You may not remember your first pimple or the first time your skin stung from dryness, but you (or your parents) most likely sought out remedies to fix the problem at the time. Your search may have yielded a zit-stopping face wash in one hand and an ultra-hydrating moisturizer in the other and given yourself a staredown in the mirror, determined to perfect your skin. OK, it may not have been quite as dramatic as that. But in any case, there was most likely a turning point when you decided to take your skin’s health into your own hands (literally or figuratively). And now, you may wonder when you’re supposed to teach your child the same skills you learned.

To explain when and why you should implement a skincare routine into your child’s life, we spoke with Dr. Farah Moustafa, a dermatologist and the director of laser and cosmetics with Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

What age should someone start a skincare routine?

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A skincare routine can start at any age.

Good news: Whether your child is a pre-teen or a full-on teenager, you don’t have to worry you’re too late. There’s no defining age for starting to use skincare products. In fact, you probably started their skin regimen for them when they were a baby and required products for sensitive skin and moisturization, then continued it with regular sunscreen applications throughout their childhood. But eventually, the task becomes determining what they need as their skin gets more complex.

For making the right call, you want to focus on the lifestyle habits and skin ailments that your child faces. Do they have acne that they’d like to clear up? Are they starting to wear makeup and need a way to remove it? These factors are more important indicators that someone should create a skincare regimen than their age.

Due to hormone fluctuations that occur throughout puberty, teenagers most commonly deal with oily T-zones and acne, particularly closed comedones, a.k.a. whiteheads, on the forehead. “That’s when you may start to become savvy about your skin and may, for a lot of people, be the first time you see a dermatologist,” Moustafa says.



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