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How do I help my daughter with a skincare routine?

My 15 year old is just now starting to get acne, she has fairly normal skin though, maybe a tad on the oily side and is beginning to get interested in things like makeup and skincare. I think I'd just like to start out by teaching her how to clean her face properly and work on a skincare program with her. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to talk to her about this? Any specific products to use or to avoid?

Answers

I think that it's great that your daughter is coming to you and that she really wants to take an interest in her skin and her body. I agree with the other parents who have said things about how it's important to teach you daughter beauty comes from within and that part of having fresh and clear skin is eating healthy and exercising. Use this as an opportunity to talk to her about healthy foods and exercising. I think the next thing is to figure out what exactly her skin type is, you can do so with this guide from WebMd.

Explain the basics of skincare
You're daughter's at an age where her hormones are raging and she may in part be breaking out because of that. My other suggestion is to stay as natural as possible, go organic and don't use things that aren't natural. Try to stay away from many of the products you see out there that you don't know what the ingredients are. In fact, your daughter may be having some acne in part to exposure to certain irritants in clothing or chemicals. 

Skincare Routine for Teens

Cleanser
I think the first thing to think about in a skincare routine is a cleanser. You can instruct her to wash her face in the morning and at night to purify and clean out her pores. It can also remove any little dirt pieces or anything else that may have gotten on her skin. You're going to want to have something that's generally mild, but also tailored to her skin type - if she has oily or acne prone skin she may need something specifically targeted for that. Some of the products I recommend for cleansers are:
  • Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk: It's a very basic and all purpose cleanser that can be used for all types of skin. It's something that just removes basic impurities and helps skin feel clean and fresh. As an added bonus all of their products are made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances.
  • Alba Botanical Hawaiian Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleanser: This cleanser is meant to help clean and refine pores. It's a really fantastic cleanser that's able to pull up dirt, makeup and anything else on the skin. It's 100% vegetarian and not tested on animals. It is also free of parabens and synthetic fragrances. 
  • Detoxifying 'Breakout Buster' Facial Cleanser: If your daughter is really struggling with acne, you can consider using a cleanser like this one that is more targeted to acne prone and teenage skin. This product is made with only natural and organic ingredients. 
  • Just the goods - vegan acne prone skin face wash: Another option for acne prone skin is this light foaming face wash. It comes in both an exfoliating and non-exfoliating form depending on what you need. What I like is that it contains items like tea tree oil that are disinfecting and skin-clearing.


Exfoliant
An exfoliator is really good for helping remove dead skin cells. You don't have to use one every day, but you can if it's mild enough. I suggest using one a few times a week, especially with acne prone skin. Some products I suggest are:
  • Alba botanicals enzyme facial scrub: this exfoliator gently lifts impurities and helps with smoothing the skin.
  • Apricot shell facial scrub: Who doesn't love the smell of apricots? This exfoliator is ideal for all types of skin, and what's great is you'll be able to read and pronounce everything on the ingredients list.  
  • Skincraft organics cocoa face scrub: I'm a really big fan of this organic facial scrub. Not only does it smell great but it's really gentle and does the job. Nothing synthetic is in this product.


Toner
Toners hydrate and repair the skin's surface. They can also be a great item to use to remove any of the last traces of dirt and makeup on the skin. Daily use helps skin feel softer and smoother over time (use twice a day). Some toners I recommend:
  • Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel: This is an alcohol-free toner that is incredibly soothing in part because of the addition of aloe vera to it's ingredients. It's also a particularly good toner if you have skin like your daughters that's pretty normal with a few oily areas. 
  • Balance - Pore minimizing facial toner: This toner is full of vitamin C, vitamin A and E, which really does a good job of helping nourish the skin. If your daughter has problems with her pores or finds that her pores are larger, I suggest trying out this toner.


Moisturize
This is something that's really important for teens to do every day. It helps hydrate the skin and you can even use a moisturizer that has a sunscreen in it to protect from sun damage. Moisturize twice a day, but don't use an SPF containing moisturizer in the evening. Some of my favorite moisturizers:
  • Era Organics Face Moisturizer Cream: This moisturizer includes organic Aloe Vera, Manuka Honey, MSM, Coconut Oil, Shea Butter, Blue Green Algae, Olive Oils, Cocoa Butter and Hemp Seed Oil with vitamins A, B, C, E.
  • Teen Cream Set: What I like is that this set contains a moisturizer for both daytime and night time, each with ingredients targeted to help different things. I love that these products are also make with goat's milk.
  • Facial Moisturizer for problem skin: This moisturizer is free of artificial fragrances and hypoallergenic, so it won't irritate your daughter's skin.


Acne Spot Treatment
The key to having clear and glowing skin is to not pick at and pop spots when they show up. This is probably one of the worst things your daughter could do to her skin. Instead when something crops up, treat it with a spot treatment. Here's some products I suggest:
  • Vegan acne spot treatment: The benefits of aloe vera with astringent essential oils help clear up acne without over-drying the skin.
  • Blemish bomb: Dab this onto an area of your skin where a blemish is forming or has already formed throughout the day. 

This is great Opal! Thanks for sharing. I think it's one way that mothers can bond with their daughters and just have more of a connection together. Anything during the teen years that can help me get closer to my daughter, I'll try!

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User
July 1, 2015

Right now I don't know if my daughter is interested in any of this, we haven't talked about it yet.

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User in Larkspur, CA
July 2, 2015

Gaye, I love that you're working on this with your daughter. I think it's a great thing that the two of you can bond over and talk about. 

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I think you're doing a great thing focusing on healthy and fresh skin versus piling on the makeup. I would say keep it really minimal, explain the that looking beautiful means that you treat your body well and that you feel beautiful. Eat right, exercise and take proper care of your skin.

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User
June 30, 2015

About a year ago my daughter also started taking an interest in skincare. I think the important thing is to stay as natural as possible. Try to avoid the things that you'd traditionally find at a drug store with excess chemicals. 

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User
July 1, 2015

My daughter washes her face twice daily, and then sometimes we have girl spa days where we do face masks. Right now that's about as far as we've gotten!

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