Every preteen longs for that radiant Hollywood glow, but harsh chemicals and astringents are not a good choice for young skin. Read labels and search out gentle skin care products, such as cleansers, moisturizers and spot-treatments, to teach your preteen how important it is to be kind to her skin.
Choosing the Right Cleanser
Clean skin makes the best palette. Encourage your preteen to wash her face at night, as well as in the morning. It's important to remove oils that build up throughout the day. Use a gentle, non-drying cleanser that's fragrance-free. Cleansers come in different forms; buy the one that best fits your adolescent's skin type. Oily skin reacts better to a gel-type wash, and dry skin to a creamy wash. Use a gentle foaming cleanser for normal skin.
Preteens Need Moisturizers
Preteen skin needs daily moisturizing too. A light, noncomedogenic moisturizer -- one that doesn't clog pores -- is best. At this age, spot-application is recommended, meaning adolescents should apply moisturizers only to dry-skin areas, usually avoiding the T-zone area on the forehead and bridge of the nose. This area tends to be more oily, especially on younger skin, and usually doesn't need a daily moisturizing treatment.
Spot-Treatments for Preteen Breakouts
If your preteen suffers from breakouts, consider a spot treatment to apply just to problem areas. The first stop should be her pediatrician's office. Chemicals such as salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide are often used to dry up pimples and acne and can be found over-the-counter; however, it's best to get a doctor's input before beginning a regimen. Certain sunscreens can react with benzoyl peroxide, causing changes in skin color.
All-Over Skin Care for Preteens
In addition to caring for her face, encourage your young teen to make healthy choices that pamper her entire skin surface. Eating a healthy, antioxidant-rich diet, drinking plenty of water and getting between eight and nine hours of sleep a night all go hand-in-hand with glowing skin. She should always opt for self-tanning lotions and creams in lieu of repeated trips to a tanning bed, and wear sunscreen rated SPF 15 or higher when she goes out into the sun.