What skincare should I use for my tween/teenager?
If you already know the Vanessa Megan philosophy of Naturaceutical® skincare that works, it is likely that you want the same natural, powerful skincare for your children.
Over 90% of the skincare sold online and in stores for tween and teenagers contains toxic ingredients – everything from endocrine disruptors to carcinogens. This is the last thing a growing human needs on their body!
If you want to know more about these ingredients, we’ve done the research for you. You can download our eBook “The Nasty Nine” here and it will give you a summary of every ingredient to avoid for both you and your children.
While the entire VM range is suitable for young skin, their needs are very different to those of an adult, and they rarely want to deal with complicated skincare routines. They want a simple regime with products that work.
There are three main complications that teenagers face with their skin: inflammation, acne and stretch marks as they grow.
These concerns typically start to appear as a child reaches puberty which can be anywhere from the age of 10 to 17, meaning the tweens (10-13 years of age) is the perfect time to implement the idea of looking after your skin, particularly because many of these skin concerns come with added embarrassment and self-consciousness because they are so visible.
Let’s take a quick look at each of those and explain the perfect simple care plan for their skin concern.
Acne and inflammation
Acne is a skin condition that looks like inflamed skin – red bumps, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, cysts or any combination of all of them. It tends to appear when puberty hits and is different for just about everyone.
This inflammation shows up on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back and chest. Acne happens when oil glands (known as sebaceous glands), which make the sebum oil that lubricates your skin and hair, are stimulated by your growth hormones to make more sebum. Pores in your skin can become clogged with this sebum and it can then block the dead skin cells that would usually just wash off. Bacteria can then grow and multiply in these blocked pores, causing swelling and redness.
When a pore gets clogged but stays open – that’s a black head. When it closes over and fills with pus, that’s a whitehead. Sometimes very painful lumps of these blocked pores will form deeper in the skin, and these are called cysts. It isn’t always possible to prevent acne and if yours or your child’s is severe, it is best to see a dermatologist, but it is possible to do everything you can to treat and protect your skin.
Wash your skin well every day and don’t fall for the belief that vigorously scrubbing away the oil with a harsh cleanser will help. It won’t. In fact, it can cause your skin to become more inflamed and your glands to over-react and create even more sebum. Be gentle and use a very gentle cleanser. We recommend our Petitgrain pH Balancing Cleanser because it washes away dirt and excess oil but calms the skin and helps to limit inflammation.
About once a week it is really valuable to use a gentle scrub. We recommend our Prebiotic + C Skin Polishing Exfoliator which is a powdered scrub that doesn’t just rub off old dead skin but uses enzymes to help dissolve the bonds that keep that old skin in place. It also helps to create a health environment on your skin for the fresh skin cells to thrive.
Choose sunscreens carefully. You need them, obviously, the sun can be very damaging to young skin. But choose one that is non-comedogenic (doesn’t block your pores) and wash it off with your cleanser at night.
Shower (even just with water) after you sweat, particularly after sports, or if you work in a fast-food restaurant where you may be in contact with a lot of grease.
Moisturise. We know this sounds like a contradiction! More oil? Yes, actually. If you want your skin to calm down and become clear and strong, it needs to feel protected. We recommend two products for this – Rose Hydrosol Pore Refining Toner and N.E.O. (Nature’s Elixir Oil). A few sprays of Rose Hydrosol into your hand and a drop or two of N.E.O., mixed together and gently pressed into the skin will actually help with acne and inflammation. Rose hydrosol is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial and N.E.O. is full of vitamins, including powerful zinc, that will help your skin to heal without scarring.
Stretch marks are fine lines in the skin that can occur when there is sudden growth or weight gain, two things that regularly happen to tweens as they hit puberty. Stretch marks occur because the skin can’t produce enough collagen to help the skin stretch properly. At first these may be reddish and itchy, but they will often fade to a lighter colour over time. Most people get stretch marks at some point and on same part of their bodies and they are very normal.
There are some powerful treatments that can help with stretch marks, but they are not recommended for teenagers because your skin is still growing. So, while you are in this growth phase the best thing you can do is keep your skin, and any stretch marks well moisturised and protected. Use sunscreen, cover up stretched skin and use a gentle moisturiser or body oil after your shower or bath, while your skin is still damp to really give your skin some extra help with staying supple and stretchy. We recommend our Peruvian Flower Nourishing Body Cream and our Bio-Omega Body Contouring Oil. These both contain beautiful, natural oils that replenish and heal the skin and provide it with support in the making of extra collagen.
One last suggestion. We know that the tween years is a time of self-consciousness, where young people begin to worry about how they look and smell, but it is not a time to start spraying over-perfumed anti-perspirants or colognes full of toxic ingredients around! This is also the perfect time to try mood-enhancing, natural oils as perfumes and we absolutely recommend our all-natural, alcohol-free perfumes for their incredible scents and the way in which they lift the spirits.
We know that skin can do all sorts of new and surprising things during the teenage years. But we also know that looking after your skin will help. Setting up simple, good habits around choosing and using skincare can set you up for life with healthy, strong skin and the tween years are the perfect time to start.