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Family,Health And Beauty

Top Tips For Pre-Teen Skincare

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I check out top tips for pre-teen skincare so I can learn what trends out there are more likely to harm than help my growing children.

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The world of skincare can be overwhelming, especially for pre-teens who are being bombarded with social media trends and conflicting advice. I’m sure that like me, you want your child to feel confident and embrace healthy skincare habits, but with so many “miracle” products and routines out there, it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. As my daughters are growing up fast, I want to make sure I’m in the best position to advise and guide them.

In recent months, there has been a growing concern over pre-teens and teenagers using an excessive amount of luxury skincare products. However, many of these trending products are age-restricted due to the potential damage they may cause to young people’s skin. So I wanted to learn what the truth is, and how I can help my children take care of their delicate skin in the healthiest way.

To help me out, experts at the beauty and wellness marketplace, Fresha, have sent over a list of top tips for pre-teen skincare routines.  

Pre-Teen Skincare

Risky Products To Avoid


Retinol has become a popular product on social media that is widely used by beauty influencers. However, due to the product’s anti-aging ingredients, it is generally only to be used by people in their mid-twenties and older.  

When prescribed by a doctor or a dermatologist, retinol can be used as an acne treatment. Other than this, it is an entirely unnecessary product to be used by pre-teens because it can have some damaging consequences on juvenile skin.  

Retinol can irritate pre-teen’s skin due to the product’s high acid levels and can cause premature skin damage. The product also reduces the skin’s natural protection against the sun, making retinol users more susceptible to UV rays and sun damage.  

Hydroxy Acid  

Like retinol, hydroxy acid is typically used to prevent wrinkles and fine lines. Due to the product’s anti-aging ingredients, it’s generally advised not to be used by people under the age of 25.  Due to the product’s high acid levels, pre-teens should avoid it altogether.  

When used on adolescent skin, hydroxy acid can irritate and worsen skin conditions due to the product’s removal of the top layer of skin cells. Hydroxy acid, like retinol, can also make users more susceptible to lasting sun damage, which is why pre-teens should avoid it unless prescribed as acne treatment.  

Ultimately, pre-teens should steer clear of anti-aging products entirely. As well as causing potential skin damage, anti-aging products can also spark harmful and pre-mature insecurities about wrinkles and other natural effects of aging.  

Exfoliating Acid

Most exfoliating acids are too harsh to be used on young people’s skin and should be avoided in pre-teen skincare routines. The products contain high levels of acid, which are intended to remove dead skin cells but ultimately irritate pre-teens’ skin. Experts have also suggested that exfoliating acids may even disrupt the natural skin barrier, causing itching, dryness, and skin swelling.  

Once again, it’s also risky for pre-teens to use exfoliating acids due to the increased risk of sun damage, making it a product to avoid in pre-teens’ skincare routines. It’s important to note that pre-teens can use milder exfoliating acids as acne treatment, but only when advised by a doctor or dermatologist.  

Vitamin C Serum

Some benefits of vitamin C serums include reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Because of this, vitamin C serums are an unnecessary product to be used in pre-teens’ skincare routines.  

Skin experts have also debated the safety of vitamin C serums for children’s skin. Some claim these serums can worsen skin conditions like eczema due to the product’s high acid levels. Overall, it’s best to steer clear of expensive serums entirely, as the anti-aging benefits of these products will be entirely unnecessary for pre-teens.  

Safe Pre-Teen Skincare

Despite the dangers of some viral skincare products, pre-teen skincare doesn’t have to be an entirely negative subject. It can be positive for pre-teens to express an interest in looking after their skin, which is why some products can be a great place to start a safe skincare routine.  


Moisturiser is an essential part of many skincare routines and a safe product for pre-teens. A light layer of light moisturiser can improve hydration and prevent dryness, so it’s a great introduction to the world of skincare.  

Our skin has a natural barrier that protects us from irritants and helps retain moisture. Pre-teen skin is still developing this barrier, and dryness can weaken it. A light moisturizer helps lock in hydration and keeps the barrier strong, preventing irritation and discomfort.

Hormonal changes can make pre-teen skin more sensitive. A light, fragrance-free moisturizer can calm irritation and reduce redness, keeping your child’s skin feeling comfortable and healthy.

Pimple Patches

Applying a pimple patch on a blemish can reduce redness and inflammation, making them a fun and exciting product for pre-teen skincare routines. Pimple patches act as a physical barrier, preventing pre-teens from picking at blemishes, which can worsen breakouts and lead to scarring.

Pimple patches are infused with ingredients like hydrocolloid, which helps absorb pus and reduce inflammation. This can be appealing for pre-teens dealing with occasional breakouts. These patches are thin and transparent, making them virtually invisible on the skin. They’re also easy to use and can be worn throughout the day or night.

But be aware, pimple patches are a temporary fix, not a cure. Addressing the underlying cause of breakouts (hormonal changes, diet, etc.) is crucial for long-term skin health.


Due to the popularity of these products on TikTok, many pre-teens may already be applying SPF products in their skincare routines. #SPF currently has over 6 billion views on TikTok and has over 232,000 posts, showing its relevance on social media. 

SPF products are an incredibly safe and beneficial product to incorporate into pre-teen skincare routines as they provide protection against the sun. SPF should always be the last step in any skincare routine and should be applied at least 20 minutes before going outside for maximum effect.  

While some might think sunscreen is just for beach days, incorporating SPF into a daily skincare routine is crucial for healthy skin, even on cloudy days. Sunburns are not just uncomfortable; they can also increase the risk of skin cancer later in life. Using SPF daily, even on cloudy days (UVA rays penetrate clouds!), helps prevent painful burns and protects their precious skin.

Mild Cleanser

Cleansing is an effective way to rid your skin of dirt and oil, making it a reliable breakout preventive. Because of this, mild cleansing products, such as gel cleansers, can be a safe and refreshing part of a pre-teen skincare routine.  

Pre-teen skin can be easily irritated, especially during hormonal fluctuations. A gentle cleanser free of harsh chemicals and fragrances minimizes irritation and keeps their skin feeling comfortable and calm. While some cleansers promise to eliminate blemishes overnight, they can often do more harm than good. A gentle cleanser removes dirt and excess oil without over-drying, which can actually worsen breakouts.

Consistent use of a gentle cleanser lays the foundation for healthy skin habits in the future. Pre-teens learn the importance of cleansing without irritation, setting them on a path to healthy, balanced skin.

Pre-Teen Skincare Conclusion

People must be aware of the risks some skincare products can have on young people’s skin. While pre-teens and teenagers may be easily swayed by skincare influencers on TikTok, it’s essential to do your research before applying the products you see online.  

However, pre-teen skincare doesn’t have to be ruled out completely. It’s positive that more and more youngsters are interested in taking care of their skin thanks to social media, but it’s essential to recognise which products may cause more harm than good and instead stick to safer skincare routines.

-A spokesperson for Fresha
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