Younger kids, ages 7 to 11, are getting breakouts—and the phenomenon is being linked to the start of puberty at younger ages.
At the start of the 20th century, the average age for a girl in the U.S. to start menstruating was 16 or 17. Today, that age has fallen to younger than 13, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. About 20 years ago, fewer than five percent of girls started puberty before the age of 8—today, that percentage has doubled.
Many experts blame the hormonal change on environmental toxins, specifically phthalates—that ubiquitous plastic compound found in everything from shower curtains to plastic toys to shampoos—which mess with the body’s endocrine system.
As a result, signs of puberty such as breast development and menstruation and even changes in mood, happen earlier these days. And another effect? Acne at younger ages.
How to treat acne in younger kids
Seeing pimples on your school-age child may be unsettling for you and your child at first since acne is typically an affliction that doesn’t start until well into middle school if not high school. But here are a few tips to help get the situation under control:
Don’t pick: Encourage your child not to pick at the spots to avoid scarring.
Get clean: Be sure to keep her face clean with a gentle, natural cleanser like California Kids #superclear Face Wash for mild breakouts. It uses a willow-bark-based formula—it’s a natural salicylic acid and also uses pure essential cypress and tea tree oils.
Eat right: Studies have shown that certain foods, like sugar, white starches, and highly processed foods, can cause a rise in blood sugar levels and incite skin to produce more oils — leading to more breakouts. And on the flip side, a diet high in fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fats (such as fish and eggs) may result in a change in your child’s skin.
Use the right product: Many of the teen-targeted products on the market are far too harsh and loaded with chemicals, especially for young kids’ sensitive skin. It’s why we created California Kids #superclear Zit Balm, an intensive spot treatment with tea tree and charcoal.
Get help: For severe acne, consult your child’s physician or dermatologist.