We interviewed Natio skincare educator, Christina Schroder about the rising interest in skincare from tweens, and how parents and carers can best guide a healthy approach to building a skincare routine for their tween or teen.
As long as I can remember I have loved make up, skincare and fragrance. When I was almost 15 I got my first job and one of the first things I purchased my first eyeshadow – a beautiful lilac shade filled with silver glitter; it was so precious to me that I never used it and still have it to this day. Seeing my mum do her morning routine, taking care to apply her skincare and then makeup and never leaving the house without a spray - or 5 - of her favourite perfume, the ritual of beauty was a symbol of femininity, status and selfcare.
At 12 I started to develop cystic acne and my mum purchased products from a very reputable and expensive brand that left my skin dehydrated, irritated and sensitive. I followed the recommendations of the skincare consultant, however I now know these products shouldn’t have made it into my hands as they were active and aggressive in nature. Fast forward to 18 and I was still searching for answers, I was doing so much to try improve my skin and in hindsight, I was doing too much.
After school I became a Beauty Therapist and it was only then I really learnt how to work with my skin and not against it. There is a difference between sensitive & sensitised skin and the differences between skin types and skin conditions. Since the explosion of social media (queue TikTok trends and kid influencers) I have become very aware that I need to educate my kids about their bodies, and skin and body care is definitely part of that. Yes they’re very young, but I’m getting in early and sharing messages about embracing our differences, body positivity and just because something is a trend doesn’t mean it’s right for you, are key messages in our household.
What is the ideal skin routine for a young tween?
This really depends on your child and their skin type or skin concern, but most tweens don’t need an extensive routine. If it’s the occasional hormonal breakout, then a spot treatment would be fine, like the Clear Quick Fix Spot Treatment - however you need to make sure it’s only going on the pimple and not outside of that area, as it could dry out the skin quite a lot, leaving it flaky or irritated.
If you feel like it’s the right time for your tween to start with a routine then I would be going for simple skincare with gentle ingredients. The Natio Calm range is a great place to start. It has a cleanser and day lotion, and if you really wanted to then you could add the night cream and eye cream – not because they have wrinkles, but purely based on the ingredients in eye creams being targeted for the delicate skin around the eyes. I would absolutely be adding the Kids Everyday Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 50+ to my child’s routine as this will be the best way to protect their delicate skin – this can be used on face and body, however SPF products shouldn’t be used at night and should be removed with a gentle cleanser.
If your teen has very oily or problematic skin (on a large area of skin on their face, more than just the occasional pimple) then they could try the Clear Oil Control Foaming Cleanser and Clear Shine Control Face Moisturiser. Do note though, the key to managing oil production is to make sure the skin is clean and balanced, not dehydrated, dry or tight. This tightness will impair the skin barrier and the skin will then overcompensate and produce more oil.
What ingredients should tweens avoid?
Definitely stay away from most actives such as Retinol/ Vitamin A, Niacinamide, Vitamin C, BHAs, AHAs including Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Mandelic Acid, as well as Azelaic Acid and Benzoyl Peroxide, just to name a few. Salicylic Acid does feature in the the Quick Fix Spot Treatment hence why we advise to use sparingly and only directly onto the spot.
What are the potential ramifications of misusing skincare as a tween?
Stripping the skin with aggressive products will lead to an impaired skin barrier, this makes the skin red, irritated and sensitised. It will also strip vital oils from the skin and the removal of all oils will dehydrate skin, making your tween’s skin produce more oil to make itself feel comfortable and become even more oily – it’s a vicious cycle. It’s also important to note that if you choose to use an exfoliant, something very gentle like the Gentle Facial Scrub would be ideal if it’s gently massaged onto a damp skin once a week or fortnight– try to remove this with tepid water, rather than hot or cold, as this can also stress the skin.
At what age should you start adding treatments and active ingredients to a skincare routine?
A gentle scrub can be used every so often if and when needed from early teen years. I would leave actives and most other treatments until at least early to mid-twenties.
What is an appropriate gift to give a tween beauty devotee?
Natio has some beautiful kids packs containing body and hair care for toddlers through to tweens. Another great choice could be a basic routine (cleanser, moisturiser and spot treatment) as well as a kids SPF 50+ and a lip gloss or nail polish nail polish for some fun.