When we were kids, a skincare routine meant slathering Noxema all over our faces and using sunscreen when we remembered. Thanks to the #GRWM (get ready with me) social trend, tweens these days are coveting advanced skincare lines like Drunk Elephant, Glow Recipe, and Laneige—brands they continuously see influencers use in reels and tutorials. While it’s great that Gen Z kids want to take care of their skin, they simply don’t need all the ingredients found in these adult products. Board-certified dermatologist Brooke Jeffy recently took to TikTok to rank her least favorite skincare products tweens and teens are buying and why.


Ingrednts I hate for kids in order of dislike #Tweenskincare #Teenskincare #Sephora #KidsatSephora #SephoraKids #KidsatSephora #SkincareSavvy #KidsSkincare#dermatologist #fyp #preppy #dermtok

♬ original sound – Dr. Brooke Jeffy

1. Retinol

This popular skincare product contains anti-aging ingredients. “Kids are pumping out the collagen. There’s no need to use this until your mid-20s and only potential for harm prior to that. This is different than when we use it for acne—when there is a potential benefit that outweighs the risk,” says Jeffy.

2. Vitamin C Serum

According to Jeffy, this product helps with collagen production and hyperpigmentation, neither of which tweens need to worry about. The truth is that people under 20 simply don’t need a Vitamin C serum yet.

3. Exfoliating Acids

This skincare product strips dead skin cells for a brighter appearance, and while adults can probably use assistance in this area, Jeffy says that “kids’ skin turns over without any help. This is completely unnecessary.” She notes the exception to this rule is when kids use a milder version for acne.

4. Toner

According to Jeffy, adults probably need the deep-cleaning ingredients found in toner, but the brands targeting kids may include a lot of allergens and offer no benefit. “Kids don’t need what the adult formulations offer,” she says.

5. Eye Cream

The reason why kids don’t need this might surprise you. The truth is, no one, not even adults, really needs a specific eye cream “unless it is adding something else beyond what your skincare products offer, like retinol for wrinkles or caffeine for a smoother appearance,” Jeffy says. So that’s a hard pass for the younger set who have zero need.

6. Peptides

The last product on Jeffy’s list is peptides. While peptides are not harmful, they’re also unnecessary. Why? “They’re used to produce collagen, which kids don’t need and is just a waste of money,” she says.

According to experts surveyed by The Strategist, the only skincare products tweens and teens need are a dermatologist-approved face wash like Cetaphil, CeraVe, or Clean & Clear (all affordable brands, BTW), a good moisturizer, and a light-weight sunscreen like Supergoop!. Three steps, that’s it. Anything more can harm or irritate young skin, which defeats the purpose of skincare in the first place. Plus, now you have an excuse to save all those Ulta Beauty reward points for yourself.

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