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Do you have a teenager wanting to use skincare products?

22.02.2024 | Skincare

Without question, if you are a parent of a tween or young teen, you might have seen their newfound fascination with teenager skincare, including an increase in them wanting to shop the aisles of beauty retailers.  Whether they found this trend on TikTok with influencers sharing their #GRWM skincare routines, an advertisement on Instagram, or simply wanting what their friends have, this movement shows no signs of fading away.

What is concerning for us at The INKEY List, is that many skincare products (especially those with highly active ingredients) are not created with this age in mind and are marketed for adults. Care is needed in selecting skincare for teenagers to avoid causing  irritation or damaging their skin barrier.

With our commitment to spreading the beauty of knowledge, this article will share our point of view and the type of products we recommend for teenage skincare routines.

From our Co-Founder, Mark Curry:

We do have to take care when using skincare as teens, this is due to the fact that the dermis is thinner and therefore more likely to be easily damaged and irritated by strong actives. The skin continues its maturity through puberty and into adulthood. There isn’t a one-size-fits all recommendation for early teens, as much of what is experienced is driven by hormonal changes and puberty. However, that does not mean that there aren’t certain skincare measures that can be beneficial, and in some cases essential, as in SPF.

At The INKEY List, we believe in starting with the basics, and there are three key priorities: cleanse, moisturize, and protect.  

Generally speaking, tweens (under 12) won't require a skin care routine (as it's typically in the teen/adolescent period that spots present (due to hormone changes). If you have a young tween or teen that is presenting with persistent/severe skin concerns they may benefit from a minimal skincare regime - we'd advise speaking to a dermatologist for guidance. If your teen has acne, they can consider using ingredients that can help reduce their acne or blemishes.

Below are the recommended INKEY products for your tween (12 or under) or young teen (13+) and a brief description. It’s essential to start with a patch test on any skincare product and gradually incorporate it into their routine to ensure skin tolerance.  

STEP 1: Cleansers

Hyaluronic Acid Cleanser(Tween and Teen Approved) This gentle and hydrating cleanser is suitable for all skin types – dry or breakout prone. It effectively removes dirt, oil, and impurities while replenishing moisture with hyaluronic acid. It’s non-stripping formula is ideal for maintaining balanced healthy skin.

Oat Cleansing Balm: (Tween and Teen Approved) This nourishing and soothing option for young teens is formulated with 3% oat kernel oil and 1% colloidal oatmeal.  It gently cleanses the skin, removing makeup and impurities without stripping moisture.  Its creamy texture leaves the skin feeling soft and hydrated. We recommend it for those with sensitive or dry skin who need a gentle yet effective cleansing balm to maintain skin health.

Salicylic Acid Cleanser: (Teen Approved) This targeted solution is suitable for young teens that are dealing with oily, acne or blemish-prone skin. With 2% Salicylic Acid, it effectively unclogs pores, removes excess oil, and reduces the appearance of blemishes and breakouts. It’s recommended for 1x daily use to help keep breakouts at bay, but caution should be taken to avoid over-drying the skin. It’s recommended for teens struggling with acne/blemishes as part of their daily skincare routine.  It’s essential to monitor skin’s response and adjust frequency as needed to prevent excess dryness or irritation. 

Step 2: Moisturizers

Omega Water Cream: (Tween and Teen Approved) This moisturizer is enriched with omega fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining healthy skin barrier function protecting it from environmental stressors. It provides hydration without a heaviness feel, making it suitable for young teens, especially those with oily or combination skin. We recommend it for those looking for a hydrating moisturizer that won’t weigh down their skin, helping to keep it balanced throughout the day.

Vitamin B, C, E Moisturizer(Tween and Teen Approved) This multi-vitamin moisturizer is designed to nourish and protect the skin.  It combines the benefits of vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), Vitamin C and E, to provide antioxidant protection against environmental damage. It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly, making it suitable for daily use. We recommend it to tweens and teens seeking a versatile moisturizer to enhance their skin’s overall health.

Step 3: SPF

Polyglutamic Acid Dewy Sunscreen SPF30(Tween and Teen Approved) This sunscreen offers both hydration and sun protection, making it an excellent option for tweens and young teens. Polyglutamic acid helps to lock in moisture, leaving the skin feeling hydrated and plump, while SPF30 provides broad-spectrum protection against harmful UV rays. This sunscreen has a dewy finish, giving the skin a radiant glow without feeling heavy or greasy. It’s recommended for tweens and teens as a daily sunscreen to protect their skin from sun damage while keeping it moisturized and looking healthy.

Additional Steps

Hyaluronic Acid Serum: (Teen Approved) This lightweight, hydrating serum is suitable for young teens. Formulated with 2% hyaluronic acid, it helps replenish and maintain moisture in the skin, improving hydration levels and overall skin health. It’s perfect for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin, as it hydrates without clogging pores. It’s recommended for those looking to boost hydration and maintain a healthy skin barrier. Applying it twice daily, immediately after cleansing, can help keep their skin moisturized and balanced.

Succinic Acid Treatment: (Teen Approved) This targeted solution can be used by young teens struggling with persistent acne or blemishes. Succinic acid helps to unclog pores, reduce the appearance of redness and balance oily skin, making it effective intargeting and reducing the appearance of breakouts. This product is designed to be applied directly onto acne or blemishes as a spot treatment. Build slowly into the routine and only use as/when required.

In conclusion, it’s crucial for parents to guide tweens and teens in choosing gentle, yet effective skincare products. At The INKEY List, we offer a range of options suitable to young skin, prioritizing knowledge, and healthy habits. By focusing on cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection, along with optional treatments, we empower teens to care for their skin responsibly and confidently from an early age.


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JZ is passionate for connecting consumers with skincare knowledge. From the moment he attended his first brand training, he knew he wanted to be involved in skincare education, and is now living his professional dream life at The INKEY List.