The next demographic to get a skincare routine? Kids
The "mummy and me" fashion line has become as boring as baby shoes as a birth announcement, but there's a new industry which is catering to kiddie consumers: skincare.
Take Zoe Foster Blake's much-hyped Go-To skincare line, which has today launched Gro-To, a children's range featuring a moisturiser, body wash, body oil and pre-bed "calming mist" (lavender scented, so probably not a bad idea for a sleep-deprived parent, either).
Children’s skincare is a growing market.Credit:iStock
The former beauty editor says she "selfishly" designed the range, which is available online, after using products from her main line on her five-year-old son's sensitive skin.
"If I was resorting to grown-up skin care for my kids, and I was pretty across the skin care market, what were other parents doing? What did they use? The offering felt small."
The global baby and children's skincare market grew almost 9 per cent last year to a value of $US3.6 billion ($5.3 billion), according to Euromonitor. Premium products comprise nearly half of that market, with luxury skincare brands Barbara Sturm and Chantecaille branching into products for children, as Business of Fashion reported last month.
Although the global adult market is much larger (over $180 billion in 2018), the expectation is that, as more parents care about knowing their BHAs from their hyaluronic acid, children's skincare is only going to grow.
Foster Blake, whose Go-To range is stocked in Mecca locally and Sephora in the US, says the colourful products tap into consumer demand for clean skincare, explaining that each has been dermatologically tested to be non-irritating and hypo-allergenic, as well as free from silicones, soaps, sulfates, parabens, GMOs, synthetic colours and fragrances.
"If you’re choosing clean skincare for yourself, we now give you the opportunity to choose that for your children, too."
Other Australian brands have also realised there's a market. Melbourne grown label Love Ur Skin offers moisturisers, cleansers and face masks designed for younger skin.
Founded in 2015 by a then 13-year-old Isabella Dymalovski (with a bit of help from a team of formulators), the range has been designed with tweens in mind, focusing on natural ingredients for pubescent skin.
Skincare through the stages: how should children's routines change as they grow?
Dr Deshan Sebaratnam, consultant paediatric dermatologist and senior conjoint lecturer at the University of New South Wales, says there is some evidence that using a regular moisturiser from birth can help minimise the risk of developing eczema, a skin condition experienced by one in five Australian children "for reasons we don't exactly understand".
"A thick and greasy moisturiser without any preservatives – Dermeze ointment, QV Intensive cream, emulsifying ointment – is recommended," he says.
Before six months, a baby really only needs a three-minute tepid bath, three times a week.
"They don't sweat – they don't do very much! – and so an occasional quick bath is all that's needed."
Once a child is around six months old, you should keep up the moisturiser routine, but add in an SPF 50+ sunscreen to "instil sun safety early on so it becomes routine", Dr Sebaratnam says.
"As long as a product is SPF50+ there isn't too much of a difference between them – which ever suits you in terms of comfort and price point."
Skincare for teenagers is a bit more complicated, although there are some guiding principles. Dr Sebaratnam recommends starting a soap-free cleanser once puberty prompts changes in sweat production.
"Contrary to popular opinion acne isn't cause by dirty skin or failures to clean skin properly," he says. "Avoiding products that are too thick and greasy may help in minimising acne – for instance using cream (water-based) formulations over ointments (oil-based)."
If acne does become a problem, Dr Sebaratnam says the first person to visit is a GP who can prescribe a management plan (usually with products containing benzoyl peroxide, topic retanoids or alpha hydroxy acids) or refer a teenager to a dermatologist if needed.
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