Personal Hygiene for Teens & Tweens
Puberty brings a physical transformation for your preteen. Hitting between age 8 to 13 for girls and 9 to 15 for boys, it causes everything from oily skin to excess perspiration. Introducing an effective personal hygiene routine is important during this transition. Here are the self-care habits to teach your teen or tween:
- Take a shower a day: Remind your teen or tween to start each day with clean skin. Focus on the armpits and feet with an antibacterial deodorant soap. Showering is also a must after any sweaty activities.
- Wash that oil right out of your hair: Teen and tween hair isn't always easy to manage. Overactive sebaceous glands ramp up the oil in your teen or tween's hair, so shampooing at least every other day can keep it under control. Clean hair can also decrease breakouts.
- Keep skin clear: Teens' and tweens’ skin also gets oilier, especially in the “T-zone.” For proper skin care, provide a mild acne cleanser or soap to use twice a day, and follow up with an over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide cream. Discourage your teen or tween from touching their face — it spreads bacteria, and picking can leave scars.
- Shave safely: When you decide your teen can handle the responsibility, buy them shaving cream and a kid-friendly razor. (Disposable ones are too sharp.) Teach them how to shave correctly — wet the skin and hair, apply shaving cream, then lightly drag the razor across skin.
- Stop the sweat: First things first: changing clothes and undergarments daily is essential. Also, don't let your teen leave the house without deodorant or antiperspirant. (Deodorant covers up the smell, while antiperspirant stops perspiration.) Maybe even stash an extra stick in their backpack!
- Brush, floss, rinse ... repeat: Make sure your teens understand that skimping on oral care can cause gingivitis, cavities and bad breath. Show them how to brush correctly, and teach them to follow up with floss and mouthwash — both morning and night.
- Trim and tidy fingernails: Show your teen or tween how to trim fingernails and toe nails straight across to prevent ingrown nails. Then slightly round at the top with a nail clipper and/or emery board. If nails look good, your teens may be less likely to bite them.
These are all good hygiene habits to start instilling in your teen or tween today!