If you’ve been to Sephora or Ulta in recent months, you’ve likely noticed that the teens and tweens are taking over. Middle schoolers are spending all their birthday money on brands like Drunk Elephant, Glow Recipe, and La Roche-Posay, and posting their #grwm (“get ready with me”) videos on TikTok. A recent study found that teen spending on beauty products increased by 23% in 2023 from the prior year, with a 33% increase in cosmetics spending alone. But does a 12-year-old really need a vitamin C serum?

Dermatologist Brooke Jeffy, MD, recently shared her advice for teens and tweens on TikTok, and it’s all about keeping things simple and focusing on healthy habits.


🌟 Skincare Dos and Don’ts for Tweens and Teens with Normal Skin 🌟⁠ ⁠ 🚫 Don’t overcomplicate your routine: Stick to a simple 3-4 step process.⁠ 🚫 Don’t use chemical exfoliants, retinols, and harsh scrubs: They can be too aggressive for young skin.⁠ 🚫 Don’t dive into anti-aging too early: Skip peptides, growth factors, and retinol for now.⁠ ⁠ ✅ Do protect your skin: Apply sunscreen every morning.⁠ ✅ Do maintain healthy habits: Eat plenty of fruits & veggies, stay hydrated, prioritize sleep & exercise, and cherish close relationships.⁠ ✅ Do avoid harmful substances: Steer clear of alcohol and vaping for lasting skin health.⁠ #TeenSkincare #TweenSkincare #Dermatologist

♬ original sound – Dr. Brooke Jeffy

Here are Dr. Jeffy’s Do’s and Don’ts:

  1. The regimen should not have more than three to four steps. Keep it simple.
  2. Avoid harsh scrubs and exfoliants.
  3. Teens and tweens do not need anything that refers to “anti-aging,” like peptides, growth factors, and retinols. Retinols can be especially damaging to young skin.
  4. Keep the regimen simple with gentle oil-free non-comedogenic cleanser and moisturizer.
  5. Use sunscreen in the morning.
  6. Focus on healthy body habits, like a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and exercise, and having close relationships for social support.

Now that you’re tempted to throw out everything in your tween’s bathroom and start over, you might want to check out Dr. Jeffy’s other TikTok, which goes into specifics on skincare brands that she recommends avoiding. She also shares that if your tween wants to buy everything in the viral Glow Recipe line, they should stick with the Avocado Cleanser and Watermelon Glow Pink Juice Moisturizer.

At the end of the day, anything beyond a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen is unnecessary and could be doing more damage than good.

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