Parenting tweens is notoriously challenging. Your little one is blossoming into a teenager and that transition can be difficult for the whole family. From fights over curfews and struggles for independence, it’s no wonder the tweenage years are so tense.
If that’s not tricky enough, some pre-teens develop earlier than their peers, leaving them worrying about bras and BO while their classmates are still watching cartoons. Even worse, all those hormones can also trigger premature acne, which can feel like the end of the world to an image-conscious tween.
If your tween is an early developer and gets acne before their peers, it’s vital that you’re there to give them the help and advice they need to navigate this stressful period. Not sure where to start? Check out these five simple ways to help your tween cope with acne.
1. Be Understanding
Tweens are known for their moodiness. Even the smallest thing can trigger a temper tantrum. This isn’t because you’ve raised a troublesome kid, it’s simply the effect of all those hormones and new stresses running rampant in your pre-teen’s body. This makes them particularly delicate, so make sure to be sensitive when addressing their acne. Don’t bring it up unless your child does so first and be measured when giving advice. Your goal is to minimize the emphasis on their acne without downplaying their concerns.
2. Don’t Assume Well-Known Products are Best
When you want to help your tween deal with acne, it makes sense that you’d reach for a well-known product. However, it’s important to remember that all skin types are different and what works for one person might not work for another. Be a savvy consumer and explore your options thoroughly, taking your tween’s skin type and balanced proactive reviews into consideration before making a purchase.
3. Be Aware of Your Tween’s Diet
Acne can be significantly exacerbated by a poor diet. Diets that are high in sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause the body to produce more insulin, which in turn amps up production of pore-clogging oils.
But, remember, tweens are sensitive and likely to react badly to any suggestion that they change their diet. Instead, focus on subtly implementing meal changes for the whole family, including dishes with plenty of vegetables and produce with high vitamin A (a known acne buster). Don’t give up if you don’t see results straight away; your dietary changes can take up to two months to show on your face.
4. Wash Linen Frequently
Your tween’s body is going through a lot of changes and all those extra hormones make them more prone to oily skin and sweating. They may also be experimenting with makeup for the first time. Unfortunately, when they go to sleep at night, they’re transferring dirt, oils and makeup residue onto the pillow. This same environmental build-up is then transferred back to the skin night after night, blocking the pores and creating inflammation. To avoid this, wash pillowcases daily where possible.
5. See a Dermatologist
If your tween’s acne is particularly severe and not improved by any of the tips above, you may need to book an appointment with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can make an assessment about the condition of your child’s skin and determine what kind of product will best match their skin type. A skilled dermatologist may also offer to administer a topical retinoid to unclog pores or oral therapists that specifically treat hormonal breakouts.
Dealing with breakouts is never easy, especially when you get it before your peers. However, with a little understanding and a lot of love, you can help your tween overcome their acne and maintain their confidence. Simply follow the steps above and try to be patient, one tantrum at a time!