Skin Care Routine for Preteens (9-12 year olds) - Parent's Guide

You may be asking what is the best skin care routine, or the best products for young tween/preteen skin? Once your child starts reaching 9-12 years old, (each child is different), it's worth introducing them to a good skin care routine and finding suitable tween face care. It's at this age that hormones start changing and normal soap, or children’s products (or for some, just water) may not cut it! You may have started noticing their skin is more oily, they may be getting the odd spot, or their skin is becoming reddened and sensitive.

So what can you do as a parent? Talking to your tween is important and explaining why these changes are occurring and what they can do, they may even come to you and ask how they can better look after their skin and prevent those pesky spots. Well, this post gives you some good tips, tween face care products and skin care routines for young skin!

Image: Tweens & pre-teens. Text: Skincare for tweens & preteens

Why do tweens & pre-teens need a Skincare Routine?

As mentioned, tweens start to experience hormonal changes that result in excess sebum (oil) being produced which can clog pores, create excess shine and can cause blemishes to occur. Heavy creams, unsuitable soaps or heavily fragranced products can irritate or clog pores further and add to young skin issues. If you want to learn more about acne, how it causes spots, different types of spots, then follow this link to the NHS:

We are going to concentrate more on routines and products. A routine is very important for young skin, not only will it set up tweens for a lifelong healthy habit, but to truly get good results from any skin care product you need consistency.

Occasionally cleaning the skin or using a cream in isolation, will not effectively help in reducing spots, excess oil or keeping the skin healthy. It's essential at this age to get them in the habit of looking after their skin AM and PM everyday.

So the question still remains what is the best skincare for tweens and pre teens?

Easy Skincare Routine for Tweens & preteens (9-12 years old):

As a standard routine Tweens / Pre-teens (and of course Teens) should follow the simple order for AM and PM:

  1. Cleanse
  2. Treat
  3. Moisturise

Depending on your Tween’s/Pre-teen's appetite for skin care, there could be multiple products per step, or to keep it simple, it may just be one.

FAQ: What order should you put multiple skincare products on? As a simple rule, you should apply the thinnest (formula wise) products first, putting on thicker moisturisers last, and as a given, always cleanse first!

So why this skin care routine for tweens? Lets breakdown the skin care products for tweens and why they should be using them.

  1. Cleanser: It is very important for tweens to cleanse properly with active ingredients that effectively unclog pores, remove dead-skin cells and fight spot-causing bacteria. A good face wash for tweens will also help smooth rough or textured skin, soothe reddened/irritated skin and help reduce excess oil, leading to healthier and clearer skin. The best acne cleanser for tweens will be a product that combines gentle ingredients with effective actives that target excess oil and spots.
  2. Treatments: This step can include good tween spot cream or specialised serum. This is important as it provides a specialised cream/serum with certain benefits to help your tweens skin. For example, if they are getting lots of whiteheads, a spot treatment can help reduce redness and size of spots. Or a good serum for tweens can add extra hydration deeper into the skin than a moisturiser, or even fight spot-causing bacteria below the skin’s surface.
  3. Moisturiser: A very important step, adding a moisturiser for tweens, will not only help rehydrate skin after cleansing but will also help protect the skin. Your tween should be wearing an SPF every day, even 10 minutes (or more) of exposure to the sun should warrant an SPF. At night, introduce a more hydrating night cream to keep skin looking and feeling smooth, less irritated, and more moisturised. Some tweens may not want to have a night cream which is fine, they can wear the SPF cream at night (does no harm) or can just wash their face and treat any spots they may have.

What ingredients should be in tween / pre-teen skin care products?

Without boring you with all the types of ingredients out there, we will suggest what we believe are some of the best ingredients for young, tween, pre-teen and teen skin, and should be in their tween skincare routine:

  1.  Salicylic Acid - A proven gold standard ingredient for cleansing the skin and helping to prevent blemishes. This ingredient is a trusted active in most tween/teen/problematic skin care ranges. Used at 2% concentration it will leave skin feeing smooth, and looking less shiny, it will also help reduce the likelihood of new breakouts. if you are looking for the best acne cleanser for tweens, then this is an ingredient you should be looking for!
  2.  Succinic Acid - A big up-and-comer, this ingredient has been proven to be just as effective as Salicylic Acid but more suitable for sensitive and easily irritable skin. It can be used in treatments such as serums or spot creams and can help effectively exfoliate, reduce the appearance of pores, and reduce likelihood of breakouts.
  3.  Niacinamide -This all-rounder ingredient, also known as Vitamin B3, is perfect for young skin. It helps restore the skin’s natural barrier and promote an overall clearer complexion. Niacinamide can reduce inflammation, which can help ease redness from acne and eczema, and even help reduce inflammatory spots such as papules and pustules. By keeping skin smooth over time you may notice a reduction in the appearance of pores, smoother skin, as well as less excess oil which regulates 'skin shine'.
  4.  Hyaluronic Acid – Whether your tween has oily, dry or combination skin, this ingredient is great in reducing inflammation, soothing irritated skin and most of all, locking in the skin’s moisture. This ingredient is perfect for skin that’s easily irritated, acne-prone or oily, as it doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts and it’s gentle on young skin! It’s also perfect for those that suffer from dry skin, or mild to moderate eczema!
  5. Azelaic Acid – Another great ingredient that helps target bacteria that causes irritation or breakouts, while also reducing inflammation. This helps skin and blemishes to become less visible, red and irritated. Azelaic acid also promoted cell turnover which helps skin heal more quickly and therefore reducing the likelihood of scarring from spots.
  6. Jojoba Oil – This Oil is a great anti-inflammatory and can help reduce the symptoms of Dermatitis, Acne, and Eczema. Having a similar composition to that of sebum (skin’s natural oil), Jojoba oil is easily absorbed into the skin, and doesn’t clog pores, meaning it won’t cause breakouts like some ingredients. It also helps fight bacterial growth in pores while strengthening the skin barrier, leading to healthier skin that’s less likely to breakout! As jojoba oil is a great source of moisture, skin will look less dull, feel softer and smoother, and will bring back that childhood glow!

Simple skincare routines for tweens & pre-teens (9-12 years)

How can we make your life easier? 

We know there is a lot to take in. So, we have made it simple, follow the three routine steps and the best active ingredients for tweens and pre-teens experiencing hormonal changes with our Bare Addiction skin care range. We have three value bundles:

Bare Necessity Kit – Your perfect tween starter kit with all the essentials to get your tween's skin under control and start their journey to healthy skin. An easy, three product routine, perfect for those pre-teens needing a first routine, or who just want a no fuss, result driven routine (Top Tip: Use the day cream at night for extra hydration).

  1. Includes:
    1. Daily Foaming Gel Cleanser: Deeply cleanses to unclog pores while reducing excess oil and the appearance of spots, redness and pores.
    2. Rapid Action Spot Gel: Moisturises and soothes to reduce the appearance of redness, spots and pores without drying the skin.
    3. Daily Defence Moisturiser: Hydrating spot protection that reduces excess oil and controls shine.

Clear by Day & Night Kit - All the necessities for daily & nightly defence against spots, oily and sensitive skin. This kit gives your tween all the basic skincare products, with two moisturisers to give a proper AM and PM routine.

  1. Includes:
    1. Daily Foaming Gel Cleanser: Deeply cleanses to unclog pores while reducing excess oil and the appearance of spots, redness and pores.
    2. Rapid Action Spot Gel: Apply a thin layer to target area to reduce the appearance of redness and size of spots. Follow with an SPF or night cream. Apply serums before applying the spot cream.
    3. Daily Defence Moisturiser: Apply liberally to the face 15 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply frequently or after towel drying, swimming or extensive perspiration. Limit time in the sun, especially between 10am and 2pm.
    4. Nightly Refresh Moisturiser: In the evening, apply a small amount to hands, then gently massage onto the face and neck.

Clear & Bright Kit - All you need to help protect your tween's skin against sensitive, red & problem-prone skin. This is our full range, with a cleanser, a serum and spot treatment, and two moisturisers, giving a more full and complete AM and PM routine for the most difficult and problematic skin.

  1. Daily Foaming Gel Cleanser: Deeply cleanses to unclog pores while reducing excess oil and the appearance of spots, redness and pores.
  2. Anti-Blemish Boost Serum: Reduces the appearance of redness, spots and pores, while supporting healthier skin for a shine-free glow.
  3. Rapid Action Spot Gel: Moisturises and soothes to reduce the appearance of redness, spots and pores without drying the skin.
  4. Daily Defence Moisturiser: Hydrating spot protection that reduces excess oil and controls shine.
  5. Nightly Refresh Moisturiser: Overnight spot and oil defence that soothes and hydrates skin while improving overall complexion.

Skincare gift sets for tweens & pre-teens

Being a tween/pre-teen is hard enough. Experiencing hormonal changes, getting oily skin and spots is not fun, and sometimes getting skincare to help target these problems isn't always exciting. That's why we have created our giftsets to have some fun accessories to help raise their mood and perfect for 9-12 years old! 

So if you are looking for the best acne cleanser for tweens, or the best tween skin care products, you can find it all below:

Learn more

After this blog, you will be on your way to giving your tween their best skincare routine and products!

Let us know if this article helped or if there was anything you wanted us to cover?

View our products at:

You can learn more about ingredients, blemishes and routines below:

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1 comment

  • Posted zunairah

    Is healthy food intake or healthy eating habit necessary if i continue this routine?

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