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What you need to know about your daughter's skincare smoothie

By: Sydney Soriano, Licensed Esthetician / Approved by a Physician Assistant

We have all been there - applying neon eyeshadow to our friends at sleepovers and asking our mother to try on her dark red lipstick... but when did roll-on face glitter turn into Drunk Elephant's Protini Polypeptide Cream?

One of the most common objectives when creating a skincare routine or choosing to invest in skincare services is to make our skin more youthful. As of recently, Generation Alpha has taken Sephora by storm and is concocting "skincare smoothies" for themselves.

As a Licensed Esthetician, this topic captivated my attention while scrolling through Instagram Reels, and I wanted to share valuable information regarding ingredients and safety with skincare. I am not here to say that practicing skincare at a young age is a poor habit or that these brands are not highly reputable and excellent companies, they are. The youngsters are attempting to recreate the combinations they witness the older generations using, but it is far too early for them to be using ingredients with such high potency on skin that does not require it. It is a known fact that anti-aging skincare products are not suitable for children ages 9-11. It is extremely important to understand that certain active ingredients can be detrimental when blended together and applied simultaneously.

If your child is interested in exploring skincare, try out a gentle cleanser, moisturizer and SPF. If there are further skin concerns, reaching out to a licensed esthetician, dermatologist, or other provider is recommended.

Please use my “ECE Ingredient Cheatsheet” below as a quick reference for which ingredients are damaging when combined and when to use these instead!

Retinol* - For young children, retinol should be used if prescribed by a dermatologist or recommended by a professional. 

*This is a common ingredient in professional skincare products (an AMAZING ingredient for those who benefit from Retinol treatments but NOT to be played with).

Retinol + Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) = WAY too much exfoliation

Why: AHA is an exfoliator which makes skin more susceptible to the strength of Retinol. This combo is not recommended for ANY skin types as it will compromise your skin’s protective barrier and expose your skin to pollutants. 

Solution: Alternate days for application (if both are needed) but, for youngsters only one is necessary unless suggested by a healthcare provider

Retinol + Benzoyl Peroxide = Benzoyl Peroxide deactivates Retinol

Why: Benzoyl Peroxide contains an agent that counteracts the agent in Retinol, so neither will work if used together. AKA: These incredible (and expensive) products cancel each other out when used together, rendering this smoothie useless.

Solution: Benzoyl Peroxide in morning and Retinol at night

Retinol + Vitamin C = Vitamin C needs a lower (acidic) pH and Retinol needs higher pH

Why: These two do NOT get along! They are both super powerful so can cause irritation when used together. Best to let these superheroes work alone. 

Solution: Vitamin C in the morning and Retinol at night

Retinol + Salicylic Acid = could cause excess dryness, leading your skin to overproduce of oil

Why: Both ingredients are incredible in combating acne but are most effective when used at their respectable times of the day. 

Solution: Salicylic Acid in the morning and Retinol at night

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