Tweendom is a confusing, hormonal, and hellish period of an individual's life. Voices and, um, other things begin to drop, fat distribution changes, hair sprouts in new places, and skin can be... irritable. It's definitely a pimply time.
And while some form of skincare usually starts at birth (very mild cleansers and lotions are typically recommended, as per WebMD), Front Range Dermatology Associates suggests building a routine during tween years.
"As your body produces more oil and creates different types of hormones, it can be difficult for your skin to balance the changes. For this reason, dermatologists recommend using skincare products starting around age 12, or whenever puberty starts," the dermatology practice noted.
Specifically, a daily cleanser, moisturizer, sunscreen, and the occasional blemish spot treatment are what the practice recommends.
As for what brands offer the best tween-focused skincare, that's where we come in. Keep reading for five skincare brands that experts recommend for teens — all of which are cruelty-free.
Fans of Emmy-winning Modern Family star Julie Bowen may know that she's a mama bear to three rowdy boys. Tired of fighting them on hygiene upkeep — shouting "pits, nuts, butts, in that order!" from outside the shower — she and fellow boy mom Jill Biren co-founded JB Skrub: A clean, sustainable, and Leaping Bunny approved skincare line geared toward tween boys.
With sustainably sourced hero ingredients like aloe vera, chia seed, willowherb, green tea, niacinamide, and succinic acid (a mighty sebum regulator), stinky 12-year-old skin won't know what hit it.
Shai Eisenman's new-school brand Bubble was made "with teens, for teens," as the founder and CEO felt there was a need for adolescence-inspired skincare.
"80 percent of Gen Z consumers use Neutrogena, Cetaphil, CeraVe, Clean and Clear, and Clinique," she told BeautyMatter of the old-school brands. Since said skincare giants don't generally prioritize pubescent skin (and aren't cruelty-free), Eisenman launched Bubble in 2020 with the help of Gen Z ambassadors like Jazz Jennings, Chase Hudson, and Laurie Hernandez.
Bubble is vegan, Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, fragrance-free, dermatologist tested, plant-based, science-backed, and affordable!
Board-certified dermatologist and "tween-age" boy mom Dr. Brooke Jeffy is saddened to see TikTok-obsessed 11-year-olds follow intricate skincare routines using trendy, adult-focused brands like Drunk Elephant and Glow Recipe. (No, children do not need retinol products.)
Because of this, she developed Btwn: A gimmick-free skincare line for tweens and teens that includes "only what [they] need, not what [they] don’t."
According to the brand pledge, Btwn is allergen-avoidant, vegan, cruelty-free, Credo Dirty List compliant, and features "planet-conscious packaging."
The brand's current product line is "safe for all skin types and conditions" and "formulated with ages 6+ in mind."
Launched by Risa Barash — aka the CEO and founder of Fairy Tales Hair Care — TBH Kids aims to be gentle and effective for youngsters.
"When my own son started puberty, he had oily hair, greasy skin, and he smelled like the seventh grade hallway," the boy mom says in a brand introduction video. "But I couldn't really find anything fun and lighthearted that had natural ingredients, not a lot of chemicals, that actually worked on tween skin."
The BPA-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and cruelty-free brand proudly offers body, hair, and skin products that promote self-care and self-love, because #goodhabitsstartearly.
Co-founded by sisters Clare (a dedicated yogi) and Rebecca Hopkins (a professional reflexologist), Balance Me is unlike the other brands on our list. Though it's technically not a tween-focused brand, Balance Me offers various targeted collections, including the menopause collection, the pregnancy collection, and the teen years collection.
The cruelty-free and B Corp certified company developed a natural skincare collection for tweens and teens "to help balance and calm complexions prone to blemishes, acne, and redness."
From the Niacinamide Complexion Booster to the Flash Cleanse Micellar Water (we know angsty 13-year-olds aren't effectively removing water line eyeliner), Balance Me's teen range is surprisingly vast.