22 answers

Skin Care for Pre-teens

Any suggestions on skin care for my two pre-teen daughters (ages 11 and 9)? I noticed that they are both starting to get a pimple here and there, and I would like them to get used to taking good care of their skin now.

I had purchased some gentle cleaning wipes (generic brand of an Oil of Olay skin cleaning wipe) to make it easy for them, but they both said the wipes "weren't working."

I looked at Pro-Active, but it seems to be too many steps and a bit premature.

Thank you in advance for any recommendations!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I received so many helpful responses! Thank you all!

I am looking at all comments, and I plan to incorporate the routine that I think will be easy for them to follow, and will fit our budget and their needs. I want to make sure they don't feel discouraged by a routine that they find difficult to follow.

They both drink a lot of water, and eat a pretty healthy diet, so I think that helps (no soda, fruits, veggies, very little processed foods, hey, we aren't perfect!)

I am so pleased with the different points of view and different price points offered here. Thank you again!

Featured Answers

I would recommend Mary Kay. No, I don't sell it, and yes it is pricy to start, but their regimine is a great life skill that I learned to use daily and has helped me with the pimples here and there to not even come around when used correctly. They have a teen line. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

How about the Clearskin product line trough Avon? They are lower in price and work just as well as some of the high cost name brands.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

You are a great momma for asking.
From my teenage acne years I learned the following, after many mistakes (I burned my skin with various drying substances etc.):
1. Gentle cleanser with no drying alchohol or menthol or lemony stuff. No fragrance either. one does not want to irritate acne. (good cleansers -- cetaphil or purpose...)

2. Gentle toner if needed, but probably not necessary especially as a pre teen. only if they wear make up. Again, no alchohol, lemon, menthol, camphor, peppermint or other irritiating substances..

3. Acne fighting medicine -- either with benzoyl peroxide (2.5% to start) or salicyic acid or dr. prescribed....(some acne medicines cause reactions to the sun, so don't use in the day and use sunscreen!!!!! and do patch test first on wrist to ensure no alleric reaction.)

4. Exfoliator based on BHA -- saliycic acid -- again, no alchohol. Clinique Sensitive Skin toner is good. (probably not necessary on a daily basis as a pre-teen).

5. non oily sunscreen (to prevent scarring after pimple heals. sometimes pimples leave pink marks which disappear in a few months. not to worry. cover up with SPF 15+ foundation or cover stick

6. TRY ANY ACNE MEDICATION ON A SMALL AREA FIRST TO ENSURE NO REACTION!!!!

7 MOST IMPORTANT -- TELL THEM HOW BEAUTIFUL THEY ARE EVEN WITH A PIMPLE OR TWO OR THREE, AND NOT TO FOCUS ON IT!

a great website to learn how to gently take care of your skin at any age is www.cosmeticscop.com or www.beautypedia.com
Paula begoun shares how to take of your skin, and rates products from the drugstore or dept. store.

Good Luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Part of this is simply hormonal and a normal part of growing up, but it can also be genetic; there are environmental factors too.

I suffered from breakouts at that age,went through years of antibiotics in my teens, eventually a low dose of accutane treatment in my twenties, and occasionally had breakouts in my 30's. Over time and with much research, there are some things that can help control breakouts that I wish I had known when I was younger. I still have super sensitive skin that breaks out with almost anything but it's clear with no wrinkles.

First, a gentle cleaner is very important because the wrong type can actually cause breakouts or allergic reactions.

Regular soap is one of the worst products because the fatty film clogs pores, especially anything that is antibacterial which can make skin red and dry. With dry skin, bar soap will make the situation worse. If she wants to stick with facial soap, regular Dove is a good option (look at the ingredient list if there is a nut allergy - there is almond oil in the sensive skin one) there are better alternatives.

The bar soaps are also bad for cleaning the face because of the dirt and bacteria that often acumulates on them. These usually wash away if you lather up during two minutes or so and rinse well, but basically kids rarely do this. Try to start off with a clean product, meaning anything liquid that cannot be easily contaminated is better.

Stay away from Noxema or anything with mint or alcohol which would be very drying, especially in younger children's faces.

Have them try Johnson & Johnson's Baby Wash for cleaning their face and in the shower as a body wash, which is hypoallergenic and won't clog pores. It is an excellent (and very affordable) facial cleanser for grown ups too.

Another good facial cleanser is Method Hand Wash (found at Target and Whole Foods). It's naturally-derived, triclosan free, biodegradable, has had no animal testing, and is as mild as water. There are different ones but I think the clear one is the best if you use it on the face (I've had no problem with the "Pink Grapefruit" scented one though, it smells yummy).

The towels you have in the bathroom are also very important. You could consider having paper towels which she can tear use to gently pat (not rub or scrub) their face dry. Or have white towels washed in Tide Free or any other gentle soap.

Have them wash their hands frequently and not touch their face, or pick at any pimples. I wish I had listened to my mom on this - the scars eventually fade but doing this simply makes a breakout worse.

They might want to dable in makeup later too. Have them stay away from foundation and powder that often make breakouts worse. Blotting papers are good though for controling oil.

Shampoos are also important. Stay away from anything that can cause buildup. Suave Daily clarifying shampoo is a good option. Down the road, as she starts getting into styling products, the residues too can cause breakouts. You could try other shampoos for kids, just not anything heavy.

They probably do not need a moisturizer at this age but a good one is Clinique Moisture Surge (use sparingly, it's $$). Dove used to have a light face lotion with SPF 15 as well but it's hard to find. Sometimes I use Olay Complete All day lotion SPF 15. Good sunblocks are very important though - good ones include Coppertone Faces (oil free) and Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, both of which I use on my young son.

Lastly, much ado has been made about there being no link between diet and skin but drinking soda can be a huge trigger. Start your children early on the habit of drinking lots of water.

I'm on the fence about going to see a dermatologist this young - I found they are very quick to prescribe pills and topical lotions that your child will use for years; they often do very little.

In any case, make the changes in their routine gently without making a big deal out of it. Mild soap, clean towels, drinking water, using sun block, call it being eco-friendly or whatever, just start laying the groundwork for good skin care for life. Focusing too much on looks or on a few pimples that are a normal part of growing up can add unecessary angst during these tweenage years.

2 moms found this helpful

Go to Clinique. I have worked for them for 13 years. It is allergy tested and fragrance free. There is an Acne Solutions line that is very gentle and mild and has anti-bacterial agents to keep skin clear as well as oil-absorbing agents. It also uses salicylic acid which helps speed up exfoliation and keep the pores clear. Cleanser is 18.00, clarifying lotion is 13.50. If there breakout is not that frequent, they can use the basic soap(12.00 for a bar) and clarifying lotion(11.50 for a small one) for their skintype. A Clinique expert can tell them which is best by asking some simple questions about their skin. They probably don't need moisturizer at this time, but can use the Spot Healing Gel with either system to dab on when they feel one coming up. It takes the redness away and will help it heal faster.
Also, have them pull their hair off their face while they sleep (put in a ponytail) as the oils from the hair can get into the facial pores and clog.
I notice you are in Lake Mary. Go to Dillards/Altamonte and see Jenni or Alex. They both have many years of experiience and will get you what you need.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey B. - I am in the same position times 3. I have a 10. 11 & 13 year old. My middle daughter has has more pimples than my oldest daughter, my son hasn't had any yet. My middle d has already started poping & squeezing! aarrgghh. I have alaready bought them the Neutogena Wave and that works well but it really is "too" much for daily use on young skin. So I bought them a foaming face wash for sensitive skin (Pure & Clear I think). All your other responses had great ideas but my wallet does not run to Mary Kay, Clinique, or Proactive price ranges. It really is a case of try it and see as all skin is different. Just teaching them good hygeine habits is a big start. I tell my girls taking make-up OFF is more important than putting it on. I loved make up as a High School thing, but now who has time, 3 kids, single parent, a full time job, 4 dogs & 2 cats later.......wow I am tired thinking about it LOL

Good luck
M. F

1 mom found this helpful

How about the Clearskin product line trough Avon? They are lower in price and work just as well as some of the high cost name brands.

1 mom found this helpful

I feel that Velocity a product you can get from any Mary Kay Consultant is the best for pre-teens.

Hope this helps.

A. ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful

I suggest the teen skin care "Velocity" by Mary Kay - if you dont already know a rep - I can hook you up. It is amazing stuff. especially combined with their Acne Treatment Gel. I have a before & after pic of a teen's acne that will blow your mind!

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend Mary Kay. No, I don't sell it, and yes it is pricy to start, but their regimine is a great life skill that I learned to use daily and has helped me with the pimples here and there to not even come around when used correctly. They have a teen line. I hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

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