Some pre-teen tweens will benefit from a skincare routine, particularly if they have started puberty. But, using the wrong products or overdoing it can harm a young person's delicate skin and cause more problems in the long run.
It can also waste a lot of money on unnecessary face care products. We've seen "tween packs" for $120 - that is ridiculous. Most adults would not even spend that on their skin care.
So, if your pre-teen does start to use skincare, read on for ideas on the safest products for them to use.
What is special about tween skin?
Tween skin is different from adult or teen skin in several ways. First of all, it is thinner and more sensitive, which means it can get irritated or inflamed easily by harsh chemicals, fragrances, or preservatives. Second, it is still developing its natural oil production and pH balance, which can be disrupted by synthetic ingredients or over-cleansing. Third, it is more prone to dryness and dehydration, which can lead to dullness and flakiness.
So, is it good for a 10 year old, 11 or 12 year old to have skincare routine?
What skincare should a tween use?
The best type of skincare for tweens is simple, natural, and gentle. It's important to note that not all skin care products promoted as being natural are simple or gentle! There is an awful lot of greenwashing, or glossing over of the truth that goes on.
A 10, 11 or 12 year old should only need to use a basic skincare routine that consists of three steps: cleansing, possibly moisturising, and sun protection.
A gentle cleanser once a day in the evening to wash off the dirt of the day. For this, a handmade natural moisturising soap bar and face washer is sufficient, or a Konjac sponge.
All manufactured foaming cleansers in a bottle will be harsh even if the packaging says it is natural.
Tweens should never use any type of exfoliating scrub on their fragile skin.
Tweens may not need face moisturiser and if they do, certainly not a complicated or expensive one. Read more below about what a moisturiser is to help demystify what a tween actually needs.
This unscented, gentle, natural moisturiser by Biome is perfect for tweens, teens and teenagers!
Ideally a natural sunscreen that is SPF rated and is based on plant oils, but any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen when it comes to protection from skin cancer. Look for fragrance free for pre-teens and kids' skin.
How to Choose the Best Skin Care for Tweens
Tweens should cleanse, moisturise, and protect their skin without stripping it of its natural oils or disrupting its pH balance. Any skincare product they use should be free of harsh chemicals, synthetic fragrances, or preservatives that can cause irritation, allergies, or hormonal imbalances. Here are some tips on how to choose the right products for your tween:
- Look for recognisable ingredients such as jojoba oil, sunflower oil, shea butter, aloe vera gel, and chamomile extract.
- Avoid highly-synthesised ingredients with complicated names, such as sulphates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, petrolatum, artificial colours, and alcohol.
- Look for products labelled "for sensitive skin" and "fragrance free". Even natural essential oils can irritate tween skin.
- Read the labels carefully and check the ingredients list. The number one ingredient is often water, which makes up the bulk of the product. Don't be fooled by claims of "green tea extract" or "aloe vera" when those ingredients are in fact the last in the list, so likely just a tiny percentage.
A moisturising lotion is a blend of oil, water, emulsifying waxes (to make the oil and water mix together) and other ingredients to make a creamy, silky substance. The oil is either a plant oil or can you believe, petroleum oil! Once water is added, there is a risk of bacteria growth, and that means synthetic preservatives need to be added. Various other ingredients are added to improve the feel on the skin, but they have no benefits to your skin. Fragrances are added to make it smell 'nice' and they are generally synthetic because that is the cheapest and easiest!
Once you understand how the formula works, you will understand when you read the ingredients that most manufactured face moisturisers are the same, just with different labels!
What should a 10 year old wash their face with?
We are great fans of good old fashioned soap bars at Biome!
Soap gained a bad reputation for being "drying" because of commercial companies making soap industrially, stripping all the natural glycerine and adding synthetic fragrances and petroleum. But, with soap that is made by traditional cold-processed methods from oils like olive and coconut, that is not the case!
Dindi Naturals Hemp Seed Oil Soap Bar - Unscented. Sensitive skin soap bar handmade from hemp seed oil with added olive, coconut and rice bran oils. Completely free from palm oil, synthetic colours and fragrances but loaded with shea butter and French green clay.
Ethique's face cleanser bar is fragrance free, with no added essential oils, so it's suited even the most sensitive skin.
In summary, some tweens could use a natural skincare routine to keep their skin healthy and happy. However, they don’t need complicated or harsh products that can harm their delicate skin.
When your tweens progress further through puberty, their skincare routine may need to step up a little. At Biome, we have a big range of skincare for teens and acne prone skin.