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Soap and water are not enough. Kids often resort to this basic form of skincare. However, parents should take skincare more seriously. Proper habits keep skin healthy in the longterm. Over 1 in 3 persons will develop skin conditions like dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. These conditions could be brought on over a lifetime of poor skin care decisions. So how can parents find what’s best for kids?
Skincare for kids seems to be constantly overlooked. However, building a skincare habit is just as important as bathing or brushing teeth. Since the skin is the largest organ, taking care as a child prevents future issues. The child may be less susceptible to problems like acne during teenage years. A proper regimen protects a developing organ from outside stressors. So what’s the next step?
Skincare products for kids are a multibillion-dollar industry. However, many of these products cause more harm than good. As with many parts of a child’s body, the skin is still in the developmental stage. The top layer of the skin is thinner and may not hold water like adults. Smaller skin cells are also prone to irritation. So, as a rule of thumb, use natural products and keep skincare as simple as possible. A simple regimen can consist of a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.
All skincare routines should start with a cleanser. Kids have rough, and sometimes dirty, days. Washing with water alone may not remove all the dirt. This is especially the case with kids that are still potty training. And some cleansers have a high PH, which can strip away the top layer of the skin. Children with eczema need to be particularly careful as soaps can cause flareups. So skip the conventional soaps and go for a natural cleanser. Use the cleanser daily, or as needed, based on the age of the child. Make sure the product is fragrance-free, as fragrances can irritate the skin as well.
Kids must use a soft, friendly moisturizer daily. The best time to use the moisturizer? Right out of the shower or bath. Moisturizer helps lock in the moisture that quickly evaporates after bathing. Children are unable to hold water in the skin like adults. Dry skin leads to irritation and potential conditions like eczema. Use a dermatologist-recommended moisturizer twice daily, with one use after bath time.
Sun damage can be particularly harmful to developing kids. And yet sunscreen tends to get overlooked. Some kids are active and receive constant sun exposure. Others may be indoors most of the day. But that does not mean UVB rays can’t attack through windows. Dermatologists recommend topping off the skincare regimen with a sunscreen with a mineral blocker. Choose a brand with an SPF 30 or more with broad-spectrum protection. Sun protection for kids is critical as inadequate protection can cause skin cancers in adulthood.
All parents want what’s best for children. The key is to get products with high-quality ingredients. Even more important is teaching children the skin care regimen as part of self-care. Whichever routine works best, ensure there is a mixture of cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen involved. Any addition to the regimen just adds to this strong foundation.
Parents still concerned about the sensitivity of the child’s skin should consult a dermatologist. This is especially important if the skin has a severe reaction to products. Dermatologists will perform a simple assessment and recommend the best products for health into adulthood.