Parents heaved a collective sigh of relief when the school went back for 2018. But it’s not only book lists and name labels you need to consider at this time of the year. haven spoke to our panel of back-to-school pros to get the low down on some topical kiddie quandaries.

Sam Keim
Founder, Skin Matters

At what age should parents start their children on a skin cleaning/maintenance regime?

It’s best to start children as early as possible to establish a habit and to finesse the technique. However, most children will start when they hit their tweens at the first signs of pimples. It is advisable to start the habit whether or not your child has signs of pimples or not.

What simple things should tweens be doing to take better care of their skin at home?

First and foremost is establishing the habit of daily sunscreen use. Most children are in this routine already from kindy, however, this habit is not reinforced in the school environment. You don’t want this good habit to go astray as most sun damage in adults has occurred during childhood.

Secondly, it’s important that they are washing their face in the evening with a light foaming cleanser, ideally something with no SLSs and/or fragrance-free. For a starter cleanser, Cetaphil oily skin cleanser is an easy go-to and, if required, a light moisturising lotion can be used in the evening. Once pimples start to occur (particularly if they are inflamed) it is important to commence a medicated wash. It is best to seek advice from a healthcare professional or a skincare professional at this time, as it is the inflammation that will likely cause distress in your child and has the potential to scar or pigment their skin.

My tween simply wants to pop her pimples. What’s the best way to deal with them?

Well, naturally, I am going to say it is always best to not pop your pimples as this will most likely lead to scaring. In saying that though, I don’t expect anyone, let alone a tween or teen, to walk around with a big whitehead on their face. The best way to approach removal of a whitehead is after they have washed their face in the shower, grab a couple of tissues, fold them into small squares and ‘pull’ (not squeeze) the skin. If it’s ready to go, it will go. Never ever dig at your skin as it’s a sure-fire way to end up with a scar.

Do you have any other skincare tips/tricks to share with my tween?

Don’t assume they know how to wash their face. We take it for granted that they know what they are doing but if you or a skincare professional have not taught them, they won’t know. If they don’t wash properly then they won’t get results and will become disheartened about continuing the routine. Be supportive and occasionally watch their technique. Don’t be worried if they don’t listen to you – most tweens don’t listen to their parents’ good advice. You might be best taking them to a professional to teach them technique.



To get the low down on more back to school wellness tips click with more of our pros;



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