Kids & Skincare – What’s Appropriate at What Age?

Written by: | March 14, 2017 | 29 responses

Skin is the largest organ of the human body and acts as the barrier between our bodies and the environment. Taking good care of our skin not only feels good, but is a matter of good health. If you, as an adult, don’t clean and care for your skin, it will most certainly show signs of distress. When we are children, our skin is more resilient, and it’s the perfect time to start forming good skincare habits.

So, what should kids be doing to care for their skin, and at what age? This is a question we hear often so we’ve developed some guidelines for kids and skincare.

A skincare timeline:

Age 2-5 

Every child is different, but generally, kids at this age are walking on their own, developing language skills at an accelerated pace, learning how to put on their own clothes, brush their teeth, and wash their bodies.

This is a good age to start teaching your child the importance of washing their hands and face. Kids at this age will sometimes object to water on their face so if your child objects, a soft washcloth is a good way to start.

Try making a fun game out of the activity to make it more enjoyable. You could ask your child to copy you as you wash your face, or use the washcloth as a way to play hide and seek as they wash their face.

Using a gentle wash such as Clear Baby Hair and Body Wash is fine for all over washing at this age followed by a gentle, lightweight lotion such as the Basic Baby Lotion.

Age 6-9 

Kids at this age are in school and more independent. Parents are no longer their only influence and they are starting to realize they can make their own decisions.

This is a perfect age range to start reinforcing good skincare habits. Habits they internalize at this age will likely carry over into their adult lives so consistency is key to making sure skincare is a lifelong habit.

This is also a good age to introduce facial skincare routines. Start simple with face washing using a gentle facial cleanser such as Gentle Milk Facial Cleanser or Clarifying Facial Cleanser.

Follow with a gentle toner to balance skin pH such as Calming Facial Toner or Lavender and Chamomile Facial Toner. Then follow with a lightweight lotion such as Basic Baby Lotion.

Age 10-13

Tweens! This is both a fun and challenging age for parents and kids, alike. Kids are much more independent at this age and are also starting to feel more peer pressure.

They are learning there are consequences both good and bad depending on the choices they make. They are exploring more activities and developing at a rapid rate.

This is also the age when bodies begin their march into puberty. With a changing body, skin changes as well.

Good diet and good skincare at this age will help ensure healthy skin into the teen years. Kids at this age really love things that are specifically for them.

In this vein, Essential developed the Lingonberry Collection for teens and tweens.

Age 14-20

At this age and beyond, skincare is supremely important.

Teens often develop chaotic skin so a good diet and good skincare routine are paramount to keep skin looking its best.We recommend starting a night time and morning skincare routine.

At night, use Clarifying Facial Cleanser to help gently clean all dirt, make-up and residue from the day off the face.

This is also a good age to start using exfoliants on both face and skin but be sure to only use facial exfoliants on the face. Try using Clarifying Facial Exfoliant 1-3 nights per week. Exfoliants help remove dead skin cells and using them at night is most beneficial.

Follow with a Moisturizing Toner to return skin to its normal pH. And finally, finish with Soothing Lotion to make sure skin is both hydrated and nourished.

In the morning, use a gentle facial cleanser such as Gentle Milk Facial Cleanser, follow with  Moisturizing Toner  and  Soothing Lotion.


Teaching kids good skincare habits will benefit them long after the lessons are over. Everyone wants beautiful skin and starting good skincare early in life will give your kids the best opportunity to have a lifetime of beautiful skin.

At what age did you start developing your skincare routine? Tell us in the comments!


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