I have had a lot of clients over the last month or so ask about how to deal with their young kids going through puberty and getting breakouts, as young as NINE! While it feels way too young to have to be concerned about pimples and such, the sad reality is that’s when a lot of kids start breaking out. Fast forward two or three years and they’ll have an actual case of acne, if you don’t address it when it starts.
So, when is the right time to start a routine?
Honestly, my five-year-old has a routine to wash her face, and has for a while. It might just be a washcloth and water but she knows that she needs to wash her face every morning & night. The routine is there, even if the products aren’t. She also knows that she needs moisturizer when her face gets dry, and knows when to ask. No, I am not putting baby or body lotion on her. I use my moisturizer ( Skin Therapist, Calm Balm or One Drop Wonder that can be found here) on her 1-3x a week. Am I crazy for using high end products on a child? I don’t think so, at all. If I won’t put it on my face, it isn’t going on her face. I think that we should encourage our children to be mindful of their skin routine from a young age. I think that when they’re old enough to understand, its important to have a conversation about ingredients, too.
I do realize that most parents have a routine for their kids brush their teeth and either bathe or wash their faces before bed and first thing in the morning, too. I just take it one step further and tell Claire- you need to be sure to take care of your skin. She’s going to be washing her face anyways so I just make it a point to program (that’s right, program) her brain to know why it is so important to have a routine for her face, just like brushing her teeth.
Sometimes I do get a little crazy and go off on tangents about collagen & elastin, and she gets drilled about hyperpigmentation and skin cancer in the summer almost every day. But I am nutty as a fruit cake. No reason at all to be this psychotic about teaching them how quickly collagen breaks down and one day you wake up with a new friend named Willy the Wrinkle that ruins your life, with gray hair soon to follow.
A simple “its an important part of your everyday hygiene and will be for life” will probably suffice for non-psychotic parents.
Say your 9-10-11-year-old is getting breakouts. Generally, it will be along the hairline- and let me tell ya, hair product can be the biggest culprit here. Make sure they wash their hair first, and then their face so they get the residue off. If their breakouts are consistently in the same areas take a look at my face mapping post. These kiddos can start getting black heads, excess oil production and hormonal breakouts. Blackheads are common nuisances between the brows, on the nose and out to the cheeks and on the chin. Milia bumps (Millium Cysts) are also really common indicators that the big P is coming, man I would never want to go through puberty again! Milia are little keratin build up bumps and can become a scar so easily! I cannot stress enough how important your part is in teaching them a routine.
If you are a picker I am about to speak very loudly to you.
Not sorry ’bout it.
Please do not teach your children to pick their acne. Don’t pick at theirs, don’t pick at yours. Sometimes things need to be extracted, I get that, but Milia can be really hard to extract and can go very wrong, very quickly. Instead of risking scarring and poor care habits, use an exfoliator! Super simple! For a child this young we don’t want to disrupt a whole lot. I would tell you start gentle for your own skin, and you want to be just as gentle with theirs. I know it can be tempting to start them on something you can get at the drug store but I really do not recommend doing this. Their skin absorbs just as much as ours does, make sure you’re using something good! I have put a lot of thought into how to give a couple different options.
First suggestion is to go ahead and invest in a good routine for them, if you are unsure how to start this, reach out to me or an esthetician you are comfortable with. If you aren’t wanting to get them on a whole routine I suggest starting with a Norwex cloths! They’re antibacterial so they’re going to help keep that bad bacteria down. I totally understand wanting to put off investing in a whole other routine, because for some people investing in their own can be stressful! I mean, who knows if the little twerps will even use it if you buy it!
If you are dealing with a kiddo who has oilier skin you may want to add in a good clay mask. I would keep it as nourishing as you can. You don’t want to over strip their skin so use a clay that isn’t going to over absorb oils. I really like Mask Of Zen, its been my favorite clay mask thus far and I can use it multiple times a week without drying out my skin, which isn’t hard to do. I would stay away from heavy charcoal masks, they can easily dry your skin out, depending on the base its in. Kaolin clay would also be a really good choice and I like Control Corrective’s Sulfur Calming Mask, as well. Control Corrective needs to be purchased through a professional. If you are interested hit me up and I will get one ordered for you.
If you want to start exfoliating, but again, don’t want to invest yet or you are unsure if they’ll even do it, you can make some fairly inexpensive scrubs at home. I will warn you that using quality ingredients like organic sugar cane vs granulated sugar is going to be the way you need to go. So, in the end, buying something vs making it, may just be a lot easier. If you do choose to make your own- be sure that the ingredients you use are fine and not super gritty. You could do a teaspoon of sugar to a tablespoon and a half of pumpkin puree with a couple drops of melaleuca or lavender, scrub it on and let it sit for 5-10 minutes for an enzyme treatment from the pumpkin puree….wallah! You got a facial scrub that you can probably con your little girl into wanting to make and do with you! If you have a boy the fun isn’t always there for them, bribery might work.
We interrupt this blog for a quick PSA-
DO NOT USE BAKING SODA ON YOUR SKIN THE PH IS WAY OFF! OR ST. IVES SCRUB! JUST DON’T DO IT!!!!
Now, back to your original blogging-
If your child has super dry skin you may want to go ahead and invest in a moisturizer. Skin Polish is a great exfoliator and hydrating mask, which used 2-3x a week may help balance their moisture out. If you notice that their skin is getting flaky, its time for a moisturizer. If their skin is flaking and tight I highly recommend buying the Skin Polish before you buy a moisturizer. Deeply treating your child’s face a couple times a week may balance it out. Calm Balm is a nice, soothing moisturizer that’s under $30. If you are looking to go even cheaper you could try some quality Aloe Vera.
Good luck moms & dads! Kids are a pain in the ass… and when it comes to making them bathe and be hygienic human beings can be like pulling teeth…..which also comes with the parent game when they don’t want to brush their teeth….or because your poor kid doesn’t have enamel.
*shrugs and sips wine while daughter yells from bathtub*
My point is that for a lot of you, it may not be the easiest thing to establish with your kids, which is why I push it so early. So, if you’re dealing with a kid who’s 10 but have younger ones, maybe get them a Norwex cloth, too.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I am going to start doing some more online consults and as always, I am available for in-spa consultations for my local readers.
Wondering how to deal with your 12 & ups? That is a whole other ballgame that’s coming soon, but please feel free to reach out before I release the post if needed!
Try a Norwex wipe
If that doesn’t work on its own add in a mask, exfoliator or combination of both
If its dry add moisture with a good mask a couple times a week. If it persists add a moisturizer.
If its oily add a good clay mask a couple times a week. If this doesn’t improve see an esthetician to be sure its not overcompensating. Oily skin can be very tricky so please do not just attack it with ‘acne’ products.
Remember!!!! Not all acne means you need an acne product. I do not recommend starting kids on Pro Active or anything of the sort without a PROFESSIONAL consultation.
If you are still completely unsure please schedule a consult with me, online or in person! I am more than happy to help!