Is your teen becoming more aware of skin and hair care purchases? Does your daughter want to start experimenting with makeup, or does your son need an affordable acne treatment? Here are some tips and products to help your teen make smart, budget-friendly skincare decisions.
The teenage years are the perfect time to begin learning how to be a smart skincare consumer. In this article, you’ll learn how to help teens read and understand product labels, shop by skin type and learn to see past gimmicks and advertising to find products that’ll get them more for their money.
Finally, see our list of product suggestions, all under $20.
Help your teen learn about skin types (and hair types)
Shopping on a budget starts with knowing the products you need before you reach the cosmetics aisle. First, have your teen take some time and evaluate his or her skin type. Skin types go beyond normal, dry and combination; some teens have skin that looks oily but still feels dry and tight without the right moisturizer, while other teens might have extremely sensitive skin that reacts easily to product ingredients. And of course, every teen can suffer from acne – even those with super-dry skin. By identifying key problems, you’ll be able to easily find solutions appropriate for your teen’s specific skin.
The same is true with hair; whether your teen has frizzy curls that need to be tamed or fine hair in need of some volume, it’s important to identify what you’re looking for before starting to shop.
Here are some questions to ask:
Where does my skin feel oily, and where does it feel dry? If it’s a little of both, look for products designed to meet the needs of combination skin. What season will I be using this product in? Summertime requires lighter products, while winter formulas should provide more moisture. Is there something specific I want my product to do? You might be looking for a formula to help clear and dry excess oil. If not, a basic cleanser and moisturizer may do the trick.
Learn to read product labels
Once your teen has identified key concerns, it’s time to understand how to look for specific terms on the product label – a much better method than relying on the product’s advertising to tell everything you need to know.
Here are a few important terms to understand:Hypoallergenic.
If your teen complains that certain products burn or sting, he or she may have sensitive skin. Hypoallergenic products are formulated to be free from allergens and irritating ingredients – although ultimately, everyone will react differently to products, so finding the right ones comes down to trial and error. Non-comedogenic.
This is an important term for anyone who struggles with acne or occasional breakouts. It means that the product doesn’t contain ingredients that clog pores (you might also see this written simply as “won’t clog pores.”)Oil-free.
Here’s another term important for skin prone to breakouts or oily complexions. Lotions and other products formulated without oil are lighter and less likely to contribute to shiny skin. Natural.
Would you believe that terms like “natural,” “made with organic ingredients” or “botanical ingredients” don’t mean much of anything at all? These terms are only loosely regulated, and the FDA has little connection with whether or not such words are displayed on product labels. So, companies can advertise these “natural” products any way they wish.
Also, natural products aren’t necessarily better for those with sensitive skin. There are a wide array of completely natural ingredients that are very likely to irritate sensitive complexions, so whether a natural or synthetic product is better for your skin depends on the specific ingredients included.
This doesn’t mean that natural ingredients are bad; in fact, many natural ingredients are highly effective. It just means you should stick with reputable brands. If you’re curious about a new company, do some research first. Eventually you’ll find a handful of companies with pure products that are healthy for your skin.
Understand active ingredients
When a teen is surrounded by shelves of products all claiming to clear up acne, how will he or she choose between them? Without any skincare knowledge, the easiest way might be to choose the one with the best advertisements, or go by a friend’s recommendation. But it’s much more effective to choose by active ingredient. After all, there are only a small handful of ingredients that work to help with specific conditions, like acne. Here are some ingredients you’ll probably come across:
Understand wants vs. needs
If your teen is on a limited budget, it’s important to understand which items are daily necessities and which are splurges. Does your daughter really need that purple eye shadow, or could she buy a cheaper makeup brand and use her money on a high-quality cleanser? Should she purchase an expensive night cream? Here’s a shopping list to help your teen prioritize skincare and beauty purchases:
While teenagers may not have a lot of money to spend on skincare, they’re often just as concerned with caring for their hair and skin as adults. Having less spending money doesn’t mean that teenagers can’t buy quality products, too, so help your teen be smart about skincare and spend accordingly.
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