their journey towards acne-free, clearer skin!
Stop acne from ruining their complexion with this easy 6-step day and night skincare regimen:
Don’t forget about sun protection
Last but not least is the very important step of applying SPF. Remind your teen not to use expired sunscreen and to reapply when outside for extended periods of time. They will thank you down the road when they do not have sun-damaged skin!
Emphasizing and encouraging good skincare habits to your children will benefit them for years to come. Healthy, beautiful skin can make a big difference and it’s never too late to teach your kids how to properly care and maintain their skin.
Lead by example! Engage in a full skincare routine yourself for a lifetime of gorgeous skin!
DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE A SKINCARE ROUTINE? AT WHAT AGE DID YOU START TEACHING THEM ABOUT THEIR SKIN HEALTH? LET’S DISCUSS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!
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