Tween skincare craze: Dermatologist shares what should and shouldn't be used

Teenagers spent 33% more on cosmetics and 19% more on skin care products in 2023 than the year prior.

ByNydia Han WPVI logo
Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Tween skincare craze: Dermatologist shares what they should and shouldn't be using
It is an obsession - tweens wanting skincare products like serums, bronzing drops and lip oils. But should parents be worried?

PHILADELPHIA -- It is an obsession. More tweens are wanting skincare products like serums, bronzing drops and lip oils, but should parents be worried? Action News talked to a local dermatologist for some answers.

The skincare regimen for some tweens can sound daunting.

"I have my Glow Recipe toner," said 11-year-old Sydney Winokur.

"I have my Ordinary serum," said 11-year-old Lili Souder.

"Underrated Fenty Hydra Vizor. It's like a sunscreen," said 12-year-old Sadie Katz.

Experts say teens spent 33% more on cosmetics and 19% more on skin care products in 2023 than the year prior and that number is expected to grow.

Companies are successfully using social media messaging and marketing to attract more and more young consumers.

We asked three tweens why they like skincare.

"I think it's really fun," said Sydney.

"It's very relaxing and gets you to have a good routine," said Lili.

"When I'm older I'll have good skin if I maintain it, if I start at a young age," said Sadie.

But another kind of beauty message is also trending.

A post on social media warns of one beauty brand: Drunk Elephant is not made for children. Just because it's of the moment does not mean it's right for you.

Many parents agree also concerned about the time and expense of the new craze.

"The teen beauty routine should be pretty simple: Gentle cleanser, oil free sunscreen, oil free moisturizer," said dermatologist Dr. Mary Griffin. "You really have to read labels, it's really important. And if you don't know what it means, look it up."

Griffin said water should be the number one ingredient. Also look for the words: non comedogenic, oil-free, and gentle.

And while hyaluronic serum is okay, stay away from silicone, retinol, acids and oils because they can cause irritation, rashes, and acne as well as sun sensitivity and sunburn, which can lead to long-term damage.

Griffin likes less expensive, drug store brands Neutrogena, La Roche-Posay, Cetaphil, and Cerave and she advises parents to make sure their kids are aware that social media marketers are paid or compensated.

On Instagram, the founder of Drunk Elephant, Tiffany Masterson, says many of the brand's products are designed for all types of skin, including kids and tweens, but she says they should stay away from its more potent products that include acids and retinols.

However, Griffin says Drunk Elephant's products are very oily and does not recommend using any of them on young skin.

Also, the products are expensive. The popular Lala Retro, for instance, is $62. Griffin says there is no reason to spend that kind of money on skincare for your teen or tween.