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Lipstick on the Rim: The Tween Skincare Debate with Dr. Marnie Nussbaum – Everything You Need to Know and Share with Your Teens and Tweens, Plus a Peak Inside What’s New and Next in the Derm Space


Dr. Marnie Nussbaum is one of the top dermatologists in New York. We could have talked to her about many things but there was one thing in particular on our minds: the teenage skincare craze. Dr. Nussbaum was featured on The Today Show a few weeks ago to discuss this very topic and we thought it was worth expanding on. With the rise of social media and clever marketing from beauty brands, we’re living in a different time. We get into everything our teens and tweens should and shouldn’t be doing and how we as moms can help steer them in the right direction. Of course, we had to tap her on some derm stuff for us adults so we got the low down on the newest advancements and the products she’s loving day and night. Enjoy!

[Dr. Marnie] On Skincare For Ages 9-12

“My son plays a ton of soccer and football, so he sweats. He’s turning 11, so when he comes home all sweaty, he’ll use a mild cleanser to take away the oil and impurities. If a 9-12-year-old wants a skin regimen, here’s what I say. Use a mild cleanser, and apply with fingertips morning and night. Use an oil-free moisturizer if their skin is dry (oil-free) so it doesn’t clog their pores. In any product, there are often two things to look for, hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic, meaning it’s good for sensitive skin and it’s not going to clog your pores. And then I say a lip balm and an SPF. And if they really want a skincare regimen, this will definitely instill good skincare habits. Keep it simple, keep it gentle, and remember that expensive does not mean better.”

[Dr. Marnie] On Tween Skincare Don’t’s

“Because they’re kids, they tend to believe that more means better. This is not the case, especially when it comes to skincare. They’re using so many products, so fast, all at once, expecting immediate results. So when their skin gets a reaction, they have no idea what it is that caused it. At a young age, on young skin, avoid any harsh acids, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and more. No exfoliating, no retinol, nothing with fragrance. As you get older, your pores will get bigger, and your skin becomes more prone to acne. That’s normal. Just cleanse and use salicylic acid (on acne skin only) once a day. That’s it. If your acne is more than mild, see a dermatologist! It’s often the things we don’t think about that can have a negative effect on our skin. Clean your cell phone. Don’t share makeup brushes, mascaras, or beauty blenders. Don’t share anything, really. All of these things have bacteria and can cause infections. Everyone has bacteria, it’s the microbiome. But everyone has a different microbiome. Do not share. You are spreading bacteria and viruses. No sharing goes for everyone, of all ages.”

[Dr. Marnie] On Teenagers And Makeup

“When we’re talking about young teenagers and makeup, it worries me a lot less than young teenagers and skincare. They can wipe it off or wash it off and it often doesn’t have the same lasting effects that skincare does. It doesn’t break down the skin barrier like skincare products can, but it really just clogs the pores. But if you’re a teenager, you do not need foundation. It makes you look older, it’s clogging your pores, it makes any line or creases you have look worse. Instead, use oil free tinted moisturizers. Even if you’re breaking out and you need more coverage, there are great options out there. Bare Minerals is great, Laura Mercier makes a great one, and so does Chantecaille. Do not use anything with heavy scents and heavy oils. It’s just going to worsen the look of it. All the contouring, forget it. And you don’t need a luminizer at that age. Your skin is naturally illuminized. Like having a skincare regimen at that age, keep it simple.”

Dr. Marnie’s Beauty Must-Haves:


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