Search here...

Essential Tween Skin Care Habits to Instill on Your Pre-Teens

Tween girl cleaning her face

Puberty is a normal phase of development for our children. It occurs when your tween’s body transitions into an adult body and prepares for the possibility of reproduction.

As tweens enter puberty, they will have many questions about their bodies, and you will notice many physical and emotional changes. Hormones will cause further growth in your tween and cause havoc with your tween’s emotions, body, and skin.

Physical signs that your tween girl is entering puberty include:

  • Underarm and pubic hair growth
  • Growth spurts
  • Facial acne
  • Menstruation
  • Breast development
  • Cramps
  • Body odor

Physical signs that your tween boy is entering puberty include:

  • Muscle growth
  • Deepening of the voice
  • Acne
  • Body odor
  • The development of the testicles and penis

Acne, which is common in preteen girls and boys, will generally look like small bumps on the skin and will appear on the t-zone area – the forehead, nose, and chin area because this is where the oil glands are concentrated.

This brings us to our discussion of a good skincare routine for tweens. Remember that your tween’s skin is still sensitive, infant skin, so you need a gentle tween skincare product.

Boys and Girls Changing Needs

Puberty can be a challenging and confusing time for your tween/preteen. But letting your tween know what to expect and why these changes happen can help them feel more in control as they go through it.

At this stage, your tween will experience many physical and psychological changes, which result from shifts in hormones.

Physical and psychological changes happen slowly over time. They typically begin from 8-13 in girls and 9-14 in boys.

Your tween’s skin becomes oily, and their body produces more sweat. At this time, testosterone, a primary sex hormone in boys, gives rise to male traits while estrogen, a primary sex hormone in girls, increases.

Basics Of Tween Skin Care

If the skin changes in your preteen are becoming hard to tackle, do not fret. Remember that most tweens can manage these changes with appropriate hygiene and skincare.

When is the perfect time to start a skincare routine? Most experts recommend creating a very basic tween skincare routine during the preteen years, between the ages of 8 to 12 years old.

This builds a good skincare habit and ensures by the time significant issues come along, there is an excellent healthy base to work from.

The key to getting a skincare routine going with your tween is to make it super easy. You do not want to make it complicated, but you also want to make it fun so that they will do it regularly.

The first rule is that you need to keep it basic.

Remember your tween is just starting; you do not want to overwhelm them with your fav Korean 10-step routine. Instead, keep it gentle and bare-bones, as there is always room for them to add more products as they become more comfortable.

This slow and steady approach will make it easier to determine what ingredients and formulas work best for your tween’s skin. And what has the potential to irritate it.

With the basic skincare routine, your tween has to follow two simple steps:

  • Cleanse 
  • Moisturise

Your tween needs to do these two steps ideally in the morning and at night, but it will also depend on how sweaty your tween is during the night. You can make the routine part of the hygiene process. For example, they can do it while in the shower, wash their face in the sink, or even brush their teeth.

Making skincare a quick and easy addition to a morning and night routine makes it more likely that your tween will follow through.


When choosing a cleanser, stick to a gentle formula to clear impurities and keep the skin hydrated. Do not scrub harshly but instead use gentle, circular motions making sure to reach every inch of your face.

Your tween should avoid using soap on their face as it can irritate the pores on their face and trigger acne and pimples.

If your tween has oily or normal /combination skin, you should get them a cleanser containing salicylic acid to control excessive oil production and increase hydration.

This cleanser also helps dissolve dirt and oil, thus unclogging your tween’s pores.


Your tween will need to apply her moisturizer twice daily to help keep the skin supple and hydrated and prevent premature fine lines.

It should be a lightweight,oil-free moisturizer to prevent your tween’s skin from clogging.

A gel-based moisturizer will also do for your acne-prone tween. Choosing a moisturizer that includes a broad-spectrum sunscreen is wise to help protect your preteen’s skin from the sun rays.


To avoid clogged pores resulting from hormonal surges, your tween should keep their skin exfoliated once a week or every two weeks, depending on how sensitive the skin is. 

Look for exfoliating products that contain clay. Clay has natural antiseptic and astringent properties.

Makeup and Tween Skincare  

Many young girls love to experiment with make-up in their tweens. It can be fun to discover their own personal style, but it’s essential when allowing your girls to learn, you teach them the importance of also washing their makeup off correctly.

Leaving makeup on their skin for too long can lead to blocked pores, worsen acne and damage their skin, especially if left on overnight when the skin should be renewing itself. Always insist makeup is removed before bedtime.

Make sure when starting their journey with makeup you also equip them with the right makeup-removing tools, followed by their usual skin care routine.

Best Skin Care Brands For Tweens

Disclosures: We are participants in the Amazon Associates Program and other affiliate programs that earn us a commission if a qualifying purchase is made.

These gentle skincare products for preteens will help keep breakouts at bay, leaving your tween feeling happy and confident.

Aveeno Kids Sunscreen

If it reads kids, you know it will be safe for your tween. The Aveeno kids is an excellent product for your tween’s sensitive skin.

It has an SPF 50 for superior broad-spectrum protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

It’s an effective mineral sunscreen lotion as mild as water and applies to your preteen skin, quickly locking in moisture without stinging or irritation.

It contains naturally-sourced 100% zinc oxide active and skin-soothing oat and is both sweat-resistant and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

It also features a tear-free formula that is non-greasy, hypoallergenic and paraben-free,phthalate-free, and fragrance-free, making it ideal for your tween’s skin.

Just like makeup, sunscreen is great while it’s doing its job outdoors, but always take care to wash sunscreen off before bedtime. Sunscreen left overnight can dry out the skin and clog pores.

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

The Cerave Hydrating Facial Cleanser is a great tween face wash. It contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerine. They help hydrate your tween’s skin without stripping off moisture.

It removes dirt, face makeup, and excess oils, providing 24-hour hydration leaving your preteen with a non-greasy feeling and moisturized.

It is free of paraben, soap, fragrance, non-comedogenic, non-irritating, and non-drying. It is an excellent moisturizer as it helps restore and maintain the skin’s natural barrier. 

It is suitable for daily cleansing and can double up as a handwash for your tween’s delicate hands.

Clean & Clear 2-Pack Day and Night Face Cleanser

The clean and clear day and night cleanser is a great tween face wash pack. It gently cleanses your tween’s skin without overdrying it in the morning and night.

Its clean and clear morning burst facial cleanser removes skin impurities that build up overnight and features a refreshing citrus fragrance with ginger extract to help wake your tween up in a fantastic mood.

The clean and clear night relaxing deep cleansing face wash washes away dirt, impurities, and oil that builds up during the day. The clean and clear face cleanser contains deep sea minerals and sea kelp extracts that deeply cleanse pores with a calming aroma.

Catephil Exfoliating Face Wash

Cetaphil exfoliating face wash is extra gentle, making it a great facial product for tweens. Its micro-fine granules gently buff away dry, dull skin-supporting a natural surface cell turnover without irritation.

It’s infused with a vitamin complex and skin conditioners that help keep your tween’s skin comfortably hydrated. It is an effective yet non-irritating daily scrub ideal for your tween’s sensitive skin.

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Coconut Sugar Facial Scrub Exfoliator

The Palmers Coconut Facial Scrub is a great product to be incorporated into your tween’s skincare routine. It gently buffs and polishes away dirt and dead skin cells, leaving your tween with a brighter, fresher, and purified complexion.

It has the finest natural, raw ingredients making it great natural skincare that your tween will love.

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion

An excellent daily moisturizer perfect to apply after cleansing, CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Loton contains SPF30 for all-day facial protection again UVA and UVB rays.

It contains hyaluronic acid to retain the skin’s moisture and niacinamide to calm the skin and keep hydrated all day.

Gentle on the skin, this fragrance-free and oil-free moisturizer is suitable for all the family to use.

We hope this guide will help you formulate a skincare routine that will work for your growing tween.

Puberty will strike at different moments and every tween’s skin will react differently to their changing hormones. The best you can do to prepare them for these changes is to instill healthy habits and model good behavior when it comes to skincare.

Tween Parent | Family Lifestyle Blog

Follow @tweenparent