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A proper bathing routine has never been debatable when it comes to caring for young children, but a skin care routine? There’s plenty of caregivers who are just starting to think of it as necessary.
In 2019, the global baby and child skin care market was already worth $3.6 billion, and in the same year, research showed that it would grow to $18.93 billion by 2025.
Now, a number of brands are offering upscale versions of “adult” staples like body cream and face cream.
However, for parents, the sheer amount of products available only adds to the confusion of selecting a safe and effective skin care regimen.
The question remains: do kids as young as 3 need to be using a toner? Read on to find out.
What brands will tell you
Like any other vein of the skin care industry, most brands will insist that using all of their products is crucial to developing a routine that delivers true results – even for children.
According to Dr. Sourab Choudhury, a board-certified dermatologist and the Chief Medical Officer at The Dermatology Specialists, the marketing of children’s skin care can make matters worse, as it plays into parents’ fears about the sensitivity of their child’s skin.
As a result, some brands are able to promote more expensive products that are filled with trendy ingredients.
On the flip side, parents may be surprised to learn that some products can play a role in protecting and strengthening their child’s skin barrier.
What experts truly think
Choudhury says that by following a daily routine that incorporates a gentle cleanser and moisturizer without harsh chemicals — and staying on top of adequate sun protection — parents can help their child develop an even stronger skin barrier as they mature.
So, if you want to stick to the basics, a cleanser, moisturizer and chemical-free SPF is what’s needed.
Cosmetic formulator Teeneke Barresi suggests that when a child is between six and nine years old, it’s a perfect time to start reinforcing good skin care habits.
She recommends introducing a gentle facial cleanser and toner to balance the skin’s pH, as well as a lightweight lotion.
Between ages 10 and 13, a skin and body care routine becomes even more important, as this age range is also when puberty begins. And with a changing body, skin changes as well.
Overall, there’s nothing that says children’s skin care products are “bad” — but there will always be one’s that parents think to be over the top, such as refreshing mist.
Whether or not you believe starting a skin care routine this early is effective and/or necessary, there are a growing number of brands to choose from.
Plus, some of them offer helpful products for conditions like eczema, which can be extremely uncomfortable for young ones.
So, if you’re ready to shop them all, check out some of the biggest hitters on the market below.
In 2014 Zoë Foster Blake launched Go-To, Gro-To’s parent brand, when she saw a gap in the market for clean, useful skin care that was fun, effective, and easy to use.
Then, in 2016, she launched the most “unboring” line for toddlers and kids when she realized that she turned to her own Go-To products if her children’s skin was irritated, dry, or flaky.
The Gro-To Big Kids Gift Set includes Sud Bud, a gentle plant-based bubble bath/body wash, Super Softy, a nourishing and calming body lotion, Skin Wizard, a soothing body oil, and Bad Dream Buster, a calming room spray.
The best part? A sheet of sassy stickers and a classic ‘80s lunchbox to stick them on.
SHOP IT: The Detox Market, $75
When Jordan Canepa started to experience acne at just six-years-old, her parents were puzzled and eager find a cleanser to help their daughter.
Soon after realizing that drug stores only carried products by brands whose ingredients were far too harsh for Jordan’s young skin, Jordan and her father Michael set out to create their own solution with Kidskin.
Since 2013, the Canepa family has developed skin care products to help preteens and teens with unique skin concerns such as oiliness, rosacea, and eczema.
The 3-Step Acne Kit is a bestseller, and it’s designed specifically for children eight to 17-years-old. Each kit includes Kidskin’s T-Blast Foaming Cleanser, Z-Blast Serum and Calming Moisturizer. The trio removes dirt, oil, and impurities that cause breakouts and sensitivity.
SHOP IT: Kidskin, $50
For years, Erbaviva has offered premium, organic, handcrafted baby products that fuse herbs, essential oils and botanicals. All Erbaviva products are safe for the entire family.
The Lip and Cheek Balm is the perfect on-the-go salve for dry or chapped skin. With soothing calendula, rosemary and moisturizing shea butter, it alleviates the appearance of redness and locks moisture into the skin.
SHOP IT: The Detox Market, $17
Jessica Alba helped kick off the kids skin care trend in 2011 with her affordable, wellness-focused brand Honest Company.
Today, Honest sells everything from diapers to detangler, and Alba’s kids have joined in on the fun.
Honor’s Morning Routine Set includes everything your tots need for a soothing, nourishing bath and skin care routine. Plus, a cute cat ears headband!
SHOP IT: Honest Beauty, $42 (originally $49)
Dr. Barbara Sturm‘s skin care brand blew up when her Glow Drops became a favourite amongst celebrities and influencers, and now, kids can experience her line too.
The Baby & Kids Body Set is formulated specifically for sensitive young skin using non-irritating and fragrance-free ingredients.
The set features the Baby & Kids Face and Body Cream, which preserve natural softness and prevent redness caused by moisture loss.
Bonus: You get a “cuddly bunny hoppie” too!
SHOP IT: Dr. Sturm, $110
French-made Bonpoint sells high-quality, fashionable children’s clothing, accessories, and even perfume. So, it’s no surprise that the brand expanded into kids skin care.
The dermatologically-tested Gentle Toner cleanses impurities and soothes skin to revive suppleness and provide comfort.
Even better, the whole family can use it to achieve bouncy, hydrated skin.
SHOP IT: Bonpoint, $50