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Is It OK for My Child to Use Skin Care Products?

Many kids and teens want to try skin care products they hear about from friends, influencers, and celebrities. But young skin often doesn’t need these products, and many aren’t even safe for it.

Most kids and teens don’t have the problems adult skin care products try to solve, like wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging. On young skin, these can cause things like acne, burns, and rashes. Then, kids might need to go to a dermatologist (a doctor who treats skin problems).

Which Skin Care Products Are Safe for Kids and Teens?

Most kids and teens need just three skin care products: a mild soap, a fragrance-free moisturizer, and sunscreen. Teens who tend to get acne can try oil-free moisturizer and sunscreen.

If things like oily skin bother your child, ask their doctor what gentle products can help.

What if My Child Gets Pimples or Has Other Skin Problems?

If your child has some pimples, talk with their doctor. There might be ways they can clean and care for their skin that can help.

A dermatologist can help with more serious skin conditions like severe acne, eczema, or psoriasis. With so many treatments out there, it’s important to get expert advice on what’s right for your child or teen.

What Else Should I Know?

As kids near their teen years, it’s normal to care more about looks. But some things may be leading them to worry more about their complexions, like:

Peer pressure: When their friends use fancy skin care products, there can be pressure for kids to do the same to fit in. Some kids even have birthday parties in beauty supply stores where they get goody bags filled with items.

Talk with your child about how some products can harm skin and worsen problems like acne. Explain how everyone’s skin is different. So even though their friends might use something, it’s likely not right for everybody.

Also, have your child figure out how much the skin care products cost. Then talk about what else that money could go toward, like saving for a car or college.

Ads: Kids see their favorite influencers and celebrities promote multistep skin care routines online. Companies track what people look at, so the next time kids and teens are on social media or search for something, they’ll likely see targeted ads and articles about skin care products. This gets them to think about them more and more. Brightly colored packaging and fun names can also draw them in.

Teach kids that ads can be sneaky. Some people who show their skin care routines are being paid, so the video is really a kind of ad. It’s all a plan to get people to buy stuff.

Puberty: Skin often changes during puberty, making kids self-conscious about things like pimples, dryness, and oiliness. This may lead them to look for ways to prevent or treat skin problems. Explain that skin changes like acne are normal during puberty and periods. Encourage your child to be patient because pimples often go away on their own without treatment.

If your child seems very worried about a skin condition, offer to bring them to the doctor.

Reviewed by: Patrice Hyde, MD
Date Reviewed: Apr 11, 2024

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