In one week, I will be the mother of FOUR TEENAGERS! Yes, four!
(Let’s just pause for a moment, and take deep breaths, while I wrap my brain around that fact. Ok, I am much better now, thank you.)
Raising teens creates a whole host of topics, some of which I bull doze over, while others I have to tip toe around gently. The varying emotions that are packed into those bodies never cease to amaze me.
With that being said, understanding the issues that result from teens and their skin is a topic that I’ve dug into over the last few years. Our sons have all dealt with acne issues, and with that comes definite self consciousness.
Yet a much more serious aspect, that I haven’t addressed here on my blog, stems from the fact that four years ago, our youngest son was diagnosed with an early stage of melanoma. Yes, skin cancer on the head, even though easily treated through surgery, was something that rocked our world, and sent us diving for every preventative measure we could find in regards to skin care.
I don’t know about you, but I was so foolish when I was younger. I was intent on getting as tan as I could, which often meant lathering myself with baby oil and frying myself. All I knew was that I shouldn’t get so burned that I blistered, but even that advice I often disregarded. (Sigh!) For years, I was a competitive swimmer, often competing outdoors,so I even had additional exposure, and I am now paying.
The best way to keep skin healthy is to start young. Up to 80% of lasting sun damage occurs before the age of 18, and my goal as a mom is to make sure that I develop smart skin habits now with our kids so that it’s a natural habit.
Just last month, our sweet daughter complained to me that I needed to buy her some skin care products like her brothers. Immediately, I told her that those were too harsh for her skin and that mild face soap was just fine. She disagreed, and said she was getting acne. Nope, she wasn’t, but over the course of the next week’s conversations, I realized that this was an important issue to her, and I needed to find an alternative to the “gentle baby soap.”
Since she turns 13 next week, taking care of herself has become more important to her this last year.
5 Skin Care Tips for Girls.
Here are some of the key points that I want ingrained in my daughters’ minds when it comes to taking care of their skin.
First thing in the morning, gently wash your face.
Teaching your child to prioritize washing their face, right along with brushing their teeth, is a great habit. Encourage them to use a mild cleanser.
Over the nighttime, sweat, oils and bacteria build up that need to get removed right away. My kids associated hard face scrubbing with a successful cleaning regiment, but that is not true, and that can aggravate their sensitive skin.
Next, put on some type of moisturizer or protection that has sun screen built right into the ingredients.
Our kids hate putting on sunscreen, but if it can become part of the hygiene habit early on, just like washing the face and brushing the teeth, again, it loses its fight. Sun protection needs to occur daily, even in the winter. I admit, even I struggle with that, but now I specifically purchase products that have the SPF already included.
Choose products carefully.
Our eldest son’s acne got so bad that we saw a dermatologist for recommendations on quality products. We were willing to invest in products that made a difference. I am much more picky for the products that I put on our children’s faces. Avoid cosmetics that will clog. Look for oil free make-up and products free of harsh chemicals – DEA free and phthalate free, Paraben free, Proplyene glycol free, and sulfate free.
I look at the picture above of my daughter and I just love her fresh face. I know in the next year, she will begin dabbling in make up and honestly, I can’t wait.
I love experimenting with make up, but I want to teach her how to do it well and naturally. To enhance her beautiful features, not trend towards a made up doll. Too many girls hide their beautiful skin behind a load of make up, yet applying more make up to ones skin, especially if struggling with blemishes, only magnifies the problem.
Always Clean Your Skin Properly Before Bed.
This is one tips that took me years to make a habit, but it’s so important.
Your skin needs to breathe and it can’t do that if make up and bacteria stay on the surface. That can really irritate ones skin. When I was in college, I was told that one night of not removing your make up cancels two weeks of good skin care. I have no idea if that was a true statistic or not, but it made a believer out of me. I never go to bed with out at least washing my face.
Those are just a few of the Skin Care Tips for my girls that I am trying to make into habits.
What are some of the important tips that you implement with your skin care regiment?
Since I believe so whole heartedly in women entrepreneurs, reading how the Willa line started was inspirational. It’s a mother/daughter team, and yes, Willa is the 12 year old daughter’s name. It’s a brand new company.
What have been some of your biggest skin care concerns over the years? Maybe we can discuss them in a future post?
So glad I found this….thanks for posting! I’ve been looking for skin products for my 10 year old daughter. Lately, I’ve been noticing some bumps on her face.
You must have been listening to our conversations! I, too, have four children and it’s so hard to find natural, quality skin care products for my girls. I just ordered some goodies from Willa. Can’t wait to surprise the girls. Thank you for your skin care tips too.
I had 4 teens at home at one time too.. Oh boy, the fun! 😉
I spent the majority of my life not wearing anything but eye shadow & mascara, maybe a little blush, but over the years as I’ve gotten older, I’ve added eye liner & a little bit of tinted moisturizer, sometimes.
Au Natural is so much easier. 😉
All I’ve really ever done is rinse my face with water most of the time, not goofing up the bodies natural oils.. but then I didnt use much that needed chemical removing.
These days, I use either some sort of nut or fruit oil (olive, coconut, almond etc) to remove eyeliner & mascara and I use the facial wipes I got for free at Target in the last couple years.
I will run out of them one of these days, and then I’ll look for another solution. I only use chemicals at night to remove my makeup. Other than that, no soap touches my face, since it removes the skins natural oils & dries it out.
The most important #1 thing my mom taught me about face care is to use a moisturizer, without fail, each & every day! For my almost 51 year old skin, and smoking right around 25 years, (quit 11 years ago! Yay!) my skin looks pretty good, I think. 😉
I rarely use sunscreen & only do if I know Im going to be outside for a prolonged period of time however, coconut oil has a bit of a natural sunscreen in it so sometimes I have more than I know. 😉
Melanoma doesnt run in my family.. it gallops!! That being said.. I tend to be fairly sun smart these days after going thru the same sun damage delights you did in my teen & early married life.
Only one of my children have had serious acne and I read one time that sugar is the biggest culprit of it, so I told him to try to get off all sodas at least for 2 weeks to see what happened. It was clearing up and continued to until now he has found a balance he can live with. If hes been drinking too many sodas, he backs off till it goes away and he finds that happy balance again.
I dont buy sodas, and the boy is 23 now, so hes the master of his own destiny. 😉
@KimH, BTW.. I meant to say.. You have the prettiest daughter. She is such a combination of you & your hubbys looks, and her spirit just shines. Love that.
Jen, what did you use for your son’s acne? My son is really battling it (my daughter is almost 13 and I hope her’s will not be as bad). Would love some ideas.
Jen, Thanks for sharing this link. I have been looking for an affordable organic tinted moisturizer for my daughter and I am definitely going to look into this. And I will try it on myself too – the one that I currently use is very expensive and I’d love a more cost efficient option. Your comment “For my older skin, that is not something that is as critical for me, but for the young girls, absolutely” made me a little sad. I hope that you reconsider and put YOURSELF on the list of the skin that is important enough to enjoy the natural products that our bodies will love. It will also set a great example for your daughters – not only to take care of their skin but also as a woman with many responsibilities to take as good care of yourself as everyone else. Thanks SOOO much for all you do for us here!!!!
I was impressed when I read this post, so I checked out the Willa website, and ordered some products for my 15-year old daughter who needs to adopt a better skincare routine. I was additionally impressed with how quickly my order arrived (ordered Sunday night and it arrived Tuesday), and the emails I received updating me on the progress of my order. Then, the day after my order arrived, I received a thank you note from Willa and a free gift (a Willa cell phone case). So I’m very impressed overall with this company, and look forward to doing business with them again. Thank you for the recommendation!
WOW!!REally? I had no idea that they followed up with a thank you note too. I am so excited that you had a good experience. My daughters have certainly enjoyed their products. 🙂
I am 11, and I like my skin when it looks clean and natural and i used your tips and now i dont have to put on as much make-up so tha my skin looks beautiful. And because of yourtips i dont wear make-up anymore (well not as much as i used too!). SO THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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thanks so much!
I have two pre teen girls that need to get into a routine – but I am very sensitive to glycerin – it makes me break out horribly!! I am nervous to order because that seems to be a primary ingredient in these products.
Unfortunately, I can’t speak to that allergy, but you may browse their site and see if they have an additional info about that.
Jen, I am looking for a super gentle cleanser for my 9-year old. We tried Dermalogica and Meaningful Beauty (which I love) but she said they burned her skin. How does the Willa feel on your daughter’s face?
It’s very gentle. I’ve actually used it myself and I can’t imagine it irritating anyone’s skin unless there’s some kind of allergy. My daughter really likes it.
This is a great post Jen. We have 3 daughters and our oldest (12) has just started caring about what products she’s using. I had never heard that statistic about 80% of damage occurring before 18… that’s scary. Thanks for sharing your story and advice.
I know. I was shocked to find that out as well. Nothing like my teen years being spent with baby oil on my body. 🙂 We drill it into our kids now.
This post was written many years ago. I am not sure if things I have changed. I will look into it. They still have on their site “Our products are free of sulfates, DEA and phthalates (ew, hormone disruptors) and we never test on animals. Manufactured with love in the USA!” so it’s a step in the right direction, but I will change that wording above.