the rising trend of youth skincare: what to know

Jan 22, 2024

Recently, there has been a noticeable surge in skincare trends among young girls - even as young as 10 years old. While fostering good skincare habits early on is commendable, it's crucial parents are aware of the potential dangers associated with using overly potent ingredients on youthful skin.

Knowing the science behind skincare can help parents ensure their child's skincare routine is both safe and effective. Let’s dive in.

The Pros and Cons of the Youth Skincare Trend

Young girls are increasingly drawn to skincare and beauty trends, inspired by influencers and social media. While it’s an awesome thing to see younger kids and teens take an interest in the beauty industry and skin health, they must understand the products they are applying. Using products formulated for mature skin can lead to unintended consequences. 

Young skin is inherently different, with a thinner epidermis, a delicate pH balance and faster cellular turnover. At this age, the skin is still developing, and its protective barrier may not be as robust as in adults. Utilizing strong ingredients intended for adult skincare, such as potent acids, strong exfoliants, or retinoids, can disrupt this balance, causing irritation, redness, and an increased vulnerability to environmental stressors, compromising its integrity. There is no need for anti-aging products at this stage, so avoid products that stimulate cellular turnover.

I understand how young girls can become excited to try the latest skincare trends because I was that kid. I was obsessed with going into Ulta and Sephora and reading about the ingredients and benefits of different products. This also led to me trying and mixing far too many products. For me, that led to dry, irritated skin that was hypersensitive. I went to an esthetician for quite some time to repair my skin. (Fun fact: that’s when I fell in love with skincare, but that’s for another time.) 

Three Skincare Tips That Work for Young Skin

Starting skincare early is never a bad thing – you just need to use the right products. Here are a few tips to get kids into the habit of caring for their skin without causing unnecessary damage.

 1. Gentle Cleansing

Use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser to gently cleanse the skin without stripping its natural oils. This helps maintain a healthy pH balance. I always recommend checking the ingredients on the product, even if it claims to be a gentle cleanser, and watching for ingredients like AHA’s and BHA’s (like glycolic acid or salicylic acid). These ingredients are awesome for adult skin, but children are going to want to avoid them. 

2. Hydration 

Choose a lightweight, hypoallergenic moisturizer to keep the skin adequately hydrated. Look for gentle plant-based ingredients that can provide moisture without causing breakouts.

3. Sunscreen Protection

Sun protection is crucial at any age. Opt for a broad-spectrum, child-friendly sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to shield young skin from harmful UV rays and prevent damage. No one wants to deal with sun damage later in life!

The trend of young girls embracing skincare is an opportunity for parents to instill healthy habits. By understanding the unique needs of their skin and opting for gentle, age-appropriate products, parents can nurture their child's skin without compromising its natural balance. Emphasize the importance of consistency, reinforcing the idea that skincare is a long-term commitment rather than a quick fix. Encourage open communication about any skin concerns, fostering a positive attitude toward self-care and body image.

In this way, parents become not only skincare mentors but also advocates for the long-term well-being of their child's delicate skin. And who knows? Maybe that love of skincare will motivate them to become our future estheticians and dermatologists!