Sunday, February 10, 2013

Face Case: Getting Your Tween to Wash Their Face~ Meghan Delavan

I remember my first blackhead. I was on the verge of being a tween and it was clear in the mirror before me. It was not a random speck of dirt waiting to be wiped off the reflective glass, but rather something conspicuous that had appeared overnight on my tiny face. If this was a movie, the director would have focused in to find not just one tiny blackhead, but three cursed pockets of dirt directly in the middle of my chin, end scene. 

There are essentially two ways that any girl who sees this can react. 

One ~ terror of having dirt physically stuck in her skin. 

Two ~ fascination. I was fascinated. My mom told me not to pick and surprisingly enough I've had a scar there ever since.

Today I find myself in the unique position of having a nine year old sister whose flawless face has the faintest signs of blackheaddom. I don't remember what my mother did, but I often think that if I were to have started a simple routine (and stuck to it) that my skin would be happier today. Maybe I would like my skin more.

How do you even begin to take care of a preteen's skin? If you're noticing him or her with blackheads you might head out to your local drugstore to find an isle of skincare that looks oddly similar to a toy store. There are bright pink soaps, sleek red and black ones and of course the classics. Its overwhelming and completely full of salicylic acid. Woah, is it way too soon for that, or what? Definitely!

Its becoming increasingly obvious to you, however, that they need more than cupcakes and ketchup removed from their beautiful visage. There has to be something for this stage...something that will set them up for a lifetime of skin (and self) loving, right? There is!

The only thing is...where to begin?

Here are three simple tips to getting face washing into their daily routine. Follow these and you'll be watching that bottle of soap dwindling to the bottom in no time! 
1 - Don’t point out their flaws ~ It's really easy to be frank about this and state the facts. Think about when you were little, a tween, or whatever...would getting blackheads or "your changing skin" have meant anything to you? It doesn't to them either. This is less about skin and more about're continuing the education on hygiene you've been teaching them all along. Remind and reward them as they're making it a habit. Few things in life are more successful than good old fashioned positive behavior reinforcement!

2 - Involve them in the selection ~ Take them to the store or bring it to them as a gift. I've found that bringing home a bar of soap from the grocery store doesn't work in the long run because it wasn't important enough (I presume). It wasn't until I worked with my little lady until she received her face soap as a gift and I showed her how to, well, wash her face.

3 - Choose a cleanser that will ease the transition into the awkward teen years ~ The ones below are kid friendly, skin conditioning, and will set your child up for a lifetime of great skin. You might be surprised to find out that your perfect kid-friendly cleanser is right in your medicine cabinet!

Philosophy-Purity Made Simple ($22)-Super gentle, great smelling and fragrance free...the virtual trifecta of kid friendliness! The regular version is a delightful canary yellow cream, however, it also comes in a gel version they can transition to if they develop oily skin. Other cool features? It tones, removes makeup and impurities, and you might even have it already! Obviously, if your tween is a girl, she's nowhere near ready for makeup, but the cleanser's ability to remove it is what makes it a wonderful transitional face wash.

Dove-Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar ($2)-Many dermatologists will tell you that Dove is a great facial care with 1/4 of the bar being purely moisturizer. This goes for any age! The Sensitive Skin version only improves on the kid friendly factor by removing the fragrances that have the potential to cause rashes on the face. As is the case with any soap product (including my next pick) it does not remove makeup so if your tween is a girl be sure to educate her on makeup removal at the appropriate time.

Clinique-Mild Facial Soap ($16.50)-This happens to be the one that I experienced the most luck with. I have a great working relationship with a Clinique Advisor who also has a 9 year old who loves to use it. It's great since it's a classic and an integral part to the skin care routine your tween will need in a few years time. I can't say that it will always be there, but it most likely will be!

Most importantly take care of them and tell them their worth every chance you get. The more you do, the more they will believe it. 

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