Your tween daughter does NOT know more than you about skincare!

Your daughter is being influenced by influencers on TikTok selling tween skincare.

These influencers are promoting clear skin at a young age which sounds like a good thing.

We believe that if our daughters start taking care of their skin when they’re 9, 10, 11, or 12 they will have good skin for life. I agree with wanting to have our daughters start on a good skincare routine young to ensure they have healthy skin habits.

The problem is these influencers are selling the wrong skincare products to your girls and possibly causing damage to their young, delicate skin before they even hit puberty!

This article is my moral obligation to shed light on what is going on in the beauty industry and help you understand how to help your daughters’ skin.

I have a 10-year-old daughter, who’s in 5th grade and spends a lot of time in the morning getting ready and doing her makeup. I do have some understanding of what she is watching on TikTok and how she’s being influenced.

I have been an esthetician for 20 years and know what products and ingredients work with young skin. My daughter is using simple products to keep her skin clean and hydrated because she is only 10.

Tween skincare routines need to increase only when a girl starts puberty because that is when she begins to produce oil. The fact that these girls are using serums, exfoliants, and masks at a young age blows my mind.

Retinol especially should never be used for tween skincare routines, especially for girls in their tweens and teens. Their skin is too young for that type of stimulation!

Yet, influencers are promoting these products and ingredients to our tweens. The problem is, that retinols increase cell turnover and work to remove oil from the skin. Retinols aid in the aging process, which hasn’t even started for young girls.

Three things to know about tween skincare:

  1. Before puberty, the cell turnover rate is high, which means no need to exfoliate.
  2. They’re not producing oil, so why are our girls using products that strip their oil?
  3. There is no need for anti-aging products that can potentially hurt their delicate skin

tween skincare routines

I did a Google search about retinol use for tweens and teens and was shocked at how many “experts” are saying it’s okay to use.

Retinol should not be used until the age of 35 because the goal is to aid in wrinkle prevention, strengthen the dermis layer of the skin, and stimulate fibroblast cells, which are responsible for keeping collagen strong.

Starting around the age of 25-30, we begin the aging process, losing 1% of collagen a year. There is no reason to begin using retinol before the aging process even begins.

Even worse, no one tells you that retinols cause the skin to become sensitized to the sun, which further increases sun damage in young skin, further accelerating the aging process.

If you’re like me and love geeking out over the skin, I found this article about retinol and aging, which you can read here. Even if you’re not a skin geek, this article is very informative and I highly recommend skimming it to get a better understanding of how retinols work with the skin.

Skin Types

Your daughter doesn’t know her skin type!

Here are the main skin types:

Most teens have oily skin, but lately, it seems like many tweens & teens now have sensitive skin.

Sensitive skin is CREATED! This happens from using the wrong products, stripping the skin, & destroying the delicate skin barrier.

Oil begins to produce in the skin when a girl hits puberty and hormonal shifts stimulate the oil glands to begin producing oil. This increase in oil production can lead to acne if the skin is not properly cleaned because bacteria can build up in the pores and cause acne.

Acne is a future blog post because there are multiple causes of acne, including the foods our girls are eating. Please check back in a few weeks for that blog post.

Today I want to focus on sensitive skin and what skincare products are doing to create skin sensitivity.

Over-the-counter cleansers (like the ones your girls are being sold) are designed to alter the skin’s pH.

To get a bit geeky here, our skin works in an acidic state to keep bacteria, germs, environmental pollution, etc. out of the body.

When you use a cleanser that alters your skin’s pH, both oil and water are removed from the skin, this is called stripping the skin. When you strip the skin with an over-the-counter cleanser, oil production increases, and the skin becomes dehydrated and/or sensitive.

While we were raised believing that oil is bad, now we understand the importance of oil and how it protects our skin’s barrier.

Dehydrated skin is both oily and dry at the same time. This is why you can apply a moisturizer and still feel dry after. Yet by the end of the day, your skin feels extremely oily.

Dehydrated skin causes the skin to become sensitized, thus causing sensitive skin. Dehydrated skin and sensitive skin should not even be a thing for tweens and teens.

Tween Skincare Products

Now you’re wondering what should your daughter use. Let’s get into that!

At this point, their skincare should be simple. The goal at this age is to establish a good skincare routine so that when they do hit puberty and start to develop acne, they already have good habits in place to keep their skin clean and acne-free.

However, acne isn’t always caused by bacteria in the skin. Acne can be caused by hormonal shifts in the body and/or the foods our girls are eating.

Using the right products for a simple tween skincare routine keeps skin clear & acne-free.


A simple, gentle cleanser is all they need. No scrubs, acids, or exfoliants to go with it. Avoid over-the-counter brands, such as Drunk Elephant or Bubble, these products are NOT clean and will strip their delicate skin.

Personally, I love this gentle micellar water ideal for tween skincare to clean their skin, because it’s light and doesn’t alter the skin’s pH.


Exfoliation is not needed in a tween skincare routine.

Exfoliation helps stimulate cell turnover and prevent dead cell buildup on the skin. Young skin naturally turns over at a rapid rate, there is no need for exfoliation at a young age.

Face Masks

Face masks shouldn’t be used until the skin begins to produce oil. While the market is full of sheet masks and fun masks promoting tween skincare, it is not necessary.

The goal of a mask is to tighten pores and clear up surface dirt and oil, preventing blackheads and large pores.

If your daughter hasn’t hit puberty, she doesn’t have oil production and her pore size is tiny, therefore, she doesn’t need a face mask.


It is important to use a high-quality moisturizer, but that’s it! No need for facial oils, because their skin isn’t producing oil yet. The reason facial oils are used is to normalize oil production. If your daughter isn’t producing oil, facial oils are a waste of money for a tween skincare routine!

Personally, I love these two moisturizers. A light lotion or a light moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated.


Sunscreen is a must! Young girls need to learn how to protect their skin. I recommend a zinc-oxide-based SPF without chemicals to protect their skin.

Especially if they have been using retinol products prior to this.

Apply a light SPF over their moisturizer in the morning and have them reapply before lunch or recess at school.

Avoid chemical sunscreen ingredients, these can irritate the skin and worsen acne. You must read the backs of labels to ensure the product only contains zinc oxide.

I can’t tell you how many brands say zinc oxide or mineral-based on the front label, only to flip it over and see that chemical ingredients are also added.

I love this light-weight mineral-based SPF ideal to add to a tween skincare routine. My kids never complain when I put it on their skin.

If you have questions or comments, please write them in the comment section below. I am happy to help you find good quality products to help your daughter with her skin.

I am a mom too and knowing what I know and seeing all that our girls are being sold is scary and upsetting. I just want to provide all of you moms with the knowledge to help make better decisions for your daughters.

See you next week!


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