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Skincare Routine for Kids: A General Guide for Parents

    Skincare Routine for Kids: A General Guide for Parents

    Skincare is often a top concern among adults, but did you know that it’s also important for kids to have a healthy skincare routine? Parents, here are important things to remember when caring for your child’s skin.

    1. Children’s skin is unique

    Many parents find it difficult to navigate through children’s skincare because there’s usually a big jump from baby skincare to teen skincare.

    We pay close attention to baby’s skin because it’s sensitive, and we get pieces of advice about teen skin because they experience changes that bring significant issues like acne and oily skin.

    But, we typically don’t develop a skincare routine for kids unless they have significant problems like eczema or rashes.

    Parents, it would help if you remember that children’s skin is different from that of a teen:

    • Children’s skin is thinner
    • They have a higher surface-to-mass ratio, which means that they have more skin per pound of body weight
    • They commonly lose more moisture

    Please consider these differences, especially when choosing skincare products for kids.

    2. Generally, your child only needs 3 gentle skincare products

    You need to remember that a skincare routine for kids need not be expensive or complicated. In most cases, your child only needs 3 products, namely:

    • Cleanser – To clean the skin from dirt, especially since children are active in playing and discovering new things.
    • Moisturizer – Children tend to lose more moisture; remember that dry skin is more prone to irritation. Apply moisturizer on their skin regularly, especially on areas that tend to be dry.
    • Sunscreen – To protect the skin from the harmful UV rays. Some dermatologists recommend physical sunscreen over the chemical type. Physical sunscreen work as a barrier that reflects UV rays; chemical sunscreen absorbs UV rays, converts them to heat, and then releases them from the body. Since children often rub their eyes, consider applying and reapplying sunscreen on small areas of the skin that are uncovered by clothing. It is also a good idea to limit their direct exposure to sunlight by providing play areas with shade, lightweight clothes, and hats for skin cover.

    Please note that you need to select gentle skincare products for kids.

    Like mentioned, their skin is thinner (meaning, it is more absorbent), making them more vulnerable to harmful ingredients. Furthermore, their higher surface-to-mass ratio indicates that toxins may affect them more.

    To choose the best products for your child, consider consulting a dermatologist. As a general rule, try to avoid products that contain the following:

    • Fragrance
    • Parabens
    • Synthetic dye
    • Formaldehyde
    • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES)

    3. Follow the correct application and stick to the routine

    Once you’ve chosen the products, you need to follow the correct application. Here’s a general guideline:

    • Bathe your child every day using a face and body cleanser or soap. It’s also possible that the dermatologist will recommend a facial cleanser and body soap.
    • Apply the moisturizer (cream or lotion) immediately after the bath. Pay extra attention to areas that are more dry or inflamed. This is so it can trap the water and preserve moisture.
    • Apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before going out (it takes about that time before some sunscreen starts working). Don’t forget to reapply every after 2 hours or after dipping into the water. Allow the sunscreen to full absorb, avoiding the eye area and palms as children tend to rub their eyes and place their fingers in their mouth.

    Finally, stick to the routine. Apply moisturizer even if your kid’s skin doesn’t look dry. Use sunscreen even when it is cloudy outside.

    4. Don’t forget hydration and a healthy diet

    Besides establishing a skincare routine for kids, don’t forget to take care of the skin from within.

    A balanced diet provides your child with the essential nutrients that keep the skin healthy.

    Likewise, drinking plenty of water keeps the body hydrated, and the skin cells functioning well.

    skincare routine for kids

    5. Visit a dermatologist

    And finally, another essential component of the skincare routine for kids is to take them to a dermatologist when they develop unexplained skin conditions.

    Rashes from ant and mosquito bites can be easily remedied at home, but if they have concerning issues like eczema, atopic dermatitis, warts, or psoriasis, the best course of action is to consult a dermatologist. They are the only ones who can diagnose your child’s condition and decide on appropriate treatment.

    Furthermore, you should also bring your child to a skin doctor if you find odd moles or birthmarks on their skin.

    Not sure if your child needs to see a dermatologist? Don’t worry. Take them to their pediatrician or your family doctor and ask for their recommendation.

    Learn more about Child Health here.

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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 4 weeks ago
    Medically reviewed by January Velasco, MD