From how to cleanse to trending skincare ingredients, we break down what's fact & fiction...

We get it, the kids of today want to be seen wearing what’s in-fashion, styling their hair like the celebrities and using the skincare that’s trending on TikTok. Long gone are the days of starting tweens (between ages eight and 12) and teens off on simple skincare, it’s now premium brands dominating everyone’s wishlist.

But how much is too much? Often, premium skincare brands can include ingredients that are too harsh for young skin. So we’re here to take a look at what’s best for your child’s skin and how you can help them achieve their skincare goals.

The importance of an age-appropriate skincare routine

From around the age of 10 and upwards, your child’s skin is transitioning from childhood to adolescence. Naturally, this causes a shift in hormones which can lead to changes in the skin – they may notice that their skin becomes a little oily, so it can be helpful to adjust their skincare routine accordingly. While their skin may not require an extensive routine, the right products can help them achieve and maintain healthy skin and instil good habits for the future.

While we can agree that it’s great to see tweens and teens embracing a skincare routine, it’s important to remember there are some risks associated with some skincare ingredients. Everyone’s skin is different, so make sure to ask your child why they want a certain product – if it’s because all of their friends have it, then it’s probably best to strip it back to basics and find a routine that’s actually tailored to their individual needs.

What are common skin concerns for tweens & teens?

As we mentioned above, hormonal changes can trigger changes in skin. Some of the most common skin concerns tweens and teens may experience are:


Combination skin

Oily skin


• Sensitivity

• Skin conditions like eczema

You can find out more about skin types and concerns in our guide to teenage skincare.

What are the dos & don’ts of tween & teen skincare?

With a whole load of myths out there surrounding tween and teen skincare, it can be hard to know fact from fiction. With this in mind, we’ve put together some key dos and don’ts to help you along the way.


Cleanse daily with a gentle cleanser

The foundation of any skincare routine is to cleanse. For your child, it’s best to look for gentle, fragrance-free cleansers that are less likely to irritate their delicate skin. This step lifts away impurities, dirt and excess oil from the skin, prepping it for the rest of their skincare routine.

Moisturise with a simple, light formula

Follow the cleanse with a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturiser to help moisturise and nourish the skin, while locking in hydration throughout the day. You child may benefit from both a morning and night moisturiser, with the night-time one being heavier and richer for more absorbency.

Apply sunscreen when outdoors & through summer

It’s never too early to start your child on a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Some moisturisers already contain an SPF but we’d recommend applying a separate one as the final step of their skincare routine. Try to find one that’s preferably SPF50 for the best sun protection. You can find plenty out there that won’t irritate their skin.

Be consistent with a daily AM & PM routine

For tweens and teens, consistency and simplicity is key, so getting them into the habit of applying their skincare both in the morning and evening can be really beneficial for their skin.

Avoid products with artificial fragrance, colour & drying alcohols

Like we mentioned above, tween and teen skin is delicate and with an influx in hormones, it can be tricky to find a balanced skincare routine that won’t irritate their skin further. Try to steer away from products that contain artificial fragrances, and instead opt for fragrance-free or naturally fragranced products such as tea tree oil. The same goes for artificial colours and alcohols, as these harsh chemicals can do more harm than good to their skin.

Focus on skin health, not perfection

For many tweens and teens, it can be a time of comparison. It’s because of this that they can lose sight of why they’re incorporating a skincare routine. The goal should be to achieve and maintain skin health, not skin perfection (hint: this doesn’t even exist!). While they might have a goal to banish blemishes, it’s important they know that things like uneven skin texture is natural and that the flawless, airbrushed skin they see on social media often isn’t real.

Incorporate healthy rituals like good sleep & nutrition

Healthy skin does, in fact, come from within. It’s not just what goes onto skin that helps, but actually how they look after themselves, too. Making sure they get plenty of sleep (around eight to 10 hours per night), they’re eating a healthy, balanced diet and drinking plenty of water is a great, additional way to get them to care for their skin.

Seek advice from a healthcare professional

If you’re concerned about your child’s skin, you can access one-to-one clinical advice from a Boots pharmacist. They can provide support and advice on a variety of skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis, without the need for an appointment.

You can also pop in store and speak to a Boots beauty specialist if you’re not sure where to start with a child-friendly skincare routine. Our friendly team can offer free, unbiased and brand-neutral product advice, offering up-to-date advice on the latest trends and products.


Don’t use actives such as retinol, vitamin C, acids & peels

One of the most crucial pieces of advice is to steer tweens and teens away from actives and chemicals. This is because most of these actives (such as retinol, vitamin C and niacinamide) are geared towards adult skin issues like pigmentation and fine lines. So for tweens and teens, these ingredients are pretty unnecessary. Not only this, but these ingredients are usually quite pricey and can also have the potential to damage their delicate skin barrier.

However, not all actives are an issue – for teenagers trying to combat hormonal skin flare-ups like blemishes, they may consider using products containing salicylic acid, for example. But it’s advisable to do a patch test first and monitor your child’s skin in case they have a reaction.

Don’t follow a trend or copy others without advice on suitability for their skin

We know it can be hard for tweens and teens not to compare their routine to others, especially seeing all the hype across social media. But everyone’s skin is different and has its own set of needs, so what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to be aware of what your child’s skin is like so you can help them adapt their routine. If you’re not sure, you can always speak to a Boots beauty specialist for advice on what’s best for their skin, or a Boots pharmacist if your child has a skin concern.

Don’t follow a complex, multi-step routine – less is more!

Just like we mentioned above, a tween and teen skincare routine should only include a gentle cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen, unless there are any specific skincare concerns that need to be targeted. Less is more, so don’t overcomplicate it – their skin will be thanking them!

Don’t switch brands & include new products too often

While everyone has a different skin type and tolerability, generally speaking, skin can take time to adjust to certain ingredients and products. This means that it’s best to gradually introduce products into your child’s routine and try to settle on certain brands and products to avoid chopping and changing between them.

Don’t waste your money on complex & advanced formulas

Whether it’s trending on TikTok or not, it’s super important to thoroughly check the ingredients of the products your child wants to use and ensure they don’t just want a product just because of the pretty packaging! Remember, a lot of simple and affordable products can actually be more suitable for younger skin, too.

And there you have it! Next time your child gets swept away with the trends, know you can tackle their skin needs and concerns head on.