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EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AGE-APPROPRIATE SKIN CARE

Jade Biggs
Writer and expert5 days ago
View Jade Biggs's profile
Super close up image of a young woman smiling at the camera with her eyes closed and her top teeth on show in a studio setting

As well as being incredibly fun and carefree, being a teenager can be tricky/tough/confusing (delete as appropriate), with everything from puberty to school exams seemingly coming all at once. But one thing that doesn’t have to be as tricky/tough/confusing (delete as appropriate), is your skin care routine.

Although social media is awash with tips and tricks for skin care through your tween and teen years, it’s best to take what you see on screen with a pinch of salt — especially if you can’t guarantee this information has come directly from those who know best: skin care experts.

Thankfully, we’ve got the connections to bring you advice from those very professionals. Enter: Daniel Isaacs, Chief Product Officer and Founding Partner at Medik8. So, let’s get into it — starting with the basics...

WHAT IS SKIN CARE

“Skin care is the process of effectively caring for your skin using skin care products,” says Daniel. “[It] should be an essential part of everyone’s daily routine in some form — depending on your age and/or skin concerns.”

WHAT AGE SHOULD YOU START A SKIN CARE ROUTINE

“In theory, a skin care routine can start at any age, because even regular use of an SPF at a young age can be considered as responsible ‘skin care’,” adds Daniel. “However, any skin care routine should always be appropriate for your skin’s specific needs at that particular age,” the expert advises.

SKIN CARE FOR 12-YEAR-OLDS

“If a 12-year-old wishes to adopt a skin care routine, we would always recommend keeping it very simple with the likes of a gentle cleanser and a lightweight, fragrance-free moisturiser — so as not to overwhelm young skin,” says Daniel.

“The focus at this young age should be keeping the skin gently cleansed and balanced, as well as sufficiently hydrated,” the expert adds. “At this age, we would also recommend avoiding advanced anti-ageing formulas such as vitamin A and exfoliating acids.”

SKIN CARE FOR 14-YEAR-OLDS

“For a 14-year-old, we would recommend a very similar skin care routine to that of a 12-year-old,” Daniel points out. “And, for those who are struggling with more prevalent skin care concerns at this age (such as acne), we would always recommend consulting a doctor or dermatologist.”

SKIN CARE FOR 16-YEAR-OLDS

“At age 16, we would still recommend a simple and gentle routine so as not to overwhelm the skin (particularly if the user is adopting a full skin care routine for the first time),” says Daniel. “We would also recommend using both exfoliating acids and vitamin A with caution — always following the directions and phase-in instructions — and introducing the likes of peptides and vitamin C if you wish.” To that end, Daniel adds that: “All Medik8 products are suitable for those who are aged 16 or over.”

Importantly, Daniel reminds us that SPF is essential. “We would also suggest introducing regular sunscreen application at this age, as a form of responsible skin care and good preventative practice.”

SKIN CARE FOR 18-YEAR-OLDS

Although you’ll be eligible to get a driving license (woohoo!), when it comes to skin care, things don’t change too much between the ages of 16 and 18. “At 18, our advice would be very similar to that of a 16-year-old’s routine in light of the fact that the skin is still young and relatively delicate,” advises Daniel. “So, although all Medik8 products are suitable for use at this age, we always advise following all usage instructions carefully.”

SKIN CARE FOR 20-YEAR-OLDS

At 20, your teenage years have come to an end... welcome to adulthood and a world of bills, taxes and having to decide what to cook for dinner. With all that to think about, you’ll need a moment (or several) of self care — which is great, considering your skin care routine can really start to grow from here on out.

“At this age, individuals may wish to focus more on preventative anti-ageing products such as daily use of sunscreen, exfoliating acids, vitamin C, peptides and vitamin A,” Daniel tells us. “Once again, we would always suggest following the usage instructions carefully and being conscious of selecting products that suit your skin type, i.e. more gentle formulas if you have sensitive skin.” On that note, Daniel explains: “Becoming more aware of your skin’s type and needs at this age will help you to form a more effective skin care routine over the coming years.”

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF A PRODUCT IS AGE-APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR SKIN

Now we’ve got Daniel’s thoughts on skin care from age to age, let’s dig a little deeper. “With any product, we always recommend consulting any age guidance, and conducting a patch test to determine whether a particular ingredient or formula will work for your specific skin type,” Daniel says when asked if there are any tips or tricks to test whether a product is suitable for you.

"Again, being aware of your skin type and requirements is especially helpful here,” Daniel adds. “For example, if your skin often feels particularly dry or tight, consider a formula rich in hyaluronic acid or ceramides. If you have frequently oily skin or visibly congested skin, you may want to consider a cleanser or toner containing exfoliating acids (such as AHAs, BHAs or PHAs).”

WHAT SKIN CARE INGREDIENTS ARE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

“We would always recommend following our age guidance advice given above when it comes to using any skin care ingredients or formulas,” says Daniel. “All skins are different and can react differently to particular skin care ingredients.”

HEALTHY SKIN CARE HABITS TEENS CAN START NOW

“We definitely advocate that tweens and teens familiarise themselves with the importance of wearing sunscreen regularly — especially when exposed to high-strength sun,” says Daniel. “This not only teaches good future habits in terms of prevention of premature ageing (which you’ll thank us for in 30 years), but also ensures that young people are being responsible in protecting their skin from the other harmful and irritating effects of UV rays.”

This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any questions you may have.

Jade Biggs
Writer and expert
View Jade Biggs's profile
Having spent much of her career in the world of glossy magazines, Jade is one of Cult Beauty's Senior Copywriters. As well as a passion for all-things-words (she can — and will, if asked — write a dissertation on fake tan), she has heaps of skin care and beauty know-how (including how to achieve the perfect winged eyeliner again and again... and again). When she’s not applying fake tan or admiring her knife-sharp liner, she’s an adoring mum to four feline fur babies, hunting down inspiration for her next set of acrylic nails or watching endless episodes of reality TV.
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