How to Create a Simple and Effective Skincare Routine for Your Teen

Maybe you have noticed that your child is starting to get some spots and you are wondering the best way for them to look after their skin. Or maybe you are worried about your teen spending hours in the bathroom applying a variety of products to their delicate skin. I have been exploring some of the best skincare products tailored to Tween and Teen skin and why it's important to use skincare developed with young skin in mind.

(AD - Contains some gifted products).

A close up of a teen girls skin with a good skincare routine
Teen skin needs to be treated with extra care

Skincare Products For Teens

Why Teen Specific Skincare Is Important

  • As children hit puberty their skin starts to need more attention.  A good skin care routine involving regular cleaning and moisturising can help prevent the appearance of spots. 
  • Many teen girls wear make up every day, with even Year 7s contouring before school. This makes good skincare even more important to clean and protect skin.
  • Social media trends are massively influencing what Teens are putting on their skin leading to a rise in the use of harsh chemical treatments that are damaging their delicate skin

According to Dr Amina from Troikin:

Skincare has two vital roles 

1. To support skin cells and the skin barrier to reduce environmental damage and promote safe healing when there is damage

2. To be pleasant enough to use everyday to achieve goal 1.

For independent children and teens dedicated skincare is vital to encourage daily use with products that are pleasant on all the senses - fragrance, absorption and thickness whilst being easy to dispense and apply with smaller hands. 

What To Look For In Teen Skincare Products 

Spot treatments: if your child has started to get spots then products designed to prevent and tackle blemishes will help, but if they don’t have spots yet a gentle cleanser and moisturiser should be enough. 

SPF: the sun causes a huge amount of damage to skin and although it might not show up until years later protecting skin is really important. Many suncreams can feel too heavy which is uncomfortable and can also make a spot breakout more likely.  

Teen appeal: if you want to discourage your children from using products that are too harsh and could harm their skin then choose packaging that will appeal to them with a great range of products.

Consistency: ultimately whatever products they use the key is to use it consistently, morning and evening for at least a month before expecting to see a real difference.

Review Of Teen Skincare Ranges 

Some of the products from the Clarol skincare range for acne prone skin
Clarol skincare is designed for oily and acne prone skin


Clarol is designed for oily and acne prone skin. It works by building up the skin’s natural acne defences using plant based ingredients. The product range contains skin probiotics, skin protectors, smart anti-microbials, sebum preservers, detoxifiers, exfoliators and skin smoothers. Check out their guide on how to use Clarol products for best results.

Why Clarol Will Appeal To Teens

Clarol is made in England, not tested on animals and many of the products are vegan. Using plant based ingredients this product feels like it has earth friendly credentials although the packaging has a clinical feel which will provide reassurance to those suffering from acne.

What Are The Products?

Silver Serum Skin Flora Rebalancing - a serum that kills the bad bacteria while helping good skin bacteria. The bad bacteria causes acne and the good bacteria help to protect against acne so it’s a dual defence.

Seborpure - helps prevent pores getting blocked and works to prevent sebum getting ‘rotten’ so it doesn’t dry skin.

Silver and Birch Exfoliating Face Wash - Multi action detoxifies and cleansers using a natural equivalent of salicylic acid and methyl salicylate. It can reduce inflammation and the physical exfoliation helps remove dead and infected skin. 

Nordic Birch and Willow Primer - a mattyifying primer to combat oiliness, promote healthy skin and create instantly smoother skin tone.

Birch Water Pore-minimising Toner - minimises open pores and balances skin tone.

Zno Clear - a treatment for spots made from zinc oxide

Prices range from £7.95 to £14.95

3 bottles of Troikin skincare for teens and tweens
Troikin were developed specifically for children's skin


Troikin was designed and developed in the UK by Dr Amina (a GP) specifically for children’s skin. The products contain science backed active ingredients at a level that is safe for children. The products are vegan friendly, Helal, not tested on animals and ingredients ethically sourced from sustainable plants.

“Daily use of protective ingredients such as glycerin, oat extract, vitamin C and SPF will protect the skin barrier and the cellular DNA from environmental damage and dryness - which are the leading causes for the majority of skin diseases and concerns. 

Troikin is the first brand to include vitamin C at a safe concentration for children as well as being the first to provide a dedicated Afternoon top up serum to maintain daily protection throughout the afternoon whilst at school or out with friends! “

It was developed with a UK formulator to ensure the ingredients are safe and effective, not something you can be sure about if you pick a cheap product off the shelf in Home bargains.

Prices range from £34 to £36

Why Troikin Will Appeal To Teens

The packaging says they are designed for 5 to 15 year olds so Tweens and Teens will know they are specifically designed for young skin. It’s designed to feel great and smell good. 

My daughter loved the ombre labelling and the sleek bottles with a twist up top which should prevent too much being used at a time (the website says a 50ml bottle can last 3-4 months). 

What Are The Products?

There are currently 3 products in the range: one to use in the morning, one for the afternoon and one for the evening so they can enjoy applying throughout the day. 

Lightology Hydrate - The Morning Cream has oat extract to reduce inflammation, antioxidant rich Vitamin C & E  and SPF 40 with a mild fragrance

Skin-Esteem Protect - The Afternoon Cream with Vitamin C and E and SPF 40.

Nightology Soothe - The Night Cream which promotes skin barrier repair with hydrating squalane, aloe and glycerin. Designed to reduce redness, sooth irritation and moisturise. 

They have a mild cleanser coming to the range soon.

The SkinGenius products for the cleanse, treat and hydrate routine for spot prone skin
SkinGenius 3 step routine for spot prone skin


SkinGenius is formulated using natural, organic and vegan ingredients for problem skin. They have two product ranges one designed to target dry, tight and sore skin and the other to target spot prone skin. Products can be used on their own or mixed and matched. 

The range was initially developed for teens, but their appeal has grown to adults experiencing breakouts and acne (eg as part of their Menopause Skincare Routine). The ingredients control bacteria, soothe inflamed skin, reduce redness, help to heal skin and balance oil production

The ethos of SkinGenius is that “Skin is a living, breathing, self-renewing genius” so the products are designed to help restore it's balance. They advise it takes around 30 days to adjust to and 3 months to see a real positive change with consistence use.

Prices range from £13.50 to £18.50

Why SkinGenius Will Appeal To Teens

The products provide an uncomplicated 3 step routine (cleanse, treat, hydrate, morning and evening) to skincare which will appeal to those who want a simple, but effective approach. The puns in the names give them a cheeky, friendly appeal.

You can use single products or together, but they advise you should always cleanse, treat, hydrate and repeat consistently morning and evening.  One pump should be enough each use, making them last.

Although it offers a simple 3 step routine the products are multi-functional. They make a good make up primer under make up and can also provide a barrier to stop sunscreen causing spots and heat rashes (SkinGenius doesn’t contain SPF so a separate suncream is needed). The face wash can be used as a shaving foam too.

What Are The Products?

In the collection designed for spot and acne prone skin there is:

Best Cleanser Forever: a foaming cleansing face wash with calendula, red clover and lemongrass. Rub in and rinse off or use a facecloth gently for exfoliation. It can be used to remove make up, but a separate eye make up remover is recommended.

All’s Well That Gels Well: a leave-on purifying gel with oregon grape, nettle and roman chamomile. Sooth over a thick layer, and leave about 30 seconds to absorb in.

Soothe Operator: a calming moisturiser for troubled skin with Babassu, hazelnut and macadamia. Massage in a small amount to help reduce scarring, redness and fine lines.

There is also a purifying gel 'Hits The Spot' to target individual spots reducing their size, redness and inflammation.

The other range is suitable for eczema and psoriasis and includes:

Oil Day Long reviving oil elixir. With sunflower, calendula, evening primrose and roman chamomile to nourish and hydrate the skin. 

Cream Come True speedy absorbing cream with shea butter, starflower and chickweed to deeply moisturise. 

Some of the skincare products for girls from Spots & Stripes
Spots & Stripes have products for Teen and Tween skin

Spots & Stripes

Spots & Stripes is an earth-friendly brand formulated for Tween and Teen skin (roughly 8 to 16 years old). It includes products for the face (called Skin Goals), hair, body and deodorant.

According to their website: "Until the age of 12, children secrete less sebum than adults, which makes their skin six times more susceptible to synthetic chemical penetration from haircare, skincare and bathing products... Chemicals in traditional skincare and personal care can act as hormone disruptors, impacting development in girls entering puberty.”

Prices range from £14 to £25 (for the face care). Available direct and on Amazon (affiliate link).

Why Spots & Stripes Will Appeal To Tweens

The range is designed to have fun looking products for skin and hair. It is made in England and not tested on animals. Although some products are vegan, others contain beeswax and honey. 

Spots & Stripes have a range targeted at girls and one for boys. I asked them why they had different products for boys and girls and they advised that while the body care products are different (eg different scents) the only difference between the girls and boys face skincare is the packaging. This is an interesting move when many brands are moving away from gendered products, but the feedback in initial trials found that boys were more likely to use skincare if targeted directly at them. Given boys are less likely to use skincare products than girls I can understand the benefit of this, even if it alienates a smaller group of Teens who don't identify comfortably in either of these categories. 

What Are The Products?

Gentle cleansing lotion for girls/ boys - apply to dry skin, massage in, then wipe off with a warm, damp flannel. Avoid contact with eyes.  Includes: virgin coconut oil, kukui, peppermint, kana and lavender. Calm, refresh and combat blemish causing bacteria while cleansing skin. 

Hydrating face mist for girls/ boys is a light moisturiser in an easy to use spray. Let it absorb in without rubbing in leaving a dewy glow.  Contains Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, cucumber, pine extract and witch hazel. 

Super Balm for girls/ boys - Spot Zapper lip smoother bite buster. A metal tube of multi purpose skin rescue balm. Contains virgin coconut oil, peppermint, niaouli, myrrh, chamomile.

Gentle exfoliating liquid for girls/ boys - a leave on chemical exfoliant for blemish and blackhead prime skin with Salicylic Acid to clear and shrink pores, aloe vera, cucumber, hibiscus flower extract and witch hazel extract. Lightly soak a cotton pad apply over the t-zone. Skin can take time to get used to this so it shouldn't be used daily. It can also increase skin sensitivity so suncream required. 

Sensitive skin SPF30 for face - contains aloe vera, sunflower oil, green tea, zinc oxide and jojoba. This mineral sunscreen leaves a dewy glow and no whiteness. 

There is also shampoo, conditioner, bath & shower gel, deodorant, body lotion, body spray, arnica balm, hand cleansing spray, mood sprays.

The Nip and Fab Teen Skin Fix Deluxe Routine Bundle
Nip+Fab Teen Skin Fix range have a great choice of products

Nip + Fab

Nip + Fab have a range of luxury skincare formulations for different skincare needs. Some of their products are available on the shelf in High Street stores like Boots and Superdrug as well as Amazon, although the Teen Skin Fix range are harder to come by so probably easiest to order direct. 

The Teen Skin Fix range is specially made for teenage skin to manage oil and clear blemishes. It contains wasabi extract and salicylic acid to reduce redness, clear spots and remove excess oil.  The cruelty free products are ideal for sensitive skin, but they recommend teens gradually increase the frequency of use. After purchase I received an email with tips on how to use the products which includes leaving 2 to 3 days after first use to check for a reaction. 

Prices range from £4.95 to £9.95. There are kits which offer a good bundle price on their website making it a good way to try the different products. Once you know what you like you may be able to get it cheaper on Amazon as the products are on the Subscribe and Save deal (affiliate link).

Why Teens Will Love Nip + Fab

Part of the reason teens are using a whole range of products that aren’t suitable for their skin is thanks to social media showing off a load of 'cool' and intriguing products. Nip + Fab has lots of products that will fill this appeal, while being suitable for teen skin.  The design looks grown up and similar to the adult products (but in a different colour) and my daughter says they look "high end".

What Are The Products?

Teen Skin Fix Pore Blaster Wash Day - cleans make up, excess oil and impurities with this gentle micellar gel.

Teen Skin Fix Pore Blaster Wash Night - a gentle face wash to calm skin and reduce bacteria without over drying. 

Teen Skin Fix Spot Patches - a translucent spot cover you wear, commonly called   as "pimple patches". They are recommended for use on emerging spots for a minimum of 6 hours and ideally overnight. You can can also wear during the day to stop picking and let the spots heal

Teen Skin Fix Breakout Rescue Pads - A pot of 60 gently exfoliating pads infused with blemish fighting ingredients. 

Teen Skin Fix Spot Zap - a rollerball which delivers a targeted treatment gel to reduce redness and size of blemishes.

Teen Skin Fix Zero Shine Moisturiser - for those who don't want to look shiny this moisturiser has mattifying powders to stay shine-free all day, while helping to regulate sebum production. 

Teen Skin Fix Wasabi Sheet mask - A single use deep cleansing sheet mask to unclog pores, refresh skin and moisturise.

Teen Skin Fix Pore Blaster Scrub - physical exfoliation from volcanic pumice and low levels of salicylic acid. With Shea butter, cocoa butter and sweet almond oil for nourishment and hydration. 

Teen Skin Fix Wasabi Clay Mask - A bright green clay mask to unclog pores, reduce the appearance of blemishes and moisturise.

The Teen range doesn't include any SPF products so they suggest using it with the Nip+Fab Purify SPF 30 moisturiser (which feels like a bit of an oversight, plus it's far more expensive than the products in the Teen range).

For Tween skin they recommend a trio of products: Hyaluronic Fix Extrem4 Cleansing Cream, the Rescue Pads and Little Hyaluronic Fix Extrem4 Hybrid Gel Cream.

There is also clarifying body wash and body mist for those who have spots on their body. 

Are There Lower Cost Alternatives For Teen Skincare?

The products above are all brilliant skincare products which have been carefully researched and developed, but this does come with a price tag. If you are really feeling the pinch are there low cost products that are suitable for teen skincare?

With skincare you often get what you pay for. It is worth signing up to mailing lists for the brands you love to find out when products are on offer or just choosing the products from the ranges that meet the specific needs your teen has. 

Avoid soap and overly drying products as these can encourage skin to increase the production of sebum which can clog pores and increase the number of spots. 

If you are buying High Street mass produced products aim for those designed for sensitive skin.

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