SomewhereBetween: Developing a Skincare Routine for Tweens
As much as we would like them to, unfortunately our children can’t stay young forever. It’s inevitable that they are going to grow up and experience all of the exciting, fun and scary aspects that puberty brings along with it. One of the not-so fun parts of puberty is the ever-changing balance of hormones which often effects the way skin behaves, with many tweens experiencing the emergence of oily T-zones, breakouts of blackheads and pimples, and in some instances, a more severe case of acne.
The tween years can be tough at the best of times, and being self-conscious about their skin is another worry they don’t need. While there isn’t any way to completely banish skin problems, there are certainly ways you can help your child minimise them. Introducing a good skincare routine when the signs of change appear, will contribute to healthy, happy skin.
We love conscious.kin for their considered range of natural, organic, crafted products sourced exclusively from Australia and New Zealand. We spoke to Beauty Therapist and conscious.kin co-founder Melissa Kreuger about the changes that occur in children’s skin during the pre-teen years. “It is good to note when thinking about the difference between boys and girls, is that puberty can begin earlier for girls. At puberty, an area in our brains, called the hypothalamus, begins to produce a hormone (commonly known as LHRH or luteinising hormone-releasing hormone) – and it is this hormone that stimulates the pituitary gland to make more of the trophic hormones. Which, without going into too much detail, means that the final hormones that are secreted can start a number of quite noticeable changes in physical appearance.
When talking about a person’s skin around this time, androgen production is related to the biggest changes. Androgen travels around the body and carried hormonal messages that result in the growth of body hair, the development of body odour and the production of more and more sebum. All of this sebum production dilates the follicles and this is when ‘pores’ on the person’s skin start to become easily visible. You may also have noticed the scalp becomes oilier as well due to androgen production.”
Melissa notes that one of the most important things to remember is that while the first instinct of many tweens who are starting to develop an oily T-zone might be to strip their skin using harsh chemicals to achieve a ‘squeaky clean’ feeling, it could actually be doing them more harm than good. “By stripping the skin of all the naturally occurring oils, you can trigger the sebaceous glands to freak out and go into hyper-production which can make the existing skin concerns even worse,” she said.
So what products should your child be using? According to Melissa, “the best routine is to use a washable, foaming cleanser twice a day, followed by a gentle, low-pH toner. Your tween can also use a mild anti-acne product at night if necessary and during the day a light non-comedogenic moisturiser. And if needed, don’t be afraid to seek help from a professional.”
“It is extremely important to keep it simple with skincare routines for tweens. Firstly, because there is already so much going on within their bodies, and secondly, because a young person will not be used to using daily skin care products and cannot be expected to remember or complete an intensive 7 step skincare routine twice a day!”