Backpack? Check!

Lunchbox? Check!

Great skincare habits? Check!

A summer spent in the pool, on hikes, and sleeping in may have your tween or teen’s skin looking a little unkempt. With school going back into session soon, now is the perfect time to set your child up for success by making skincare a regular part of their morning and evening routine.

Just like with adult skin, there’s no cookie-cutter skincare routine that perfectly fits the needs of your child. Preteens and teenagers deal with the same variations in dryness, oiliness, acne, and sensitivity that their parents do, oftentimes to a more extreme degree due to the quintessential hormone fluctuations of adolescence.  Depending on specific concerns and age range, you’re going to want to make adjustments.


While some pre-teens are lucky enough to enjoy a few more years of baby-smooth skin, it’s still important to at least begin the process of teaching basic cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection. In fact, establishing a skincare routine before the problems begin can help prevent the severity of skincare concerns in the future.

Both boys and girls will benefit from a gentle cleanser that is formulated to address their skin concerns. If there are no particular concerns yet, stick with something mild and made for normal skin. You should also be encouraging the use of SPF everyday. Encouraging this habit now can be a literal lifesaver, and set your tween up for skin that stays healthy and youthful for many, many years.


Once your child is ready to take on the responsibility of a more robust skincare routine, you can introduce them to a wider range of products that will help them avoid dealing with skin concerns, along with all of the other stresses that come along with being a young adult.

With the flood of hormones during puberty, your teen’s skin will become oily and more acne prone. Reducing the oil and bacteria on the skin will help prevent the pores from clogging and the development of acne. Look for products that help combat oiliness, and cleansers containing alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acid and antibacterial agents. Also, stress the importance of continuing to moisturize even though it can seem unnecessary with oily skin.  Moisturizers containing alpha hydroxy acids and n-acetyl glucosamine are great for acne prone skin.

Because this is the age that teenagers often start wearing makeup, it’s also imperative to stress the importance of thoroughly removing all products at the end of the day, and avoiding cosmetics that cause sensitivity, redness, or breakouts. Now would be a great time to introduce the idea of two-step cleansing, first with a makeup remover, then with a foam, gel, or cream cleanser made for their specific skin type.

All Ages Benefit from Expert Skincare

One of the best skincare routines you can help your adolescent develop is regular visits with a trusted dermatologist. Just like a wellness checkup with a PCP or a dentist visit, regular appointments with a provider can help your child address skincare concerns early. That also means a better chance of fixing the problem before it becomes a long-term concern.