The New Scary Trend in Skin Care

The new scary trend in skin care: Tweens using super active ingredients.

Listen up skin care peeps, parents, TWEENS: there is a new scary trend in skin care influenced by social media. What is it? It’s the tween fad of using products with anti-aging active ingredients that are too harsh for young, delicate skin.

Today’s tweens are really – I mean really – into skin care.  As a tween back in the early 1980s I was into skin care too, because I was dealing with acne. So, my mom took me to a dermatologist to find solutions. (Side note: When I was a tween in the 1980s, days spas had just started appearing and were not common. I didn’t get my first professional facial until I was 33, in esthetics school.)

Finding someone interested in developing in-depth self-care practices is an esthetician’s dream come true! But it is not necessary for tweens. Shoot, I wish my 30-and-older clients were as feverish about it. When it comes to anti-aging, not all facial products should be purchased by everyone. A trained professional, like a skin care coach, can guide you toward the best products for your unique skin.

When you are a tween there is no need to purchase a product with anti-aging active ingredients. Unfortunately, some skin care companies seem to be taking advantage of the popularity of this tween trend and are marketing with this demographic in mind. The packaging is cute and fun! If I were a tween wanting to feel grown-up and sophisticated, I would gravitate toward the bright colors and cool logos.

Tweens can’t always afford these products themselves. So, parents, if your tween is asking you to buy a skin care product for them, I have included a list of ingredients that are not safe for young skin, and could even damage it

The NOT List for Your Tween:

Alpha Hydroxy Acids – AHAs

An AHA, derived from sugar or fruit, is an exfoliant used to shed dead skin buildup. A tween’s skin is already shedding at the appropriate rate. The fruit and sugar are used as a fun tween selling point, but AHA is not healthy for young skin. 

Common ingredient words to watch for:

  • Citric acid
  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Malic acid

Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

Beta-hydroxy acids, or BHAs, are also exfoliates. The most common ingredient is salicylic acid. It’s great for breakouts and dark spots, but a tween is likely not having these issues yet.   


Retinol is derived from vitamin A. Retinol is a powerhouse for improving skin’s health and appearance, such as brightening the complexion and diminishing fine lines and wrinkles.  Once again, this is much too harsh for a tween’s skin.


An antioxidant’s job is to protect you from free radicals. Free radicals are caused by a destructive oxidation effect and can damage cells. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, are your protectors from this process. However, tweens’ cells replicate faster and the need for an external antioxidant is not necessary. Give them an orange to eat instead. 😊

Common antioxidants seen in skin care products include:

  • Astaxanthin
  • Copper peptide
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

What Skin Care Products Can I Buy for My Tween?

The First Five Ingredient Rule means that the first five ingredients listed make up the highest percentages of ingredients in the product. Before purchasing a product for your tween, read the first five ingredients and most definitely pass if they include any of the ingredients listed above. Those ingredients are great for an adult, but not great for a tween.

When your tween reaches their teens, we’ll be happy to see them if they start having breakouts or other skin issues. The Floating Lotus Day Spa in Little Rock has amazing skin care coaches who would love to guide them to better skin. 

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