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Children and Exfoliation

Updated on November 15, 2015

Should Children Exfoliate Their Skin?

"My 12-year-old daughter tends to develop dry skin from time to time – especially during the winter. On top of that, she also has a pretty rough skin. I know exfoliation is a good way to make the skin healthy and youthful. I regularly exfoliate and know how that has helped in giving my skin a healthy and youthful appearance. I was wondering whether it is advisable to exfoliate my child’s skin."

Every dermatologist would tell you that it’s really never advisable for children to undergo exfoliation. Although exfoliating is very healthy and good for the skin of an adult, exfoliating your child’s skin isn’t healthy for his or her skin. I will explain why exfoliation is bad for your child's skin momentarily. But before that let’s first try to understand what exfoliation is all about.

When you exfoliate your skin, you basically remove the old, dead skin cells from the surface of your skin in order to make the skin smoother and beautiful. Regular exfoliation (exfoliating once or twice a week) is one of the best ways of keeping the skin of an adult smoother, clearer, healthier and more beautiful. There are so many advantages of exfoliating the skin of an adult. One of the biggest advantages of exfoliating an adult's skin is the fact that it makes the skin more beautiful and healthier. Exfoliating the skin in the proper manner is always good for an adult but not very good for a child growing up.

Let us now take a look at why it is not healthy for children to exfoliate their skin but yet healthy for adults to exfoliate regularly.

The skin is made of several layers of tissues and renews itself frequently – once in every thirty days or so. The old, dead skin cells are naturally removed from the surface of the skin making way for fresh, new skin cells to take over at the surface. This natural exfoliation process happens very frequently (once every 28 - 30 days). But as a person gets older (normally from twenty years of age going), this natural exfoliation process begins to slow down drastically to the point where old, dead skin cells don’t get removed but build up on the top layer of your skin (the epidermis) and make your skin unhealthy and rough. As a result of this very important natural process of skin cell turnover slowing down in adults, it becomes very imperative for adults to engage in regular exfoliation in order to get rid of the old, dead skin cells that are building up on the surface of the skin and making the skin unhealthy and old. This is the reason why adults have to exfoliate regularly.

But children, who are growing up, don’t really need to exfoliate since the natural process of old, dead skin cells being replaced regularly by new, fresh skin cells is always active.

In addition to the above, since a child’s skin hasn’t fully developed yet and is tender and still growing, certain exfoliating agents – especially harsh ones can easily disrupt the child’s tender skin and normal skin growth process and lead to problems such as skin irritation, blemishes and unhealthy-looking skin.

It is important for parents to know that exfoliating their children’s skin at a very young age isn’t a good idea. Exfoliation is mainly recommended for people who are twenty years of age and above and not for children who are growing up.

If your child suffers a lot from dry skin problems, then I recommend you do the following important things to help give your child a healthier and smoother skin:

  • Let him or her drink more water. Water is extremely good for both a person’s overall health and the health of the skin.
  • Get a good moisturizer for your child. I recommend great brands such as Eucerin or Cetaphil. And make sure that your child uses these moisturizers moments after he or she has finished bathing in order to help trap water on the surface of the skin.
  • If your child’s skin is extremely dry, you can also get him or her oils such as baby oil or olive oil to be used as moisturizers. Johnson’s Baby Oil is one of the best oils on the market for moisturizing dry skin. Make sure that your child applies the oil on his or her skin immediately after bathing and drying him or herself with a towel.
  • You can also save your child from suffering from dry skin by advising them to use warm water in bathing instead of hot water since hot water removes oils from the skin and increases the risk of developing dry skin.
  • Also, you should know that using harsh soaps to bathe isn’t good for the delicate skin of your child since it can easily dry out the skin. As a matter of fact, using harsh soaps isn’t the best for anyone’s skin regardless of age or gender.

Taking note of these simple things above can help improve your child’s skin condition and make his or her skin healthier and appear more beautiful.

Always remember that exfoliation is meant for adults and not for children who are growing up. Exfoliation never doesn't do children’s skin any good.


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    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 17 months ago from India

      children skin is very sensitive.. I feel we should keep it natural..

    • myvenn profile image
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      myvenn 17 months ago from Ghana

      I totally agree with you!!!

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