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An online search for the definition of the word “Tween” produced this result: A child between middle childhood and adolescence, usually between 8 and 12 years old. Or, as Britney Spears would put it: “Not a girl, not yet a woman”. Don’t ask me why I just quoted Britney…it’s clear I need help. It’s pretty clear that “Tween” is an abbreviation of the word “between”, meaning that your child is no longer a wee tot, but they are certainly not considered a teenager yet…even though they sure act like one! Growing up is hard to do. As if you don’t have enough to worry about; mean girls, does the cute boy in school like you?, getting good grades…and, of course, starting to break out. My 11-year-old went from having perfectly smooth, baby-soft skin, to breakouts overnight. I remember those days; I feel like I still live those days sometimes. Even 2 rounds of Accutane didn’t knock the breakouts out of my skin. But, I’ve figured out how to control mine, and I can offer some tips for those first breakouts.
The most important thing to remember is, just because your child is starting to get blackheads and zits, doesn’t mean they are ready for an acne skin care line. Their skin isn’t ready for skin care that strong yet; they’re still pretty sensitive. You definitely need to have them using a cleanser of some kind, but one designed for acne prone skin isn’t going to be your best bet. Neither is plain old bar soap. Using bar soap on your face strips your skin of its natural oils, and you don’t want to take the natural oil away. You’ll want to find a gentle cleanser for first time face washers. Cetaphil is good if you want to go the drugstore route. GoClear Clarifying Wash is a new product that is available at Sephora. It’s a good cleanser that is powerful enough to clear up skin, but gentle enough for tweens to use. Velocity, by Mary Kay is a good choice, and so is Purity by Philosophy.
Have your tween start cleansing once a day and work their way up. Over-washing your face can freak your skin out and cause more breakouts. Start with cleansing at night and work up to morning and evening cleansing. If your tween is into sports, or just plays hard, cleansing wipes can be used for extra gentle cleansing throughout the day. I have my daughter use Yes to Cucumbers soothing wipes. She keeps them with her at school and after gym, she wipes down her face to get any sweat and dirt off her skin. They’re really affordable and they smell so good!
Make sure they have the right moisturizer. Please, please, please do not let them use body lotion on their face! This will create a vicious cycle and more breakouts will appear. Body lotion will do nothing but clog the pores they have tried so hard to clean. Natural Acne Solutions Daily Moisturizing Lotion by Burt’s Bees is an awesome, natural product that is great for clearing up skin, and gentle enough for sensitive skin, making this a perfect choice for tweens.
Slowly introduce treatment products into their routine. They don’t want to jump right in and use pre-soaked pads with benzoyl peroxide, or other harsh ingredients. They can use a gentle facial brush and a scrub a few times a week. If you can afford it, invest in a Clarisonic cleansing system. Absolutely the best money I have ever spent! It has really helped my daughter’s blackheads clear up. Can’t do that? No problem, try Lemon Cream Scrub by Sanitas. It’s gentle enough for young skin, but powerful enough to clear up blemishes.
Those are some good tips to get your tween started. Do you have a tween? Are you a tween reading this? What products are you using, and which ones have helped your skin the most? I look forward to your answers!
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