OK, hear me out. I don’t think it’s excessive to introduce your kids to a skin care routine at an early age. I know, I know. What am I, a Kardashian? No, very much no. I’m just a regular mom with mostly regular kids, and I believe in the importance of good habits.
Between the endless back-and-forth in the mommy blogosphere, online concern trolling, and regular trolling, there are few debates as raged-on than children and skin care routines. From the dismissive “it’s excessive and crazy” to the over-the-top “these people must be stopped,” most people seem to be firmly in the “skin care has no place for children” camp, but I strongly disagree.
I wish my mother had the foresight to pass me a bottle of sunblock, teach me about moisture barriers, and instill within me a foundation of good habits.
I grew up in an era where skin care was Coppertone tanning lotion, Noxema, and some Sea Breeze astringent, essentially the trifecta of terrible. And let me tell you, once I hit my mid 30s, it showed. A lifetime of skin neglect, over-drying, and sun damage showed up to play, and it was hell to try to evict them from my face. I wish so very much that my mother had the knowledge and foresight to pass me a bottle of sunblock, teach me about moisture barriers, and instill within me a foundation of good habits. So that’s why I’m trying to do better for my kids, even though they’re still quite young.
My children are 7 and 3 years old, respectively. My daughter, the eldest, has watched me do my elaborate skin care routine since she was a wee thing, and my son has witnessed it since birth. Yep, I totally had a toiletry bag and did my nightly rituals even in the birthing suite of the hospital. I’m that guy.
But I don’t see skin care as some frantic misguided attempt to try to keep eternally young. I do and have always seen it as basic self-care. My routine centers me, it’s my 10-minute meditation, it’s my me-time. My double cleanse makes me feel lighter, my light layers of hydration make me feel restored and renewed. I feel happier and ready for the day or for rest.
This is something my kids have picked up on and wanted to emulate. In terms of picking up habits from your parents, I’d say this is a nice little step-up in comparison with the children of my generation who watched their parents suck down Sanka and cigarettes only to find themselves copying some version of that in their later years.
I don’t see skin care as some misguided attempt to try to keep eternally young. I see it as basic self-care. My routine centers me, it’s my 10-minute meditation, it’s my me-time.
What I’m saying is, things could be a lot worse. About two years ago my daughter requested her very own products, and I happily obliged. She now stands alongside me at the sink and we talk about her day while we pat on toner and moisturizers. My son also loves to mimic his big sister and mum, happily patting his face and chattering alongside us. This ritual holds special importance to him as a child with autism. He delights in ritual and routine, and this is one of his happier ones. Knowing that my kids are taking time for themselves in a society increasingly demanding every second be accounted for, productive, and somehow plugged into making a profit, allows me to hold hope that they remember this in the future. Look, I know it’s skin care and it’s not that serious, but sometimes there’s a little revolution, a little declaration of self, a little validation hidden in the mundane.
As a parent, I can say without a doubt, for my little family, our skin care routine is something that brings us all together at night and sets us up for a good start mentally as we start our days. As for the negativity directed towards admitting your kids have a skin care routine, well, I hear a good double cleanse can do wonders for that.