The real scoop on 'Sephora Babies!'

teen skincare Jun 03, 2024

Ok, ok, ok... By now, who hasn't heard the hype about tweens as young as 9 and 10 getting into the skincare game with complicated anti-aging routines?! Commonly referred to as 'Sephora Babies,' this skincare craze in young girls is causing concern for both parents and dermatologists alike!

So, what's the big deal?

Children around the age of 10-12, known as 'tweens,' have gotten into the skincare game big time. And while creating healthy skincare habits is key and a great thing to instill in our children, the skincare craze may have gone too far with a heavy emphasis on actives and anti-aging!

Tweens and teens are still growing, and their skin is still developing. Using harsh actives like alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C serums, and retinols/retinoids can be too intense for young skin. Not only are these ingredients usually unnecessary for this age group, but layering too many products can also lead to redness, inflammation, irritation, and even skin damage. 

Here's what your tween really needs: a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Using these three products daily can lead to healthy, glowing skin for decades to come.

Let's face it—kids today are dealing with social pressures we never even imagined! My awkward tween photos and teenage acne are just distant memories (good luck finding any evidence!). But today's tweens and teens are growing up in a world where they are constantly aware of their appearance, thanks to social media, virtual learning, and more. That's why it's more important than ever to help them develop healthy, appropriate, and safe self-care habits. Instead of focusing on complex skincare routines, encourage self-care measures like exercise, a balanced diet, stress reduction, and avoiding vaping. These habits will benefit them far more in the long run!

If you have a tween who is wanting to play around with skin care, try these tips:

1) Keep it simple and fun

Skincare and beauty can be fun, so let them experiment with some products! Have them choose a skincare product such as a gentle cleanser, sunscreen, or moisturizer. None of these need to be expensive. Try one product at a time in case there is an allergy. While tweens gravitate towards fragrances in their products, this can actually backfire and be harmful to the skin. Instead, go for fun product packaging!

2) Model healthy skin care habits yourself

Our children watch what we do and say, even when we think they aren't! Whether it's your elaborate skincare regimen or those self-critical remarks about appearance, they're taking it all in, seeing it as the norm. Instead of going all out with complicated routines or being hard on ourselves, let's keep it simple and effective with skincare.Teaching the importance of sun protection now is also important. Did you know that nearly 80% of facial aging is caused by sun damage and just one severe sunburn can increase your chance of melanoma? Wearing sunscreen and sun-protective clothing can make a HUGE impact, and the time to start is now in childhood.

3) Focus on lifestyle choices for beautiful skin

Did you know that how we live our lives doesn’t just affect how healthy we are overall, but it also makes a big difference to our skin? Teaching kids to eat nutritious foods, move around a lot, sleep well (like, 8 hours every night), and handle stress can help them grow up to be healthy and happy adults—with nice skin, too! But the real trick to having great skin your whole life is taking care of your body both inside and out. 

This week on the podcast I'm joined by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Brooke Jeffy who has a particular interest in adolescent dermatology! Tune in to hear her take on the skincare trends for tweens and what products are okay and not okay for our kids.

Find Dr. Jeffy here: 

A new podcast episode drops every Monday!

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