January 2024

Get ready with me! Sound familiar? 

In the realm of TikTok, a surge of young teenagers are showcasing their detailed skincare routines featuring luxury products. But, is this level of skincare really essential for youthful skin, and could it pose any risks? Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation spokesperson, Dr Anjali Mahto, gives us some insight on this below. 

Dr Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist and British Skin Foundation Spokesperson

Dr Anjali Mahto's take on Skincare for teens and the need for a luxury skincare routine

I’m aware that at present there is a social media trend for teenagers showcasing their luxury skincare routines (often with many steps), especially on platforms such as TikTok. As a Consultant Dermatologist, I feel it is essential to emphasise that a 13-year-old's skincare routine should prioritise basic hygiene, rather than unnecessary complexity.

So, what should a teenager’s skincare routine look like?

Firstly, I would recommend cleansing twice daily, coupled with the use of a suitable moisturiser designed for oily or combination skin - this forms a good solid foundation to work from.

Which ingredients are good, and which ones should be avoided?

Given the hormonal fluctuations typical in teenagers, which may lead to oily or blemish-prone skin, the incorporation of cleansers that contain mild actives like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be beneficial.

Additionally, for adolescents engaging in outdoor sports between March and October in the UK (such as tennis, rowing, rugby or football) the inclusion of a sunscreen with a factor of 30-50 on all exposed areas is advisable. Something I feel quite strongly about is discouraging the adoption of intricate anti-aging routines that involve actives like vitamin C, retinoids and other exfoliating acids. 

Teenagers are sometimes overly concerned about premature ageing. I recently saw a 14 year old in clinic who was concerned about crow’s feet. She had undoubtedly been influenced by social media and influencers. It’s worth noting here that gender-specific skincare for teens is unnecessary as dermatological concerns among this age group, such as oily skin/combination skin/acne, remain consistent. 

Are dedicated teen skincare ranges a marketing ploy?

Contrary to the marketing of dedicated teen skincare ranges, there is no distinct advantage, as the predominant issues faced by teenagers are universal. Approximately 85% of teens are likely to experience some degree of acne.


A final take away from Dr Anjali Mahto:

it is crucial to highlight the influence of social media on teenagers. There is a misconception that expensive and intricate products are necessary. Additionally, the other main issue I see is the tendency to frequently switch skincare products in an attempt to resolve acne issues. If you’re concerned about your teen’s skin, please consult with a Consultant Dermatologist or your GP as medical intervention and guidance may be required.

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