Image Credits: Amazon
It took a gentle K-beauty cleanser with a cool name and a kitty headband to get my tween to develop a skin-care routine.
The period between the ages of 11 and 17 was challenging for my mother and me. Back then, we did our best to avoid talking about the changes that were going on in my body. We didn’t go bra shopping. And she didn’t prepare me for the acne that would soon take over my face. As a result, I had to figure out how to deal with practically everything about puberty, including my teen skin-care regimen, on my own. When my daughter was born, I knew she’d be a teenager and that we’d have to face that uncomfortable time one day. And since there was nothing I could do to stop time, I did everything I could to make the transition as painless as possible, including introducing her to a cool Korean skin-care brand.
I started laying the foundation when she turned 10, reading books on puberty and initiating cringe-worthy conversations about everything from acne to maxi pads. But despite trying to prepare my daughter (and myself) for the change that was looming, I don’t think either of us was ready for what happened in the months between her 10th and 11th birthdays. Almost overnight, my Dora the Explorer-loving, tutu-wearing toddler turned into a text-obsessed tween who was subject to frequent breakouts. As things began to change with her body (and her mood), I knew it was time to introduce new steps into her hygiene routine, including washing her face twice a day.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne, like almost every other awful thing about puberty, can be triggered by hormones. During this already awkward phase, a tsunami of hormones causes the skin’s oil glands to produce an abundance of oil, which leads to clogged pores and acne. The AAD recommends washing your face twice a day with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser without alcohol to remove oil, dirt, and makeup from the skin and prevent breakouts.
I tried everything to get my daughter to make those twice-daily cleanings a natural part of her daily routine, but unlike texting her best friend every detail of her day, washing her face was something she just couldn’t remember to do. That meant every morning, I turned into a drill sergeant, shouting reminders to my daughter to wash her face before she raced out of the door.
Although I wanted to let her assert her independence, I couldn’t let go of my not-so-gentle daily reminders to take care of her basic hygiene practices. But neither my nagging nor my colorful hygiene checklist were enough to get her to make washing her face a priority.
I knew I had to get creative to find a way to make her want to wash her face without having to be told. And I realized that part of allowing her to be independent meant finding a cleanser that she felt was her own. So I scoured the internet for skin-care products with cool packaging or anything else that would make her interested in her hygiene. That’s when I stumbled onto I Dew Care, a line of fun K-beauty skincare products that look like they were all created with my daughter in mind.
Korean beauty or K-beauty products generally favor gentle ingredients over harsh products, which make them generally safe for sensitive skin. I Dew Care makes lots of face masks and serums with adorable names like Disco Kitten, but I decided to start with Gentle Vibes, the brand’s mild cleanser.
As the name implies, Gentle Vibes is a cleanser that cleans oil and dirt from the skin without being harsh and irritating, the way many acne-fighting cleansers aimed at teens can be. The product is vegan, gluten-free, and tested on people with sensitive skin, which made me believe it would be mild enough for my tween’s changing skin.
A little Gentle Vibes goes a long way. Just a pea-sized amount of this light gel cleanser in your palm is enough to make a nice lather that can cover your entire face. Then it rinses away easily, leaving no residue behind.
Panthenol, a natural moisturizer that converts to vitamin B5 in the skin, is one of the essential ingredients in Gentle Vibes. It helps reduce irritation and is safe for use by people with sensitive skin. And I knew that if the product alone wasn’t enough to get my daughter excited, she’d love using the accompanying spa headband with kitten ears to keep her hair out of her face.
I was right. Having a facial cleanser of her own made my tween feel empowered to take charge of her own self-care. And the cute headband appealed to the kitten-loving little girl that is still inside of her. I can’t say that I have been able to stop my nagging altogether, but I can say these days I hear myself saying, “Don’t forget your water bottle,” more often than, “Wash your face.”
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